This report summarizes the findings of an evaluation commissioned by the Law Foundation of Ontario on three projects they funded to help build the capacity of community workers to support people with legal problems. The projects aimed to improve access to justice for people who do not speak English or French, or who live in rural areas in Ontario.
The evaluation showed that the "Connecting Ottawa" project was successful in building the capacity of community and legal organizations in Ottawa improve access to justice for their clients. The researchers noted that the extent of the impact across Ottawa is difficult to measure. However, partner agencies felt that this project had an impact in terms of helping get legal information and referrals to clients. They also found that the planning model was strong, and helped facilitate access to justice for people who don't speak English or French.
The report also evaluated the success of two seed grants provided to legal clinic coalitions in Simcoe County and in southeastern Ontario. The evaluators found that various capacity-building projects resulted from the seed grants. The clinics involved were able to help build the capacity of community workers in their regions to support clients with legal problems, and some of these activities continued after the seed grants were exhausted with funding from different funders.