Training, Retraining and Backstopping Support to Village Legal Workers, LAMP
The Land Management Programme (LAMP) is a Sida supported district development programme for Babati, Kiteto, Simanjiro and Singida Districts. A Plan of Operations 2002-2005 is the principal guiding document. The four districts maintain a special budget and meetings in an Inter-District Forum, called Group 4. The purpose of Group 4 activities is to:
- increase inter-change of experiences between the districts
- joint piloting of new activities
- efficiency and economy of scale
- provide a forum to deal with matters that may be difficult in each individual district.
The present assignments are part of the Group 4 activities.
1. Backstopping of Legal Workers
LAMP is supporting Village Legal Workers that are training and informing villagers on their legal and human rights, particularly on land related issues. The component is generally regarded as successful.
There is now a need to establish a system whereby a permanent back-up function is created. Issues encountered and questions asked in villages, shall get an independent and efficient treatment. A permanent set up needs to be created where the villagers and the VLWs will have to access to all necessary information regarding their legal and human rights, and specific questions can be attended to to.
2. Training for Village Legal Workers
In 1999 a new Land Law Act, including a new Village Land Act, was passed by the Parliament. Although some training has been conducted for the Village Legal Workers, there is still a great need to retrain them, due to the fact that the more knowledge they have, the better they can assit in solving land conflicts within and between villages. From experience gained in Simanjiro District, the VLWs have reduced the problems of unlawful land allocations, but they have to be retrained in order to keep them up to date on this important issue.
3. Support to Village Legal Workers
4. Bringing Local Government Reform Programme to Lower Level Government
If the LGRP and more specifically, the LGSP are to work effectively in the Districts, the local communities must be able to play an active role. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the reform process reaches the lower levels of government i.e. the wards and villages as well as to encourage ordinary citizens to participate in the planning, decision-making and implementation of activities. Local governments cannot successfully carry out their duties unless all stakeholders internalize the objectives, benefits and responsibilities of the reforms. This entails working on issues concerning governance, democracy, transparency and accountability with communities.
LAMP has a long history of working with the LHRC on issues concerning land. The work included the training of village legal workers who then went out to the villages and informed community members on their land rights. The village legal workers were also trained on various other human and legal right issues. It was found that the legal workers system proved to be a very effective method of communicating directly with the villages. More than 400 village legal workers were trained and many of them are still in place and ready to be re-deployed.
Hence, it is envisioned that during the coming period resources will be allocated to re-motivate and train the village legal workers so as to send them out to the villages in the LAMP Districts to inform and discuss issues related to the purpose, benefits and responsibilities of the LGRP as well as other central issues regarding governance and accountability.