I am just sharing some of our experience in trying to promote awareness education on land laws and help people understand and apply these laws in solving their land issues. We normally follow the steps below:
Identify the key issues;
Research any relevant laws, regulation, directions/orders that are suited to the specific issues of the targeted community;
Once we know the links between the issues and the laws, we do a deep analysis to find specific sections or key part of these laws to the issue or interest to the community;
If there are many, we will try to split sections of the law; for example; (a) requirements (b) time-frame © key actors/institutions (d) roles of engagement bodies/individuals (e) penalties, etc. By breaking it down into small topics it is easier to focus and help move on to next steps.
Prepare or seek any other available resources that are written or translated in simple language with the same meaning described in the specific section of the law, etc. It will also help to confirm that the complicated definitions or terms are well translated into simple wording.
(In the preparation steps we need to consider not only laws and issues but also other supporting factors such as, setting time, locations, receiving support for logistics, resources, formal or informal approval/permissions, understanding cultural sensitivities and behaviors of respective target group., etc. It is also great if we can have a separate discussion about this)
Actual Training Session step
We can start with highlighting a few issue areas, just to warm up. Then, we can move forward to go through reading exercise of relevant law:
First round of reading : Distribute actual text bodies of specific laws and ask for quick skimming through the document. Then, the facilitator can guide the participants to skim again in a given time to search specific parts of the law. Eg. What is the page number where it mentioned the role of the engagement body mentioned in the law?, Where can you find the points mentioned about the requirements? etc.
Second round of reading: Facilitate the participants reading specific pages or sections referring to one of the questions mentioned above. Give the participants time to reflect on what they understand. Give time for individual reflection. Then, the facilitator can form small groups and allow them to share how they understand it among each other.
Written exercise: Each group writes down on paper in their own language as they understand the clause or section. Then exchange the written documents or read out loud. We can start with small paragraphs or sections, and repeat the exercise, depending on the time and topic. Then, the facilitator can distribute handouts or documents which are already prepared in simple language followed by the explanation to clarify the key points raised during the discussion.
Presentation: After that, each group can again reflect on the topics/sections of laws and prepare for an actual presentation. The facilitator will remind the participants of the key points that the presentations should include: (a) correct laws, sections, and key points of that clause (b) link these with the issue/interests of listeners © use local words or examples to help the listeners understand (d) use interactive ways of communicating, etc.
Reflection on the exercise
Then, reflection on the section of the law can be done. It usually draws on what we have learnt from the exercises. Eg. The reading exercise help the participants familiarize themselves with structures of actual laws.
The writing exercise helps the participants better understand the wording and meaning of the law’s terms in comparison with the common local wording usages. The presentation exercise helps the participants to support more understanding on the law sections, through the practice of sharing with others.
By doing these exercises with people with basic education, it helps to build more understanding of respective laws and also build up the confidence of the individual participant. It also allow them to try more with other similar laws individually or in a group., etc.
It is also great to hear any other thoughts or more techniques from other team members as well. Thank you very much.