IDLO is a multilateral organization whose sole focus is the rule of law. This specialization enables IDLO to establish its own innovative strategies and to exercise leadership in its field. At the same time, IDLO has forged strong partnerships with both national rule of law assistance providers and other multilateral organizations to take advantage of natural synergies. Its neutrality and capabilities in many different legal systems help IDLO mediate differences across legal traditions, permitting IDLO to engage in locations others consider hostile to the idea of change. This makes it an attractive value-added partner for other providers and the countries it serves.
There are different types of rule of law assistance providers. National organizations from the member countries of the OECD are in the majority. These include bar associations, academic and judicial education institutions, think tanks and consulting firms. They seek to advance legal reform in line with strategies and opportunities financed by the development cooperation programs of the countries from which they originate. There are also multilateral development agencies, who include legal reform as part of their pursuit of broader objectives.
Since IDLO was granted official observer status at the United Nations in 2001, the organization has continued to build strategic partnerships.