The Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening is the prime recipient of the United States Agency for International Development’s Democratic Elections and Political Processes Leader with Associates Award. Under this award, our three core institutes (the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, the International Republican Institute, and the National Democratic Institute) are joined by four senior technical partners (STP) which include: The American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative, the Center for International Private Enterprise, Democracy Arch, and Internews. This is an introduction to ABA ROLI.
USAID/CEPPS DEPP Award Senior Technical Partner – ABA ROLI
For over 30 years and in more than 120 countries, the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI) has sought to strengthen legal institutions, support legal professionals, foster respect for the rule of law, and advance public understanding of the law. In collaboration with in-country partners—including government ministries, judges, lawyers, bar associations, law schools, court administrators, legislatures, and civil society organizations— ABA ROLI designs programs that are responsive to local needs and that prioritize sustainable solutions to pressing rule of law challenges.
Under the DEPP Award, ABA ROLI brings expertise in judicial system independence, accountability, and ethics codes to CEPPS programming. Their mission is to promote justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law. Learn more about ABA ROLI’s work with CEPPS:
Following a government transition in 2019, the Republic of Maldives prioritized reforming the justice sector to improve transparency and accountability, responsiveness to citizens, and access to justice. In 2021, USAID funded the Strong and Inclusive Maldivian Democracy (SIMD) program to support these reforms by increasing the effectiveness and responsivity of the Maldivian justice sector. The SIMD program, which is currently funded through 2025, strengthens the capacity and operations of justice sector institutions and assists them in implementing reforms that reflect internationally accepted good practices to create strong, independent, and transparent institutions. This includes supporting the planned reorganization of trial courts; developing a training plan for court personnel for the Judicial Academy; and exploring harassment and the well-being of court staff. ABA ROLI has also provided technical assistance to the Bar Council, by providing subgrant funding to support their core operations and facilitate the development of their new strategic plan.
Under the Libya Elections and Legislative Strengthening Activity (LESLA), ABA ROLI partners with the International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES), and National Democratic Institute (NDI) to counter hate speech and disinformation (HSD) and promote reconciliation as part of a sustainable political transition. ABA ROLI collaborated with Libyan journalists and civic activists to establish the Tahra fact-checking platform which monitors Libya’s media and social media environment, checking more than 335 occurrences of mis- and disinformation.
Through the Bedaya campaign, ABA ROLI also supported youth multi-media content development promoting reconciliation and addressing hate speech through social and traditional media, reaching about 1.5 million Libyans through radio broadcasting and 1.1 million on TV programs. ABA ROLI also supported several civil society organizations by running media and digital literacy programming for youth with efforts that have spurred youth-led initiatives to counter HSD throughout the country. ABA ROLI’s community liaisons organized 40 in-person and remote dialogue sessions in communities throughout Libya, focusing on HSD, civic participation, and the broader political transition. Knowledge products include a comprehensive mapping of the Libyan information environment, research on youth perceptions of HSD networks, and a comprehensive legal analysis and mapping of the legislative framework for countering HSD in Libya.
Launched in 2020, the Enhancing Protection of Human Rights Defenders and Media Practitioners at Risk program responds to the deteriorating freedom of expression and assembly rights in Zambia. In partnership with the Chapter One Foundation, ABA ROLI provided a rapid legal response for at-risk human rights defenders, media practitioners, and others during the Zambian general election held in August 2021. Through Chapter One, ABA ROLI provided electoral rights information to citizens through media such as radio, television, newspapers, and social media. To promote sustainability of legal aid beyond the project’s life, it includes a capacity-building component that cultivates a network of lawyers with a commitment to public interest work for timely and impactful interventions.
Find out more about ABA ROLI here.