Trudy Too-Rom Lamunu, Head Communications at Barefoot Law.


Mr. Kasozi John Kennedy, Barefoot Law

Mr. Twinomujuni Henry, Legal and Policy Associate, Center for Technology Disputes Resolutions Uganda.

Mr. Buyinza Prince, Director, Friends in Need

Mr. Pascal Kakuru, Justice Defenders

Mr.Daniel Adyera, Centre for Crimininology

Mr.Fred Ogabe, Kumam Youth Group

Mrs. Marjorie Sseruwo, Concern for the Girl Child.

Organized by

BarefootLaw (BFL)

Report written by

Alinda Shivan Muhwezi, Lawyer, BarefootLaw Uganda.

Tuesday 2nd May 2023


Abstract 3

1. Presentations by the Justice Innovators. 3

1. (a) Centre for Technology Disputes Resolution, Uganda 3

2. (b) Friends in Need Development Group 5

3. c) Justice Defenders 7

4. d) Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy 8

5. e) Kumam Youth Drama Group 9

6. f) Concern for the Girl Child 10

2. Panel Discussion 11

3. Questions and Comments 14

4. Methodology 15

5. Presentation of awards 15

6. Closing Remarks 15


BarefootLaw, supported by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation undertook a participatory action research project aimed at recognizing approaches and innovations in the provision of legal services in Uganda, Kenya and Malawi.The objectives of this project include searching for and discovering new methods being used by individuals, communities, organizations and other stakeholders in making access to justice a reality.

BarefootLaw held a workshop to present the most innovative grassroots innovators it discovered during its search The event started off with an introduction of the project from Barefoot law that elaborated the work done by the organization and discussed the objectives of the project. This was followed by a concise explanation of the justice innovator challenge, the participatory part of the project, where the public was asked to choose the innovators they felt were most compelling. There were six presenters for the award that passionately presented their innovations in access to justice to the community. These included, Center for Technology Disputes Resolutions Uganda, Friends in Need, Justice Defenders, Centre for Criminology, Kumam Youth Group, Concern for the Girl Child.

There was then a presentation to explain the selection process for the winners of the awards and an award ceremony was conducted. The event with ended with closing remarks from a representative from Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA, the Capital City’s administrative and regulatory body) that encouraged all the participants to continue in their work to promote access to justice through innovation and appreciation to BarefootLaw for convening the event.

1. Presentations by the Justice Innovators.

(a) Centre for Technology Disputes Resolution, Uganda(CTDR-U)

Mr. Twinomujuni Henry, the Legal and Policy Associate at CTDR-U gave a background to the conditions that birthed the idea for the Mobile Money Recovery System. He mentioned that over the past decade, technology has progressed and led to innovations like Mobile money to address consumer needs. Supported by statistics, he mentioned that since mobile money was introduced to Uganda in 2009, an approximate of 93 trillion Uganda Shillings has been moved in annual value of transactions, with a total of about 30.5 million registered active mobile money users. These statistics showed that mobile money is the main channel for financial inclusion for millions of Ugandans.


It is against this background that a problem was identified.

He noted that as a result of this limited customer awareness, low levels of literacy, fraud among other factors, an estimated 41 billion Uganda Shillings was lost to criminals through mobile money challenges. This estimate was derived from the Uganda Police Annual Crime and Road Safety Report,2019.

Out of the above estimate, he noted that most mobile money complaints are common on small tokens of about 50,000 Uganda Shillings which most people have trouble following up on and even worse, lawyers are not willing to litigate over such small sums.


Mr. Twinomujuni then shared that CTDR-U innovated a method to support customers who have lost their money in the mobile money eco-system. He explained that CTDR-U avails on demand legal officers via a call centre facility to follow-up with mandated entities like Bank of Uganda and the Uganda Communications Commission(UCC), that help in the recovery of the lost tokens.

He also mentioned that the organisation is developing a Self-Data Reporting Application to support customers and other stakeholders by creating a database of all online losses to help Ugandans recovery money lost in the fintech ecosystem.

