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How Do Community-based Legal Programs Work? Understanding the Process and Benefits of a Pilot Program to Advance Women’s Property Rights in Uganda.

By: Krista Jacobs, Meredith Saggers, Sophie Namy

Over a nine-month period in 2009-2010, the International Center for Research on Women (ICRw) and the Uganda Land Alliance (ULA) implemented and evaluated a pilot program in Luwero district to strengthen women’s property rights. The community-based gender and Property Rights program trained 20 community rights workers of the Luwero Land Rights Activists Association (LLRAA) to provide legal counselling for individual cases and conduct sensitization events to raise awareness about women’s property rights. ICRW created a monitoring system to document and learn from rights workers’ activities. ULA provided technical and organizational support to LLRAA rights workers and led program implementation.

This report describes the pilot program’s implementation, outcomes, and lessons.  It uses data from quantitative surveys; qualitative interviews with rights workers, their clients, and local leaders; and the monitoring system.  It first provides an overview of the program design, the monitoring and evaluation methodologies used, and the context in which the program was implemented. It next describes program findings, including discussion of challenges encountered by the rights workers. A look at overall program achievements follows. Finally, it concludes with recommendations for moving forward with community rights work as an approach to promoting women’s property rights.