Model & Strategy
There is an extraordinary imbalance in access to justice and the law in Uganda: the majority of lawyers are based in the capital city of Kampala, while 94% of the population live in rural areas. Moreover, awareness of legal information is low and the price for even basic legal services is high, beyond the reach of most Ugandans.
Barefootlaw believes in a world where everyone readily has access to the law and justice. BarefootLaw leverages a digital platform comprised of multiple channels–from Facebook and SMS to Skype and a call center–supplemented by free community-based legal outreach, to ensure that every Ugandan knows their rights under the law and understands how to access legal services.
Gerald Abila, is the Founder and Executive Director, believes in a world where access to law and justice is readily available to people. An Attorney in Uganda, Gerald is an Echoing Green Fellow, a Laureate of the African Development Prize by the King Baudouin Foundation, a Legal Rebel by the American Bar Association. He is passionate about the use of innovation and technology in achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and has written and spoken on the subject at a number of forums.
Allan Zaramba, Director of Digital Strategy and IT , brings extensive experience in analyzing digital media trends and content placement strategy. Allan leads digital strategy across all media channels, as well as growing the BarefootLaw BIOS and the nascent artificial intelligence/machine learning initiative.Prior to co-founding BarefootLaw, Allan created and lead the digital department at Nation Media group Uganda as well as founded and sold Almo Technologies, an ITsolutions and electronic biometric recognition security company.
Using social media as a main component of its strategy, BarefootLaw reaches 490,000 people each month across its technology platform and projects.
Through its Facebook page, BarefootLaw receives and responds to more than 100 inquiries each day, and has more than 200,000 followers. Beyond Facebook, BarefootLaw can reach more than 450,000 individuals through SMS (which are reverse billed through a partnership with UNICEF and telecommunication companies) on a specific legal topic; one SMS blast generated over 30,000 responses within 48 hours.
BarefootLaw introduced an internal IVR system to support individuals with low education through voice messaging, and an artificial intelligence module to automate responses to a set of simple legal inquiries.
Through this work, thousands of Ugandans have been able to obtain justice and their rights under the law.
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