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Joining Forces for the Poor: Alliance-building for social justice in South African and the story of the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices

By: Saranel Benjamin

This case study draws on a review of internal documents from the National Community Based Paralegal Association (NSC) and the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (NADCAO), as well as other research on the South African advice office sector.  It is mostly based on in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, identified in collaboration with former NADCAO National Coordinator Greg Erasmus.  A list of interviewees is included at the end of the case study.

NADCAO is a fairly recent initiative to strengthen the community advice office sector and broaden access to justice in South Africa.  Community Advice offices (CAOs) and paralegals have been part of the social and political landscape in South Africa since the 1930s.  Over the years, they have provided much needed services to millions of poor and marginalized South Africans.  Today, advice offices are essential for realizing democracy.  They play a primary role in translating human rights as enshrined in the South African Constitution into reality.  Despite this, however, the community advice office sector has struggled for recognition and support.

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Uploaded on: Apr 23, 2013
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
Year Published: 2012
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