They are also developing a twin-system report device which aims at increasing transparency and accountability of Mobile Network Operators (MNO), by providing an effective client feedback or complaint system to improve the MNO’S service delivery.

How their Solution Works

He further detailed the workings of their solution and noted that:

  • First, they receive consumer complaints.
  • Then a consent form is signed by the consumer leading to an investigation of the matter to establish its veracity and collect more information. This is followed by a letter of complaint to the MNO for a refund.
  • If the money is not refunded, a formal complaint letter is written and forwarded to the responsible MNO and if no action is taken, the matter is forwarded to UCCfor further intervention.

Impact Analysis

In terms of impact, he noted that 2500 people are being targeted and helped by the innovation. Further that 800 individuals have been reached and 300 cases have been resolved.

Lastly, Mr. Twinomujuni explained that the funding from the awards would be beneficial to their organisation as it would help them procure equipment and infrastructure, fund trainings, marketing and promotion of their activities.

He concluded by thanking the team at BarefootLaw for convening the event and recognizing the effort of innovators in access to justice.

(b) Friends in Need Development Group

Mr.Buyinza the Director of Friends in Need, welcomed the guests in attendance and appreciated the opportunity of such a platform. He introduced the organisation noting that, it is a registered charity organisation and is based in Nkonge village, Kyampisi county in Mukono District.

He further noted that the organisation operated in the greater Mukono area in areas of Mukono, Buikwe and Kayunga, with a vision to expand their reach in the future.

He also explained that the main objective of the organization is to fight domestic violence, poverty and illiteracy in communities through sensitization, counselling and guidance, paralegal services, trainings and supporting income generating projects.

He passionately told the story that inspired the founding of this organization as having been inspired by his own childhood trauma with domestic violence and now as a serving Policeman in the Uganda Police Force, he is using the lessons he learned to restore peace in families.

Services offered.

Mr. Buyinza noted that they offer three major services.

  1. Guidance and counselling of families that are facing domestic violence among other social challenges.
  2. Paralegal services: that include following up cases at police and court to ensure that the victims attain justice. Under this arm, they also hold mediation meetings for smaller matters in order to create peace and access to justice.
  3. Community empowerment through money making projects like poultry, piggery etcetera.

Notable Achievements.

Mr. Buyinza mentioned that the organization has registered several achievements, some of which include.

  1. Successfully mediating and uniting 12 families that had experienced domestic violence.
  2. Donating scholastic materials to schools including sanitary products to girls in school to curb dropouts. He also shared that the organization is looking after 57 children in Kanjuki Umea Primary School in Kayunga, Naminya Primary School in Buikwe and Bulimu Primary School in Kiyunga Mukono.
  3. They have also built a two roomed house for an elderly woman whose mud hut was in bad condition.


In terms of funding, he explained that majority of the funds they use to run their activities are from donations from well-wishers, contributions from members of the organization as well as project income from the profit gained from their businesses.

Challenges and need for funding.

He listed a few challenges that the organization is facing including.

Lack of an office, lack of land to carry out bigger commercial projects, limited sources of income to fund their activities, lack of Information Technology gadgets including phones and computers to digitalize their work.

It is against this background that he noted, given the funding from the awards, the organisation would be able to procure these things and ease their work.

On a light note, he mentioned that he is also a gospel musician who is using the power of music and dance to spread the message of peace and not violence.

c) Justice Defenders

Mr. Pascal Kakuru, a former convict turned beneficiary of justice defenders introduced the organisation and noted that it was founded in 2007. With a community of 446 people working across 46 prisons in 3 African Countries, the organisation’s objectives include:

  1. Informing the indicted by establishing law practice within prisons providing free services and running legal clinics for those without access to justice.
  2. Equipping the accused through training prisoners and prison staff to become auxiliary paralegals.
  3. Embracing technology to enable access to justice.


Mr. Kakuru then shared the impact report of 2022 that showed a total of 10,700 clients were served, 4,800 clients were released, a total of 2,746 awareness sessions were held with a record attendance of 166,877. A total of 441 files were traced, 850 documents were filed and 223 received legal representation.

