Geoinformation systems as an integral part of data processing and analysis

As part of the capacity developing component of the regional project "Standardisation and Sustainability in the Handling and Presentation of Data in Central Asia", UNODC's Regional Office for Central Asia convened two sets of trainings, namely "ArcGIS 10.0: Basics in Working with Geoinformation Systems" and "ArcGIS 10.1: Advanced Training of Trainers". These targeted the representatives of law enforcement academies and agencies (Police, Customs and Border Guards) as well as the State Statistical Committee for the Republic of Azerbaijan, between 12-16 March and 1-8 April 2013.

The basic training course sought to transfer to the participants the knowledge and skills required to create simple drugs control thematic maps. During the training, ROCA's  Coordination and Analysis Unit (CAU) staff shared their experience with the participants on quick ways to process and analyse drug-related data and the use of GIS application in law enforcement. By the end of the training, as the post-training assessment revealed, all eight representatives from the State Customs Committee, Ministry of Interior, State Border Service, and the State Statistical Committee of Azerbaijan had (i) improved their skills on quick processing of drug-related data in MS Excel; (ii) learnt the basics of ArcGIS 10.0; and (iii) were able to create simple thematic maps of drug  seizures/prices.

Furthermore, as a follow-up to the basic training course, CAU staff conducted advanced training for the same group, between 1 and 8 April 2013, in Baku. This time the emphasis was on training the trainers, so as to ensure sustainability and further roll-out of ArcGIS trainings by the national counterparts to new staff in their respective agencies. As a result of the training, participants have strengthened their skills and knowledge in drug and crime mapping via ArcGIS 10.1 program, as well as  become able to give a two-day training course to the newcomers. Upon completion of both trainings, the participants received relevant certificates.

As a part of technical support and follow-up to the trainings, national counterparts in Central Asia and Azerbaijan will receive three copies of ArcGIS 10.1 program respectively.