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Evaluations of Reform Projects, by Country/Continent


AFRICA: Donor Assistance in Africa: Living Up to the New Agenda ?

This review of donor assistance for legal and judicial reform in Africa argues that aid has been provided for many reasons. What initially began as efforts to reform specific laws to spur economic development evolved into broad support not only government institutions that interpret and enforce the law but for domestic civil society organizations that were demanding better justice. The aim of this "rule of law" focus is to foster human rights and government accountability as well as promote economic growth. Just as donors' aims have expanded so has their understanding of what makes for effective aid. Today, donors recognize that aid must be sustainable, take a sector-wide approach, be grounded in the local context, and involve non-state actors. The author closes by asking whether the international community can actually take these lessons into account. The review appears in the Open Society's February 2005 issue of Justice Initiatives.

COTE D’IVOIRE: Evaluation of Legal and Judicial Reform Program

Part of a larger study of the effectiveness of foreign assistance in the Cote d'Ivoire, this paper examines a series of judicial reform projects sponsored by the World Bank during the 1990s. It concludes that while the reform effort produced numerous inputs, there had been few effects or impacts. Among the factors identified is the government's inability or unwillingness to change the structure and functioning of the court clerks or greffes, "probably the main bottleneck to better judicial system performance."

INDONESIA: IMF/Netherlands Program - Legal and Judicial Report in Indonesia 2000-2004-External Evaluation Final Report

The evaluation of the IMF/Netherlands Program for legal and judicial reform in Indonesia was undertaken during July 2004 in Jakarta by a team of three persons appointed by the Government of Indonesia, the Government of the Netherlands, and the IMF. The programs under evaluation are the "Commercial Court Program", the "Supreme Court Program", and the "Anti-Corruption Program".

KOSOVO: Establishing the Rule of Law in Post-Conflict Situations

The UN Mission in Kosovo provides a valuable laboratory for deriving lessons for future efforts at post-conflict governance and administration. This study assesses the Mission’s experience with judicial reform in order to provide guidance to policymakers in future peace support operations. It focuses less on the provision of ‘justice’ than on the processes underlying institutional development in order to derive ‘lessons’ that would benefit the future development of the Kosovo judiciary system and that might have application in other post-conflict situations.

RUSSIA: The Role of Foreign Aid for Legal Reform Programs

This report analyzes the role of international aid agencies' legal reform projects in the Russian Federation since the fall of the Soviet Union. Beginning with background on legal reform projects in general, the report goes on to analyze the evolution of donor involvement in legal reform in Russia over the past decade and Russia's domestic constraints on successful legal reform. It then compares case studies of USAID and World Bank projects in Russia to draw out lessons for future projects.

RUSSIA: Building an Issue-Oriented Legal Representation Capacity

This report reviewed USAID support for legal clinics and nongovernmental organizations in Russia that handle human rights cases in courts and advocate for human rights in other fora. While the agency had hoped that support for clinics connected to law schools could provide law students practical legal training while protecting the rights of Russian citizens, this assessment of some 80 legal clinics concluded that it could not. The clinics concentrated on training students and while they offer individual citizens some protection, the clinics did not address the kinds of systemic legal issues broad rights protection requires. The report thus recommends that USAID increase funding for certain specific types of activities that would advance this latter objective.

RUSSIA: Russia Reinvents the Rule of Law

This wide ranging review of judicial reform in Russia examines changes in the laws, courts, and the prosecution agency and related entities since the collapse of the Soviet Union. It assesses the degree to which judges are impartial and able to act free of the control of either central or local government bodies. The author argues that reform in Russia poses a particular challenge because for four generations courts, judges, and laws were instruments of state terror, lawlessness, and fraud. Nonetheless, "those in Russia and outside who rightly see in the emergence of a Russian Rechtsstaat the final break with the Soviet past can take solace in the progress in the first of these long decades."

RUSSIA AND FORMER SOVIET-UNION: Evaluation of US Rule of Law Assistance

This report by the US government's audit office evaluates the US government's rule of law assistance programs in the states of the former Soviet Union. It concludes that these efforts have had limited impact so far, and that in many cases the results may not be sustainable. In some instances, countries have not widely adopted the new concepts and practices that the United States has advocated. In other instances, continuation or expansion of the innovations depends on further donor funding.

LATIN AMERICA (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru Venezuela)        

Based on the proceedings of a June 2006 conference, and six individual case studies (Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Guatemala, Peru, Venezuela) the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) Americas Program and the Justice Studies Center of the Americas (CEJA) assessed the judicial reform process in Latin America and made recommendations published in Volume XVII of the Policy Papers on the Americas attached below.


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