Request for research on effectiveness of paralegals in tackling gender violence

I was wondering if anyone within this network has ideas of (1) resources that they may have encountered particularly on the strategies paralegals use to work with survivors of DV/GBV, (2) any impact assessments of such programs that may already exist, (3) any names of organizations working heavily with GBV through a paralegal approach which I may be able to reach out to for this research. I’d also generally welcome any suggestions on this research and whether you’d find it useful in your work. Thank you so much in advance!

In the next few months, I am planning to conduct a research study, as part of a Fellowship, that aims to measure more concretely the impact and effectiveness of paralegals working to address issues of domestic violence in particular, and gender violence more broadly.

I’m hoping to study (1) the strategies that paralegals employ in working with survivors of DV and GBV and (2) look at what is the ultimate impact - what is the outcome for the clients/community members that paralegals are working with. In particular, is there a reduction in the violence that these individuals face, and have these individuals been able to access more economic resources that may enable them to move forward (e.g. government benefits, child support, property ownership, etc)?


Thank you, @Akhila_Kolisetty, for posting the above request regarding your research, we are very interested in hearing more about the results and conclusions when you arrive to them. I thought that I may jump in here and ask some Network members who utilize paralegals in their work on gender violence if they have any contributions to your request.

Any thoughts @mitali, @zannatborna, @NisreenRammal, @Sawsanourallah, @Faith, @fatimaadamu, @Zaw, @Jovin_Sanga, @Wigayi, @KhanyisileNtsenge, @Rahmawati_Putri, @SharifHassanein, @SamaaEtturkey, @Nidal, @abigailmoy ?


Hi Akhila,

In Zimbabwe, Justice for Children, has teamed up with well known names in the women rights sectors to implement a ‘case study’ in 3 districts which are well known for GBV. They are providing legal assistance through community paralegals known as community focal persons. These are drawn from women and child protection government structures. We have developed a reference/training manual for them which they have found helpful. In addition to that, we are in the process of compiling an information kit which will comprise, among other things, of simplified GBV laws, court forms they should be able to fill in for survivors. You may write to me on so I forward the simplified material and the manual. All the best. Chinga Govhati

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Dear Akhila,

That is a great initiative with sure results. Community paralegals or community focal persons, as we call them here, have been doing great work in the communities they operate in. I can share some of the materials we have developed for them. Kindly send me an email on

All the best


Chinga, thank you so much for letting me know of the initiative in Zimbabwe and for being willing to share these resources with me. It sounds like an extremely interesting program, and I’ll certainly be in touch to see the resources you’ve developed. Thank you once again!

Hi Akhila, I would suggest you get in touch with @peninah_bhesp_org who leads an amazing organization working for the advancement of the rights of sex workers and bar hostesses in Nairobi. Good luck with your research!



Thanks so much for the suggestion, @francescaferuglio! This looks like a fantastic organization and I will certainly look to get in touch to learn more about their approach. As of now, it looks like I will be focused on paralegal organizations in Nepal, but hope to inform my research more broadly as well. Thank you once again for your suggestions.