Development of Monitoring Instruments for Judicial and Law Enforcement institutions in the Western Balkans (CARDS Regional Action Programme)

Funded by the European Union


The objective of the project is to strengthen the response to crime and corruption in countries of the Western Balkans by bringing national statistics mechanisms in justice and home affairs institutions towards compliance with relevant international and European Union acquis, standards and best practices.

The project aims to assess and improve administrative and survey-based statistics generated by justice and home affairs institutions, including law enforcement, prosecution and courts, relating to:








  • Conventional crime
  • Drug-related crime
  • Corruption
  • Organised crime
  • Asylum, visa and migration







The project consists of three phases:

Phase 1 - Research
On-site research in each of the participating countries will provide a clear picture to key decision makers of the strengths and weaknesses of existing data collection initiatives in justice and home affairs institutions. Country assessment reports will set out research findings, report on potential gaps, and contain proposals for initiating or improving data collection. 
Phase 2 - Guidelines
Two regional workshops will bring together representatives from police, prosecution, courts, border authorities, visa authorities, justice and home affairs ministries and national statistical offices. The workshops will identify common data collection challenges, regional crime and corruption indicators, and agree country-specific guidelines setting out actions to be taken to bring data collection in line with relevant international and European standards. 
Phase 3 - Training
Country-specific guidelines developed in Phase 2 will form the basis of targeted training activities for staff of justice and home affairs institutions. Training will be carried out by international experts together with national focal points in the areas of police statistics, prosecution and court statistics, corruption assessment and monitoring, and asylum, visa and migration statistics.

The project Development of monitoring instruments for judicial and law enforcement institutions in the Western Balkans is implemented by UNODC in partnership with the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control affiliated with the United Nations (HEUNI), the Joint Research Centre on Transnational Crime (TRANSCRIME) and the International Centre for Migration Policy Development (ICMPD), with the support of the Commission of the European Communities under the CARDS 2006 framework.

Working in seven countries or territories of the Western Balkans  (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo under international administration UNSCR 1244, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the project aims to improve the capacity of justice and home affairs institutions to measure the public safety, crime and corruption situation through enhanced administrative and victimization statistics. Improved crime and criminal justice statistics should enable these institutions to better target their efforts, to evaluate the effectiveness of their response to crime and corruption, and to improve overall management of activities.

The benchmarks for success include those described by international standards, including the European Union Action Plan on developing a European strategy to measure the crime and criminal justice, the United Nations Manual on the development of a System of Criminal Justice Statistics and the UNODC-UNECE Manual on Victimization Surveys, together with the ability of participant countries to effectively report comparable statistics at the international and regional level. Combined with the development of regional indicators, the project should lead to both enhanced knowledge of trends in specific crime and corruption issues, and an enhanced capacity of participant countries and the international community to formulate strategic response to emerging trends in crime and corruption.

The target groups of the project are political decision makers and staff of justice and home affairs institutions. These include senior law enforcement officials, prosecutors, judges and staff of ministries of interior, ministries of justice and national statistical offices. Staff of justice and home affairs institutions will benefit from support in the identification of strengths, weaknesses and gaps in the existing systems for collection of justice and home affairs statistics. Training will focus on improved data collection both at the administrative level, such as through court records and police case files, and by the use of victimization surveys.

The effective development of written records and data reporting on individual cases by justice and home affairs institutions improves management and case handling for persons in contact with these institutions, with the result that the final beneficiaries, are less likely to 'slip through the net', to experience acts of corruption, or to be treated out side of the rule of law. An important outcome of the project should, as a result, be increased respect for the fundamental rights of persons who are in contact, or who may come into contact with justice and home affairs institutions.

The project pursues a partnership approach that fosters national ownership of the process of research, development of guidelines and training. An advisory steering committee, consisting of one senior justice and home affairs representative from each country or territory will take responsibility for the overall direction of country guidelines, for the development of regional indicators, and for the identification of specific training needs.

Project sustainability is supported by the fact that project activities aim to bring participating countries and territories towards European standards in the field of justice and home affairs statistics as part of the wider European Union activities in the Western Balkans.

Technical Assessment Reports for countries/territories in local languages:

Technical Assessment Reports for countries/territories in English language:



NOTE: 'For more information on the Programme Guidelines, please contact the Project team in UNODC office in Belgrade, Serbia '


"Society at large should benefit from the project where the analysis and use of crime-related statistics leads to effective crime prevention activities, anti-corruption initiatives, increased regional cooperation in the area of crime and criminal justice, and evidence-led policing."

UNODC project document

Project Timeline

Background and on-site research - 2009

Analysis and drafting of country assessments - 2010

Regional workshops and development of guidelines and indicators - 2010

Training activities - 2010 - 2011