Justice that works for Uganda

Together JLOS, HiiL, and Sida share the same vision: To enhance access to justice in Uganda.

Here we showcase our solutions to challenges relating to the accessibility and effectiveness of justice delivery in Uganda.

How Fair is Justice if it Doesn’t Really Protect You? 

To fix something, we need to know what is broken and what may work to repair it. 

Mapping what is broken, is what we at HiiL do through gathering personal experiences and turning these into data through tested methods. In 2016, we asked the people of Uganda to let us hear their voice. 

What we learned was that almost 90% of the people of Uganda experience one or more serious justice needs. The data shows that they find getting help difficult. One third take no action at all to resolve their problem. The poor, women and vulnerable people are disproportionately in that segment. We call that the justice gap.

Starting from data and technology, we co-create people-centered, high-quality justice based on what people need now. To build the solutions, we bring together decision-makers, innovators and users, with the ideas for change and knowledge on what works. That process, funded by Sida in Uganda, provides the solutions listed below. We describe them for you along with who these are for and where to find them. 


People’s Actual Experiences as the evidence base for action 

With a diverse group of Ugandan stakeholders, we identified three priority target areas where people need relief back in 2016. Supported by knowledge and qualitative interviews, we produced drafts reports that explore in detail Crime, Land and Separation across the country.

Armi Korhonen, Justice Sector Advisor authored the content of these in-depth studies based on data of the 2019 quantitative survey, 2018 qualitative interviews and desk research

These Deep Dive reports are intended for policy-makers, front-line justice providers in the respective fields. The data and recommendations entailed can support them making decisions that deliver what people actually need.

At the Justice Innovation and Leadership Conference in Kampala, Uganda, we are seeking the feedback of multiple justice service providers and institutions in Uganda to validate the data: what does it mean? and, where do we go from here? Information will be updated on the project page here.

The studies are based on over 6000 voices and combines both qualitative and quantitative data sources. 

Accountable Justice For All Through Data Visualisation 

In 2020, HiiL will publish the second nation-wide justice needs and satisfaction survey (JNS). The data combines qualitative data and quantitative data of the experiences of Ugandan people, and as an improvement on the approach taken in 2016, includes experiences of justice service providers. 

Who is the JNS for? The data we collect is made available on an official interactive website that provides the viewer scope to explore the data: the Justice Dashboard. Social science scholars, justice practitioners, leaders, change-makers or innovators all find the evidence-base essential for their respective projects. Having openly available justice data based on how people perceive justice helps make the system accountable. 

Where to find it? The Justice Dashboard goes live in 2020. The site is hosted by JLOS. We at HiiL provide the data analysis and some technical support. 


With a group of diverse Ugandan professionals, we designed another tool, the Family Justice Catalogue. 

Two versions of the Family Justice Catalogue: for users and for practitioners. Images were designed by justice innovation, Evidence and Methods Lab.

When family justice works, it plays an instrumental role in people’s lives, especially those of children.

The Family Justice Catalogue prototype is an evidence-based guideline containing recommendations and best-practices that help people and professionals who are dealing with family problems. The methodology combines practice-based evidence  (recommendations from practitioners across Uganda) and evidence-based practice (recommendations from international studies). This prototype is a living document. That means with new information, responses from practititoners and user, we can continually improve upon it.

Who is it for? We made two versions: one for family justice practitioners (lawyers, paralegals, social workers etc.) and one for ordinary people with family justice needs. Together with local family justice experts who made it possible, we launch this project at the Justice Innovation and Leadership Conference in Kampala on 19th November. Both versions are available to download for free here

Do you have feedback or questions? Please email Justice Sector Advisor, Tim Verheij at Tim.Verheij@hiil.org. Share them with people you think would like to engage with them. 

Justice Entrepreneurs Speed Up Closing the Justice Gap

Over the years of our engagement, we met many justice entrepreneurs in Uganda who have thought of new and better ways to get justice to people. They take problems head-on and create the opportunities to make justice more user-friendly in the lives of ordinary people. Justice innovations can speed up access to justice, legal sensitisation, and prevention of justice problems. However, these innovations need encouragement and resources. They need the HiiL Justice Accelerator.

Hundreds of justice innovators have applied to our Innovating Justice Challenge in Uganda. A thorough vetting process selects between 10 to 20 innovations each year, all with their own merits. Out of these, 1 or 2 turn out to be the much sought after help for millions of people. Over 24 justice innovators received our training at the regional mini-justice entrepreneurship school, followed by the Regional Finals. 

County Director, Emmanuel Elau hears the team have won the Uganda Regional Finals of the Innovating Justice Challenge 2019.

Legal Hub Uganda took part in the Justice Entrepreneurship School along with other finalists. As the 2019 winners, they receive the prize money of 20,000 EUR as well as tailored business development from local and international experts. The team will pitch their justice innovation again at the Innovating Justice Forum in the Peace Palace on 4th and 5th February 2020 alongside teams selected world-wide. 

Their model provides much-needed access to Legal information in areas where other platforms suffer from somewhat limited communications infrastructures, especially in rural areas and semi-rural areas.

¨We believe in taking the law to the last mile. No woman, child, peasant, orphan, elder should face injustice because he or she lacks information on how to protect and enforce their land rights.¨ – Legal Hub Uganda

Reach out to our Justice Accelerator Hub based in Kampala by sending your question to racheal.ampaire@hiil.org.


It is people-centred, effective leadership that drives meaningful change. Recognized that, allows us to reproduce it.

The documentary, The Justice Leaders follows the journey of two Ugandans working on change, yet in different environments: the Honorable Chief Justice Bart Magunda Katureebe and Arinda Daphine, a grass-roots justice activist. 

The world premiere of this documentary takes place at the Justice Innovation and Leadership Conference on the 19th of November 2019 in Kampala. The trailer can be viewed here.

Independent film producer, Janina Pigaht directed The Justice Leaders

If you would like to arrange an educational-screening then please contact Angelica.Krouwer@hiil.org. Arinda Daphine is living in Uganda and can be contacted to perform her poetry. Inquiries about her contact information can similarly be found through Angelica Krouwer.

For inquiries relating to the Justice Leadership Group, emails can be sent to Director of the Justice Leadership Group, Tobijn de Graauw via Tobijn.DeGraauw@justiceleaders.org.

Do you have any questions about the Justice Innovation in Uganda program?
Make contact with the Senior Project Manager, Mascha Matthews at Mascha.Matthews@hiil.org