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Student Voice - Zambia - 2017

Tony Zhou
Tony Zhou

Under the IAD summer internship, I was granted the opportunity to research the efficiency of the Zambian judiciary under the mentorship of the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research (SAIPAR). Situated within an ongoing five-year study as well as a regional Access to Justice Initiative, my work used a combination of statistical and non-participant observer methods to discern key causal factors of court inefficiency. I also conducted field work, arranging for interviews with leading legal scholars and judges within the country. Ultimately, the results produced are impactful in providing the first comprehensive assessment of the state of the Zambian judiciary. My work will be included in a published 2018 report under SAIPAR, as well as a possible independently authored paper exploring the relationship between efficiency and access to justice.

Being able to chant “One Zambia, One Nation”, to me, was the greatest part of my Institute for African Development summer internship. Although I received amazing mentorship and education throughout my time researching with the Southern African Institute for Policy and Research, my philosophy has always been that this experience ought to be more than just work – it should be about experience and engagement. With this chant, I genuinely felt that I was partaking in the same strong sense of dignity and patriotism held by the Zambian people. The thrill and exhilaration of not just not just witnessing or briefly exposing myself to, but rather full-on immersing myself in such lived common experience simply cannot be surpassed in any other way.