Out of the above statistics, some notable milestones as laid out by Mr. Kakuru are:

  • The organisation has offered free legal advice to 71,600 imprisoned clients.
  • 298,000 total attendances by defenceless people at legal awareness sessions organised by the organisation.
  • Partnerships have been established in the Gambia with the National Agency for Legal Aid and the Gambia Police Force.

He went ahead to mention a few risks they have met in the execution of their activities and the mitigation strategies they have put in place to manage these risks. Some of these included extortion of prisoners in need of legal advice, which has been mitigated by the close supervision of all paralegals and the zero-tolerance policy to corruption established by the Police and Prisons System. Another risk faced is objection to the release of prisoners, which is being mitigated through reconciliation sessions prior to release with Uganda Prisons System rehabilitation and reintegration officers, community leaders, police and other stakeholders.

He concluded his presentation by re-echoing the values of Justice Defenders, which are Solidarity, Humility and Bravery, that he noted are guiding lights in the execution of their duties.

d) Center for Criminology and Criminal Justice Policy (CCCJP)

This presentation was made by Mr. Daniel Adyera, the founder of CCCJP, who noted that the organisation was founded in 2020 to promote the use of forensic science in the administration of criminal justice in Uganda through:

  1. Evidence-based policy research
  2. Advocacy
  3. Training and capacity building.

He mentioned that the organisation seeks to shape the criminal justice system through evidence-based research. The organisation also helps individuals understand their cases from a forensic standpoint.

He also stated that they organisation offers short courses in forensics and criminology have been designed to arm the public and various stakeholders with information.


Mr. Adyera described the problem as there being a crime justice gap when one analyses the crime statistics of Uganda. He mentioned that according to the Uganda Police Annual Crime Report 2022, there was an 18% increase in crime in the past 5 years. Where only a fraction of the crimes that are reported are prosecuted or successfully concluded. He noted that there is need to adopt the use of forensic methods and criminology to successfully solve these cases and close the justice gap.

He further iterated that prisons in Uganda have an occupancy rate of 371.6% which is mainly as a result of wrongful convictions. He however, mentioned that this figure could be brought down using forensics.

To conclude his presentation, he noted that some of the gaps in the criminal justice system that can be addressed by the organisation include monopolization of forensic practice by the government, lack of awareness about criminology and forensic methods, inadequate research on the area and a lack of knowledge about the role of forensic science in the administration of justice among legal practitioners.

Solution Model

The implementation model of the organisation is in two ways, addressing both training and capacity building through seminars, short courses and a mentorship program, as well ad free forensic consultancy to victims, suspects and defendants.

e) Kumam Youth Drama Group

This presentation was made by Mr. Ogabe Joel, the team leader of the group.

To start off his presentation, Mr Ogabe noted that the group was not formally registered but rather was an informal group based in Kaberamaido, whose objective is to spread awareness and justice through music, dance and drama.

He noted that the objective of the group is to create a way for stories to be told to create impact in society. Being a teacher, he mentioned that his training has enabled him to relate with the youth in the group and has helped him guide them through counselling.

The group often performs drama skits on different topics to address challenges in the community including teenage pregnancies, domestic violence, corruption among others.

He noted that the model was crafted around the most accessible and low-cost method of causing change in the community.


Mr Obage noted that the group has achieved many wins through their work including, sensitization on land law, child marriage, gender-based violence among others.

He illustrated that the funding for the group often comes from benevolent well-wishers in the community and they would need funding for the promotion of their activities.

f) Concern for the Girl Child

This was a presentation by Mrs. Marjorie Kasozi Sseruwo about Safe Spaces.

She introduced the organization and mentioned that it is a child focused Non- Government Organisation that was founded in 2001 with the aim of empowering vulnerable girls. Over the past 23 years, the organization has impacted the lives of 100 girls directly through their education sponsorship programme and 40,000 children under the different interventions by the organisation.

