The Global Pro Bono Bar's
Theory of Change
The Global Pro Bono Bar's Theory of Change holds that increasing the legal support capacity of local advocates in areas of greater need by leveraging the legal training and experience of those in areas of excess legal capacity is both an efficient and intuitive way to advance public interest advocacy in accordance with the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goal 16:
The challenge to eliminating the global disparity in the availability of public interest legal services is a difficult one. In fact, a joint publication of the OECD and the Open Society Foundations recently observed the following in regard to barriers to accessing justice:
Many economic, structural, and institutional factors hinder access to justice, including the complexity and cost of legal processes, time, and geographical and physical constraints. Importantly, many people — especially those in vulnerable and marginalized groups — neither recognize their problems as legal ones, nor identify the potential legal remedies for those problems. Cost, including opportunity cost, and trust in the justice system are also important factors in determining whether or not people seek legal assistance, or take action at all, to resolve their legal problems. [Issues Brief 2016: Leveraging the SDGs for Inclusive Growth: Delivering Access to Justice for All, OECD and Open Society Foundations (2016), p. 7.]
This is bad news, not because the barriers to accessing justice are insurmountable, but rather because most of the challenges above are rooted locally. While many civil society approaches to overcoming barriers to accessing justice are developed at institutional or international levels, the description of the challenge here calls for something very different: personalized legal support at the local level. This is the key insight of The Global Pro Bono Bar's Theory of Change, as illustrated in our Operational Model below.
You may also be interested in reading about The Global Pro Bono Bar's Value Propositions.