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Justice Policy Series, Part 1: Access to Justice

Open Government Partnership, Joseph Foti, Jessica Hickle, Maha Jweied,

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides an opportunity for government and civil society reformers to make government more transparent, participatory, and accountable. Working together, government and civil society co-create two-year action plans with concrete commitments across a broad range of issues that are then monitored by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). Until recently, access to…

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…

BRAC-Ain o Salish Kendro Joint Legal Aid Programme: A Comprehensive Review

Dilruba Banu,

In mid 1980s, BRAC initiated its paralegal programme to promote legal awareness among the members of its village organisations (VOs). The programme was re-organised and expanded as Human Rights and Legal Education (HRLE) in the early 1990s. The purpose of HRLE was to raise awareness about the legal rights among BRAC members, increase knowledge of…

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…

Randomized Evaluation in Legal Assistance: What Difference Does Representation (Offer and Actual Use) Make?

D. James Greiner, Cassandra Wolos Pattanayak,

Particularly with respect to low-income clients in civil cases, how much of a difference does legal representation make? In 2007, we initiated discussions with various legal services providers to generate interest in a series of randomized trials that we hoped would provide gold-standard answers to the question of how much of a difference both an offer…

Increasing Access to Justice for Women, the Poor, and Those Living in Remote Areas: An Indonesian Case Study

Leisha Lister, Cate Sumner, Matthew Zurstrassen,

Recent reforms in the religious courts of Indonesia have resulted in a 14-fold increase in the number of poor clients able to access the courts through court fee waivers and a fourfold increase in the number able to access circuit courts in remote areas. These increases are significant because the ability of the poor, particularly…

Enhancing Customary Justice Systems in the Mau Forest, Kenya: A Strategy for Strengthening Women’s Land Rights

Deborah Espinosa, Florence Santos,

Kenya’s new Constitution guarantees all Kenyans the right to access justice, recognizes customary justice institutions to the extent they do not violate the Constitution, and prohibits gender discrimination in land matters. These provisions form the basis for the USAID-supported Kenya Justice Project, which piloted a model for improving women’s access to customary justice as a…

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…