Tools for measuring the scope and scale of organised crime in Africa are limited. Current assessments are largely done at the national level, often appraising criminal threats in ways that don’t meet the needs of policymakers, who are increasingly seeking integrated responses to the challenge.
A better evidence basis is urgently required for states and key actors to effectively monitor, analyse, prioritise and address the threat presented by organised crime in a systematic and sustainable way.
The Organised Crime Index for Africa
The ENACT Organised Crime Index provides a multi-dimensional measure of organised crime and its impact, allowing key actors to develop effective strategies.
Launched on the 24th of September 2019 on the margins of the United Nations General Assemby in New York, the Organised Crime Index is informed by a baseline assessment that identifies the availability, quality and relevance of continental data, as well as priority data gaps.
The Index is an interactive platform on the ENACT website. It will be complemented by a flagship annual report, which will be used to sensitise policy makers.
Organised Crime Index for Africa Model
In assessing a state’s overall vulnerability to organised crime, the model – comprised of three sub-indices – is designed to measure three categories of information:
The juxtaposition between these three metrics will be analysed to develop a cumulative score for each African state, indicating that state’s vulnerability to organised crime threats.
PRESENCE: The first of the three composite indices concentrates on the presence of organised crime. Particularly, this index serves as longitudinal study, aiming to show how organised crime has evolved and its current state – which may eventually provide insights into its future evolution. This is intended to be used as a tool that allows stakeholders to refine their efforts in combatting organised crime.
The information derived from the Organised Crime Index for each African state is depicted in a ‘flower’ that combines scores for each crime type in a single portrait, which may be used to depict trends over time.
RISK: Organised crime groups exploit weak or dysfunctional state institutions, porous borders and disadvantages in social welfare and local political economies to continue and expand their operations. To measure state risk to organised crime, the second component considers a number of areas, namely a state’s economy; physical geography and natural resources; social cohesion and conflict; socio-demographics; as well as global engagement and trade.
RESPONSE: As a third index, state capacity and political will are to be measured, based on the awareness and understanding that states demonstrate in the fight of organised crime, whether they have appropriate legal, political and strategic frameworks to address organised crime, and whether they are achieving actual results. This index assesses state actions to combat organised crime, noting that capacity and will are precursors to actual strategic policy implementation.
The Organised Crime Data Dashboard / SDG monitor
One component of the Organised Crime Index, includes the Data Dashboard, which provides a comparison of two overall primary metrics, namely the presence and the impact of organised crime.
PRESENCE: The Dashboard draws data across 12 individual crime types from the Organised Crime Index. It allows users to see the scale of crime subsets under a particular crime type, for example, ‘Maritime crimes’, may include subsets like ‘piracy’ and ‘illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.’
IMPACT: The Dashboard provides crime-sensitive indicators to assess the correlations in five impact areas: security and violence; economic; social development; environment; and governance and democracy. Each of these impact areas are comprised of a number of components to which a user may choose a crime type (or subset) and see its impact in the selected area. For example, ‘human smuggling’ may be viewed as it correlates to ‘gender-based violence’; or ‘terrorism’ components of the ‘security and violence’ impact area.