Toolkit: Scaling Up HIV-Related Legal Services
service is introduced to a community, it may generate more demand for its services as communities become educated about legal rights. Increased resources may be required so that the coverage levels of the service can be maintained or increased in response to the increase in demand. Measurements of coverage should also measure regularity of service. For example, a service that provides advice at a prison once a week is achieving greater coverage than a service that provides advice once a month.
Photo credit: UNAIDS/O.Oâ€™Hanlon
Measurement of coverage should take into account whether the needs identified (by a needs assessment) in the target population are being met by any other nongovernment or government programme. If there are other organizations providing legal services, the coverage objectives for the proposed programme should take this into account and describe any cooperation or sharing between organizations. Coordination between services can improve effectiveness, efficiency and sustainability. Programme budget The costs of establishing and maintaining a legal service programme will vary considerably between countries and legal systems. The costs of professional labour vary widely between countries, and the costs that are associated with court processes and other forms of dispute resolution also vary widely. In developing a budget for a legal programme, it is recommended that an estimate be calculated of the unit costs of legal services (e.g. per advice session) so that an estimate can be made of resources required to maintain the service and to scale it up to meet demand. A standard set of units of activities involved in HIV legal services can be costed (e.g. the cost of an advice session, an appearance in a magistrateâ€™s court, an appearance in a higher level court, a mediation session, a community legal information seminar, drafting a will, etc.). Unit costs can be determined by dividing the overall costs by the number of cases. The core costs of running a service also need to be factored in. Core costs can be expected to comprise approximately 10â€“20% of the overall costs. CORE COSTS The budget may need to separate the core operating costs (rent, salary of the director or coordinator and administrative support staff, communication costs) and specific project costs. Personnel costs are often a large proportion of the total costs of the provision of legal services. These costs include recruitment, salaries, payments to short-term contractors and professional development costs such as staff training and attendance at seminars and conferences. Personnel costs will vary widely depending on the service model. To develop an estimate of costs for inclusion in the budget of a legal service programme, the factors set out in Table 1 could be considered.