Multiple U.S. government agencies work at all levels with partner nations to reduce crime, promote public safety, and ensure that citizens of those countries have access to a functioning and fair justice system. This important work requires experts from U.S. federal and state as well as nongovernmental justice actors to engage with their counterparts in partner nations to work towards a fair, transparent, and accountable justice system. This important work has overlapping goals, including sharing experience to improve capacity and operations; building mutually beneficial working relationships; and expanding the evidence base underpinning the rule of law in practice.
Perhaps the key factor in the effectiveness of these efforts is the development of clear, considered, evidence-driven program designs. The Rule of Law Collaborative of the University of South Carolina works with the Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs to improve the knowledge and skills of U.S. government personnel involved in justice sector reform overseas. As part of an on-going process of improving the development and delivery of justice sector reform programs, ROLC is piloting experiential training to improve USG program design capacity.
The Rule of Law Program Design Workshop is a practical skills development opportunity for U.S. government professionals active in justice sector programming. Drawing in innovative and proven practices and decades of on-the-ground experience, this workshop immersed participants in the details and processes of program design. Participants explored basic program design tools, such as root cause analysis, as well as outputs, such as results frameworks and causal models. Discussions reviewed analytical tools, such a Political Economy Analysis, and highlighted field experience using them.
This four-day workshop involved a limited number of participants drawn from applicants from across the U.S. inter-agency. The workshop proceeds in two sessions: the first session comprised three days of instruction, exercises, and expert discussion; it took place June 5, 6, and 7 in Washington, D.C. The second session will be held five weeks later on July 18, also in Washington, D.C. During the period between session one and session two, participants will use the knowledge and skills developed during session one to conceive and refine a program design for presentation and discussion during session two.
From this workshop, participants will:
- Expand their network of collaborating professionals engaged in similar justice sector work;
- Gain an improved understanding of the roles, activities, and expertise of U.S. government interagency rule of law programming;
- Learned from program design and implementation experts first-hand to understand the opportunities, pitfalls, and obstacles relevant to program design development;
- Develop knowledge and understanding of the principles and processes of program design;
- Understand what tools are available and how to use them to assist in program design;
- Apply their skills in practical exercises to develop key program design outputs, such as results frameworks; and
- Have produced a preliminary program design for presentation and discussion.