Five Big Takeaways from the 2018 Annual Network Survey

Each year the Global Legal Empowerment Network conducts a survey to take stock of where our movement is and where we need to go.

Over 400 Network members from 80 countries took part in this year’s survey. The results are in, and they are revealing.

Read the full survey results here: Survey Results (1.8 MB)

Here are five big takeaways

Our Network is growing fast: In 2012 the network consisted of less than 700 individual members and 218 organizations. Today membership stands at over 6,000 people and more than 1,900 organizations from nearly every country in the world. We are the largest fellowship of legal empowerment practitioners in history.

Many of us are from small, grassroots groups: Nearly 40% of organizations in the Network operate on less than $100,000 per year; nearly half of those operate on less than $20,000 per year.

Our Network overwhelmingly supports Justice For All: The survey revealed the price many members have to pay to do their work. Over 66% of respondents said they’ll have to make cuts or may not be able to operate next year due to a lack of resources. Most members have only one or two sources of funding, some resorting to using family grocery money to sustain their work.

Our network launched the Justice For All campaign to address these constraints. We are making the case that grassroots justice defenders deserve greater financing and greater protection from harm. Over 99% of survey respondents expressed interest in mobilizing around these calls in 2019.

In April, the Task Force on Justice released a report that stressed “recognizing grassroots justice defenders, financing them in ways that respect their independence, and protecting them from violence and coercion” as key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

To put legs under the Task Force’s recommendations, and to gear up for July’s High Level Political Forum and September’s UN General Assembly, use the Justice For All Action Pack and Policy Brief to push governments to make concrete country-level commitments towards justice in 2019.

We are a learning community: Over 70% of respondents report gaining new knowledge or skills through the network; 45% said the network helped them deepen their impact.

We are committed to continue learning from each other, and to collectively get better at the pursuit of justice. Upcoming opportunities include a Central American learning exchange in July and the annual Legal Empowerment Leadership Course in November.

Our Network’s top three justice challenges: Network members listed land and environmental justice, women’s rights, and citizenship rights as their highest priorities in 2019. Members are coming together regularly to advance these: in a recent webinar on how to achieve equitable community-investor negotiations, for example; another on using legal empowerment to combat gender-based violence; and a third reflecting on a cross-continental learning exchange on citizenship rights.

We want to hear from you!

What issues are you working on, and what would you like to learn more about? What strategies or coalitions can Justice For All support in your region? What other actions can help us move our collective priorities forward together?

Please share your thoughts below and we can discuss.

Survey Results (1.8 MB)


great report with outcomes, very interesting and I hope the network will expand


This is great stuff! Personally the network has been of great help for it has given me exposure to a lot of things such as information, ideas, organisations and so on. From NAMATI I can get acces to almost any kind of information or assistance I need from time to time. Keep up the good work!


We received the following comments from @jabobs by email:

Dear Team,

Thank you very much for sharing this annual survey results. It is great to learn that Women’s Rights issue is at the top of the global justice challenge - more work is needed around this.

Another interesting revelation is funding to continue legal empowerment initiative. This sounds realistic – moving forward, we need to start thinking of developing social enterprise model to generate internal funding stream…etc

Thanks once again for the hard work.


Dear team, It is always an enriching experience reading and learning new perspectives that advance the cause of justice. I keep widening my skill set in community engagement in this regard. I am currently working on refugee rights with amnesty international Australia. We are advocating for a community sponsored program that will expand and improve the range of resettlement services for refugees and vulnerable populations in conflict affected areas. I am equally exploring the impact this may have in advancing positive peace.