We rigorously track data on every case our paralegals handle, and every community they support. The data provides a powerful map of how laws are playing out in practice. It is often information that no one else has. We analyze this information to identify potential improvements to laws, policies and institutions. We then work with our coalitions of allies to advocate for these changes.
We seek channels for frontline advocates and clients to be involved in the process of advocating for large-scale change. Once positive policy changes are adopted, grassroots advocates can work with communities to bring governments’ commitments to life.
This takes two broad, but interlinked approaches; nationally focused advocacy and globally focused advocacy.
Namati and a coalition of groups successfully advocated for a legal aid law that recognizes the role community paralegals play and calls for a paralegal in every chiefdom. Read our analysis here
Using data from our paralegals that showed ongoing discrimination, we persuaded the Home Ministry to send instructions to its officers clarifying that Biharis are entitled to passports. Explore our Citizenship program here
Despite national courts finding the Kenyan government was discriminating against Nubian children, there have still seen no meaningful progress after three years. Namati, the Open Society Justice Initiative and the Nubian Rights Forum produced this briefing, drawing on data generated from a community-based paralegal assistance program, identifying precisely how the government of Kenya continues to fall short in recognizing Kenyan nationality for Nubian children on a non-discriminatory basis.
The country’s first national land policy embraces a model for recognizing customary rights that Namati and our partner Sustainable Development Institute (SDI) piloted in Rivercess County. SDI and we have signed an MOU with the Land Commission to deploy grassroots legal advocates to engage in community land protection nationwide. Read the evidence from the pilot here
Namati supported a successful global campaign aimed at incorporating justice into the post-2015 development agenda. Our open letter to the UN Member States was endorsed by over 260 civil society organizations as well as Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Jimmy Carter, Mo Ibrahim, Fazle Abed, Ernesto Zedillo, Prince el-Hassan bin Talal, Madeline Albright, and Peter Gabriel.
We supported 98 organizations in 11 countries to convince – through the media, open letters to politicians and by forming coalitions between grassroots movements – their own governments to endorse justice in the post-2015 framework.
These efforts helped bring about “Goal 16” in the current framework, which calls for universal access to justice. The adaptation of the goal by UN member states is a historic recognition of the importance of justice to development.
Our network will continue to advocate for greater investment in legal empowerment. Our target is to secure expanded investment in legal empowerment from at least three national governments and at least two international agencies.
Be part of the movement for legal empowerment.
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