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Aligning Governance Indicators with Local Ambitions in Justice and Safety



hello in this video we will review a key aspect of our country LED approach to designing governance indicators aligning indicators of justice and safety with local emissions the world is already brimming with indicators of justice and safety bilateral aid agencies international development institutions and private organizations promote new and often inventive ways of measuring justice and safety so why do you need local indicators of justice and safety most global indicators aim to align national governments to some Universal goal like the UN sustainable development goals and the 2030 agenda such global indicators can be difficult to use in facilitating justice reforms domestically because they do not necessarily reflect local priorities specify which agency should take responsibility for the issue or problem and map onto the institutional and sectoral structure and technical capacity existing in a country governance indicators developed with the support of Harvard Kennedy School Programming criminal justice during our indicators in justice and safety project aimed to address these shortcomings of global indicators we worked with government officials and other local justice and safety agencies to design their own indicators aligned with their own ambitions governance indicators line with local ambitions are useful for a number of reasons they articulate domestic sources of legitimacy for the standards implicit in global indicators and connect local emissions to globally defined issues their effects are potentially more sustainable because they ground the measurement culture of international development in local customs and they're tailored to the local structure of the justice systems so the new knowledge they reveal can be attributed to the workings of a particular government department or function an agency leader can recognize and reward minor changes in operations and we adjust its strategies as needed this brings us to our second question how can you align indicators of justice and safety with local emissions aligning indicators with local emissions is like engaging in a treasure hunt we did not begin with a notion of what justice should look like or what best practices are internationally rather we first looked for an individual in the position of responsibility who had an ambition or a belief about a solution to a persistent problem we then helped her redefine that ambition in operational terms that would reflect the daily work processes in her organization then working closely with department heads or mid-level managers and frontline staff we rummaged through existing records and information systems to search for data that could test at a mission and finally we proposed at least two ways to measure the scale of that locally defined problem and moving toward that locally desired objective the design and use of governance indicators that advance domestic ambitions for justice and safety has its own challenges leaders of justice institutions in developing countries may be reluctant to express their own ambitions for change their expertise and notoriety may rest in law and not in policy they know that leaders and operations and other agencies will be disrupted by any changes they propose they also may believe that foreign practices are superior and prefer to respond to visitors advice rather than articulate their own ambitions so how can you tackle this challenge one method we used was reacting to the hunches and beliefs of justice sector leaders such as Chiefs of Police or head prosecutors by respectfully interrogating their ideas what does that look like in practice it means asking careful and probing questions such as what would success in the justice and safety sector look like how might justice and safety be different in your country one two or five years from now what kinds of measures of the success would make sense to the public and also resonate with staff in your organization would these indicators resemble or be distinct from justice and safety indicators used in other countries today leaders and their advisors can identify and prioritize meaningful goals and indicators for their own justice systems by asking questions like these but there is no clear-cut formula to surface local ambitions and justice and safety in fact we experienced that most useful local insight surfaced when we employed a semi-structured method primarily responsive to a set of interactions with leading government officials and their staff this may be a less convenient method for development practitioners it involves the surrender of control over the pace and purpose of justice reform and requires constant renegotiation over the means and standards by which progress is judged and yet it might lead to more realistic in sustainable ways to support governance in very different contexts and conditions existing in each country you

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