The study Township Blues investigates the opportunities for microjustice in Malawi. Microjustice is a new, bottom-up approach to legal development cooperation. Its strategy is to lower the barriers of accessing justice for civilians in resource poor countries.
The current study focuses on a limited geographical area: Ndirande township in Blantyre. The study identifies legal needs of its residents and mapped the strategies that people use to solve their problems. Theft, property grabbing, family issues, employment issues, land issues and detention are recognized as the most urgent legal issues. One of the key findings is that people often get bogged down when they seek help from existing institutions. As a result, many give up before the conflict is solved. This leads to destroyed family ties, emotional damage, lost income opportunities and increased poverty, especially for women and girls. The findings implicate that people could greatly benefit from microjustice solutions.
The research was carried out by Mirjam Vossen en Michel Knapen, in collaboration with Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO, Tilburg University). It is part of the broader research programme of the Microjustice Initiative.