Namati

Sub-Saharan Africa

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Africa Data Revolution Report 2018: Status and Emerging Impact to Open Data in Africa

Jean-Paul Van Belle,

In some governments, there is a slow iterative cycle between innovation, adoption, resistance and re-alignment before finally resulting in Open Government Data (OGD) institutionalization and eventual maturity. There is huge diversity between African governments, and each country presents a complex and unique picture. In several African countries, there appears to be genuine political will to open up government-based datasets,…

Legal Empowerment and Horizontal Inequalities after Conflict

Lars Waldorf,

This resource comes from the Journal of Development Studies, 2019 Vol. 55, No. 3, 437–455. This article explores whether legal empowerment can address horizontal inequalities in post-conflict settings, and, if so, how. It argues that legal empowerment has modest potential to reduce these inequalities. Nevertheless, there are risks that legal empowerment might contribute to a…

Legal Empowerment of the Poor through Property Rights Reform: Tensions and Trade-offs of Land Registration and Titling in Sub-Saharan Africa

Catherine Boone,

This resource comes from the Journal of Development Studies, 2019 Vol. 55, No. 3, 384–400. Land registration and titling in Africa is often advocated as a pro-poor legal empowerment strategy. Advocates have put forth different visions of the substantive goals this is to achieve. Some see registration and titling as a way to protect smallholders’…

Can Business Rights Alleviate Group-Based Inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa? Understanding the Limits to Reform

Scott D. Taylor,

This resource is from The Journal of Development Studies 2019, Vol. 55, No. 3, 420 – 436. Africa’s indigenous minorities face unique constraints, particularly in terms of engaging in even the most basic business activities. They typically lack business rights, but, even where such rights have been extended, they have had scant impact on group…

Sierra Leone Community Paralegals: Recognition and Financing Research Brief

Namati,

This research brief is part of a series that reviews the nature of the work undertaken by community paralegals, and the extent to which that work is recognized or funded by government. In 2012, the Sierra Leonean government adopted a legal aid law that recognizes the role paralegals play in delivering justice services and calls for a…

Malawi Community Paralegals: Recognition and Financing Research Brief

Namati,

This research brief is part of a series that reviews the nature of the work undertaken by community paralegals, and the extent to which that work is recognized or funded by government. Malawi’s Legal Aid Act recognizes “Legal Aid Assistants,” who are not qualified as legal practitioners, but are authorized to work full-time as a service provider with…

Nigeria Community Paralegals: Recognition & Financing

Namati,

This research brief is part of a series that reviews the nature of the work undertaken by community paralegals, and the extent to which that work is recognized or funded by government. In Nigeria, Paralegals are provided some formal recognition under Nigeria’s Legal Aid Act of 201. Paralegals operate mostly in civil matters. The first briefs published for this series…

Zambia National Legal Aid Policy 2018

Republic of Zambia Ministry of Justice,

From the Zambia National Legal Aid Policy 2018, which has progressive policies around accessing justice, including the formal recognition of community paralegals: The Government of the Republic of Zambia has committed itself to enhancing equal access to justice particularly for the poor and vulnerable people, as part of its efforts to observe the rule of…

Vices of Discrimination: The Impacts of Vetting and Delays in the Issuance of ID Cards in Kenya

Namati ,

This policy brief aims to highlight the plight of Kenyans who face difficulties in getting identity cards due to their ethnicity. It sheds light on how the discretionary and discriminatory processes they endure delay the issuance of their ID cards and further demonstrates how these delays endanger the wellbeing of the applicants and their families. The…

The South African Citizenship Act (Act 88 of 1995)

The Parliament of the Republic of South Africa,

The South African Citizenship Act is the sole act which regulates citizenship in South Africa. It must be interpreted in the spirit of the Bill of Rights in the South African Constitution which states: “No citizen may be deprived of citizenship” and that South Africans share an equal citizenship.” – Section 20 Published in 1995,…

Court Orders Oil Palm Company to Return Land and Pay Arrears of Rent to Landowners in Sierra Leone

Posted by Namati in Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

Press Release Freetown, Sierra Leone, November 6, 2018 — The High Court of Sierra Leone has ordered bailiffs to return 41,582 hectares of land previously leased to Sierra Leone Agriculture Ltd (SLA) to three land-owning communities in Bureh, Kasseh, and Maconteh Chiefdoms in Port Loko District in northern Sierra Leone. The Indian-owned and Singapore-based company SIVA…

5 Lessons Learned From Applying a Legal Empowerment Approach to Community Land Protection in Sierra Leone

Posted by Hassan Sesay in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources

The Namati team in Sierra Leone is engaged in an ongoing effort to discover sustainable measures for community ownership, management, and administration of land and natural resources throughout the country. To this end, we have taken on a new project: the application of a legal empowerment approach to community land protection. Land administration in Sierra…

