I have just returned from Uganda where we work in partnership with JLOS, (Justice Law and Order Sector), an umbrella organization of key government/quasi-government stakeholders in Uganda, for the coordination of access to and administration of justice, simply because these are areas of overlapping jurisdiction between so many actors. For practical (and maybe political?) purposes, it also acts as the channel for much international funding for Access To Justice and Democracy/Governance projects. It comprises of among others, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MOJCA), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA); The Judiciary; Uganda Police Force (UPF), and the Uganda Law Society.
Uganda, like Rwanda, has been developing a policy document for legal aid, and we had the benefit of attending the stakholders' meeting and reviewing a draft of the document. One issue that we face in many countries, and in Africa in particular, is that legal aid is traditionally seen as free, and in fact, this has been encased in this document. So when we try to introduce an innovative fee-for-service model in legal service delivery for the poor (much like microfinance that charges fees and interests), we run into multiple issues on branding (are we a law firm?),