CariSECURE hosts over 50 senior public officers from the Eastern and Southern Caribbean in Barbados to advance citizen security data management for youth crime prevention

Aug 22, 2017

Mr. Christopher Cushing, Mission Director, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Mission to the Eastern and Southern Caribbean; Ambassador Linda Taglialatela, United States Embassy in Barbados, the Eastern Caribbean and the OECS; the Honourable Adriel Brathwaite, Q.C., M.P., Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs; and Mr. Stephen O’Malley, UNDP Resident Representative for Barbados and the OECS.

From August 15-17, 2017, the CariSECURE Project brought together more than 50 government representatives and regional partners to prioritize citizen security data management and policy-making for crime prevention in the Eastern and Southern Caribbean, particularly among youth.  The workshop resulted in clear roadmaps for the successful implementation of the CariSECURE Project, based on the specific needs of each country.

The workshop was evidence of the region’s political will to effectively address the issues of crime and violence through targeted, data-driven public policy and crime prevention measures. Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Honourable Adriel D. Brathwaite, Q.C., M.P., Attorney General and Minister of Home Affairs in Barbados noted that throughout the Caribbean, “there is a need for accurate, standardized crime data to enable a scientific approach to decision-making.” “Reliable data provides an invaluable resource for the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and programmes which have the potential to reduce crime and violence among the youth population,” he added.

Mr. Stephen O’Malley, Resident Representative for UNDP Barbados and the OECS, explained that “the scarcity of citizen security data makes it difficult to determine which interventions are effective in reducing and preventing criminal activity.” This he said, “highlights the importance that we have to give to modernizing and standardizing the citizen security data landscape in the region.”

Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Christopher Cushing, Mission Director for USAID Eastern and Southern Caribbean stressed the importance of citizen security data in crime prevention efforts, noting that “we need to know what the data tells us in order to make the best decisions about programmes and resources.”

The Regional Workshop followed a series of national consultations throughout the 10 countries set to benefit from project implementation. In response to the feedback received during those sessions, the CariSECURE Project has initiated the development of a Caribbean Citizen Security Toolkit which will improve citizen security data management, analysis and monitoring in the region. This toolkit will include the Caribbean Composite Citizen Security Indicator Framework (CCSIF), which is a tool for reporting on citizen security patterns in the region; and Guidance Notes on Citizen Security Data Collection and Dissemination, which will standardize the data collection process and instruct stakeholders on how to use the Caribbean CCSIF.

The proposed Caribbean Citizen Security Toolkit was viewed by participants as a much-needed tool to advance citizen security data management and policy-making in the region. Once adopted, the toolkit will improve the data collection process in target institutions and will also enhance the validity and reliability of citizen security statistics by establishing the technical criteria for data capture. It will also ensure that data are disaggregated by priority criteria including, but not limited to, the type of crime, perpetrator, victim, age, gender and location. Such data will provide decision-makers with deeper insights regarding current and developing crime trends and the potential causes of criminal activity. By adopting the toolkit, policy-makers and technical staff will be able to accurately report on citizen security patterns at the national and regional levels, and develop targeted policies and crime prevention efforts through the strategic analysis of such information.

Among those present were regional and international experts in citizen security, statistics, judicial reform and law enforcement; as well as senior representatives from the Caribbean Community (CARICOM); the Regional Security System (RSS); the USAID Community, Family, and Youth Resilience (CFYR) Project; and the Governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, the Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, the Republic of Guyana, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, the Republic of Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.

CariSECURE is a partnership between the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), made possible by the American people, to build the region’s capacity to effectively address crime and violence among youth. The Project will achieve this goal by strengthening the integrity and accessibility of citizen security data in the eastern and southern Caribbean, and by building the capacity of public officers to analyze and use that data to develop targeted policies that effectively reduce and prevent youth involvement in violence and crime.

CariSECURE is one of three components of the broader USAID Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Project which seeks to reduce youth involvement in violence and crime in the region.