Nationality Rights of the Nubian Child – Namati and Partners Submit a Policy Brief to ACERWC

Posted by Namati in Citizenship

On March 22, 2011, the African Committee of Experts on the Rights and Welfare of the Child (ACERWC) found Kenya to be in violation of the African Children’s Rights Charter. The case and verdict were based on the discriminatory rules and practices applied to Nubian children that denied them formal recognition of their Kenyan nationality. Without…

Video: Sonkita Conteh speaks about the paralegal approach in Sierra Leone at the “Solutions Summit”

Posted by Namati in Land & Natural Resources, Namati News

Namati’s Vivek Maru and Sonkita Conteh were among the 16 individuals honored with the Schwab Foundation’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award for 2017. As one of the 9 honorees from sub-Sahara Africa, Sonkita was invited to attend the “Solutions Summit” which took place in Durban in early May, directly ahead of the World Economic Forum on…

Negotiating large-scale land deals in Sierra Leone: a paralegal approach

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Land & Natural Resources

In a new article for Place, Namati’s Sierra Leone director, Sonkita Conteh, describes how community paralegals have been helping communities in Sierra Leone to secure better deals with big investor looking to lease their land. An excerpt of the article follows below. Three years ago I wrote about how communities in Sierra Leone were getting the short end of…

LEGEND Land Policy Bulletin: “Namati’s experience of using GeoODK GPS Mapping”

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection

Maps are critical tools that assist communities in securing formal legal recognition of their rights to customary land and supporting local land governance. However, the map-making support Namati could provide to communities in Africa and Asia was, until recently, limited to hand-drawn sketches. GPS and satellite technologies were too costly and technically complex. In 2016, Namati partnered with…

Sierra Leone Land Policy: An Open Letter to President Koroma

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Governance, Land & Natural Resources

Dear Mr. President, Last Thursday I was at State House to witness the low-key start of a potentially profound revolution in the land sector. For decades, our people and the environment have borne the scourge of a broken land tenure system. Many attempting to buy land to build a future for their families have lost…

Liberia is at a crossroads: recognising land rights can safeguard against violence

Posted by Jennifer Duncan and Jaron Vogelsang in Community Land Protection, Governance, Land & Natural Resources

This article was originally published by Thompson Reuters Foundation.   The government of Liberia has an unprecedented opportunity to pass progressive land reform legislation that could positively impact millions of people, but the window of opportunity is rapidly closing. If Liberia’s legislature doesn’t vote to adopt the draft Land Rights Act before it goes on recess…

BBC Africa: Sierra Leone Land Grab Thwarted

Posted by McKinley Charles in Community Land Protection, Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

Over 70 families in Nimiyama Chiefdom, Sierra Leone have had their land returned after taking a large multinational company to court. Local leaders had sold the families’ land to Orient Agriculture Ltd. without their knowledge or consent. With the support of a Namati community paralegal, the affected families learned about their right and how to…

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

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Governance, 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…

Namati Welcomes Sierra Leone’s Progressive New National Land Policy

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Land & Natural Resources

Sierra Leone’s new National Land Policy, recently approved by the cabinet, presents a progressive and ambitious plan for protecting land rights that will strengthen women’s access to land, give communities a bigger say over land management and create a better framework for major land investments. All of which is urgently in need if Sierra Leone’s…

Justice & Identity in Kibera

Posted by Paul McCann in Citizenship

Kibera, reputedly Africa’s largest informal settlement, is not an easy place to find your way around. In this story and photo gallery Namati’s partner, the Nubian Rights Forum, introduce us to the crowded lanes that are home to their community. We meet some of their clients, Kenyan Nubians struggling with a discriminatory system that makes it…

Recommendations for addressing bribery in the health sector

Posted by Namati Mozambique in Health

Namati Mozambique has produced an essential guide for patients and specialist on how to avoid bribery in the Mozambican health sector. The guide contains a series of recommendations for both policy and practice focused on the identification, prevention and combat of bribery in the health sector in Mozambique. It is a practical tool that can be used by patients,…

Sustainability of Paralegal Projects

Posted by Mustafa Mahmoud in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

I was reading a beautiful article by @caitlinpierce about private sector as an alternative option for funding for paralegal work and it has inspired me to write this piece. For the past six months I have been trying to think of how to sustain the Kenya citizenship paralegal project when its funding is lifted. We…

Large scale land investments and Sierra Leone’s draft National Land Policy

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Land & Natural Resources

Sonkita Conteh, Diector of Namati Sierra Leone, discusses how the country’s upcoming land reform could approach large scale and foreign investment into land, originally published at OSIWA.org   A series of short videos on the website of Sierra Leone’s investment promotion agency (SLIEPA) tout the country as one of the most attractive oases for investment. “Business friendly…

In Portuguese: Defending the Right to Health in Mozambique

Posted by Verdade in Health

The Mozambican newspaper Verdade has published a profile of Namati’s work, explaining how we use health advocates to defend patients’ rights to healthcare. The article is available at this link in Portuguese.

