3.3 Compare structural and process indicators with benchmarks

As with the interpretation of data gathered for outcome indicators, it is necessary to compare the information you have gathered for yourstructural andprocess indicators with various types of benchmarks.

Types of benchmarks

For the purposes ofhuman rights monitoring you will need to be able to identify whether there are shortfalls in the information for the structural or process indicators you have selected. We recommended you use one of the following types of benchmarks:

International human rights standards

Compare laws adopted at the national level (ie structural indicators) with relevant provisions of international human rights law. This will enable you to assess whether those laws are in compliance with international human rights standards. For instance, if the laws on education do not require compulsory and free primary education, this would fall short of theinternational standard that primary education shall be compulsory and available free to all.

Laws and policies

Compare the data you compiled on particular policy issues against the commitments undertaken by the government innational laws orpolicy documents. Policy documents may reveal the rationale behind a government policy or intervention. You could then contrast that rationale with the manner in which that policy is carried out, as illustratedhere.

Disaggregated data

Disaggregated data for process indicators can help you determine whether State efforts havediscriminatory effects. For instance if the distribution and prioritisation of education inputs by the State favours certain regions, groups of people (the general population, people living in urban areas, relatively well-off families, etc), types of school or levels of education, then a case can be made that the State is allocating its resources in a way that exacerbates inequalities within society. For example, regions dominated by the majority group may have a higherpupil / textbook ratio compared to regions that are home to high numbers of minorities. This indicates that the State prioritises the distribution of education inputs to the majority group.

Cross-country comparisons

Bycomparing the data you compiled on any given process indicator with data from the same indicator from other countries you can identify whether the government’s effort to realise the right to education are comparable with neighbouring countries and / or countries with a similar level of development (as measured byGDP per capita). For instance, if your country has a much lower percentage of textbooks per pupil, or a higher pupil-teacher ratio than most of the countries in the region, it would suggest that the government has failed to ensure the availability of these essential education inputs in sufficient quantity. Similar to Step 2.3, cross-country comparisons over time can also be useful for assessing whether progress has been better or worse than that of other similar countries.

A past value of the same process indicator

Comparing present year data with a past value of the same indicator can reveal whether the State has made progress or hasregressed in providing for theeducation input necessary for the full enjoyment of the right to education. A decreasing commitment to provide for education inputs may be indicative of a problem in theprogressive realisation of the right to education according tomaximum available resources. For instance, if you find that thepupil / textbook ratio has increased over the years (ie the average number of pupils per textbook in schools is higher than in the past), this may indicate that the government is failing to provide equal access to quality education, since textbooks are one of the major teaching and learning resources used in schools and in many countries many low income families cannot afford to buy their own textbooks.