One of the most pressing access to justice challenges facing low and middle-income countries is being able to offer basic legal services in a financially viable manner. As a means of addressing this problem, the UK-based Law and Development Partnership recently wrote a report entitled “Developing a portfolio of financially sustainable scalable basic legal service models.”
Looking at 17 countries as case studies, the report calculates the costs of taking particular interventions to scale by factoring variables such as population size and delivery costs. In terms of its methodological approach, the report seeks to answer three key questions:
- What do we know about the unit costs of basic legal services and how can we calculate them;
- How can scaled up legal services be financed sustainably; and
- What are the political conditions that enable justice models to be taken to scale?
Beyond suggesting increases in government funding, the report looks at a variety of other options to scale up delivery, drawing on examples from health and education sectors as well as private sector sources. Some of the report’s key recommendations include:
- Using legal needs surveys more widely in justice sector interventions to gain a better understanding of basic legal services demand
- Piloting more innovative financing mechanisms and modalities, as well partnerships between donors and private investors to open up funding streams
- Incorporating the collection of a broader range of cost and benefit data in basic legal service programing to asses the value for money of provision
View a brief description of the report or read a full version of the “Developing a portfolio of financially sustainable, scalable basic legal service models” report.