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Community work

Co-Design a Human Rights Solution with BIHR

In 2021-22, we ran a pilot programme where we worked with different communities to come up with a human rights solution to an issue they face everyday. Together with four partner organisations from different sectors and locations across the UK, we created four final resources which are available below.

Following the success of the pilot, BIHR has received funding from the Baring Foundation to continue providing co-design support to community groups across the UK. In 2023, we partnered with six organisations, and we will be partnering with four more organisations in 2024. Watch this space!

Our 2024 co-design programme

BIHR is offering community and voluntary groups across the UK the opportunity to co-design a support “solution” using human rights with our support from July to December 2024. This is part of BIHR’s wider Community Programme 2022-2025, funded by the Baring Foundation, which aims to strengthen the voice of community and voluntary groups across the UK to address social justice issues using human rights.

We have four spaces on our 2024 programme. Watch this space to find out who they will be!

How we made the solutions

In 2021, BIHR began a new approach to working with communities with the launch of the  "Co-design a human rights support “solution” with BIHR" programme.

This programme seeks to support community groups and voluntary groups to find human rights “solutions” to problems or issues they face. We worked with a small number of partners as a pilot project and are now developing our long-term offer to community groups. Our support is intended to enable groups to address the day-to-day issues where rights are risked, creating positive change within imperfect systems.

Co-design is at the core of this project. Our approach to co-design used a four-stage process to ensure that the views and opinions of our partners and the eventual end “users” of the solution were central to the development.

Stage 1: Discover

We host a workshop with community, campaigning and advocacy organisations across the UK who are interested in working with BIHR longer-term to support their human rights advocacy.

Previous sessions have been so valuable for BIHR as a human rights charity, and feedback told us the attendees also found it very helpful to have these conversations and build relationships.

Following the workshop, we open applications and then use criteria to score each application and choose the top-scoring organisations to partner with. We have heard from so many fantastic organisations who wanted to work with us on this project.

Stage 2: Define 

Selected partners are then invited to a "Define" workshop to further define their ideas for human rights support "solutions".

Each organisation then works with a staff member to co-develop plans about what the "solution" will be and how we will work together.

Stage 3: Develop

We then work with the partner organisations to map, develop and test their human rights "solutions", ensuring that this will effectively support them with the issue they are facing.

Stage 4: Deliver

The final step is to publish and share the finished tools! Previously this has taken place on Human Rights Day at an event in the House of Lords.

Want to find out more about our co-design project for working with community groups? Contact the project lead, Annie Smith on

Our partners

Everyone at BIHR would like to say a massive thank you to our core funders, the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, the Tudor Trust and the Bromley Trust, for making it possible for us to explore our work with communities and co-design support solutions that mean we can all make change through human rights, together.

Following the success of our pilot programme, our work with communities continues through our 2022-2025 programme, kindly funded through the Baring Foundation.

And thank you to the ten partner organisations we have worked with since 2021!

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