New Moderator! Introducing Maria Petersen from OSF Shared Framework

I just added @MariaPetersen to our moderator team so please join me in welcoming her! She works closely with @zazanamoradze, a @ngc network guidance committee member and early collaborator of Namati and the Global Legal Empowerment Network.

Maria, would you mind telling everyone a bit more about yourself, the Shared Framework, and your role at the Shared Framework? @vivekmaru wrote a brief topic about @zazanamoradze’s article about the Shared Framework, linked below - this topic would benefit from some attention.


Thank you very much for the introductions, Tobias. I am excited to write my first post on this great platform and to join the community.

A bit about myself: I coordinate the Open Society Foundation Legal Empowerment Shared Framework, which is led by Zaza Namoradze. Prior to joining this initiative, I worked with CARE on legal empowerment related initiatives in Asia and Africa. I am based in the NY OSF office, and I am in charge of coordinating and facilitating exchange and learning between the participants in the Shared Framework - specifically within the three thematic working groups mentioned below.

A bit more about the Open Society Initiative on Legal Empowerment: In 2016, Open Society Foundations launched an initiative on legal empowerment, which aims to institutionalize and financially secure systems offering nationwide and/or population-specific community-based justice services for people who are poor and marginalized in 10 low-, middle-, and high-income countries. The initiative responds to the global ambition of the SDGs and builds on years of legal empowerment work.

Two thematic programs (on Public Health and Justice) and 10 country foundations are participating in this 4-year initiative. The countries are Indonesia, Macedonia, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Ukraine and the United States. By working together, the participant programs and partners share experiences and methods with each other on a regular basis to encourage emulation of promising models or approaches. They have identified common thematic priorities and are deliberately seeking to build evidence and expertise on three themes, which impact institutionalization and sustainability:

  • Advancing effective public policy frameworks related to the institutionalization of legal empowerment in national contexts;
  • Leveraging technology to expand the availability of legal information, improve delivery of legal assistance, strengthen advocacy and promote cost effectiveness ;
  • Developing innovative forms of non-public financing to catalyze sustainable financing for community based justice services.

We will be launching discussions on these three topics soon here and open these up to wide participation. We hope that the learning from the shared framework will benefit the wider network and also hope to get input from the network to enrich these discussions.

I look forward to working with you!


This is really great. Thanks, Maria! You are very welcome and I am eagerly looking forward to getting to know the shared framework participants as they join discussions.

Welcome @MariaPetersen! We’re excited to participate in the upcoming discussions and to learn more about the OSF Legal Empowerment Shared Framework as it progresses. This is precisely the kind of effort we need in the field - ambitious and wide-ranging, with plenty of opportunity for learning across different contexts and communities. Can’t wait!

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