Improve research and analytical skills of law enforcement staff

The staff of the Coordination and Analysis Unit of ROCA delivered a ten day specialized training on the "Integration of Research Activities and Data Analysis" to the staff of analytical units of law enforcement agencies and research think tanks from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Kyrgyz Republic and the Republic of Tajikistan, with the aim to enhance their basic research skills and knowledge of using modern software tools necessary to create analytical reports, including an understanding of study design, implementation, analysis, and publication. The training, which was held during 11-22 November 2013, was organized and supported by three UNODC projects, namely  "Afghan Opiate Trade Project (AOTP)", "Regional Programme for Afghanistan and Neighbouring Countries" and  "Standardization and sustainability in the handling and presentation of data  in Central Asia". The host for the event was the OSCE Border Management Staff College in Dushanbe, Tajikistan.

The training was attended by 31 specialists representing national customs service, counter-narcotics agencies and think tanks from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (14 participants), Islamic Republic of Pakistan (7 participants), Kyrgyz Republic (3 participants) and the Republic of Tajikistan (7 participants).

The training commenced with the introduction of advanced features in MS Excel to analyse drug and crime data. It included sessions on advanced formatting and filtering as well as sophisticated data analysis tools.

The next part of the training was a three day GIS course, focusing on spatial analysis, automation of spatial data, editing, and advanced options for cartographic display. Participants conducted queries, performed spatial analysis, and presented their results in a hard-copy map and image file for easy inclusion into research papers.

The Proficiency in MS Word topic provided trainees with adequate knowledge to enhance their skills in quality report writing and increase their productivity.

The next three days introduced Basic Statistics and IBM SPSS programme, which guided the staff through the fundamentals of using IBM SPSS Statistics for drugs-monitoring data analysis process. Trainees learned the basics of reading data, data definition, data modification, and data analysis and presentation of analytical results.

The last two days of the program were reserved for the discussion of research topics/studies currently being implemented or planned by national agencies, and report preparation methods within the framework of the AOTP project.

"This knowledge can help us better process and organize our data, including maps, reports and analytical research documents," said Heleena Kakar, course participant and the Director of the Research and Studies Department at the Ministry of Counter Narcotics in Afghanistan.

Upon completion of the training, all participants were presented with certificates in a special closing ceremony attended by the Director of the Drug Control Agency of Tajikistan, as well as representatives of INL and the Japanese embassy in Tajikistan.