BBRSO48537: Consultant: National Institutional Assessment of Crime and Violence Data - Phase II


Location : Home Based with travel to Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Guyana, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Suriname
Application Deadline :12-Jul-18 (Midnight New York, USA)
Type of Contract :Individual Contract
Post Level :International Consultant
Languages Required :
English  
Starting Date :
(date when the selected candidate is expected to start)
20-Jun-2018
Duration of Initial Contract :Thirty six (36) non- consecutive days
Expected Duration of Assignment :September 2018

Background

  1. ADMINISTRATION

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BACKGROUND

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Strengthening Evidence-based Decision Making for Citizen Security in the Caribbean (CARISECURE) Project seeks expert services to undertake a comparative institutional assessment of national data governance with specific focus on youth crime and violence statistical capacities. An assessment of youth insecurity and juvenile justice systems conducted by the USAID/Eastern and Southern Caribbean (ESC) across the Caribbean, highlighted the lack of standardized data on crime and violence and its causes. While raw data is available in different forms and at different stages of the criminal justice process, there exists wide diversity in how this is generated; the absence of clear and harmonized guidelines; and weak inter-institutional coordination and information sharing.

National consultations and assessments conducted by UNDP in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean also point to four interrelated challenges. These are: deficiency in evidence-based approaches to citizen security policymaking; the lack of reliable and comparable national and regional statistics; weak coordination at national, sub-regional and regional levels; and weak institutional capacities. It is against these challenges that the UNDP through the CariSECURE Project seeks to work with countries across 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 bolster institutional capacity for evidenced based decision making targeted at youth crime and violence policy making and programming.

In 2017, a comparative national institutional and capacity assessment mission was conducted across Barbados, Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia. The mission produced comparative baseline information for the assessed institutions using a standardized tool. It is expected that in 2018 a second mission will be launched to assess the second-year impact of CariSECURE activities in Barbados, Guyana, Saint Kitts & Nevis, and Saint Lucia and the impact of first-year CariSECURE activities for Antigua and Barbuda, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago focusing on five to seven national institutions.


Duties and Responsibilities

The scope of this assessment will circumscribe the business processes of five to seven main national institutions concerned with crime and violence data collection. These usually involve, but are not limited to the Police, Courts, Statistics Bureaus, Child Protection Agencies, Crime Observatories, and Hospitals. This is not anticipated to be a case study of any one of these institutions or country, but rather a process assessment of how key crime and violence data can be collected and shared throughout these institutions, wider concerned stakeholders, and towards a harmonized regional framework across the Eastern and Southern Caribbean. A separate National Legal Assessment has indicated that there are no legislative or regulatory impediments to this taking place across these institutions, wider concerned stakeholders, or that would preclude a harmonized regional framework. The single-most Objective of this assessment is therefore to attend to this feasibility and provide a relevant roadmap in totality.    

Criteria

The Criteria for this assessment are adapted from the Generic National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) sponsored by the United Nations Statistics Division within the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). These four criteria and their related sub-criteria are as follows:

Statistical Systems

  • Coordinating National Statistical Systems
  • Managing Relationships with Data Users and Data Providers
  • Managing Statistical Standards

Regulatory and Enabling Environments

  • Data Independence
  • Transparency
  • Statistical Confidentiality and Security
  • Quality Commitment

Processes and Workflows

  • Methodological Soundness
  • Soundness of Implementation
  • Adequacy of Resources

Outputs and Outcomes.              

  • Accuracy and reliability
  • Timeliness and punctuality
  • Accessibility and clarity
  • Coherence and comparability
  • Managing Metadata

Methodology

This assessment will be undertaken in two steps. The first deployment will target countries who have already been assess in 2017 and therefore, the mission will consist in reviewing the questions and evaluation progress. The second deployment will target Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and will consist of interviewing representatives from Police Agency, Central Statistics Office, DPP or Courts, Prison Department, Ministry of National Security, Crime Observatories following the methodology defined below.

  1. Assessment Questions

The questions guiding this assessment are tied to the criteria and sub-criteria set out above. They are as follows:

Sub-criteria

Criteria-based Questions

 

Evidence-based Systems and Approaches (CariSECURE)

Data Disaggregation

(Output 1)

1. Is disaggregated crime data captured (e.g. by age, sex, type of crime, or location)?

Data Management Information Systems

(Output 2)

2. Is there an automated crime information system that captures crime data?

Administrative Data

(Output 2)

3. Are crime data shared with the public on a frequent basis (e.g. weekly or monthly)?

Survey Data

Output

(Output 3)

4. Are crime data collected from surveys?

Data-driven Policymaking

(Output 3)

5. Are crime data used to develop policies to address crime and violence challenges?

 

Statistical Systems (Inter-institutional Level)

Coordinating National Statistical Systems

6. Does a body exist that is best suited to constitute the focal point for data on youth crime and violence based on most of the three characteristics below?

