The Asia-Pacific Rights and Justice Initiative

The Asia-Pacific Rights and Justice Initiative (AP-A2J) was launched in August 2002 in order to develop a community of practice around the UNDP's Democratic Governance sub-practice of Access to Justice. The initiative seeks to complement the work of UNDP in the area of access to justice by providing practitioners a means to share knowledge and lessons learned from the region. In terms of substance, the initiative explores and conceptualizes the links and synergies between access to justice and human rights and contributes to defining UNDP's niche in this field. The initiative focusses particularly on the goals of equality and non-discrimination and emphasizes access to justice by disadvantaged groups.

The AP-A2J is an example of knowledge management in practice. Originally facilitated jointly by the Kathmandu and Bangkok SURFs, the Initiative is now being taken forwarded under the auspices of the Asia-Pacific Regional Centre. From the beginning, the AP-A2J Initiative has been striving to enable practitioners to think about and program access to justice components into the work they do. The strength of the Initiative is that it is decentralized in nature and is managed by a core group of virtually connected CO practitioners and is structured around a series of tasks (network discussions, workshops, action research) that are logically sequenced to achieve clearly defined results and products. The Initiative aims to build individual and organizational capacities through systematic knowledge sharing, action research and producing a toolkit.

The AP-A2J Electronic Network

UNDP's first regional network of Rights and Justice practitioners with the purpose of producing toolkits and promoting systematic knowledge sharing. The network encourages practitioners to share their experiences and lessons in developing access to justice programmes. It also facilitated the production of the key tools by serving as a forum for circulating and commenting on drafts, and as means to draw out concrete examples from the various countries.

How to become an AP-A2J network member

By joining the AP-A2J network, you will have access to programme documents, TORs, guidelines and reports from AP-A2J and from the country offices. Each member will have a profile and they will be able to upload documents which they may wish share or receive comments on from other members. They will also be a part of the AP-A2J electronic network and will be able to take part in discussions on different access to justice issues.

To find out more about the Initiative, the Network and how to become more involved, write to: ap-a2j [at]