Guidance Notes for Community Needs Assessment and Baseline Survey

The purpose of this research is to inform and assist programmes by undertaking a needs assessment of the community, including information about their knowledge, attitudes and practices on justice issues. It will help the trainee paralegals understand the community and what legal needs they are facing, will introduce the new programme to the community, and will also act as a baseline for future research. Specifically, it will:

  • Improve organizational understanding of the socio-cultural and economic aspects of the context in which the legal empowerment programme will be implemented.
  • Assist the design of the legal literacy training and mobile clinics.
  • Measure the impact of the different components of the legal empowerment programme after implementation.

Data from different organisations will be compiled together to provide an overall picture of all areas of intervention. Objectives of the Programmes The programmes as a whole have the following objectives:

  • Improved knowledge of law, law enforcement agencies and legal aid skills and practical problem solving among staff.
  • Improved knowledge and understanding among staff about gender-based violence.
  • More and improved facilities available for basic justice services, enabling members of the public to resolve disputes at local level in an expeditious, transparent and affordable manner.
  • Increased understanding among public about the law, how to enforce the law, and knowledge of existence of paralegal offices.
  • Increased confidence among the public in their ability to access justice, and increased propensity of the public to seek remedies for injustices.
  • Establishment of relationship of trust between paralegal office and government officials/ local public figures.
  • Improved tendency of local government institutions to be responsible to local needs and offer appropriate services.

This research seeks to provide a baseline for programmes against which to assess their progress.