Throughout May and June, we are interviewing over 9,000 people in Mali about their encounters with legal problems in everyday life. This is part of HiiL’s collaboration with Mali’s Ministry of Justice as we work together on the second wave of the Justice Needs and Satisfaction Survey. The interview data will show the most serious and prevalent justice problems in Mali, what people do to resolve their problems and how they assess these paths to justice in terms of fairness, quality and costs.
Back in 2014, HiiL conducted its biggest Justice Needs and Satisfaction study to date in Mali. A total of 8,400 people were surveyed about their justice needs and a particular emphasis was put on the perceptions of the national reconciliation efforts. This was in light of the aftermath of the 2012 conflict when insurgent groups took control of three of the country’s northern towns.
The close partnerships fostered during our 2014 project have continued over the years. Discussions developed with regards to how HiiL could support the Ministry of Justice’s mission to consolidate the rule of law and develop tools that offer transparency and accountability to the justice sector.
For the first time ever, we are revisiting a country to conduct a follow-up second survey in order to learn how the experiences of people changed over time. Through this unique opportunity, we will identify trends regarding progress, or lack of it, in enhancing the quality of justice and people’s access to it. The 2018 second wave study is seen as a chance to strengthen local capacity in Mali and to use data to develop effective indicators which will support the policy objectives of the Ministry. Critically, in our second wave study, we will identify the needs of citizens from all regions in Mali. Local enumerators will conduct interviews in Kidal, which, due to the security situation in 2014, was previously excluded. Exploring the perceptions of justice across all of Mali is critical in order to better understand the range of relationships between problems, people, communities and institutions.
HiiL’s bottom-up approach fits the needs and interests of Mali’s Ministry of Justice. In March, the Justice Needs and Satisfaction questionnaire was co-designed, and the overall infrastructure was established, between HiiL and the Technical Commission. The commission was comprised of the Ministry of Justice, CPS, DNAJ, INSTAT and the Ministry of Human Rights. Another partner includes Deme So, who recruited 90 interviewers to collect the survey data. At the end of April, we jointly delivered training in Bamako to prepare these interviewers on how to talk to people about their most pressing justice problems. Local expertise and feedback has provided valuable insights. The data collected will be used as a springboard for innovation and for the evidence-based transformation of justice processes which places the needs of the citizen at the centre. Interviews will be conducted over the next month and the final report will be published at the end of 2018.