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Just Development Issue 7: Politically Smart and Locally Led Justice Programming: Learning From Other Sectors
  Nov 11, 2014


Politically Smart and Locally Led Justice Programming: Learning From Other Sectors

This briefing draws on a workshop held by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and the Law and Development Partnership (LDP) in September 2014 which brought together representatives from donor, practitioner and researcher communities. The purpose was to share and learn from like-minded organisations and to consider the implications for the justice sector, where these ways of working are still relatively incipient. We first set out here what politically smart, locally led programming entails. From this, we distil a number of operational principles emerging from programmes applying these approaches across a range of sectors. We then turn specifically to justice programming: what is unique about working in the justice sector and why politically smart, locally led efforts are critical to achieving success. Finally, we provide a set of recommendations for funders and implementers undertaking justice programming that can help deliver more politically smart, locally led ways of working. 

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 Why Just Development? Because unjust development will not achieve our core goals.  

The Bank Group's strategic goals of eliminating extreme poverty and boosting shared prosperity require effective justice institutions to ensure inclusive growth and fairness in distribution, regulation and allocation of resources. New research and practice across the Bank is leading to insights and innovations about how credible justice institutions emerge and how development actors can contribute to them.

Just Development provides a curated series of brief, yet informative and thought provoking, case studies, lessons and essays to share knowledge and stimulate debate on how development practitioners can promote effective justice institutions. Just Development is premised on two key principles:

(1) Justice promotion is not only a matter for the justice sector; mechanisms that govern rights, entitlements and processes of fairness are part and parcel of all development sectors. Our challenge is to break the silos that separate those concerned with 'justice' from those concerned with how markets are regulated, budgets are made to allocate public wealth and services are delivered - across development sectors.

(2) Just development means more than technical solutions. A science of delivery approach to justice requires deep contextual understanding and a flexible and adaptive process to implementation.

Questions? Comments? Want to contribute a future issue?  Please email 

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