The Legal Empowerment Learning Agenda and Knowledge Hub
The COVID-19 pandemic is altering the fabric of our societies and economies. While the full extent of its impact is not yet known, the disease and the response have disproportionately affected vulnerable populations in a wide range of areas, including access to justice. Some 1.5 billion people cannot access support to resolve their justice problems, such as denial of public services. Over half of the world’s population (4.5 billion people) are affected to some degree by this growing justice gap. This has immediate impacts on individuals, including loss of livelihood, physical assets, and negative effects on mental and physical health. The situation is particularly acute for women and excluded groups — both a reflection and a driver of structural inequality and exclusion.
In response to these challenges, this project will create a knowledge hub built around a shared learning agenda to determine how legal empowerment can contribute to democratic governance and overcoming the multi-dimensional obstacles to development. Activities will be designed with a view to co-generating comparative research findings through a range of peer-to-peer exchanges, skills support, and larger regional and global convenings of the Legal Empowerment Network.
Those efforts are expected to improve the evidence base, research capacity, and methodologies on scaling up and deepening the impact of legal empowerment interventions. The knowledge hub and comparative lessons will spur greater awareness and action by governments, at both the national and global levels, on the urgency of addressing justice challenges within local and international development efforts.