Key Takeaways from the COVID-19 Justice Challenge

Copy of Draft_Sprint Challenge Slide Deck (JFA)

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, grassroots justice defenders have adapted their work to continue supporting their communities and clients, both in a humanitarian capacity and before the increasing injustices and inequalities that this context has created and unveiled.

In order to better support them, the Legal Empowerment Network launched the COVID-19 Justice Challenge, where we asked Network members about the challenges they were facing, how they were adapting, and what support they would need. Over 90 groups from more than 30 countries took part in it.

The COVID-19 Justice Challenge results are a valuable tool

  • To learn from how other organizations are adapting, and to find inspiration and ideas for their work.
  • To actively advocate for greater resources and support for grassroots justice defenders.

View the full COVID-19 Justice Challenge results and analysis here: COVID-19 Justice Challenge Results.pdf (800 KB)

Here are three big key takeaways

Despite challenges and difficulties, grassroots groups have managed to continue supporting their communities by adapting their ways of working

  • 91% of respondents have been able to continue supporting communities by adjusting their ways of working

  • They have mainly shifted their focus, innovation, and adaptation in response to COVID-19 to the following areas: a) advocacy work; b) humanitarian emergency & response; c) data collection, monitoring and reporting about the situation on the ground as regards to COVID-19 and human rights violations; d) awareness raising and fighting misinformation; e) remote client follow-up, legal assistance, paralegal training.

  • Mainly, grassroots groups are facing remote working challenges such as how to deliver services in a remote capacity, lack of computers, electricity and internet, challenges posed by the digital divide, etc. and financial challenges due to the impossibility to implement planned activities, difficulties to re-adjust working plans, and increased expenses in transitioning to working from home, among others.

What Challenges are Grassroots Justice Groups Facing

There is a lot to learn from their experiences

  • Check slides 16-19 to find specific ideas for responding to the needs and challenges related to Covid-19.

Community radio

  • Check slides 21-30 to find brief case studies on how other Network members have adapted and responded to the current context.

LET STATION case study

Grassroots organizations need more support

Support needed

  • 78% of respondents have ideas or initiatives in mind to better support communities but cannot implement them due to lack of resources, support or skills.

Financial Support Needed

Download the COVID-19 Justice Challenge results here: COVID-19 Justice Challenge Results.pdf (800 KB)

We want to hear from you! Please share your thoughts with us!


Thank you, as an individual could I eligible to apply for the covid-19 fund.

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Hi Jibrin, individual applications will be considered on a case by case basis, as long as they align with charitable giving purposes.



Thank you for the report,when is the deadline for the applications of the covid 19 fund?

Dear @allansent, there is no deadline. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis as long as funds are available.

Please be aware that if you have not received an email from us with application instructions, unfortunately your organization is not eligible to apply for the fund at this time.

To ensure a rapid response that meets the urgent needs of vulnerable communities worldwide, we are limiting the applicant pool to the approximately 500 organizations who participated in the Legal Empowerment Network’s COVID-19 Justice Challenge and other COVID-19 related activities.

If more funds become available in the future, we hope to open up the call to other organizations.

Please note that the COVID-19 Grassroots Justice Fund is but one of several ways in which the Legal Empowerment Network is responding to members’ needs during this critical time. As a network, we are mobilizing long-term funding for legal empowerment work through a variety of channels. To take part in these efforts, join our Justice for All campaign. In the meantime, check out this list of funding opportunities that we developed for network members. Also, stay tuned for a number of capacity-building and networking initiatives that are in the works.

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