A4ID is a global charity that works in partnership with the world’s leading law firms, providing access to the best legal advice for those engaged in the fight against global poverty.
A4ID's work is inspired by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2016.
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Our vision is the law and lawyers playing their full part in the eradication of global poverty. Our values are passion, professionalism, collaboration, communication, dedication, imagination, integrity and independence.
As a global charity, A4ID delivers an unparalleled opportunity for law firms and companies internationally to make an outstanding contribution in meeting the needs of the world’s poorest citizens. We do this primarily as facilitators, matching international legal expertise with local need in more than 100 jurisdictions.
Originally inspired by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established by the United Nations in 2000, and now pursuing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) from 2016, the work of A4ID benefits local development organisations.
Many such organisations work tirelessly to improve access to basic services for the poorest people and empower local communities to tackle poverty. But we often see that a lack of access to legal expertise can reduce their impact. We also understand that the law can sometimes be an impediment to sustainable development.
In bringing together our legal partners with our development partners – from large international NGOs and developing country governments to small civil society groups – we act as a conduit, matching international legal expertise with local need.
When law firms, companies and barristers’ chambers become our legal partners, they help directly in overcoming the challenges of global poverty, by giving practical legal advice on a pro bono basis where it is most needed in developing countries. Every organisation receiving advice is contributing towards the achievement of the SDGs.
In addition to facilitating pro bono advice for our development partners, we also provide a range of training programmes. Our annual Law and Development Training Programme is attended by solicitors and barristers covering topics from responsible project financing to environmental law and tax justice.
A4ID’s role as a pro bono facilitator and training organisation within the legal and development communities provides a unique vantage point to comment on the international development agenda. A4ID partners with law firms, academic institutions and development organisations to perform research and policy work, particularly in relation to the fast evolving areas of business and human rights and the nexus of law and sustainable development.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were agreed by 193 countries at the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015. They set 169 targets and further indicators that every UN member state will use in framing their agendas and political policies until 2030.
Operational since January 2016, the 17 SDGs supersede the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which were agreed in 2000 and expired in 2015. The SDGs are ‘a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity’. They seek to strengthen universal peace in larger freedom. They are integrated and indivisible and seek to balance the multiple dimensions of sustainable development: the economic, social and environmental. Aiming to achieve the human rights of all, the SDGs relate to poverty, food security, health, education, the economy, the environment, gender, sustainability and more.
Goal 16 (Peace and Justice, Strong Institutions) is particularly relevant to A4ID, given our commitment to providing development organisations with the highest calibre legal advice. Nevertheless, we provide legal support in pursuit of all the SDGs, with the ultimate goal of eradicating poverty and creating a more equitable global society.
The primary method we use for matching supply and demand for legal advice is through our innovative broker service. This delivers pro bono advice by bringing together our legal partners and our development partners, who work together on specific projects furthering the SDGs.
Our staff lawyers help development partners understand precisely what their legal requirements are so that we can connect them with the appropriate legal experts. Through our legal partners, we draw from a committed network of more than 53,000 lawyers covering over 120 jurisdictions.
Pro bono legal advice covers a broad spectrum: contract and commercial, finance, competition, environmental, intellectual property, human rights, litigation, public, regulatory, and trade law, to name a few.
The recipients of this pro bono advice range from development organisations, civil society groups and bar associations to developing country governments and social enterprises. They can benefit in various ways: from improving their back-office operations to strengthening their advocacy campaigns.
In addition to ensuring all development organisations who need it can access free legal support through our network, we also play a strategic role in creating sustainable solutions to eradicating global poverty.
We do this by working in partnership with lawyers and development organisations to raise awareness about the role law can play in tackling poverty, enable them to share best practice and learning, and inspire them to develop innovative development projects.
Our mission and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Working with the SDGs to inspire and enable lawyers to join the global fight against poverty and to ensure that legal support is available for those engaged in that fight. Click an SDG icon to see how we operate in this area.
The Rule of Law Expertise Programme (ROLE UK), a subsidiary charity of A4ID, is a new initiative funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) which aims to improve the rule of law in DFID priority countries by facilitating access to specialist UK legal and judicial expertise.