Legal Services Facility (LSF) > What we Do > Capacity Development

Capacity Development

Empowering Legal Aid Initiatives in the country.

capacity building

The LSF supports legal aid providers to build and develop capacities both institutionally and technically. Furthermore, LSF contribution is made towards increasing accountability, transparency and quality of legal aid delivery. In turn, it positively impacts on the institutional and services acceptability to duty bearers, which assists in creating a conducive environment for legal empowerment.

Capacity Building

Capacity Development is a crucial determinant of all development measures and thus an essential element of a holistic programme approach.  Capacity Development is an endogenous change process that must be initiated and owned by the Organizations. Measures should generally respond to the fundamental question ‘Capacity for what?’ and being based on the articulated demands of the beneficiaries and the direct applicability of the contents. Therefore, not only material resources are decisive; but first of all strategic capabilities, competencies and abilities allowing to manage upcoming tasks but also to learn from experiences and to cope with changes. Altogether, the emphasis should be less on ‘teaching’ or “training” and more on ‘learning’.

There are no short cuts in Capacity Development. It takes time to develop capacities and support the processes that facilitate positive change in capacity. The context of Capacity Development is highly complex and results are difficult to plan. A Capacity Development Approach (CDA) therefore always needs to be flexible enough to incorporate new learning along the way and provides flexibility to develop different capacities according to different needs.

The CDA will focus on the organisation as its main area of intervention (paralegal units as well as LAPs / mentor organisations). This includes all levels of the organisation, the external relations, governance, management, administrative procedures, project cycle management, as well as sustainability of the organisation.

This means that Capacity Development interventions focusing on developing skills at individual level (the legal skill development, facilitation skills, but also financial management skills, reporting skills, etc.) will always need to include a focus on how to integrate these skills into the organisation (the learning organisation).

The same applies to creating an enabling/conducive environment for legal empowerment. Interventions addressing capacity topics in the enabling environment will be lined to the organisation through its external relations. In practice this means that interventions targeting e.g. the local authorities need to be linked to the respective paralegal organisation in order be an effective intervention.

The first continuum of LSF’s Capacity Development Approach describes the range of partners we engage with for Capacity Development support, or “whose capacity is being developed?”

  • Individuals such as RMOs officers, Paralegals, LGA staff at District and Local levels(WEOs and VEOs), religious leaders and local tradition leaders This level refers to individuals as social or organizational partners and the way their skills or abilities are harnessed or strengthened to contribute to the realization of development objectives at local context. From a Capacity Development perspective, change at the individual level should be contemplated as part of a broader Capacity development Approach
  • Organizations include civil society organizations, Paralegals Units, Local Government Authorities and Regional Mentor Organizations. This capacity level focuses on organizational structures, processes, resources and management issues targeting at the Organization to be results oriented.
  • Networks and Alliances include civil society networks, Paralegals networks, coordinating bodies at the local or national level, Legal aid partners, coalitions and communities of practice. Coordination, networking, partnering, sharing of relevant experience among LAPs needs improvement. The independent CSO such as TAPANET and or TANLAP are highly needed. The LSF will promote coordination, research and piloting, while it will continue to pay utmost attention to evaluations of its own functioning.
  • Systems are groups such as communities and national or regional groups of Legal Aid partners responding to a common issue. In order to develop the most powerful local solutions, it is necessary to identify targets for Capacity Development that has the greatest potential to generate positive outcomes in Legal aid and legal education. The ‘enabling environment’ represents the broad context within which development processes take place.

The second facet of LSF’s CD Approach describes the range of capacities that we are seeking to develop through our support, or “what capacities are being developed?”

Technical capacities are the capacities relevant to the specific area or development challenge that the Implementing partner is seeking to address. Technical capacities may be those related to delivering services of paralegals, Paralegals Units and Mentor Organization.

Adaptive and Flexibility Capacities focus on the ability to react to changes in operating environment whether due to political, environmental or socio-cultural reasons. Critical skills for adaptation include the ability to plan, analyze and learn.

Influencing Capacities are those skills that enable partners to alter the environment in which they operate. Examples include improved advocacy, lobbying, negotiation and research skills. The most powerful CD interventions, those most likely to support real change, work on strengthening Legal Aid partner capacities across the whole continuum

Organizational Capacities are the skills and abilities necessary to implement individual tasks in a consistent and reliable way. Such capacities include systems and structures for organizational governance, financial management, human capital development, resource mobilization, etc.

2018 Capacity Building Beneficiaries

  • Male
  • Female

GL: Governance and Legal Status;
SP: Strategic Planning;
RT: Refresher Training;
PL: Peer Learning;
FM: Finance Management;
LRM: Local Resources Mobilization;
MR: M&R/Online System
HRWE: Human rights and Women empowerment