Disaggregating Transnational Crime: New Research and a Development-Focused Typology

Intro Training

January 28, 2021



Corruption and transnational organized crime are inextricably linked worldwide. Both undermine licit economies, accountable governing, and democratic norms.  They enable and reinforce one another, sustaining and expanding criminal and extremist networks. Together, they impose massive economic, political, social, and human costs and impede development goals across every aspect of human endeavor. The dynamics, causes, and impacts of corruption and organized crime are many and too often poorly understood.

To aid the USG Justice Reform workforce to better meet these self-obscuring, mutually-reinforcing threats, the JUSTRAC+ program is organizing a Symposium Series focused on new tools, practices, and programs at the intersection of rule of law, anticorruption, and transnational organized crime. The Symposium Series on Transnational Organized Crime, Rule of Law, and Corruption will include at least three separate events.

The first event, held Thursday, January 28, 2021, featured work by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime on its new analytical framework to disaggregate organized criminal activity. The second event will feature new work undertaken by the United States Agency for International Development assessing rule of law dimensions of transnational organized criminal activity. Lastly, the third event will center on a new American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative toolkit to address transnational organized crime-enabled corruption.

The first Symposium Series session, Disaggregating Transnational Crime: New Research and a Development-Focused Typology, highlighted work UNODC has done to develop a holistic, statistically grounded analysis that measures the “who,” as well as the “what,” of organized crime. In this symposium, UNODC discussed the origins, challenges, and outcomes of its efforts. Through interviews in the Western Balkans, it has gathered much-needed baseline data enabling assessment of technical assistance needs, planning of future operational activities, and measurement of the success of policy interventions. UNODC anticipates this new framework test will improve the granularity of understanding of organized crime in the Balkans, as well as provide a model to other countries and regions around the world.

Stay connected with JUSTRAC+ to receive updates, news, and resources.