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From a normative discourse to contextualised practices: a case study of a human rights-based approach in Bangladesh

This thesis explores the particular understanding and practice of a human rights-based approach (HRBA) in ActionAid Bangladesh (AAB), drawing on 28 interviews and 35 documents. Employing thematic analysis, it identifies changes in AAB’s HRBA influenced by the organisational and national contexts and by the role of development practitioners. The changes are conceptualised as the product of ‘internalisation’, NGO workers’ building understanding of and commitment to the HRBA, and ‘contextualisation’, their shaping the HRBA to fit organisational and national contexts. This thesis argues the importance of human agency for discourse change, noting the influence of contexts on both agency and discourse.

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