Namati is dedicated to putting
the power of law in the hands of people.
We are engaged in a vital struggle, in a brutal time. With authoritarianism and nativism rising, Namati and our many partners around the world are fighting to protect basic rights.
We are working with communities who have been vilified and excluded to secure the documents that prove their citizenship. We are working with farmers to recover land that was stolen from them by corporations or by their own governments. We are challenging broken health systems and unlawful pollution.
In our first five years, we proved that community paralegals and their clients can take on some of the toughest forms of injustice and win. And we built the first global network dedicated to legal empowerment—now nearly 2,000 groups from every part of the world.
We are called in this moment to do much more. Our world is profoundly unequal. Authoritarians are responding to this inequality by scapegoating minorities and promising to turn systems upside down.
We have an alternative: deepening democracy rather than giving up on it. Transforming institutions rather than abandoning them. Succeeding in this struggle is going to require much more of us, from many more of us. I hope all of you will be a part of it.
We advance justice by building a movement of people
who know, use, and shape the laws that affect them.
In 2003, Namati’s CEO, Vivek Maru, co-founded Timap for Justice, a community paralegal program in Sierra Leone. The country had just come out of a brutal 11-year civil war.
At the time, there were fewer than 100 lawyers in the country and almost all of those were in the capital, Freetown.
A World Bank study found that Timap’s paralegals managed to squeeze justice out of a broken system: stopping a schoolmaster from beating children; negotiating child support payments from a derelict father; persuading the water authority to repair a well. In exceptional cases, a tiny corps of lawyers can resort to litigation and higher-level advocacy to obtain a remedy.
Timap for Justice has been internationally recognized as an innovative model for delivering justice services.
In 2011, we founded Namati to build a movement of community paralegals worldwide.
Neither Timap nor Namati invented community paralegals, but most existing programs work in isolation and at a small scale. They rarely document their own impact, and they rarely have access to lessons learned by their peers across borders.
We started Namati to grow a robust, evidence-based, global field around community paralegals, legal empowerment, and primary justice services. Namati is the first and only international group dedicated to this approach.
Namati is a Sanskrit word that means “to shape something into a curve.”Martin Luther King Jr. said that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”We call ourselves Namati because we’re dedicated to bending that curve.
Our Cultural Principles
Our culture unites us and our principles guide us; they are Namati’s foundation.
Our Mission is Our North Star
Commitment to Excellence
Nimble, Creative Problem Solving
Cherish Feedback and Give Feedback Responsibly
Collaborative Culture and Clear Lines of Decision Making
Healthy Work-Life Balance
Integrity and Humility
Responsible, Cost-effective Use of Resources
Explore the PDF of our Cultural Principles to learn more about the way we operate.