 

  1. This body can set the methodological guidelines and administer the Citizen Security Protocols for the production and sharing of official statistics on youth crime and violence.

 

  1. This body can best foster the harmonization of statistical information and the avoidance of duplication at the national level, based on its regulatory oversight and/or budgetary allocation.

 

  1. Some aspect of the institutional structure and related work processes of this body takes focus on youth inside and/or outside the formal criminal justice system.

Managing Relationships with Data Users and Data Providers

7. To what extent are formal or informal capabilities in place to foster regular data exchanges among key national authorities and concerned stakeholders?

Managing Statistical Standards

8. Is there a person, unit or body inside or outside the focal point (see question 1) that can lead and support the data standards established under the Citizen Security Protocols?

 

Regulatory and Enabling Environments (Policy Level)

Data Independence

9. Do formal policies or well-established customs exist ensuring that data/statistical releases are clearly distinguished from political or policy statements and are issued separately from them?

Transparency

10. Do formal policies or well-established customs exist making users aware that procedures to eliminate the risk of identification of individual respondents have been implemented?

Statistical Confidentiality and Security

11. Do formal policies or well-established customs exist at whatever level, ensuring that data production and sharing do not lead to breaches of confidentiality and security based on international principles and best practices?

Quality Commitment

12. Do formal policies or well-established customs exist at whatever level for conducting periodic quality reviews (such as audits and self-assessments) of key data outputs to assess the adherence to relevant standards?

 

Processes and Workflows (Intra-institutional Level)

Methodological Soundness

13. Are the overall methodological frameworks (concepts, definitions, classifications, basis of recording) underpinning statistical processes consistent with international standards, guidelines and good practices, and consistently applied?

Soundness of Implementation

14. Are appropriate implementation resources in place, including resource and material plans, training, supervisory structures, attainable schedules, and checks, to guide statistical processes?

Adequacy of Resources

15. To what extent are existing human, financial and technological resources (hardware, software, etc.) sufficient to support the statistical production process along the lines of the Citizens Security Indicators?

a.            The human resources are sufficient to implement the statistical work programme.

b.            The financial resources are sufficient to implement the statistical work programme.

c.            The technological resources are sufficient to implement the statistical work programme.

 

 

 

Outputs and Outcomes (Risk Management)

Accuracy and Reliability

16. Do formal policies or well-established customs exist to prevent, monitor and evaluate errors throughout the statistical process?

Timeliness and Punctuality

17. Does a published Release Calendar exist which announces in advance the dates and times of statistical outputs, and is regularly monitored and evaluated for punctuality?

Accessibility and Clarity

18. Is information communication technology (ICT) mainly used to produce data and statistics, supported by traditional hard copy and other services when appropriate, to ensure that users have appropriate access to the statistics they need?

Coherence and Comparability

19. To what extent can statistical data be produced and shared in keeping with the Citizen Security Indicators and accompanying Protocols to foster comparability?

Managing Metadata

20. To what extent is there a well-defined and documented metadata management system accompanied by a systematic way of archiving this metadata and ensuring accessibility for reuse in the future?

              

Answers for these questions will require a specific Framework of Enquiry.

  1. Framework of Enquiry

The Cross-sectional Comparative framework of enquiry is best suited for providing answers to these questions across the three countries, and within the timeframe set for this undertaking. This approach combines two separate but related research designs, namely the Cross-sectional and Comparative approaches.

The Cross-sectional research design allows for snapshot examination of a case or a group of cases at a specific point in time to derive real-time observable data. In the context of this assessment, it is consistent with the intended outcomes and results of the CARISECURE Project to explore the existing deficiencies in evidence-based approaches to citizen security policymaking across the Eastern and Southern countries, with a view to support their capacities and incentivize a reliance on these approaches in the short term. This assessment is therefore intended to further explore the root and structural causes for increased insecurity and youth vulnerability, the major development challenge at this time.

