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People-centred justice data for development – Global agenda & Latin American perspectives

On a global scale, approximately 5.1 billion people lack meaningful access to justice, which contributes to poorer development outcomes and an estimated decline of 0.5% to 3% in GDP. The importance and scope of this problem is captured in the UN Sustainable Development Goal’s target 16.3 on access to justice for all. This target has helped spur a new wave of data on justice globally, which has provided a deeper understanding of the impacts of unmet justice needs. Emerging evidence also points clearly to people-centred justice strategies as offering the most effective and cost-effective pathway to accessing justice (in contrast to top-down institutional approaches that predominate globally). Despite this promising body of findings, systematic or comparative evidence is largely lacking on key factors that shape effective, sustainable and scalable delivery of people-centred justice.

This project uses two components to seek to answer the call for improved data and evidence-based policies on people-centred access to justice. At the global level, the American Bar Foundation will lead efforts to develop a global agenda for justice data and evidence through a Justice Data Observatory. This work will be conducted in collaboration with the World Bank and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and will feature active input from an advisory panel of global experts, with strong representation from the Global South. At the regional level, the project will support the generation of new data on access to justice pathways in Peru and Colombia, led by the Centro de Estudios de Justicia de las Américas, an international, autonomous agency of the Organization of American States. The research will examine the relative effectiveness of different pathways that women and people in situations of vulnerability pursue to access justice. This project is part of a new IDRC cohort of projects on data for democratic development.

Project ID
Project Status
27 months
IDRC Officer
Adrian Di Giovanni
Total Funding
CA$ 955,700.00
Institution Country
Centro de Estudios de Justicia de las Américas/Justice Studies Centre of the Americas
Institution Country
United States
American Bar Foundation