Promoting Citizens' Participation in Governance

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Closing the Enforcement Gap: Community-led Groundtruthing of Environmental Violations in Mormugao, Goa

Centre for Policy Research, Namati Environmental Justice Program,

The Mormugao Port is located at Vasco bay in the Mormugao taluka of Goa at the point where the Zuari river meets the Arabian Sea. This region is home to thousands of fisherfolk from the Karvi community who live along the beaches of Mormugao, Salcete and Tiswadi talukas. It is a natural  harbour that provides…

Understanding Justice Needs: The Elephant in the Courtroom

The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL),

For the first time, we quantify and pinpoint the yearly need for fair solutions. In this report, we estimate that each year, 1 billion people face a new and serious conflict. They experience violence, stress, loss of work and income or damage to key relationships. Data show that right now, people rely on litigation in…

Wapichan set up Ground-breaking System to Defend Human Rights and Monitor Ancestral Lands

South Rupununi District Council (SRDC),

Amidst increasing concerns about threats to their forests, wetlands and way of life, the Wapichan People of Guyana (South America) have set up their own ground-breaking system to defend their human rights and monitor their ancestral lands against harmful development. Community information has been collected using a grassroots land use monitoring arrangement that involves community…

Pathways to accountability in rural Guatemala: A qualitative comparative analysis of citizen-led initiatives for the right to health of indigenous populations

Alison Hernández, Ana Lorena Ruano, Anna-Karin Hurtig, Isabel Goicolea, Miguel San Sebastián, Walter Flores,

Strengthening citizen-led accountability initiatives is a critical rights-based strategy for improving health services for indigenous and other marginalized populations. As these initiatives have gained prominence in health and other sectors, there is great interest in how they operate and what makes them effective. Scholarly focus is shifting from measuring the efficacy of their tools and…

Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide (French)

Rachael Knight, Marena Brinkhurst, Jaron Vogelsang, and Namati's Community Land Protection partner organizations,

This resource, Guide des Facilitateurs de la Protection des Terres Communautaires, is the French version of the Community Land Protection Facilitator’s Guide. The English version can be found here. Namati’s Community Land Protection Facilitators Guide is a step-by-step, practical “how to” manual for grassroots advocates working to help communities protect their customary claims and rights to…

Power to the People: A Case Study on Participatory Local Land and Natural Governance in Nepal

Namati, Community Self Reliance Centre (CSRC) ,

From 2014 until 2016, the Community Self Reliance Centre implemented an adaption of Namati’s legal empowerment approach to community land protection in four communities in Nepal, with the goal of piloting a strategy for successfully addressing challenges of landlessness in the country. In early 2018, Namati undertook an assessment of the work for the purpose…

10 Days of Local Action: Action Pack

Justice For All campaign,

This September, world leaders and grassroots justice defenders will mark the 10th anniversary of the  Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor​. This presents us with a unique opportunity. With the attention of world leaders trained on the anniversary, we have the chance to spotlight the work of our community from the last decade and…

Opening Justice: Access to justice, open judiciaries, and legal empowerment through the Open Government Partnership

Peter Chapman, Sandra Elena, Surya Khanna, Open Government Partnership staff,

This collaborative guide is a collection of resources for reformers interested in advancing open government and expanding justice. It lays out model commitments, provides a state of play on the growth of the topic in Open Government Partnership, and collects resources (partners, “how-to”s, and defines terminology). From the overview: The Open Government Partnership provides a…

Leveraging the SDGs for Inclusive Growth: Delivering Access to Justice for All

Open Society Foundations , OECD,

Access to justice is integral to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and inclusive growth. An estimated four billion people around the world live outside the protection of the law, mostly because they are poor or marginalized within their societies. They can be easily cheated by employers, driven from their land, preyed upon by the…

Towards Inclusive Growth – Access to Justice: Supporting People-Focused Justice Services

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development,

Countries around the world are taking steps to promote access to justice and modernise functions and capacities of legal and justice services in order to support inclusive growth, tackle inequality and poverty and foster good governance. Yet multiple challenges exist. The OECD contributes to improving and understanding access to justice and people-focused legal and justice…

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…

Groundtruthing – A Journey from Law to Environmental Justice

Posted by Vivek Trivedi in General

“The community actually said that the ‘air is so bad and the water is so bad that we can neither cook nor make tea.’” This line, sobering in its daily reality, was delivered at a recent webinar entitled Building Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance, by Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at the CPR-Namati…

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

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…