The Comparative approach supports this snapshot undertaking by extending the lens of enquiry across the three initial jurisdictions, and that can yield findings to help tailor evidence-based solutions for the remaining seven countries under the ambit of CARISECURE. The Comparative approach allows for whole country cases to be compared in a standardized and non-spurious manner, in an attempt to yield key findings based on, but not limited to the ‘most-different case’ approach to assessment. It seeks to explain similarities and differences within a cohort of whole country cases, more so than deep explanations of a single case.

Combining the Cross-sectional with the Comparative design constitutes the most feasible and best approach to answering the Criteria-based Questions set out above. This Framework of Enquiry is supported by specific Methods of Data Collection best suited for this assessment.

  1. Methods of Data Collection

This assessment seeks to answer ‘what’, ‘why’ and ‘how’ questions supported by parameters of the Framework of Enquiry set out above, and which will furnish the Assessment Tool which will be relied on for analysis. Specific methods of data collection are therefore consistent with these methodological components, and are not limited to Document and Process Observation; Elite and Focus Group Interviews; and Process Mapping.

In pursuing answers to the Criteria-based questions above, it is anticipated that the consultant(s) will not be limited to the following methods of data collection, but at a minimum and in any order, rely on these to capture the following:

Document and Process Observation

  • The regulatory framework that supports the sharing of crime and violence data with the public, among government agencies, and regional and international agencies.
  • Existing and potential disaggregating characteristics and coding structures used in the collection of crime and violence data in line with the International Classification of Crime for Statistical Purposes (ICCS).
  • The extent to which these are further incorporated into the processing and dissemination of national crime and violence publications.

   Elite and Focus Group Interviews

  • Existing data collection systems and tools used by the key national institutions (Police, Courts, Statistics Bureaus, Child Protection Agencies, Crime Observatories, and Hospitals.) to foster the analysis crime and violence data.
  • Data reporting challenges faced by the national, with particular focus on the criterion Managing Relationships with Data Users and Data Providers and its full range of related questions contained in the Generic National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF). 
  • Training needs within the key national institutions (Police, Courts, Statistics Bureaus, Child Protection Agencies, Crime Observatories, and Hospitals.) to foster the analysis crime and violence data.
  • Data needs of key stakeholders responsible for the formulation of evidence-based policies and programmes to reduce youth crime and violence.

Process Mapping

  • Capacity to create a centralized database to house all crime and violence data with secured remote access.
  • Capacity to produce geospatial crime and violence data.
  • Capacities to adopt international classifications and coding structures that will enable harmonized statistical reporting outputs among different national organizations and statistical offices.
  • Relevant computing hardware and appropriate user-friendly software to facilitate the collaboration of crime and violence data among policy and programme makers, national institutions, and sub-regional and regional agencies.

It is expected that these findings be set out in the preliminary sections of the Executive Summary in the Final Report, along with a summary of more fulsome findings – by research question – as set out under Section VII to follow.

 

 

  1. Assessment and Analysis

Assessment and analysis of the key findings should be undertaken by way of the Generic National Quality Assurance Framework (NQAF) Toolkit. Preliminary Guidelines Notes are being set out below, and will be accompanied by a more fulsome guidance during the Post-Award Meeting and throughout the assignment if needed. The preliminary Guidance Notes are as follows:

The assessment tool is intended to provide a structured and harmonized approach to conducting multiple institutional assessments by providing a series of questions under thematic areas. There are four related but mutually exclusive answers to each question, which will generate an average compliance score based on the number of questions and sub-questions. Explanatory notes must accompany ALL answers to the questions. Results from the application of this tool should provide the context for quality concerns, activities and initiatives, and explain the linkages between various quality strategies and tools. The following are brief descriptions of each thematic area for further understanding.

  1. Coordinating National Statistical System

The effective management and coordination of the national statistical system are essential to improving and maintaining the quality of official statistical products produced by various agencies.  Essential supporting mechanisms must be ingrained within the framework for the system to operate efficiently.

  1. Managing Relationships with Data Users and Data Providers

Producers of official statistics should build and sustain strategic relationships with key stakeholders, including users, data providers, funding agencies, senior government officials, relevant community organizations, and the media to maintain data sharing processes, which can address the specific data needs and concerns of stakeholders.

  1. Managing Statistical Standards

Statistical standards are a comprehensive set of concepts and definitions used to achieve uniform treatment of statistical issues. The adherence to these standards is critical for national and international comparability and coherence.

  1. Data Independence

Producers of official statistics should have the freedom to develop, produce and disseminate statistics without any political interference or pressure from any interest group to ensure the credibility of their product.

