Support for the Field of Indicator Development

Greater domestic capacity to design and use indicators should help balance the growing number of internationally conceived systems for measuring the rule of law and safety and justice. But development agencies also need additional capacity to master the growing number of choices available to their staff.

To encourage greater complementarity in the field of indicator development, as well as a shared vocabulary among its practitioners, the project convenes a three-day workshop at Harvard each year, bringing together national project participants, their colleagues in the respective DFID and AusAID country offices, and other experts developing international indicators of justice and safety. Workshop participants exchange experiences in the design and use of their indicators, question each other on the new indicators they have developed, interrogate the results, and forge plans for future collaborations. Participants place workshop materials – discussion papers, reports, new ideas – on a web-based collaboration site hosted by the PCJ. Past meetings have included the presentation of papers by other organizations, including the American Bar Association’s World Justice Project, the World Bank’s project on legal empowerment of the poor, the Altus police station visitors program, and the UN’s rule of law index. Participation in this workshop is by invitation-only.

Special Support for Development Agencies

With additional pressure to report 'returns on investment' (ROI) and 'value for money' in their justice and safety programs, some development agencies struggle to consistently support the capacity of governments to pursue their own paths of development. Some agencies also pursue such diverse objectives or are so decentralized that they may need special guidance on indicators.

The United Nations Development Program is working with the PCJ to establish a Guide to Measuring Justice. The Guide is being designed to help UNDP staff manage and utilize the growing number of international indicators and measurement systems while respecting the diverse needs and notions of development, justice, and safety. Using examples from current projects that seek to advance access to justice, the Guide will propose solutions to some of the persistent challenges of measuring justice in developing countries. DFID and Ausaid are working with the PCJ to develop new strategies for measuring the quality of coordination between formal and customary justice systems. Faced with a wide array and perhaps unknowable number of non-state justice systems around the world, and a commitment to improve the treatment of the most vulnerable members of communities in such systems, both DFID and Ausaid require indicators that can gauge the experience of justice in remote regions without universal systems of measurement. With their support, the PCJ is developing guidance for the development of indicators for non-state systems of safety and justice that leverages the coordinating and sometimes supervisory role of formal judicial and law enforcement institutions.

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