This new resource evaluates experimental evidence of a paralegal program focusing on women’s rights and land in northwestern Tanzania. The results in evaluating the knowledge and attitudes of both women and men on gender-equal land rights in the context of the paralegal program and the challenges that constrain paralegals are very interesting. (@Jovin_Sanga, @Wigayi, @marenabrinkhurst, @nantthithioo, @Zaw, @lauragoodwin, @nobel, @abigailmoy )
For a sample of the conclusion, I wanted to share this small piece:
Our findings have broader implications for existing CBLA programs in Tanzania and elsewhere. Even when localizing the program to the village level, numerous constraints are on the paralegal that may inhibit the delivery of free services. First, educated paralegals have competing interests on their time and therefore it is worth considering whether small, monetary incentives change the dynamic of the program and decrease paralegal attrition. Second, when visiting the remote villages, correspondences with the paralegals revealed that providing a mode of transportation would increase their ability to reach clients. Eighty-eight percent of paralegals declared that they spent their own money to facilitate their legal work and the majority spent their own money on transportation to reach clients. Future research on mechanisms to improve the delivery of services and outreach of paralegals would shed light on more sustainable CBLA models.
For more information on the resource, below is the abstract:
Abstract: Gender disparities continue to exist in women’s control, inheritance, and ownership of land in spite of legislation directing improvements in women’s land access. Women are often excluded from traditional patrilineal inheritance systems, often lack the legal know-how or enforcement mechanisms to ensure their property rights are maintained, and often lack initial capital or asset bases to purchase land through market mechanisms. Community-based legal aid programs have been promoted as one way to expand access to justice for marginalized populations, through provision of free legal aid and education. Despite promising programmatic experiences, few rigorous evaluations have studied their impacts in developing countries. We evaluate the effect of a one-year community-based legal aid program in the Kagera Region of northwestern Tanzania using a randomized controlled trial design with specific attention to gender. We measure impacts of access to legal aid on a range of land-related knowledge, attitude, and practice outcomes using individual questionnaires administered to male and female household members separately. Effects were limited in the short term to settings with minimal transaction costs to the paralegal. Treatment women in smaller villages attend legal seminars and are more knowledgeable and positive regarding their legal access to land. Cost-effectiveness analysis shows that the costs of bringing about these changes are moderate. The difference between the impact of the intervention on men and on women is narrowed when taking into account the gender-differentiated paralegal effort, and thus costs, allocated to women and men.