Evaluation and Lessons Learned: Improved Citizen Security and Participation in Democratic Processes in Jamaica
May 31, 2005
In 2001, USAID/Jamaica began its five-year Strategic Objective Grant Agreement (SOAG) with the Government of Jamaica for “Improved Citizen Security and Participation in Democratic Processes.” In 2005, DI sent an evaluation team to Jamaica to determine how successfully this strategy had been implemented. This strategy included three components. • Improved Capacity of Civil Society to engage in Democratic Processes • Improved Community & Police Relations • Improving the Capacity of the Justice System
The focal point of the civil society activity was to enable and support process for Civil Society and Community Based Organizations (CSOs and CBOs) and individuals to enhance organizational, institutional, and human capacity. These organizations were to acquire the ability to form alliances and coalitions to enable a broader and more comprehensive role in the governance process. While DI noted significant progress in improving attitude among leadership, DI had concerns about the organizations’ sustainability.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) implemented USAID’s program focusing on improving community and police relations. Although the evaluation took place prior to the programs termination, initial findings were supportive of community policing. The evaluation team found that community policing requires an important early phase of sensitization, which is affected by community readiness and police presence. Implementation picked up sharply and community policing was working well in Grants Pen by the second year.
The final component of this program was to improve the administration of justice. This strategy aimed to improve various aspects in the judicial system, including the strengthening the capacity of the courts reporting systems and computerization of the Resident Magistrates’ Courts. Despite a cut in funding, most of the activities were completed or are being carried on by the Government even without USAID funding.