On the basis of this analysis, and the clear findings of bias, double standards, and inappropriate methodology in HRW’s activities related to Israel, we suggest a number of critical changes to be implemented by the board of directors.
a) Formation of a governing board independent of the executive director, with direct involvement in top employment and related personnel decisions.
b) Review of HRW’s mission and priorities, to decide which activities and areas of concentration are compatible with HRW’s professional capabilities and resources. HRW must also determine whether its mission ought to be devoted to the grave human rights abuses that are endemic to closed, undemocratic societies, or whether it should continue to devote scarce donor resources toward investigating democracies.
c) Professional guidelines are needed at every operational level and division to ensure that decisions are made strictly on a professional, rather than ideological, basis. Accuracy before advocacy.
d) An independent ombudsman should be employed to monitor the implementation of these guidelines, including the removal of ideological and other bias. This position should be filled without the input of the executive director, and funded with five percent of HRW’s overall budget. The ombudsman should have the authority to prevent publication of any document or the implementation of any program.
e) Transparency in HRW’s process of agenda setting is essential to restoring the universality and moral credibility of human rights.