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11 Nov 2015

Michelle Staggs Kelsall, doctoral candidate in law at Univ. of Nottingham (UK)

UN Forum Series Blog: A cartographer’s guide to measurement: mapping where we are, determining where we want to be and getting into the messy in-roads of legislation

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[I]f you want to measure progress, you need to work out not only where you are, but where you think you should be and how you intend to get there.Key challenges from a measurement perspective then become both pinpointing where you think the situation stands against your own ‘vision’ for the UNGPs (which can be highly subjective) and obtaining consensus with others you are working with on both the current situation and the endpoint of any implementation process...[F]or many lawyers I have worked with, measuring ‘progress’ has tended to take a decidedly cartographic turn: lawyers speak in terms of ‘mapping’ the existing legal landscape, assessing what new inroads can be found to better meet the UNGPs’ objectives, and attempting to find ways to create those inroads through a mix of ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ law options.  This is our answer to collating data: we chart the legal terrain in the hope of being able to push the boundaries of that landscape toward more fair and equitable ends...