Training of Trainers for the Capacity Building of Paralegals in Nepal

Alliance for Social Dialogue (ASD) in a collaboration with Open Society Justice Initiative, Lawyers’ National Campaign for Caste Discrimination (LANCAU) and BRAC University organized a Training of Trainers for the Capacity BuildingTOT Booklet.pdf (3.7 MB) of Paralegals in Nepal from 18-24 March 2017.

The overarching objective of this training is to build the capacities of participants as trainers and to leverage this space to create an enabling environment for effective paralegal work in ensuring accessing to justice. This training program aims to improve the performance of community paralegal NGOs at the local level in Nepal, as well as enhance their ability to engage in policy advocacy to scale up community paralegalism.

The core objectives of the training are:

  1. To deepen conceptual understanding of legal empowerment as an approach and develop a shared understanding of community-based paralegalism;
  2. To build a vibrant team of master trainers who have the background knowledge, skills, and practical experience to develop and provide training and technical assistance to community-based paralegals and other trainers;
  3. To provide a platform for mutual learning and sharing;
  4. To lay the foundation for strengthening a cohesive and sustainable movement for legal empowerment in Nepal.

For the details , please see the attached the training booklet.

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Thanks for the information. Could you please inform me on how to apply/attend the TOT Paralegal course in Nepal!

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Hi @Neetu! Thank you for sharing this, and apologies for not picking up on this sooner - I was on leave in March and missed this post. This is a great example of a comprehensive paralegal ToT training. We have added the participant booklet as a resource in our online library and will include it as example materials for training in our How to Develop a Community Paralegal Program resource guide (ironic because you cite this guide in the Participant Booklet :wink: ).

We would be curious to hear any information or news that you could share on how the training went, or any tips or recommendations for others who are actively holding paralegal training of trainer programs elsewhere (@syarifabadi comes to mind). We are compiling an online resource guide devoted to paralegal training later this year and I will be sure to include this there as well!

You can find it in our resource library at the following link:

All the best, Michael

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Hi @michaelotto, the training of trainers focused heavily on a few different themes:

  • An introduction to adult learning methodologies: Since many trainings in this space have traditionally been “top down,” with ‘teachers’ imparting knowledge to ‘students.’ To break the participants out of this mindset, the trainers used double and triple loop methods to impart lessons to the participants on alternative legal education methodologies for developing highly effective trainings in Nepal. Participants were encouraged to see the inherent value of the information and knowledge paralegals already have by virtue of their community experience, and to build upon this through training. The participants were given a set of tools & frameworks that would enable them to design effective paralegal trainings from scratch – including starting assessing the level of experience of the participants in the training and designing using methodologies that would encourage real learning and development of competencies. Most useful, I think, the training of trainers itself used adult learning methods to really teach these skills to the participants. The training was highly participatory, and participants were often building, designing and analysing as they went along:

  • Building a shared understanding of community paralegalism: The training also helped the participants come to a shared understanding of the work and skills of a community paralegal in the Nepalese context, since in this context, there have been many different and diverse understandings of what a paralegal is.

  • Managing strong community paralegal programs: The training provided best practices in MIS systems used in other community paralegal programs, and how to effectively structure a community paralegal program.

  • Sustainability of the movement: The training dedicated a session to exploring alternative models for sustaining the legal empowerment / community paralegal movement including innovative financing and social enterprise models.

I think that designing an effective ToT has many components – but a big part of it is really thinking hard about the participants’ backgrounds and really tailoring the ToT to fit / match those needs. I think the practical aspects of the training - which really built on adult learning methodologies and also showed participants how to design the most relevant and effective training depending on the audience - was useful, but it’s also vital to set the stage by bringing everyone to the same understanding of what a “community paralegal” is, depending on the context. A ToT can be not just a training opportunity, but also a movement building opportunity and a great time to build shared understanding and enhance mutual learning and collaboration among legal empowerment practitioners, so a ToT that builds in time for that could also pay dividends!

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I read you mention that ToT Paralegal Training… What did you mean?

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Thank you @akhila_kolisetty for the follow up information regarding the paralegal ToT in Nepal - very interesting to hear more! We are working to develop an online resource guide devoted to training and methodology later this year and we would like to request any materials you would like to share, not only related to adult learning methodologies, but also on structuring paralegal programs and sustainability of the movement.

I particularly like the focus on tailoring the training to the participant’s backgrounds and building that into the design of trainings paralegals give too. We look forward to hearing more about the Nepalese paralegal movement in the future!

@syarifabadi, I mentioned you specifically since you are involved in paralegal training of trainers workshops to expand paralegals working on resolving land disputes in forest communities with the Ministry of Forestry in Indonesia. While Nepal is very different from Indonesia, much of the methodology and sections of the training could be very useful context to consider. :slight_smile: