Skip to main content

Table 4 Enabling factors for legal empowerment programs

From: The use of legal empowerment to improve access to quality health services: a scoping review

Factor Explanation and caveats Citation
Paralegals come from the communities they serve • Builds trust with community
• Ensures that the paralegal understands key community issues, fostering empathy and ability to
go beyond formal methodologies and use local problem solving
• More complicated in humanitarian contexts where ‘peers’ may not be familiar with local administrative procedures
• In situations where they come from local elite; they may reinforce status quo power relations
([24, 35, 41, 42, 47, 48, 49, 50, 51]; interviews)
Legal empowerment programme personnel have relationships with organisations and individuals in the governmental and non-governmental sector • Facilitates referrals to and from complementary services
• Facilitates resolution of barriers to effective public sector health care and other service coverage
• Protects program personnel from harassment in contexts with restricted civic space
([9, 24, 41, 47, 50]; interviews)
Legal empowerment activities are undertaken as part of a broader ecology (implemented by the legal empowerment organisation and/or others) of efforts to improve empowerment and health service delivery • Legal empowerment activities are often undertaken in tandem with strategic litigation, legal aid, and political advocacy
• Legal empowerment organisations create a network of legal empowerment advocates and providers, including for example, paralegals, volunteers, community groups
• Political advocacy helps to create the conditions for sustainable impact
• Legal empowerment can affect improvements in effective health service coverage, but can be strengthened by efforts to build health system capacity
([5, 9, 24, 25, 34, 35, 41, 43, 44, 52]; interviews)
Legal empowerment programme is able to respond to emergent community needs, and produces early successes • Builds trust and relationships with the community
• Mobilizational effects
([8, 42]; interviewees)
Use of customary or alternative dispute resolution • In some cases, can be more trusted by community, more participatory, faster, and more impactful [24, 35, 41]