  1. Transparency

Statistical policies and practices under which official statistics are developed, produced, and disseminated should be documented and readily available to the public. The documented policies should apprise the public of the legal basis and purpose for which the data are required and the procedure to eliminate the identification of individual respondents.

  1. Statistical Confidentiality and Security

Protecting the privacy of data providers’ information and preventing the unauthorized use or access to this data are paramount to the continued success of maintaining statistical confidentiality and security.

  1. Quality Commitment

Producers of statistics should be committed to improving the process and quality of their outputs by incorporating policies or customs that lead to systematic and regular quality reviews to identify strengths and areas for improvement.

  1. Methodological Soundness

Sound statistical methodologies, in line with internationally agreed standards and best practices and effective and efficient statistical procedures, should be implemented throughout the statistical production chain to achieve coherence and comparability.

  1. Soundness of Implementation

The implementation process refers to all activities that lead to the production of timely, reliable and accurate statistics.

  1. Adequacy of Resources

The financial, human, and technological (IT) resources available to producers of statistics should be adequate both in magnitude and quality, and sufficient to meet their needs regarding the development, production and dissemination of statistics.

  1. Accuracy and Reliability

The accuracy and reliability of the statistical product depends on the mechanisms that reduce the prevalence of errors and increase the consistency and closeness of the statistical estimates over time.

  1. Timeliness and Punctuality

Producers of statistics should minimize the delays in making data available and evaluate all releases for timeliness and punctuality.

  1. Accessibility and Clarity

Provision should be made for allowing access to microdata for research purposes, in accordance with an established policy which ensures statistical confidentiality.

  1. Coherence and Comparability

Producers of statistics should develop, produce and disseminate outputs that are consistent internally and comparable over time and are produced using common standards with respect to scope, definitions, classifications and units.

  1. Managing Metadata

Information covering the underlying concepts, variables, classifications used, the methodology of data collection and processing, including limitations, should be provided to the public to enhance their understanding of these statistical attributes to support their informed decision-making.

A more in depth guide to the NQAF is found at https://unstats.un.org/unsd/dnss/docs-nqaf/GUIDELINES%208%20Feb%202012.pdf

  VI.        Key Outputs

In keeping with the Objective of this assessment it is expected that the Key Deliverables set out under Section VII to follow, will broadly attend to feasibility and provide a relevant process map in totality. It is therefore anticipated that the final workflow mapping of youth and citizen security data processes, will be underpinned by the following main tasks and outputs to be achieved:

  • A determination of how relevant points in the process map captures, processes, stores, shares and disseminates crime and violence data and provide solutions to enhance these mechanisms in accordance with statistical best practices.
  • The generation of data capture forms and data coding structures in line with International Classification of Crimes for Statistical Purposes (ICCS) recommendations, so as to ensure data are disaggregated consistent with the Citizen Security Indicators.
  • Provide a practical way of integrating or migrating existing crime classification to the ICCS by key process points responsible for the production of crime statistics, and provide recommendations for the inclusion of geo spatial data to map criminal offences across the countries.
  • Recommend procedures to adopt or modify existing databases to include these classifications, which will enable harmonized statistical reporting outputs in keeping with the Citizen Security Indicators.

Recommend a user-friendly digital interface to capture crime and violence data, appropriate software and accompanying computing hardware to store and analyze data to facilitate collaboration and data sharing.


Competencies

  • At least five (5) years of relevant experience in developing statistical capacity and building of institutional frameworks at the institutional and/or national level;
  • Demonstrated experience in conducting institutional or capacity assessments;
  • Experience in producing geospatial data for statistical purposes;
  • Demonstrated experience in working with a broad range of partners, including statistical experts, government bodies, non-government organizations and academia;
  • Demonstrated experience in supporting or contributing to national policy development;
  • Excellent analytical, oral and written communication skills in English;
  • Experience in working in the Caribbean region is hugely desirable.

Demonstrated experience working with an international development entity will be considered an asset


Required Skills and Experience

Masters’ level or equivalent in ANY one of the following areas: Computer Science, Data Science, Geospatial Science, Information Systems Management, Statistics, or quantitative Social Sciences.


UNDP is committed to achieving workforce diversity in terms of gender, nationality and culture. Individuals from minority groups, indigenous groups and persons with disabilities are equally encouraged to apply. All applications will be treated with the strictest confidence.

UNDP does not tolerate sexual exploitation and abuse, any kind of harassment, including sexual harassment, and discrimination. All selected candidates will, therefore, undergo rigorous reference and background checks.


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