Grassroots paralegals are community-based volunteers who provide legal education and legal aid. Grassroots paralegals can be an important ally in ensuring that women exercise their right to property and assets. ICRW and Uganda Land Alliance have been working together to develop, use, and disseminate training curricula and field tools for paralegals on gender and property rights and to deliver key messages about women’s property rights to both paralegals and their communities.
ICRW also worked to build the ability of Uganda Land Alliance and the grassroots paralegals to document their cases to assess over time patterns in cases and communities’ needs, understand who their clients are, and identify successful approaches to handling cases. Regular process evaluation exercises focus on knowledge gaps in communities, building paralegals’ knowledge of women’s property rights, paralegals’ working relationships with local leaders, and increasing local awareness of the paralegals as a resource. Lessons learned from these efforts will increase the effectiveness of training programs as ICRW and local partners promote grassroots paralegal efforts throughout Africa.