Recent Webinar on Technology Strategies for Legal Empowerment

The Open Society Foundation Legal Empowerment Shared Framework hosted a webinar (on March 14th 2017) which highlighted the role of technology in expanding the availability of legal information and resources, and enhancing the delivery of legal services. With Pro Bono Net and Namati we explored examples of how technology is supporting legal empowerment in vulnerable communities and equipping legal aid organizations and their community allies with new tools to tackle justice problems.

Highlights

  • ProBonoNet gave examples of current uses of technology in the US to a) increase access to legal rights information, services and self-advocacy tools, b) Empower community partners and lay advocates, c) Strengthen cross-sector collaboration.

  • Namati gave examples of ways to collect and harness data to enhance services.

  • This was followed by a lively discussion of ways to sustain services, how to innovate in areas with low technology penetration, good monitoring strategies among other topics. Feel free to continue the discussion here by posting a question or a comment.

#Resources: Recording, presentation and links Please find the link to download (273mb) or view online the recording of the webinar here. Please note that the recording starts 10 minutes into the ProBonoNet presentation. Please check out the slides for the first slides missing in the recording.

Please find below the slides and additional links which were referenced during the discussion:

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Thank you, @MariaPetersen! I really enjoyed the webinar you hosted yesterday and was glad to be a part of it. This is a great roundup of the event and resources, and I appreciate you putting the recording online for the benefit of fellow network members.

I do see this as the beginning of the conversation and would welcome any follow up questions here that may have come up that we can continue to work on as a community.

The presentation by @lizkeith and @markobrien at Pro Bono Net was very illumnating indeed. There is much we can draw on from their experience serving communities in the USA. I was particularly blown away by LawHelp Interactive guided legal documents and court forms - see screenshot below from your slides - which reminded me of the robot lawyer I’ve commented on here before. I’d love to see more stories like this about ways to make it possible for ordinary citizens to get access to justice.

Thanks @tobiaseigen - @peterchapman just shared [this article] (https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/04/rise-of-the-robolawyers/517794/?utm_source=eb) from the Atlantic about the “Rise of Robolawyers” and how legal representation could come to resemble TurboTax. Interesting read!

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Thank you so much Tobias for sharing and uploading the powerpoint slides that were discussed by various panelist.Kituo Cha Sheria is currently at the preliminary stage of rolling out an sms based platform known as M-Haki that gives Kenyan citizens an opportunity to text in their legal questions and receive legal feedback or advice that they use to resolve their issues. In some instances where the advocates feel that the client need face to face interaction, the client is asked to visit one of our offices or are referred to other service providers within reach.

I listened to the recorded talk and I have borrowed some ideas from Immi and Probono.net. As we roll M-Haki, we are at a stage of conducting a research that will finally inform a toolkit we have dubbed, “M-Haki toolkit”. This toolkit will basically share the story of M-Haki in regards to all the steps we have undertaken to have it function ( Success, challenges, best practices, strategic partnership and what each partner is bringing on board) I will share more as we progress.

You can visit Kituo Cha Sheria site and have a look at the platform( www.kituochasheria.or.ke)

Regards, Faith.

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Thank you for sharing this example, @Faith. I am looping in @Neetu in Nepal and @lorenzowakefield in South Africa who were asking about examples of cell phone focused applications in contexts with limited tech and internet availability. This seems like a good example of that.

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I am really jealous Faith because Kenya has leaped ahead of Nigeria here. This is fantastic! Will explore. Ours is still basic at igetlawyer.com