Founded in 1974, the Maduripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA) has coined an approach to peacebuilding in Bangladesh named the Maduripur Mediation Model (MMM), in which it engages with the local dispute dispute resolution mechanisms (known as "shalish").
The approach of MLAA, which has been exported to other countries, represents a means of engaging local justice institutions to ensure both impartiality and access for the poor and marginalized through peace initiatives, thus working toward SDG target 16.3. Its work focuses primarily on the NGO shalish, which includes the following interventions:
- First, MLAA facilitates mediation in the proceedings, instead of arbitration.
- Second, MLAA trains members of the shalish panel, and also enables an open selection process for these members. It furthermore encourages – and at times requires – that women engage in the selection process for the shalish panel, both with a vote and as candidates.
- Third, MLAA ensures documentation of the proceedings.
- Fourth, MLAA complements these interventions with legal services such as legal aid and ADR, or even with initiatives to empower local actors, especially women, outside the process so that they exert greater influence in the shalish.
MLAA reports that it has facilitated 11,040 cases via MMM, with 8,706 resolved.