Learning from a ‘paralegals’ intervention to support women’s property rights in Uganda

Full citation: Patel, P. Douglas, Z., and Farley, K. (2014). “Learning from a ‘paralegals’ intervention to support women’s property rights in Uganda.” ICRW. – This paper analyzes an ICRW and Uganda Land Alliance program to establish and build the capacity of a legal rights worker organization in Luwero District, Uganda. The program aimed to support women’s property rights by training a group of male and female community members to become legal rights workers. Referred to as “paralegals”, these legal rights workers provide legal advice, mediation services, and education about WPR and other property rights issues to people in their communities. It found that targeted sensitization messages help to support the intensity and reach of community education efforts on women’s property rights, that two levels of training and technical support for paralegals have been critical: 1) formal, structured trainings on the law and women’s property rights; and 2) ongoing, more personalized assistance on handling property rights disputes/cases and delivering sensitization messages on women’s property rights, that strengthening relationships with local leaders and institutions — whether with local councilpersons, religious leaders, or law enforcement bodies — is critical for the successful implementation of a community-based legal aid program that aims to strengthen women’s property rights, and that implementing a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system enabled the program to identify challenges and formulate new approaches will help increase its effectiveness. [Threats to Women’s Land Tenure Security and Effectiveness of Interventions – Annotated Bibliography]

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