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The Centre for Research and Innovation (the Centre) informs and supports the public legal education (PLEI) work of legal and community organizations by:

  • conducting practical, focused PLEI-related research
  • curating and sharing PLEI-related research by CLEO and others
  • participating in the PLEI research of others as partners or consultants

Our research questions and ideas come from a variety of sources. Centre staff:

  • participates in community working groups and justice sector initiatives
  • monitors the research of others in the community and justice sector
  • maintains a research database of key Canadian and international reports
  • follows up on recommendations and findings from CLEO’s and others’ research
  • conducts occasional surveys and interviews

How we select our research

The Centre considers several factors when selecting research projects, including:

  • whether the project has some applicability province-wide, or for organizations across a range of sectors
  • whether the research is timely: is the question that the research would address coming up repeatedly? are community and legal organizations seeking information, analysis, or strategies to address the question?
  • whether the research findings or recommendations would be practical and could be put to immediate
  • use by the Centre or by other organizations
  • whether project partners with complementary expertise could work with us
  • the level of expertise we have in the area
  • the scope of the research project and the Centre’s resource capacity to do it

Research database

Our database has over 200 research reports from a range of PLE organizations, working groups and researchers. Visit it here to find background information for a PLE project, foundational research on reaching people with legal information, or new thinking on current issues in the PLE world.

CLEO research

Find information on CLEO’s current and completed research projects.

Please let us know how we can support your PLEI work

• Do you have a suggestion for a research project that the Centre should conduct or lead? Please tell us about your idea, including how you think it will help you in your work or others in their work. We will review your idea and get back to you.

• Are you interested in the Centre participating in or supporting your research project? Please tell us about your project.

• Is our research database missing a PLEI-related report, or neglecting a particular area relevant to the effective practice of PLEI? Please let us know.

• Is there a Centre research activity or report that you find useful or have suggestions for improving? Please tell us what you think.

The Centre for Research and Innovation is led by Community Legal Education Ontario (CLEO) in partnership with the Ontario Justice Education Network (OJEN). The Centre is funded by the Law Foundation of Ontario and Department of Justice Canada. CLEO is also funded by Legal Aid Ontario, and OJEN by the Law Foundation of Ontario and the Law Society of Upper Canada.