The Hague Institute for Innovation of Law (HiiL) in partnership with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency at the Swedish Embassy in Uganda are executing a 3-year programme between 2017 -2019 called ‘Justice Innovation Uganda’. Through this programme, HiiL’s activities will ensure that citizens of Uganda, and in particular the disadvantaged, see more of their issues resolved fairly and effectively by a justice sector that is more innovative, open, transparent and accountable.
Eventually, this reduces stress, violence, and poverty, and improves opportunities by increasing access to justice and making the justice system more inclusive. This programme puts existing justice data to work and uses it as a foundation to develop solutions and strengthen the justice system as a whole. The design is based on a collaboration where HiiL is constantly informed by what they have learned from the users of the justice system and for every outcome. HiiL works closely with the experts and entrepreneurs of Uganda that deliver innovative justice Solutions.
On Friday 28th September, HiiL held its 2018 Kampala Innovating Justice Conference at Hotel Africana in Kampala showcasing its work in Family Justice, Justice Dashboard and results from this year’s Call for Innovations.
10 finalists of the Innovating Justice Challenge 2018 pitched their Justice solutions to the Audience and a panel of Judges that consisted of Africa’s Talking’s Nicholas Kamanzi, Akili Ventures’ Dustyn Winder and The Justice Law and Order Sector’s Barbara Kitui.
Yunga, a local rescue digital network for neighbors, emerged overall winner. The startup will, therefore, receive €5,000 in seed funding as well as join the HiiL Justice Accelerator Program. It stands a chance to be selected for a trip to The Hague in the Netherlands to join the Justice Entrepreneurship School (JES) with other selected innovations from around the globe.
Coming in second was Tunga - an app that informs users about their employment rights - and the third was LegIT - a self-service platform that enables SMEs to generate legal documents. The Prison Officer Legal Empowerment Innovation by African Prisons was voted Audience Choice Winner. The winners from Uganda join other winners in next year’s acceleration program where they get access to financial and expert support for their projects.
Since 2014, Ugandan innovations, and solutions have been accepted into the HiiL Justice Accelerator. Some of these include; mSME Garage (2014), Puliida, Justice 2 People and Lawyers for Farmers (2016) and Evidence and methods lab (2017).
HiiL’s goal is to help 150 million people across the world prevent or resolve their most pressing justice needs by 2030. And the HiiL Justice Accelerator is one of the ways they are looking to achieve that. The accelerator scouts and supports the world’s best justice innovators on an annual basis with different themes identified each year. However, Land, Crime and Law enforcement and Family Justice have been the thematic focus for Uganda.
This year, HiiL was looking to resolve pressing justice problems in the following 5 areas; Family Justice, Land- and Neighbour Disputes, Crime and Law Enforcement, Employment Justice and Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises. These justice gaps are informed by the Justice Needs Survey that HiiL Published in 2016 and this data is used as a bedrock to source innovations.
HiiL supports justice entrepreneurs with resources they need to scale their innovations and the Justice Accelerator is one of the platforms through which that support trickles down. HiiL avails the necessary resources and opportunities to the entrepreneurs that join its HiiL Justice Accelerator to ensure they take off. These include seed funding, subject matter experts, as well as access to potential future follow-on funding.