The short version: it is building the ability of people and organisations to do more, better.
The United Nations goes into a bit more detail: “Capacity-building is defined as the process of developing and strengthening the skills, instincts, abilities, processes and resources that organizations and communities need to survive, adapt, and thrive in a fast-changing world.
One key point though is sustainability. Capacity needs to last into the long term to truly be effective. “An essential ingredient in capacity-building is transformation that is generated and sustained over time from within; transformation of this kind goes beyond performing tasks to changing mindsets and attitudes.”
Justice Without Borders aims to make it possible for migrant workers to seek legal help for whatever happened to them wherever it happened, regardless of where they move. That vision requires as many organizations as possible who are capable of helping workers with claims at home and abroad. Capacity building then is right at the heart of our work.
Since 2017, JWB has trained more than 1,200 caseworkers, community paralegals and lawyers, but the goal is to train many more. Equipping frontline caseworkers, partners and migrant workers with the needed knowledge and knowhow helps us scale up, to reach thousands more workers who have been harmed.
Our first key group are the frontline caseworkers and community-based paralegals who are active on the frontlines. They are often found working at community organizations, local labour unions, churches and other religious organisations. Our other key group are the pro bono lawyers whose expertise is vital to our success, both as individuals and as partnered law firms.
We want to expand our scope beyond just JWB to seeing organizations across the sector engaging with us and our work.
We aim to advance our frontline mentorship programmes to make skills transfer more impactful among our case worker mentees.
We intend to cultivate larger cohorts of partners and to coordinate solutions to increase engagement with frontline partners.
Capacity building is key to success for all three of these goals.
Our end goal is ambitious. We want to scale up our impact to ensure that access to justice is as mobile as our clients.
Getting there means going beyond capacity building to empowering our mentees to be long-term ambassadors for access to justice at home and abroad. We succeed when they in turn train others. These ambassadors will take on more and more of our litigation work, ensuring that together we can make access to justice truly efficient, effective and affordable for migrant workers.
By Jonathan White, PR Volunteer @JWB
The PowerUp Campaign features how JWB scales up its impact through building capacity with our allies. Our partners, including mentors, mentees, funders and frontline organization leaders, came together to share their experiences in our capacity building programs. We also look ahead to how we continue to scale up our impact to ensure that access to justice is as mobile as migrant workers.