[Webinar/Webinario] How to do Legal Empowerment Work Remotely / Cómo Prestar Servicios Jurídicos a Distancia

Debajo en español

Dear friends,

On Wednesday, March 3rd 2021, members of the Legal Empowerment Network, held a virtual discussion on how to Provide Legal Services Remotely.

Led by @skandrews _ Senior International Pro Bono Counsel at DLA Piper and Assistant Director of New Perimeter, @AndrewValentine _ Partner at DLA Piper, @poltenko _ Executive Director - Legal Development Network, @AnnetteMbogoh_ Executive Director - Kituo Cha Sheria, and @marlonmanuel _ Senior Advisor, Legal Empowerment Network, the webinar highlighted how legal empowerment groups can take on the challenges of remote work.

Practitioners shared their experiences with leveraging technology and ensuring confidentiality as they adapt their modes of communication with community partners and clients. As legal empowerment practitioners, we work closely with communities. But safety precautions during the pandemic have required us to reinvent the way we operate. Undeterred by social distancing measures, limited gatherings, and travel restrictions, network members are developing promising new ways of working remotely.

We are pleased to highlight a few of these experiences in this webinar. Listen to the recording below:

The webinar also highlighted useful tips from our recently-published guide: Providing Legal Services Remotely: A Guide to Available Technologies and Best Practices. Produced jointly by the Legal Empowerment Network, Open Society Justice Initiative, and New Perimeter, this new resource explores accessible online platforms for remote work and features good practices for their usage.

DOWNLOAD THE GUIDE


Estimades,

El miércoles 3 de marzo tuvo lugar una discusión virtual entre miembros de la Red de Empoderamiento Jurídico sobre cómo Prestar Servicios Jurídicos a Distancia.

Liderada por @skandrews _ Asesora Internacional Senior en DLA Piper y Directora Adjunta de New Perimeter, @AndrewValentine _ Socio en DLA Piper, @poltenko _ Director Ejecutivo - Legal Development Network, @AnnetteMbogoh_ Directora Ejecutiva - Kituo Cha Sheria, y @marlonmanuel _ Asesor Senior, Red de Empoderamiento Jurídico, el webinario destacó cómo los grupos de empoderamiento jurídico pueden hacer frente a los desafíos del trabajo remoto.

Las organizaciones compartieron sus experiencias usando la tecnología y asegurando la confidencialidad a medida que adaptaban sus métodos de comunicación con aliados y comunidades. Como personas y organizaciones trabajando en empoderamiento jurídico, acompañamos de cerca a las comunidades. No obstante, las precauciones de seguridad durante la pandemia nos han obligado a reinventar la manera en que operamos. Sin dejar que las medidas de distanciamiento social, las limitaciones a las reuniones, y las restricciones de movilidad paralicen su trabajo, los miembros de la red están desarrollando nuevas y prometedoras medidas para trabajar de forma remota.

Nos alegra poder destacar algunas de estas experiencias en nuestro próximo webinario. Puedes ver la grabación en el siguiente link:

Este webinario también presentó consejos útiles de nuestra recién publicada guía: Providing Legal Services Remotely: A Guide to Available Technologies and Best Practices (“Prestación de servicios jurídicos a distancia: Guía de tecnologías disponibles y mejores prácticas”, por ahora únicamente disponible en inglés, pero próximamente en español). Producida conjuntamente por la Red de Empoderamiento Jurídico, Open Society Justice Initiative, y New Perimeter, este nuevo recurso explora plataformas online accesibles para el trabajo a distancia y destaca buenas prácticas para su uso.

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Special thanks to all those who joined us on the How to Provide Legal Services Remotely webinar, and for those of you who’ve taken the time to go through the recording.

As promised, here are the questions you posed to the panelists (@skandrews, @AndrewValentine, @poltenko, and @AnnetteMbogoh) that unfortunately, due to time constraints, we weren’t able to get to during the webinar.

As the panelists answer your questions, feel free to also chime in to the discussion; your thoughts and opinions are highly valued.

  • Anthony Marzan: (For @AnnetteMbogoh) What information do you require people accessing your sms platform to provide for you to be able to provide sound legal advice? Does one also need additional documents related to the case, can people send it via the sms platform? // ¿Qué información piden a las personas que acceden su plataforma SMS para que ustedes puedan proveer asesoría legal apropiada? ¿Necesitan documentos adicionales relacionados con el caso? ¿Si es así, pueden las personas compartir los documentos a través de la plataforma SMS?

  • Gabriel Sostein Bathuel (South Sudan): I work for Norwegian Refugee Council, where we provide information, Counselling and Legal Assistance (ICLA) services to the IDPs, returnees, and some vulnerable host community members mainly focusing on three thematic areas of Housing, Land and Property (HLP) Rights, Legal Civil Documentation (LCD) services and Employment Law and Procedures (ELP). When COVID-19 Pandemic started we decided to initiate Bulk SMS Messages to provide legal information, counselling and Legal Assistance to the beneficiaries, but we faced a big challenge where Government of South Sudan through South Sudan Media Authority (SSMA) rejected our application saying the above are sensitive issues and will easily cause tension and add to the already fragile situation, I would like to know how the two teams manage to get through in the work?

