Bougainville Community Policing Project: independent evaluation

Police Police-community relations Bougainville
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This is an Independent Evaluation (IE) of the Bougainville Community Policing Project (BCPP)’s activities during 2009-2012. BCPP is managed and funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), and implemented by the New Zealand Police (NZ Pol).

The purpose of the IE was two-fold: to examine the BCPP according to the criteria of effectiveness, relevance, efficiency, impact and sustainability; and to generate potential options for the future of the BCPP and New Zealand’s engagement with the Bougainville Police Service (BPS) and wider Bougainville law and justice sector.

The IE has been written according to an evaluation methodology agreed to by MFAT. The methodology the team used to conduct its work was a mixed-method approach, based upon document review, desk analysis and, fieldwork, which included interviews and focus group discussions.

Broadly speaking, the BCPP has two components. One component concentrates upon managing the work of the 346 Community Auxiliary Police (CAP) that are involved in policing at the local, villagebased level throughout rural Bougainville. The second component concentrates upon developing the institutional capacity of the BPS.

In the view of the IE, the BCPP has generated a number of successes. Most of the program’s achievements relate to its work with the CAP, with much more provisional accomplishments relating to its work with the BPS.

As regards the CAP, four achievements that have occurred between the last review period and this one are particularly noteworthy. Firstly, the BCPP has expanded significantly the geographical spread of the CAP, which means more Bougainvilleans now have access to policing services than before. It also would appear that CAP officers are responsible for the substantial bulk of policing reported to BPS. Secondly, BCPP recruitment strategies have resulted in a significant increase in the number of women reported as CAPs, reportedly from 5-21% during the last four years. This development provides Bougainvillean women with an increased opportunity to interact with female CAP in respect of potentially sensitive complaints. Thirdly, the program has established a NonCommissioned Officer (NCO) component, which provides a leadership structure, source of accountability and potential career incentive within the CAP. Finally, the program has introduced two simple but effective performance measures that improve accountability and management in the CAP scheme. Where the BCPP has been much less successful has been in terms of transitioning dayto-day management of the program to BPS.

The BCPP’s work with the CAP is highly relevant and well-regarded throughout Bougainville. Evidence available to the team suggests that CAP play an important and multifaceted role as awareness raisers, educators, mediators, and conflict preventers. It constitutes good value-for-money and is a rare example of a successful international police building engagement.

In terms of the second component of the program, namely developing the capabilities of BPS, the record is far less impressive and the challenges going forward formidable. Many of the problems confronted by NZPol advisers are familiar to those encountered in similar undertakings elsewhere in the Asia-Pacific region.

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