Videos on Community Land Protection

Posted by Rachael Knight in Community Land Protection, Namati News

Namati is thrilled to release four new videos that illustrate our approach to Community Land Protection. The first video is an overview of our approach, while the second and third videos describe the challenging work of making maps, resolving land conflicts, harmonizing boundaries with neighbors, drafting by-laws to ensure just and equitable governance, and electing diverse…

Call for New Partners: Community Land Protection

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Community Land Protection, Environment, Namati News

Namati is looking for new partners to adapt our approach to support communities in their regions. Drawing on five years of research and field-testing, Namati and our partners have designed a powerful four-step process for protecting community lands and natural resources. Our approach supports communities to map their resources, harmonize boundaries, and formally register their…

Talking Health Rights

Posted by Paul McCann in Health

Cacilda Fumo is one of Namati’s health advocates – a compassionate champion of patient rights. At the 1st of May Health Center in Maputo, Mozambique, where HIV and TB patients seek treatment from an over-stretched public health service, she is a regular presence – explaining to people not only how they can stay healthy, but what they can expect…

Women Behind Bars

Posted by IRIN Films in Multimedia

This film by IRIN Films focuses on AdvocAid, one of Namati’s partner organisations in Sierra Leone. AdocAid’s paralegals are trained by Namati and this moving film illustrates the important work that they do. Women Behind Bars tries to understand why prison rates for women in Sierra Leone are soaring. Twelve years after the long civil war…

‘I just need my freedom’

Posted by AdvocAid & IRIN in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Multimedia

This moving documentary by IRIN follows the work of Marvel and Victoria, two paralegals working for Namati’s partner AdvocAid in Sierra Leone. It illustrates the harsh reality of life for many women in Sierra Leone who come into contact with the police and the prison system. Marvel and Victoria bring hope to those suffering arbitrary…

Using paralegals to fight forced early marriage in Sierra Leone

Posted by Daniel Sesay in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

Early and forced marriage continues to be a widespread and serious problem in post-war Sierra Leone, especially in rural areas. It has become a common practice that abuses the rights of children and girls. Early marriage, also known as child marriage, is the marriage of someone before the age of 18 years. Such marriages are…

No Consent in Nimiyama Chiefdom

Posted by Karima Tawfik in Land & Natural Resources

Innovative Legal Remedies to Protect  Land Rights in Sierra Leone By Karima Tawfik For one woman in Nimiyama Chiefdom in eastern Sierra Leone, the first sign of trouble came when she went into her family’s fields to brush for planting and was told to leave immediately because the land had been “sold.” For another landowner, it…

Community Land Mapping in Liberia on Film

Posted by Namati in Community Land Protection, Land & Natural Resources

The work of Namati’s Liberian partner, the Sustainable Development Institute, has been captured on film by the climate change campaign organisation If Not Us Then Who. Made by Handcrafted Films for their Inspirational People strand, the short film shows the community mapping that rural people use to begin the process of protecting their lands. In a country where over half…

No Consent in Nimiyama Chiefdom

Posted by Karima Tawfik in Land & Natural Resources

Innovative Legal Remedies to Protect  Land Rights in Sierra Leone By Karima Tawfik For one woman in Nimiyama Chiefdom in eastern Sierra Leone, the first sign of trouble came when she went into her family’s fields to brush for planting and was told to leave immediately because the land had been “sold.” For another landowner, it…

Kenyan legal empowerment advocates urge government to adopt Access to Justice target for MDGs

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates, Post-2015 Agenda

Network organization Kituo Cha Sheria has called on Kenyan Parliament to endorse Access to Justice as a target in the post-2015 Millenium Development Goals, and to approve the Legal Aid Bill currently under consideration.

“Many took up arms because of the injustices they suffered”

Posted by Bremen Donovan in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

An interview with Daniel Sesay Daniel Sesay began working as a paralegal when he joined Timap for Justice following his involvement with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the early 2000’s.  He is now a Program Officer with Namati-Sierra Leone.  Daniel is playing a leading role in the national scale-up of paralegal activities across the…

Exploring the community level impact of paralegals in rural Sierra Leone

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

This article originally appeared in Sierra Express Media. Introduction A previous article by the author explored the work and impact of community-based paralegals in the lives of ordinary people in rural areas, through the lens of a number of case studies depicting real life justice problems of individuals and how paralegals helped resolve them. That effort…

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