[LELC 2019] Philippines case study + community-driven data collection (Day 2)

Aloha, kushe, marhaba, hello, hola, magandang araw, mingalar bar, and goeiedag, friends!

@dallinjohnson @tarawekhyan @fmybordey @mustaphakanu @EmmaGoliath @ayeayeaung @francismusa @rcamarena @Nickycoker

Greetings from Budapest! Here are some reflections from day two of the Legal Empowerment Leadership Course.

First session: Case Study I - The paralegal movement in the Philippines

“Each step we take is a cry for justice”

  • Community mobilization is a process
  • Legal empowerment can be the goal or the process
  • In the Philippines, there are 50,000 people for each judge - You need paralegals in the Philippines!
  • Huge organizing effort and social movement in the Philippines, paralegals working together with lawyers rather than substituting with each other
  • They walked because they persisted, their persistance put pressure on the company and the government
  • Paralegals do better with lawyers, not necessarily with substitution

Here are some amazing graphic notes by @poltenko

Second session: Community-driven data collection and analysis for advocacy

“Data is a hammer, you can hit yourself with it or build a house with it”

  • Data is necessary, but it is risky, can go wrong, you need the right data
  • Data gives a sense of agency
  • Data sovereignty: who owns it?
  • Data visualization tells better stories
  • Data management cycle from Namati Myanmar [Data Management Cycle.pdf|attachment]

Here are some amazing graphic notes by @poltenko

Working group sessions

  • Our problems are interconnected, and our solutions can be interconnected
  • A law for a local government can be effective, rather than a national law

During this week we´ve found opportunities to dig deeper into our work.



A very moving and reflective day. We have started moving towards solutions for our problem statements …


:family_man_woman_girl_boy: 110 million people :man_student::woman_student:60 thousand plus lawyers (1:1833 plus) :flushed: :man_judge::woman_judge:22 hundred judges (1:50 thousand) :face_with_hand_over_mouth: :philippines: can do better with paralegals @Nickycoker @dallinjohnson @marlonmanuel @ayeayeaung @EmmaGoliath @francismusa @rcamarena @tarawekhyan @martaalmela


This was a motivating session truly “Each step we take is a cry for justice”

Very productive session I have been able to reflect alot on what areas of my work where this can be applicable there is no time to reivent the wheel. Fired up and Ready To Go


Amazing graphic notetaking, @poltenko! You’ve encapsulated the journey to justice of Filipino farmers so well, and also the strategic considerations one must make when gathering data with communities to feed into proposals for systemic change. @suktidhital and @MegSatt, I wish I was there for this valuable lesson.


Thank you! Happy this is helpful

З повагою / Best regards

Євген Полтенко / Yevgen Poltenko

+380 50 315 2340 facebook.com/yevgen.poltenko


Hi all! A couple of resources that this session topic inspired me to share:

  1. I attended a conference a couple of months ago in NYC called Feedback Labs. Participants from all around the world shared how they make their social impact work more participatory. Many talked about how they use various technologies (SMS, data collection etc.) to have a positive impact in their community. One session featured lightning talks from a fantastic group of practitioners. The organizations, presenters, and titles of their presentations were:
  • Listening Is Not a Technology Problem, Luke Church, (Africa’s Voices)

  • We Don’t Collect Data, We Borrow It, Samhir Vasdev, (IREX)

  • Can Tech-Enabled Worker Feedback Improve Labor Conditions and Create More Responsible Supply Chains?, Antoine Heuty (Ulula)

  • Closing the gap through feedback: How we got elected officials to constituents doors, Cheri Leigh Erasmus (Accountability Lab)

  • The Pursuit of Early Stage Feedback: A “Sneak Peek” into Stakeholder Needs in West Africa, Emily Fung (Development Gateway)

If you are interested in technology and/or improving research and evaluation efforts, I highly recommend looking into the above as well as reading the summaries of their sessions (linked HERE). Also curious if anyone has heard of these groups and what your thoughts are…

  1. Some may already be familiar but economist Bill Easterly at NYU seems to be a useful research source. He presented at the Feedback Labs conference and was highly critical of foreign aid’s failure to prioritize the real needs of poor/marginalized folks.

  2. Linda Raftree has a long history of working in ICT. She regularly writes about ethical practices in data collection, monitoring, evaluation, and learning. You can find an example of her work here. Feel free to reach out if you’d like to connect with her personally.


I’d like to share the resource on Community-led Research for local community members and organizers Community Action Guides - International Accountability Project

More details and the infographic about the story from Sri Lanka I shared Information delayed is information denied — Fisherfolk Communities in Northern Sri Lanka Independently Investigate Impacts of Proposed Harbor Project

Infographic on 8-Steps to Community-led Development is available in many languages, please check on our website

If you work on community-led research or community-led data project, I would like to learn more about your approaches and especially any incident of attack or resistance to the result/methodology you experienced, please kindly contact me. So we can work in solidarity to pushback!

Thank you so much! Tom tom@accountabilityproject.org



Thank you very much for this very important resources.



Thanks alot for sharing this. It’s very helpful resources.


These are helpful. Thank you, Katie!

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I’ve been waiting for you to share the materials you presented during the course. Thank you, Tom!