|Overview : |
The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) - Regional Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean (RBLAC) in collaboration with the UNDP Caribbean network of offices – Guyana, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Barbados and the OECS undertook the formulation of a first Caribbean-wide Human Development Report (CHDR) on Citizens’ Security. Using Global UNDP HDR processes, analysis and methodologies, the Caribbean HDR reviewed crime and security in the Caribbean with data analysis and information from a human development perspective. The report defines short and medium term policy recommendations based on the social aspects of security which impact on citizen safety, youth violence, education, unemployment and inequality, inclusive economic growth, migration, and drug use and alcohol abuse. One of the primary recommendations from the report is the urgent need for the region to shift from traditional concepts of state security to a broader multidimensional concept that focuses on citizen security and safety and wellbeing of Caribbean citizens.
While the CHDR victimization survey points to high levels of fear of violent crime amongst citizens and the failing of existing policies and approaches, stimulating robust public discourse on the topic presented a challenge. Given the region’s dependency on tourism as its main foreign exchange earner, enlisting the full and unconditional support of regional parliamentarians on the matter of facilitating rigorous public debate is critical. Reliable crime statistics are critical for measuring changes in crime levels, monitoring of national and regional responses, developing and evaluating effectiveness of citizen security policies, supporting the analysis and understanding of national and regional crime trends. Collection and organization of data into a statistical form is required to produce valuable information for use in decision-making and to allow for comparison of crime statistics across time and between countries. Lack of reliable and comparable national, sub-regional and regional statistics makes it difficult to fully comprehend the impact of crime and violence, and to inform the citizen security policies and strategies needed to effectively respond to these challenges.
An assessment of youth, insecurity and juvenile justice systems, conducted by USAID/ESC in the Caribbean point at the lack of standardized data on crime and violence and their drivers. Raw data is available in different forms and at different stages of the criminal justice process due to the diversity of entities that generate security statistics, the absence of clear guidelines, and weak inter-institutional coordination and information sharing.
National consultations and assessments conducted by UNDP in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean point at four interrelated key problems: 1. Deficient evidence-based citizen security policies due to 2. Lack of reliable and comparable national and regional statistics, 3. Weak coordination at national, sub-regional and regional levels, and, 4. Weak institutional and CSO capacities. 4) The importance of up-to-date data inform prevention programme design, monitoring and evaluation.
The data gaps resulting from these challenges are further aggravated by different definitions of security concepts, non-standardized indicators and inconsistent use of information; dispersion of information and a multiplicity of information sources; sporadic initiatives in the area of information management; lack of unified technical criteria and permanent technical capacities within the national and regional institutions; absence or lack of understanding of a preventive focus in information management; low citizen participation in discussions on citizen security; and absence of mechanisms and capacities to mainstream gender into the analysis and management of citizen security related information and public policies.
Based on this, UNDP seeks to work with countries in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean (Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) to improve institutional capacity for evidenced based decision making on youth crime and violence policy making and programming. The focus of this project will be in improving data collection, analysis and use of data for decision making on youth crime policy making and programming. The project intends to achieve two components: 1) improving the quality, comparability and reliability of data and information and youth crime and violence; 2) and regional collaboration and networking on youth crime and violence strengthened. These components will be achieved by improving regional and national institutional capacity to collect, monitor, and analyze citizen security and apply it to decision-making and policy formulation at both levels.
In March 2017, CARISECURE beneficiary countries participated in a study tour and knowledge exchange in Belize. During the tour participants were exposed to the processes and current practices in Belize that support automated data collection, analysis, and sharing amongst government agencies and with the public. After the study tour, there was a request from participants for the CariSECURE project to consider a crime-reporting database that is shared by all via a network, and which permits access by different users. To advance the recommendations made by project beneficiaries, UNDP is seeking to contract a Company to propose a robust Functional Information Management System with a three year support service. The Company will therefore cover the design/customization of a web enabled activity database, linking and integration of the activity database with existing databases to produce a web enabled Integrated Management Information System generating dashboard type information.