Facilitate knowledge transfer
Informal practitioners may often be isolated and have little opportunity to interact with practitioners from other communities or systems. Justice reform programmes can build capacity and facilitate interaction amongst informal practitioners by:
- Arranging transport and facilitating knowledge transfer tours. In Cambodia, the Community Legal Education Centre facilitates group tours on which informal practitioners from Community Case Resolution Projects can visit each others’ communities to share experiences and collaboratively solve problems.
- Holding chiefs meetings in a central location on a regular basis for practitioners to discuss common issues and difficult cases. In Southern Sudan, annual chiefs meetings were mentioned by many participants in a United States Institute of Peace study as an important interethnic forum for sharing knowledge.
- Providing trainings that bring informal practitioners from different areas and different mechanisms together to share strategies. It is important to note however, that this can be very challenging, as practitioners from different systems often are reluctant to interact, and, without preparation and expert facilitation group meetings can lead to entrenchment of harmful norms.
Liberia – National Council of Traditional Leaders
The Carter Center works in Liberia with the National Council of Traditional Leaders. This group brings together community leaders from across the nation to discuss rule of law concerns and other issues. The Council also has a women’s caucus. Through consultation that brings leaders together for meetings with representatives from the Carter Center and other groups, the Council has issued public statements from its women’s caucus and from the body as a whole that support new rape and inheritance laws in Liberia.
Source: Telephone Interview, Tom Crick, The Carter Center, Dec. 2010.