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KITUO’s M-Haki Project at the World Justice Forum, 2019

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KITUO’s M-Haki- Haki Mkononi SMS service was selected by the World Justice Project (WJP) among top 30 projects that strive to accelerate access to justice in the world. M-Haki- Haki Mkononi entered into the WJP’s World Justice Challenge 2019, as one of the best solutions competing with more than 250 other access to justice initiatives from all over the world. KITUO and other 29 finalists joined the World Justice Forum at the Novotel-World Forum Hotel in The Hague, Netherlands to showcase the innovative SMS service in the event that took place from April 29 to May 2, 2019.

M-Haki-‘Haki Mkononi’ is the use of SMS technology to disseminate legal information to clients. The innovative and reliable technology was developed by KITUO intended to lessen the costs of accessing justice. The platform was officially launched in December 2016.To make use of this technology, Kituo has a dedicated mobile number-0700777333 where the public can text legal questions at a small fee to be answered by Kituo lawyers and volunteer advocates. The service saves persons the trouble of using bus fare to come to Kituo- and legal advice is just a click away… HakiMkononi.

KITUO strives to facilitate access to justice through the provision of free legal aid services to the underprivileged population; including but not limited to court representation, legal empowerment, strategic litigation and advocacy for reforms of laws and policies as well as the change of practices.

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Statistically, M-Haki-‘Haki Mkononi’ has reached over 6,000 Kenyans since its launch to directly access legal aid and legal information. M-Haki- ‘Haki Mkononi’ will over time develop a database of frequently asked questions on land, labour, housing and refugee rights while also acting as an advocacy tool. As an advocacy tool, the platform will be used by Kituo paralegals from community justice centres to build their personal capacity on legal issues and create awareness among the general public on how to access the service directly. Community justice centres will also serve as help centres where paralegals will use M-Haki-‘Haki Mkononi’ as a reference tool to dispense legal advice to clients.

The project is made possible with support from the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kenya. The World Justice Challenge 2019: Access to Justice Solutions is a competition to identify, recognize, and promote good practices and successful solutions to improve access to justice.

According to the World Justice Project, more than 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally. This justice gap includes people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems and people who face systematic exclusion from the law. According to research conducted by the World Justice Project, more than 50% of people around the world have experienced a legal problem in the past two years alone, and justice systems are failing them. Identifying and promoting good practices and successful solutions is essential to narrowing the justice gap. Effective interventions have been developed and tested around the world. Compiling an accessible evidence base of high-quality, high-impact interventions will help accelerate the dissemination of good ideas and the uptake of promising approaches.

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About the Author : Kituo Cha Sheria


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