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Program Area: Democratic Governance
Grant Amount: $146,000 over 24 months
Awarded: 2016
Posted: October 22, 2019

Since 2002, Asociación Civil por la Igualdad y la Justicia (ACIJ) has worked to strengthen democratic institutions and protect the rights of the most vulnerable sectors of Argentine society. In 2016, ACIJ approached Tinker with a vision for advancing access to justice at a national level through a systemic and coordinated effort across the multitude of stakeholders. The project would capitalize on recent policy advances and momentum among advocates, while also articulating existing gaps in structural reforms. The resulting Acuerdo por el Acceso a la Justicia (Access to Justice Accord) offers a concrete roadmap for government, civil society, and communities in Argentina and beyond.

The Accord is the culmination of a collaborative process led by ACIJ, which included multi-level public institutions, NGOs, scholars, and other key actors, that identified root causes of barriers to accessing justice and articulated needed reforms. Throughout 2017 and 2018, ACIJ and its partners held working sessions and focus groups across the country, including discussions focused on the rights and needs of specific vulnerable groups such as children and adolescents, the elderly, and indigenous communities. State actors received a seat at the table and participated throughout the process. Notably, the resulting recommendations go beyond proposed institutional reforms; they also include interventions and support at the community level, including scaling up legal empowerment models for those with limited access to lawyers.

To date the Accord has earned the support of more than 130 civil society, community, academic, and public institutions. Going forward, ACIJ will continue to work with its allies to advocate for and monitor progress against the proposed reforms, following up on commitments made throughout the process. The effort has also strengthened coordination between grassroots and NGO actors working directly with communities and individuals, including the creation of a network promoting legal empowerment for those with the greatest need for access to justice.

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