UNDP supports computerization of the criminal justice system in Sudan
Over the years, poor management and administration of the criminal justice system were thought to be the genesis of injustice and social unrest amongst community members across Sudan. In addition, the capital Khartoum has witnessed high rural exodus and influx of immigrants from other countries in recent years accompanied by an increase in crimes rates. This trend has made the tracking and proper reporting of criminal cases a necessity to ensure the future stability of the city.
The Sudan Ministry of Interior therefore, in collaboration with the UNDP’s Transfer of Knowledge through Expatriate Nationals (TOKTEN) project embarked on a project to develop and computerize the criminal justice system in Sudan spearheaded by TOKTEN expert Prof. Mohammed Elbushra. The project aims to put an end to the currently used manual system of reporting which was characterized by delay, inaccuracy and lack of transparency throughout the process.
Computerizing the criminal justice system involves following up and monitoring the movement of criminal cases across the various sectors of the Sudanese criminal justice system (police, prosecutors, courts, criminal, penal and correctional institutions). This initiative is supportive to peace -making efforts launched by UNDP and falls in line with social development and E-government strategies of the Government of Sudan.
As TOKTEN expert Prof. Mohammed Elbsuhra explains “Collaboration between UNDP and the Police HQ resulted in providing training for more than 300 police officers, statisticians and decision makers on how to improve and standardize the current system. Our main challenge at the time was that infrastructure was not properly established in many police departments in Khartoum state,” Luckily, and as the project was well received by the government, Khartoum State has now provided funds for this project availing servers, 600 computers, wi-max network,…etc) to all police stations in Khartoum. “We are proud to announce that the system has been tested, updated and disseminated to over 80 police stations in Khartoum.” Prof. Elbushra added.
Director of the Computing and IT Department, Dr. Al-Moiz Abdel Gader commends the benefits of the newly introduced electronic system that goes beyond merely a useful electronic tool replacing the old system with its all drawbacks. “What this system provides is an analysis mechanism to all data entered into it derived from the 7 localities in Khartoum, providing thus an overview of crime rates necessary for the operations of criminal justice agencies and future decision –making.”
Dr. Moiz further expressed hope for continuity of collaboration between UNDP TOKTEN and the Ministry of Interior to replicate this successful experience in other states where availing of human and financial resources proves to be challenging.
One of the first beneficiaries who attended the training, 1st Lieutenant Tayseer Osman, described the training provided by TOKTEN expert as being “Both innovative, touching on ways to develop our strategic thinking and communicating new ways to share ideas and pass on the knowledge to colleagues. I think however that the training should use a top –down approach targeting first senior officials who are sometimes unaware of the added value of this new system to avoid bottlenecks during its implementation.”
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) first introduced TOKTEN in 1977 in Turkey to help reduce adverse effects of the “Brain-Drain” phenomena or "reverse transfer of technology" in many developing countries. TOKTEN offers a window of opportunity for expatriate nationals with lengthy experiences in their fields of specialization to return to their countries of origin, for an agreed period of time and on voluntarily basis. TOKTEN modality is considered as an efficient development intervention as TOKTEN Experts can merge their acquired learning with their familiarity of local culture and language in order to effectively transfer their knowledge and skills.
The project is part of UNDP Sudan’s Governance Programme that focuses on creating a conducive environment for sustainable human development and peace. Many Sudanese professionals who are living abroad and have permanent residence or citizen status in another country have joined Sudan’s TOKTEN network and served as vehicle of knowledge transfer for the benefit of their country and people.