Flavia Nabugere Munaaba

Ashoka Fellow
Kampala, Uganda
Fellow Since 2007


This profile was prepared when Flavia Nabugere Munaaba was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2007.
The New Idea
Flavia is improving access to legal services on a national level. Through her organization, the Public Defenders Association of Uganda (PDAU), she provides legal aid to Ugandans stuck in prisons without fair trial, and improves existing structures in the legal system so that government is more accountable and transparent in handling criminal cases. Her system of legal access points, which relies on close relationships with district courts and resident law firms, avails a pro-bono lawyer to represent defendants in need of legal assistance. Ugandan law school students volunteer their time, gaining needed practice experience while representing prisoners who have waited months or years to be heard in court. In addition, she pushes for system reforms—including new integrated databases—that will enable courts to more efficiently process the accused.
PDAU has already reduced the length of time the accused spend in prison waiting for their cases to be heard in court. Flavia’s work represents a turning point in Uganda’s justice system: Lawyers, judges, police, and other institutions are being challenged to work professionally and efficiently, and ultimately to turn justice from an exclusive privilege to a basic right for all Ugandans. PDAU is the first organization in Uganda to promote the legal rights of prisoners.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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