OAS Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2012 discussed at Harvard University
The OAS Observatory on Hemispheric Security presented the main findings of its Report on Citizen Security in the Americas 2012, for an international audience during the Fifth Annual Conference on Indicators of Safety and Justice in Developing Countries, organized by the Harvard Kennedy School Program in Criminal Justice Policy & Management.
The conference started and concluded with a discussion of the current state of development and the future of indicators in justice and safety. During the first panel, titled Multi-National Indicators in a Multi-Value World and moderated by Christine Cole, from the Harvard Kennedy School, Luiz Coimbra, Coordinator of the OAS Observatory on Hemispheric Security presented the Report on Citizen Security 2012. The OAS Report comprises official information on citizen security in all the OAS member States with a synthesis of the current citizen security situation in the Americas, broken down into eighty-two statistical tables.
Some of the key questions addressed in the discussions were: What are the known effects of indicators, and how are they being counted? What considerations guide the choices being made about the kinds of indicators that are worth developing? What long-term effects do the different indicators and methods for counting have on prevailing ideas about justice, safety, and development?
“The primary focus of this year’s conference was the impact of indicators on justice and safety and the choices being made about the kinds of impact worth measuring” said Todd Foglesong from Harvard Kennedy School, organizer of the Conference. In another panel, a specialist from the OAS Department of Public Security, Andrea Arteaga, debated the challenges for the development of Victimization Surveys in the Hemisphere.
The Conference brought together government officials, donors, international development officials, and civil society leaders working in developing countries around the world to share experiences and discuss solutions to persistent challenges in the design and use of indicators to advance justice and safety. This year, the Conference included the participation of renowned specialists such as: Christopher Stone, President of the Open Society Foundations; Bruce Western, Director of the Wiener Center on Social Policy, Harvard University; Macha Farrant, UK Department for International Development; Antonette Grant, DFID Caribbean; Alejandro Ponce, The World Bank; Anna del Frate, Director of Small Arm Survey; Megan Brewer, of Australian Aid; and Oluwafunmialyo Atilade, Head Judge of Lagos State Judiciary.
Supported by the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the conference is part of a larger project coordinated by the Program to strengthen the capacity of national governments to design and use indicators that advance domestic ambitions for justice reform, and to add opportunities for collaboration with foreign and international organizations. The project began in 2008 with founding participants from Jamaica, Nigeria, and Sierra Leone.