The Centre conducts state-of-the-art research in the field of local and regional human rights. It is the Centre’s core belief that each research project should surpass the theoretical sphere. This means that carried out research and, consequently, its output is always tightly interlinked to and has an important impact on practice. The achieved outcome is geared to both local authorities and scientific stakeholders. Concrete projects include the ongoing development of indicators, strategies and policy-based insights on local human rights using a multidisciplinary approach. Research also encompasses monitoring jurisprudence and activities relevant to human rights on the local level.

Commissioned research

The Centre offers research activities on the local, national, regional, and global level. Using a multidisciplinary approach, a holistic analysis is undertaken to yield results relevant for policy and practice. Regular staff members at the Centre are experts in the disciplines of human rights, law, economics, sociology, political science, and language studies. Experts in other fields periodically join for specific projects. Scientific research activities available for commission include policy-oriented research, empirical research, quantitative and qualitative surveying and analysis, ethnographic research, applied and action research, and theory-building. Other types of research are available upon request.

A range of reports and publications are available here.


The Centre offers both the development of comprehensive monitoring concepts, as well as monitoring activities on particular topics. The monitoring concepts developed are comprehensive strategies to assess and evaluate a given process. Concept development encompasses indicator development, desk and empirical research, as well as analysis and evaluation. The methodology used for the development of human rights indicators is the threefold framework of structural, process and outcome indicators. Furthermore, support in ongoing monitoring activities is available and consists of conceptual development and subsequent observance and interpretation of developments, and the formulation of policy-recommendations if applicable.


  • For over 10 years, the Centre's hosting organisation ETC Graz has monitored the human rights situation in Graz (Austria) and devised recommendations for local authorities in its annual Human Rights Report.
  • In a recent project on monitoring children’s rights in Austria, the Centre developed a research and monitoring strategy, as well as a set of indicators according to which the realisation of children’s rights is assessed.
  • The ETC Graz has conducted election campaign monitoring for local level elections in Graz since 2008 and provided assessments on the political campaigns’ adherence to human rights.
Localising and scaling best practices

The Centre offers the testing, modelling, and scaling of human rights monitoring, reporting, documentation, and institution-building activities in order to support local authorities and other stakeholders in their successful realisation. In its Human Rights Lab, the Centre synthesises good and promising human rights practices from across the globe for local level implementation. Also, proven local human rights practices are scaled-up for implementation across regions. Based on the research conducted in the Lab, the Centre provides context-specific input on methods and measures on how to realise best practices at the local level.