The work on methodological recommendations “The programme of free legal aid provision: elaboration, planning, fulfilment, reporting” is completed. These recommendations are designed to provide local communities with practical tools of solving relevant community problems by developing and implementing targeted programmes of legal aid provision, based on the experience gained in Ukraine so far. The handbook will be relevant and useful for local communities, including local self-government bodies and local executive authorities, as well as to all legal aid providers. The handbook was created and published with the support of the Ukrainian-Canadian Project Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine and the International Renaissance Foundation.
A year ago, the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision together with the Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine Project and the International Renaissance Foundation organized the first meeting of the working group on discussing a model programme of legal aid provision and methodological recommendations for local self-government bodies, related to the organization and provision of free primary legal aid and cooperation with local centres for free secondary legal aid.
This event view of the need to legally empower territorial communities, including by establishing and maintaining close cooperation with local self-government bodies.
In the course of the working group meetings, the participants, including, among others, representatives of non-governmental organizations, directors and managers of departments for cooperation with subjects for free primary legal aid provision of local FSLA centres, specialists of the Coordination Center for Legal Aid provision, discussed details of establishing cooperation between local free secondary legal aid centres and non-governmental organizations and local self-government bodies in the field of development, adoption, and support of legal aid programmes, as well as methodological recommendations of the arrangement of such work. Considering that adoption and fulfilment of the programmes aimed at providing the population with legal aid, as well as involvement of local budgets, make it possible to resolve legal issues within communities, it was proposed to design the practical handbook containing summarized practical tools for solving relevant issues by developing and implementing targeted programmes based on the experience gained in Ukraine so far.
Thus, in the course of a year specialists of the working group, consisting of public and non-governmental organizations with experience in the implementation of respective programmes at the regional level, experts analysing programmes prepared by FSLA centres, as well as specialists of the local self-government bodies, developed the above mentioned methodological recommendations, which can be used both by employees of the free secondary legal aid centres and the staff of local self-government bodies. Let us remind you, that their project was first presented this year in Khmelnytskyi.
The methodological recommendations determine key points in the process of developing and implementing legal aid programmes. The types of targeted programmes and their typical structure were reviewed, as well as the legislative framework, recommendations on the timing of programme planning were provided, common mistakes in their preparation was analysed, and a design tool for preparing targeted programmes on various topics was proposed.
Very soon, the methodological recommendations will be forwarded to free secondary legal aid centres in order to be distributed among the partners at the local level.
We are pleased to announce that already in 2 weeks we plan to hold a meeting of the working group on the piloting of model legal aid programmes in the regions, where results of the community legal needs research will be presented. The first meeting of the working group was held in April this year.