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Evaluations of Donor-Supported Reform, by Donor


Donors in General: Donor-Supported Civil Justice Reform Programs

This paper examines the efforts of international and bilateral donors to foster civil justice system reform. The focus is on why aid agencies support civil justice reform; common problems these aid programs address; traditional responses by donors; the shortcomings of these responses; and new approaches to civil justice reform.

Donors in General: Donor-Supported Criminal Justice Reform Programs—Topic Brief

Although the World Bank has traditionally been reluctant to support criminal justice reform projects, other donors have engaged more openly in this kind of reform. Their motives for doing so have varied. The attached topic brief provides an overview of the issues around criminal justice reform.

Asian Development Bank: Lessons Learned from First Phases of ADB's Pakistan Judicial Reform Project

The project manager for the ADB's judicial reform project reflects on the successes and failures of the initial stages of the effort. The successes include the delay reduction project; the design of an overarching courts’ automation plan; a Training-of-Trainers program at the Federal Judicial Academy; publication of a bench book; revamping of the courts statistical reporting system and, related to that, the first publication of annual performance reports for the courts in the past thirty years. Measured against these are the ongoing challenges of improving the system of judicial compensation and incentives; the chronic under resoursing of the judicial budget; the lack of visible linkage of the reform agenda to poverty alleviation and benefits for the ordinary person. In particular, there was lack of structuring and communicating visible benefits in terms of strengthening human rights, improved legal aid and community legal literacy as being practical tools for improving access to justice, which it is expected to be addressed in the ongoing program.

Ford Foundation: Lessons from the Law-Related Work

For over 40 years, the Ford Foundation has supported law-based strategies to further human rights and development, first in the 1950s in the US and, by the mid-1970s,  in Latin America and South Africa.  In February, 2000, the Ford Foundation published Many Roads to Justice to document the history of their law-related work.  This seminar outline details the major findings that arose out of the documentation process.

Inter-American Development Bank: Third Regional Conference on Justice and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean

This IDB-sponsored conference examined the experience with judicial reform in the region over the past decade. The topics examined included criminal procedure reform, judicial administration, management, and organization, access to justice, international cooperation, and judicial independence. A final panel discussed future trends. Most presentations are in Spanish.


Inter-American Development Bank: Experience in Justice Reform - Lessons Learned and Elements for Policy Formulation

This paper reviews the Inter-American Development Bank's experience with justice reform projects. It focuses on the process of project preparation, design, and initial implementation. Recommendations for improvement and continuation are presented.


USAID: Weighing in on the Scales of Justice

This USAID report evaluates donor-backed judicial reform programs in Argentina, Columbia, Honduras, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Uruguay and attempts to draw lessons for future efforts. Among other things, the evaluators found that where political support for reform was weak, training judges, improving management systems, and supplying computers and other resources to the judiciary did little to improve performance.

USAID: Assisting Legislatures in Developing Countries: A Framework for Program Planning and Implementation

Aiding legislatures in developing countries is a relatively new donor activity. Because adequate experience has not yet been amassed and because legislative assistance is typically conducted amidst host country partisan politics, it is one of the more controversial and challenging of contemporary donor programs. From July 1995 to March 1996, the US Agency for International Development undertook the first large-scale, systematic study of recent donor activity with developing country legislatures. This paper, which synthesizes the results of the study and information from other sources, summarizes recent experience with legislative assistance, describes major lessons learned from these efforts, and offers ideas and suggestions for future programming.

USAID: Political will, Constituency Building, and Public Support in Rule of Law Programs in Latin America

The emphasis on political will, constituency building, and public support was a late addition to donor assisted justice programs. USAID's early Latin American efforts paid little explicit attention to the concepts which received their first definitive statement in USAID's ROL strategy document, published in 1996. The document expresses a concern that USAID's efforts were too focused on the supply side, that is to say, on building and strengthening public institutions in government-to-government programs without wider citizen participation. It also suggests they were too technical and not sufficiently political - thus potentially serving elite as opposed to popular interests.

World Bank: Legal and Judicial Reform in Europe and Central Asia

Between 1990 and 2001, 95 World Bank projects for $10.8 billion in 21 European and Central Asian countries included legal and judicial reforms. The Bank supported legal reform of commerce, the financial and other sectors, privatization, and property rights; support was also provided for legal education and assistance with legislative drafting. In 89 projects, legal and judicial reforms were designed as components of larger projects; the remaining 6 projects, at a cost of $113 million, were stand-alone. Judicial reform addressed in 17 of the 95 projects focused on improving the management capability of judges through the provision of training and equipment. This preliminary assessment report on Legal and Judicial Reform in Europe and Central Asia found that many of the laws subject to reform were important to the development of a market economy, as determined by the Bank's research and other analytical work. Bank interventions also responded to the changing needs of transition countries. On the other hand, judicial reform programs weren't always well-targeted.

World Bank: Challenges of Forging Civil Society Partnerships for Judicial Reform

This note discusses the issues raised when judicial policy makers seek to engage civil society in reform efforts. It draws on the experience of the Venezuelan Supreme Court in implementing a World Bank-sponsored modernization project.

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Last updated: 2009-09-10

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