There is a recognised hierarchy of knowledge, with experiential knowledge often perceived by policy makers to be of least value (Pollard and Court, forthcoming). Fundamentally this means that knowledge generated through working directly with poor people is often over-looked, unless specifically gathered through policy-oriented processes, such as Participatory Poverty Assessments. So policy agendas frequently remain top-down despite efforts to increase popular participation, and poverty reduction policies are inhibited by political interests.
This study aims to draw these two over-looked strands together. It will examine the role of lawyers working at the community level in developing countries and the innovative ways in which their learnt experiences can be harnessed positively by policy makers for improved poverty reduction outcomes.