  • @AimeeOngeso (Kenya): @AnnetteMbogoh, what has been the response of the Law Society with regard to M-HAKI? Is this platforms seen as competition- since you cannot verify online if a client is indigent or not - MHAKI can serve all Kenyans // ¿Cuál ha sido la respuesta de la Sociedad de Derecho en relación a M-HAKI? ¿Consideran esta plataforma como competencia) (ya que no pueden verificar de manera online si un cliente es una persona de bajos recursos o no - y por lo tanto, M-HAKI puede servir a todas/os las personas)

  • @Rosaura (Guatemala): How many people do you work with, what is the level of participation of these people, what difficulties have you encountered in implementing these remote work tools? // ¿Con cuántas personas trabajan? ¿Cuál es nivel de participación de estas personas? ¿Qué dificultades han tenido a la hora de implementar estas herramientas de trabajo a distancia?

  • Shahariar: In countries with huge technological divide and clients being the poorest, which secured encrypted tech can be used? Let alone using password-protected documents. // En países con una gran brecha digital y clientes con menores recursos, ¿qué tecnologías encriptadas se pueden utilizar? Y mucho menos utilizando documentos protegidos por contraseña

  • Abdallah Mikulu: In Tanzania Legal Aid is given for free, and regarding the situation of COVID-19 more funders stopped fund streams - Do you have any recommendations that grassroots CBOs can use? // En Tanzania, se presta ayuda jurídica de manera gratuita, y con la situación de la COVID-19 muchos financiadores redujeron su financiamiento - ¿Tienen alguna recomendación para organizaciones comunitarias de base?

  • Aisha Mahdi (Nigeria): Well during the pandemic when there was a total lock down we had difficulty in assisting our clients remotely because of unreliable internet and most indigent persons had no or limited access to advanced technologies. Any recommendations on how we could have reached them remotely? // Durante la pandemia, cuando hubo un confinamiento total tuvimos dificultad asistiendo a nuestros clientes de manera remota por causa de una conexión a internet no fiable y el hecho de que la mayoría de nuestros clientes o bien no tenían acceso a tecnologías o bien tenían un acceso limitado. ¿Tienen alguna recomendación sobre cómo podríamos haber llegado a ellos de forma remota?

  • Mona Mamta: How do you deal with clients not being tech-savvy? // Cómo abordan el trabajo con clientes que no son muy diestros con las nuevas tecnologías o tienen poca experiencia?

  • Olerato Morekhure, (South Africa): @AnnetteMbogoh which communities do you service? Are they urban, per urban or rural? // ¿Con qué comunidades trabajan? ¿Son comunidades urbanas, peri-urbanas o rurales?*

  • Chika Ezeonmwu: @AnnetteMbogoh, does your organization represent clients in court, assuming the matter requires going to court? // Su organización representa a clientes en los tribunales? (asumiendo que el asunto requiera ir al tribunal)

  • Judit Geller (PIL net, Europe office): Do you work with pro bono lawyers or only lawyers that you have on staff? How do you make sure that lawyers can give expert legal advice on these different cases? Do you train them thematically? // ¿Trabajan con abogades pro bono o sólo abogades que son parte del staff de su organizacion? ¿Cómo aseguran que sus abogades pueden prestar asesoría jurídica experta en temas diferentes? ¿Les capacitan temáticamente?

  • Uzo Okoye: @AnnetteMbogoh How does Kituo cha Sheria cater for those who do not have phone network coverage? // ¿Cómo asesora Kituo cha Sheria a aquellas personas que no tienen cobertura telefónica?

  • Joshua Ajigo: Have you come across any case that is life-threatening that requires one to be taken out of danger to a safer place? If yes, how did you handle it? // Se han encontrado con algún caso donde se atente contra la vida de las personas y que requiera la protección de dicha persona? Si es así, ¿cómo han abordado esto?

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Anthony Marzan: Thank you for your interest in our M-Haki platform. We normally require the user to provide their name, location and particulars of the case/legal inquiry. The platform allows for back and forth inquiries which our in-house lawyers normally use to seek more information or clarification prior to providing legal advice.

Gabriel Sostein Bathuel: We at Kituo cha Sheria also work with refugees and asylum seekers and IDPs. We shared information on COVID-19 safety measures and mental health issues through bulk SMS messages We didn’t experience any government restrictions as you have in South Sudan. We have not experienced any barriers from government in running the M-Haki platform.Maybe the civic and democratic space in Kenya is more open.

Aimee Ongeso: LSK has been cooperative. Last year, they sought collaboration with us on the use of the M-Haki platform during the annual Legal Awareness Week. Due to the pandemic, the LSK was opting to use technology for provision of legal aid. So as to meet the anticipated demand, they sought partnership with Kituo cha Sheria and other civil society organisations running hotlines. No, the platform isn’t seen as competition by the bar association. With COVID-19, the legal sector is increasingly embracing technology. But I agree that it is difficult to tell whether the M-Haki user is indigent or not.

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Kindly I will appreciate if a colleague give me a brief of this M-HAKI, is it an APPlication? SMS platform? Or is a situation where a client fills a form?

Rosaura: our legal aid clinic attends to upto 6,000 clients annually through direct legal services. With the platform, we can receive upto 50 questions daily; the numbers go up after community outreach activities.

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Dear Ahmed, M-Haki is an SMS platform. So questions are submitted via sms. The number to sms your legal question if in Kenya is +254700777333.

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Great! Absolutely yes, I am in Kenya working with Heralding Development Organization operating in Wajir.