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Justice Indicators

Jim Parsons jparsons@vera.org Monica Thornton mthornton@vera.org

Vera Institute of Justice www.vera.org/indicators


Presentation outline  Terms  Strategic objectives for the justice sector  Principles of indicator development  Data sources  Example


Some terms Objective Indicator

Data sources

Indicator

Indicator

Data sources

Data sources


Objectives i) Strategic: cross-cutting; international ii) Institutional: institution/program specific; national iii) Activity: describing work; local


Strategic objectives of the justice sector  To secure equal access to systems of justice  To provide for citizen’s personal safety across the divides of poverty and gender  To ensure fair and humane treatment for those who are held on suspicion or convicted of crimes


Principles of indicator development  Indicators are always proxies  Indicators should be used in ‘baskets’  It is important to include indicators from a range of sources  The simpler the better  Disaggregation


Data sources  Administrative databases  Surveys  Third-party reports  Legislation


Measuring access to justice Indicator 1: Percentage of accused not represented at trial Indicator 2: No. of new courts opened in rural and urban areas with concentrations of marginalized populations Indicator 3: Number of courts per 100,000 residents


An alternative approach 1: % of accused persons legally represented at one or more court appearances in their cases* 2: % of citizens who say that they have access to court systems to resolve disputes* 3: % of citizens who say that the police will respond to them without requiring a bribe if called to resolve a dispute* 4: Ratio of prosecution caseloads in courts serving wealthier communities to those in courts serving marginalized communities *disaggregated by income, gender, ethnicity, region, and geography


Possible data sources Strategic Objective Increased access to justice % of citizens who report they could access courts*

% of accused who are legally represented*

ratio of prosecution caseload in rich vs. poor areas*

•Household survey •Targeted surveys • Interviews with community leaders •Targeted focus groups

•Court records •Lawyers ‘timesheets’ •Targeted courtroom observations

•Prosecution records •Survey of chief prosecutors •Court activity/no. of prosecutors

* Disaggregated by geography, gender, poverty, ethnicity and age


Conclusions  It is important to use several indicators, to control for ambiguity  Measures of activity tend to miss the most vulnerable  The choice of indicators should span institutions  Strategic objectives may be equivalent to UNDP core objectives  The indicators and data sources for these objectives will differ by country


Justice Indicators

Jim Parsons jparsons@vera.org Monica Thornton mthornton@vera.org

Vera Institute of Justice www.vera.org/indicators


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