Measuring the maturity of a juvenile justice administrative data system: three stages of development – world


Children come into contact with the justice system in a variety of ways – as victims, witnesses, because they are in conflict with the law, or as parties to civil or administrative proceedings, such as advocacy mechanisms. alternative charge or asylum hearings, respectively.

Children’s encounters with the justice system, as well as information about surrounding circumstances, are usually recorded by authorities and service providers that are part of the justice sector. This information is essential for monitoring and evaluating the performance of the justice system and for understanding the profile of children who come into contact with it. Yet these data are often overlooked, especially in low- and middle-income countries, as they can be incomplete in terms of coverage and information. In addition, they often lack reliability due to the lack of quality controls and may not be up to date.

A mature administrative data system on juvenile justice generates high quality information on a set of indicators at regular intervals and has the following characteristics:

• A comprehensive and coherent legal and normative framework for data and statistics on justice for children

• Effective governance and the capacity to plan in the area of ​​administrative data on justice for children

• A well-equipped data infrastructure – i.e. stable access to information and communication technologies (ICT) and database software – as well as adequate human resources (sufficient staff with training needed without high turnover) and funding to support data collection, analysis and reporting

• Strong coordination of data on justice for children

• Completeness of data on justice for children

• Efficient and secure data transmission

• Standardized Child Justice Data and Practices

• Quality assurance of administrative data

• Relevant use, robust demand and regular dissemination of this data.

This publication describes how these components work in administrative data systems that have varying levels of maturity. The aim is to facilitate the identification of general areas that would benefit from targeted interventions and investments. However, since countries develop their administrative data systems differently, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to strengthening these systems. Each country will have different requirements to improve its system. It is also important to note that there are no specific stages through which an administrative data system must develop, as emerging technology could, for example, shift a low-income country from a paper-based system to a state-of-the-art electronic database system.

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