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  • Writer's pictureInternational Lawyers Project

A Strategic Refresh!

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

Lucy Claridge, ILP’s Executive Director, reports back on our recent staff retreat

Key members of the ILP staff team at our retreat in Cape Town

ILP recently enjoyed a staff retreat, bringing together our growing internationally based team in person, many for the first time. Gathering for four days in Cape Town, South Africa, we took the opportunity to refresh our strategic approach, as well as to refresh on a personal level - connecting with one another after several years of collaborating online, in some cases, or having recently joined ILP as a new staff member, in others.

As you’ll know, ILP’s mission is to advance economic justice and the rule of law through the provision of pro bono legal expertise to civil society, governments and communities.  Our vision is a just and sustainable world in which law serves as a tool for those who need it the most. Our most recent strategy was adopted towards the end of 2021, but we recently recognised a need to review our approach and adapt to the shifting dynamics within our programme areas, in order to continue to provide responsive, impactful support to our partners over the next three years.

Facilitated by Jim Cranshaw and Frances Hill, our fundraising and strategy consultants, we first focused on our theory of change – in other words, how we work with our partners to bring our mission to life, both at an organisational and a programmatic level. This guided the next discussion, where we looked at our programme work in more depth, recognising in particular the need to continue our impactful work to control corruption, address elite capture of political processes, and challenge bribery for access to justice and public services. We then identified new and developing areas where our partners have sought legal support, for example, ensuring that the shift towards a green economy is inclusive and equitable, particularly for those most impacted by climate change.

The discussions also provided us an opportunity to hone our approach to defending civic space, protecting the ecosystem in which our partners work, and to determine exactly how we can best support them. We also drew out opportunities for cross-programmatic areas of work, including tackling environmental crimes and corruption, such as wildlife trafficking, pollution, and deforestation, and developing tools that can create positive change towards wealth redistribution and in turn contribute towards more environmentally sustainable development. And finally, we looked at how we will monitor and measure the impact of our ongoing work, through development of a specific evaluation framework – work on this is still in progress.

Although the agenda was packed with strategic discussions, we also enjoyed the opportunity to explore a little of what Cape Town has to offer, including a trip up Table Mountain, and exploring the beautiful surrounding countryside. The retreat further served as a great occasion to bond and renew our collective commitment to providing partner-led access to justice, whilst also learning more about each other’s thematic areas of casework and expertise.

The ILP staff team enjoys the South African countryside

We’ll be launching the new strategy in early 2024 and I’m excited to share it with you all. Watch this space!  

Lucy Claridge 

Executive Director, ILP 

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