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Driving Change: Policies Favouring Poor People in Indonesia

Sharon Thangadurai, Oxfam Great Britain,

This paper shows how the ‘Driving Change’ project in Indonesia used advocacy and capacity-building to ensure that the voices of poor people, especially women, became part of government planning processes to alleviate poverty. It focuses on people’s participation at village level as a key entry point, leading to advocacy for policy change at district and…

Mainstreaming Gender in Tanzania’s Local Land Governance

Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), Nasieku Kisambu,

Despite progressive provisions on gender equality in Tanzania’s land laws, women have little representation in land allocation decisions, including meetings of village councils and village assemblies. Mainstreaming gender in local regulations can help to address this problem.The Tanzania Women Lawyers Association (TAWLA), in partnership with the World Resources Institute (WRI) and Lawyers’ Environmental Action Team…

Pillars of the Community: How Trained Volunteers Defend Land Rights in Tanzania

Godfrey Massay,

Training volunteers to help their communities defend their land rights has proved an effective approach for promoting land justice in Tanzania. This report documents the work of a network of ‘Land Rights Monitors’ (LRMs) established and trained by Hakiardhi, a Dar-es-Salaam-based research institute working on land governance issues. Hakiardhi has trained a 600-strong network of…

Results of Early Open Government Partnership Initiatives

Open Government Partnership,

Since its start in 2011, Open Government Partnership (OGP) has launched seven very different reforms in different regions and covering a broad range of open government topics. This case study contains brief summaries of the results for those seven initiatives: empowering indigenous populations in Costa Rica, monitoring public spending in Italy, collecting data on air quality…

Ghana: Budget Monitoring by SEND-Ghana and its Partners Helps Improve Nutrition for Children and Support Local Farmers

Tony Dogbe, Joana Kwabena-Adade,

The International Budget Partnership (IBP) collaborates with a diverse network of civil society organizations around the world that analyze and monitor government budgets and advocate for better budget policies and more open and accountable budget processes in order to fight poverty and improve governance. In several instances over the past 10 years, members of the global network have succeeded…

Citizen’s Advice: Towards a business case for legal aid

Citizen's Advice Bureau,

This paper looks at the empirical basis for demonstrating a business case for civil legal aid and reviews the evidence base on the economic value of advice. In the context of the current public spending review, this project could not be more urgent, as all Government departments and agencies are required to show that their public expenditure is…

Is knowledge power? The Right to Information Campaign in India

Amita Baviskar,

The National Campaign for People’s Right to Information (NCPRI) was formally launched in 1996 at a gathering of more than a hundred activist organizations.  Campaign leaders described their goals as ‘transparency in public life, empowerment of people, deepening of democracy, and fighting corruption and malgovernance’. Their primary focus was to campaign for a national law on the right…

Unlikely Allies: Working with Traditional Leaders to Reform Customary Law in Somalia (in Working with Customary Justice Systems: Post-Conflict and Fragile States

Maria Vargas Simojoki,

This is Working Paper no. 2 in the International Development Law Organization (IDLO)’s Enhancing legal empowerment series. In recent years, the idea of promoting legal empowerment as a means of increasing access to justice has sparked growing interest in donor circles. At the same time, recognition that non-state justice is the reality for many of…

Empowering Parents to Improve Education: Evidence from Rural Mexico

Paul Gertler, Harry Patrinos, Marta Rubio-Codina,

This report forms a part of the World Bank’s Impact Evaluation series. Starting in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, the decentralization of administrative responsibilities and levels of authority to the school level is a form of educational reform that has been gaining increasing support in developing countries.  School-based management (SBM) programs – also…

Policing Politicians: Citizen Empowerment and Political Accountability in Uganda

Macartan Humphreys, Jeremy Weinstein,

Does greater transparency improve political accountability? In this paper, we use a simple model of political accountability to derive a set of hypotheses linking information to political behavior; we introduce a multilevel field experiment designed to test these hypotheses in the context of MP behavior in Uganda; and we provide first findings from a survey experiment designed to assess the…

History in the making: How communities in Kenya are claiming their land rights

Posted by Jaron Vogelsang in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Community Land Protection, Namati News

Over 60% of Kenya’s land mass is community land. The indigenous people that live off these lands have done so for generations, and yet they’ve never had the legal rights to govern them. As a result, they are vulnerable to having their land and resources grabbed for mining, agribusiness, and public infrastructure projects. But in…

It takes legal empowerment to solve the housing crisis

Posted by Denis Kimathi in Legal Empowerment Network, Namati News

In this blog, the authors argue that the global housing problems are a denial of justice and legal empowerment is a solution to this injustice. According to the authors, resolving the housing injustice starts with empowering people and communities to know, use and shape the law. At a time when 1 in 4 people globally…

Digital IDs Make Systemic Bias Worse

Posted by Denis Kimathi in Citizenship, Namati News

Over 5 million Kenyans from various minority groups have to go through discriminatory processes to get ID cards. This essay in WIRED is on how a marginalized community equipped with the power of law fought back against an exclusionary digital identity system in Kenya and won. The case was not unique; judiciaries of other nations…

PRESS RELEASE: Huduma Namba Stopped!

Posted by Denis Kimathi in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Citizenship

[This press statement was released by Namati partners and civil society organisations in Kenya ] The government of Kenya introduced the National Integrated Identity Management System, NIIMS, which came to be popularly known as Huduma Namba in January 2019. NIIMS was to put in place a new centralized and digital population register as a “single…

Kenya’s New Digital IDs May Exclude Millions of Minorities

Posted by Abdi Latif Dahir in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Citizenship

In this article in the New York Times, Abdi Latif Dahir writes on the issues of discrimination brought about by Kenya’s proposed giant biometric ID and digital ID project, commonly known as Huduma Namba or NIIMS. The Kenyan government will require citizens and foreign residents to have the identification number to access government services. There…