She mentioned that their mandate has evolved and grown to include boys, as there was a need to address the challenges that they face in communities as well.

She noted that the organisation has been through a journey of transitional approaches, from direct interventions, to working through community structures, to the safe space approach and partnerships which is the current working model.

Mrs. Sseruwo addressed the issue of target groups and noted that the organisation aims to assist girls aged between 10-24 years of age, teenage mothers, and boys, with particular interest in the districts of Kamira, Luwero and Nakaseke where some of the Safe Spaces are located.


She defined a safe space as a formal or informal place, where women, girls and boys feel physically and emotionally safe. These places are designed to provide comfort, freedom of expression and they comprise of 30 adolescents under the leadership of a mentor.

In addressing the subject “why safe spaces”, she elaborated that the reason this approach was taken was because statistics show that the transition of girls from primary to secondary is very low and that only 22.5% of the 53% that enroll into primary school finally transition to secondary.

She opined that this is mostly attributed to high rates of poverty leaving girls to fend for families or to get married, early pregnancies that were catalysed by the Covid-19 Pandemic etcetera. There was therefore a need to have these girls share their stories and be encouraged and supported by people in a “safe space”.

She further elaborated that in these spaces, psychosocial support is provided, information in relation to women’s rights and health, social support, practical skilling etcetera.

As a result, she noted that now the girls are equipped with skills and provided with materials like sowing machines, shoemaking materials etc. A total of 1041 girls have walked away with hair dressing, tailoring, baking and craft making skills for their development.

These safe spaces have also created a platform for the girls to spearhead girl-led advocacy campaigns via media outlets to address the challenges that they face.


Mrs. Majorie noted that this approach has worked well for girls out of school in different communities that they plan to extend it to girls and boys in school.

She also mentioned that they plan to do vocational skilling that will engage an all-round Science Technology Engineering Mathematics approach to enhance the skills provided and give avenues for continued education.

It is against this background that she welcomed the opportunity to get funding from the project, in order to effect these plans.

2. Panel Discussion

This session was moderated by Mr. Timothy Kakuru from BarefootLaw, who invited the presenters for a panel discussion to answer questions that would give light to their journey of growth as innovators.

The first question was in relation to the challenges faced by the organizations and what has been the most difficult challenge to overcome.

The Director of Friends in need, Mr Prince Daniel noted that people often ask why more is not being done by the organization. He mentioned that explaining the dynamics of being self-funded and the limitations surrounding this reality is most difficult and has been their biggest challenge. “When people expect you to do more, it’s hard to tell them you cannot because funds are limited”.

Mr. Kakuru encouraged the innovators to seek out strategic partnerships from the event, to tackle such challenges.

Mr.Ogabe Joel from Kumam Youth Drama Group then followed, answering their biggest challenge is that they do not have the financial capacity to convene large audiences for their drama shows and often ride off the events of other organisations.

He also mentioned that since the group is not formally registered, it is difficult to source for funding for group activities.

An attendee from the audience encouraged him to use the available resources like his smartphone, to record dramas and share them to a bigger audience through the internet.

Mr. Daudi from the Center for Technology and Disputes Resolution cited the laxity of people to use the formal complaint mechanisms in place as their biggest challenge. He noted that working with Government institutions is a challenge also because the systems they have put in place to help people recover their money are dysfunctional. On a positive note, he added that the law is favourable and protects the rights of consumers, so the ball is now in the court of government and other stakeholders to implement it.

Mrs.Sseruwo opined that the biggest challenge in implementing Safe Spaces is the mindset of the community. She mentioned that many people in the community think of it as a waste of time to have girls gather to discuss their concerns.

Mr. Adyera also had a similar challenge and noted that the use of criminology and forensics in the country has been watered down by the mindsets of people who either do not find it important or are ignorant of its benefits. Nonetheless, he noted that he is not deterred in his cause and shall continue to pioneer sensitization on the topic, to enable access to justice in the criminal justice system.

