Legal Needs Assessment Framework & Toolkit
Develop compelling arguments for your work in the community: use legal needs assessment in evidence-based planning & reporting
*** NACLC is pleased to announce that the Toolkit was updated in October 2016 can be downloaded via the 'Toolkit' button below. The new Toolkit incorporates updated queries and Australian Bureau of Statistics/Centrelink data - making it an even more powerful resource to inform evidence-based planning and reporting ***
Legal Needs Assessment Toolkit
The Legal Needs Assessment Toolkit (LNAT) is a resource that can be used by any CLC in Australia to develop an individualised and evidence-based strategic plan that considers both ‘met’ and ‘unmet’ legal need in their geographic and/or specialist service catchment. The Toolkit is also designed to assist centres to review how well they have done against previous plans and provide useful information for reports and funding submissions.
More recently, the Toolkit was identified in the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services as a resource to assist CLCs with jurisdictional service planning.
Note: The LNAT can be used by all CLCs, including specialist and generalist centres; those in metropolitan, rural, regional and remote areas; and those using CLSIS or their own database.
The Strategic Planning Toolkit contains reports to run in DQSv2 in CLSIS, automated Excel spreadsheets to assist centres to interpret and represent the data and a Toolkit Guide which offers step by step instructions in the process.
The Toolkit materials and Guide are contained in the members section of this website:
Training webinar recording: available now!
In October 2016, NACLC offered an introductory webinar on using the LNAT, where CLCs were able to discover what the LNAT is, its appropriateness for individual centres, and how to get started using it - including the steps involved and a preview of the data outputs.
A recording of this 90 minute webinar was made and can be viewed below:
Note, you can add closed captions to this video by clicking the button that says 'CC'.
You can watch this video full screen by clicking the [ ] icon in the bottom right hand corner of the above video, after you hit the play arrow.
This webinar is suitable for both new Toolkit users and as a refresher for people who undertook training in 2012. Watching the webinar is best suited to a person in a leadership role at your CLC, preferably someone who is used to using CLSIS and Microsoft Excel.
Many CLCs have found that having two people involved in an LNAT process was very helpful. Therefore, you could have one strategic person and one technical person watching the webinar for greatest value to your Centre.
Legal Needs Assessment Framework
The Legal Needs Assessment Framework (the Framework) and its associated Toolkit (the LNAT) are powerful tools which allow CLCs to estimate and analyse legal need in the context of disadvantage in their communities. Improved understanding of legal need allows for evidence-based strategic and service planning for targeted CLC service delivery and evidence-based argument for the activities of CLCs in funding submissions.
Initiated through research conducted by Judith Stubbs and Associates (JSA) in 2010, and expanded by NACLC in 2012, the Framework provided NACLC and CLCs with an evidence-based approach to understanding the distribution of legal need in the context of disadvantage across the country. The research can be used in strategic planning for service delivery by individual centres and the sector more generally.
The Framework informed the development of the LNAT for CLCs containing: queries that can be run on their own data; spreadsheets for display and analysis of data; spreadsheets summarising the data on indicators of legal need by Local Government Area and suburb around Australia; and a comprehensive written Toolkit Guide with instructions for its use.
The Framework can be downloaded here.