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The Legal Empowerment Movement and Its Implications

Peter Chapman,

Around the world, a global legal empowerment movement is transforming the way in which people access justice. The concept of legal empowerment is rooted in strengthening the ability of communities to: “understand, use and shape the law.” The movement relies on people helping one another to stand up to authority and challenge injustice. At its…

A Few Interventions and Offerings from Five Movement Lawyers to the Access to Justice Movement

Jennifer Ching, Thomas B. Harvey, Meena Jagannath, Purvi Shah, Blake Strode,

We are five lawyers who occupy very different corners of justice work. We are civil rights, human rights, and criminal defense lawyers, and we have worked at and managed legal services programs. We have taught law at law schools and universities and have built our own organizations. We currently work in interdisciplinary spaces with community…

Hybrid entities can bring for-profit strategies to NGO funding

Louis Bickford,

This resource touches on how Hybrid entities that mix for-profit and not-for-profit strategies have the potential to free NGOs from constantly seeking foundation funding. Through his experiences in both the NGO world and now through a startup in Silicon Valley Louis Bickford shares insights of his journey so far

Sustainable Development Goal 16.9: ‘Legal Identity’ Nationality and Statelessness

Institute on Statelessness and Inclusion,

This booklet introduces key concepts that can be adopted by Legal identity practitioners to protect vulnerable and marginalized groups. It also explains flawed identity processes can cause and/ or perpetuate statelessness. Finally, it presents some strategies to help ensure statelessness is effectively addressed through inclusive and human rights based development policies on legal identity If…

Guía para Trabajadores Comunitarios Cómo Documentar la Nacionalidad y Otras Formas de Identidad Jurídica

Namati y Open Society Justice Initiative, en cooperación con UNHCR,

Actualmente, 1.100 millones de personas en el mundo no cuentan con documentos que acrediten su identidad legal. Sin esto, no pueden votar, acceder a atención de la salud o ir a la escuela, y se exponen al riesgo de ser apátridas. Puede haber comunidades enteras—sobre todo de sectores de bajos recursos y miembros de minorías—sin…

Listen, Think and Act: Radio Broadcasting to Promote Farmers’ Participation in Mali’s Land Policy

Mamadou Goïta, Mohamed Coulibaly,

The vast majority of agricultural production in Mali is carried out by smallholder farmers, who are often unaware of the laws and policies that govern access to the land and resources they rely on to secure their livelihoods. This means they can lose out as access to resources is secured by large-scale agribusinesses or investors….

Children’s Right to Early Education in the City of Buenos Aires: A Case Study on ACIJ’s Class Action

Fernando Basch,

Through a complex litigation strategy that involved freedom of information requests, budget analysis, and media dissemination, the Civil Association for Equality and Justice (Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia, or ACIJ) pressured the formerly reluctant government of the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina, to acknowledge a legitimate unsatisfied claim related to school vacancies for initial-level education…

The Impact of Land Property Rights Interventions on Investment and Agricultural Productivity in Developing Countries: a Systematic Review

Steven Lawry, Cyrus Samii, Ruth Hall, Aaron Leopold, Donna Hornby, Farai Mtero,

Secure and predictable access to land as a productive resource is key to the livelihoods of millions of farmers around the world. Secure land tenure enables farmers to invest in long-term improvements to their farms and soils in the expectation that they will reap the benefits of those investments without fear that their land be…

The Homelessness Prevention Program Outcomes and Effectiveness

New York State Department of Social Services,

The Homelessness Prevention Program was established to address the problem of homelessness by preventing it from occurring. Homelessness prevention programs can have several beneficial outcomes, including the prevention of hardships associated with eviction and homelessness. Some programs may also produce benefits in the form of improved family function and improved ability to obtain appropriate benefits from…

Evaluation of Grassroots Community–Based Legal Aid Activities in Uganda and Tanzania: Strengthening Women’s Legal Knowledge and Land Rights

Julia Behrman, Lucy Billings, Amber Peterman,

Progressive legislative actions in Uganda and Tanzania have improved women’s legal rights to land, however significant gender disparities persist in access, control, inheritance, and ownership of land at the grassroots level. One promising mechanism to improve the implementation of laws is through Community–based Legal Aid (CBLA) programs, which are typically designed as pro–poor to enhance…

Saving Sangam from Mining

Posted by Vijay Rathod in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources

The following post originally appeared on India Water Portal. There was illegal mining in the Triveni Sangam and I could not believe my eyes. Who could do something like this? The sangam, or confluence of rivers, in the Gujarat district of India, has a special place in my mind as I had grown up visiting…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work. Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

Groundtruthing Environmental Violations in Chhattisgarh, India

Posted by Krithika Dinesh in Community Paralegals, Environment, Namati News

Namati and the Centre for Policy Research are pleased to release the second report in their series on community-led groundtruthing exercises in India. The report, Closing the Enforcement Gap: Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Sarguja, Chhattisgarh, outlines how representatives from three villages in the state of Chhattisgrah in central India used the process of groundtruthing to establish that the…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

The Sea, the Law and Salt

Posted by Vimal Kalavadiya and Bharat Patel in Environment

How we used the law to reclaim the inter-tidal area at Bavdi Bander, Gujarat, India The Kutch district in Gujarat, one of the largest in India, has a coastline of 405 kilometers and inter-tidal area of about 200 kilometers. For generations, communities in the district have engaged in agriculture, pottery, animal husbandry, weaving, fishing, and…

Community Paralegals and the Legal Empowerment Approach to Statelessness

Posted by Laura Goodwin in Citizenship

Community Paralegals and the Legal Empowerment Approach to Statelessness Mohammad Javed is an Urdu-speaking entrepreneur living in the middle of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Looking to grow his business, Mohammad decided to travel to India to start importing spare auto-rickshaw parts for his own repairs and to sell to others. Yet Mohammad was…