Mr. Pascal Kakuru from Justice Defenders, on the other hand noted that their organisation mostly faces structural challenges. He elaborated that accessibility to the prisons in which their work is conducted is highly restricted, yet prisoners are their key beneficiaries.

He described the period of the Covid19 pandemic as the most difficult to work through, since most prisons were closed off to the public, many prisoners were not allowed to attend their court sessions, which frustrated the work of the organization.

Mr. Kakuru then engaged the panelists in a discussion about the impact of their work and prospects. He asked Mrs. Majorie what the most impactful thing she saw from her work.

She mentioned that seeing a girl with no self esteem gain confidence to address people at different levels is most impactful for her.

In answering the question on prospects, she noted that the organisation plans to scale up and extend its reach to various schools.

Mr Daniel Adyera noted that the biggest impact of his work is its potential to prosecute cases but also to exonerate those wrongly convicted. He further stated that the organization is interested in creating a criminal policy for the country. He also said that the legislations should be amended to reflect the importance of forensics in the administration of justice. He stated that there is need to create a National DNA database. He concluded that Uganda’s current criminal justice system is reactionary, and we need to develop structures that can remedy this.

Mr Prince Daniel noted that the biggest impact he has seen with his work is the amicable resolution of matters through the Local Council Courts.

He mentioned that in the long term, they are looking forward to establishing a project that will fund some of the activities of the organization.

Mr Daudi from CTDRU noted that a market vendor who had lost 75,000 Uganda Shillings, recovered her money after the organization stepped in to help. This was a turning point for him, as he realized how impactful the work of the organization is on small income earners.

Prospectively, CTDRU looks forward to acquiring USSD codes for people without smartphones to contact the organization.

He also noted that they intend to inform legal reform policy for small claims matters. He described that the current legal regime does not hear small claim matters pertaining to electronic payments.

Lastly, Mr Ogabe noted that that Kumam Youth Group has been able to sensitize the Kumam community against domestic violence, land conflicts among others. The turnover has been seen through the reduced cases of gender-based violence and land conflicts.

He stated that he looks forward to acquiring funding for technology to increase the reach of the group.

3. Questions and Comments

An attendee posed a question to Mrs Marjorie of Concern for the girl child, and she asked what the organisation is doing to shape the mindsets of members in the community that do not appreciate the work of Safe Spaces.

Mrs Marjorie mentioned that they often carry out community sensitization sessions to educate the communities they work in on the benefit of these safe spaces to the girls and women.

Mr. Pascal Kakuru from Justice Defenders was asked what measures the organization has put in place to mitigate the wrong advice that may be given by paralegals.

He explained that there is a system of checks and balances, where files that are handled by the paralegals are also reviewed by their supervisors before they are approved.


Ruth Kigozi, lead researcher for the MOTT research project explained the way in which the award winners were selected. She mentioned that the method used was crowdsourcing, and a crowdsourcing contest was conducted in September – October 2022.

The team defined the innovation challenge, designed communication and promotion strategies for the contest and published it.

The challenge was then advertised on all BarefootLaw media platforms and partner websites. At the end of the advert period, a total of 40 submissions were received from 17 districts in Uganda.

She further explained that scoring was done by a team of 5 and out of the 40 applications, 10 with the highest score were selected and broadcast for voting via Twitter, Facebook and SMS.

She noted that the team looked out for innovative, affordable, effective, scalable and sustainable ideas for the evaluation process.

Presentation of awards

The awards ceremony was presided over by representatives from BarefootLaw, HiiL, and Kampala City Council Authority.

The 3 award winners were:

  1. Center for Technology Disputes Resolution
  2. Kumam Youth Drama Group
  3. Concern for the Girl Child

The winners were awarded USD.1000 to support their organizations.

Closing Remarks

The representative from KCCA made closing remarks and appreciated BarefootLaw for the work being done to encourage innovation.

He also mentioned that the city of Kampala is open to partnering with innovative organizations to promote access to justice.

He concluded by encouraging all the stakeholders present to continue their initiative to innovate for justice.