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Bringing Community-learnt Knowledge into the Policy Debate: The case of legal aid centres

Research reports

This paper looks at the potentially pivotal role that elites can play as conduits of experiential knowledge into policy processes, communicating community-learnt knowledge of the situation of the poor into national-level pro-poor policies. The key question we seek to address is: How and under what circumstances can elites bring experiential knowledge about the situation of the poor to bear on policy debates? Two cases are examined and compared: the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in South Africa and the Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA U) in Uganda. The paper also reviews the relevant bodies of literature on policy processes, the role of national elites in poverty reduction and policy processes, and legal aid centres and their influence on policy processes and content.

Ursula Grant, Ingie Hovland and Zaza Curran