International pro bono: What works?
This question was posed by ROLE UK at its annual event for the UK’s National Pro Bono Week 2016, in conjunction with the Law Society.
65 participants attended the event on 9 November 2016, with representatives from law firms, professional bodies, government, civil society organisations and others involved in international pro bono work.
Over the past year, ROLE has undertaken research to capture and collate evidence and learning both from the pro bono assignments that it supports and from the wider field of Rule of Law and development programming.
International Development consultant Anna Paterson presented key principles drawn from this evidence, to consider when developing and implementing pro bono technical assistance work. Two experienced practitioners – Momo Turay, Secretary of the UK Sierra Leone Pro Bono Network and Joanna Whiteman, Co-Director of Equal Rights Trust – then responded and elaborated based on their experience. The event was chaired by Roger Leese of A4ID and Stephen Denyer of the Law Society.
The panel and participants discussed principles and challenges in relation to:
- understanding the political contexts in which pro bono work takes place
- monitoring and evaluation as a means of enabling learning and accountability
- the value of local partners and the need to support them appropriately
You can learn more about the key principles discussed at the event through a ROLE briefing paper and delve into the evidence on which they are based through two longer ROLE research reports, the Independent Review and Learning Exercise and Reflections on the ROLE UK Approach.
Providing answers to the question of “what works” is an ongoing and collaborative process. If you have evidence or experience that you would like to share with others in the pro bono field, or would like to comment on the issues raised at the event or in the briefing paper, please get in touch.