This mid-term evaluation reports on progress achieved in PRI’s Dutch MFA-funded project in the South Caucasus on strengthening preventive monitoring mechanisms. The project is being implemented over a period of 21 months.The evaluation took place after nine months, and assessed progress against the project’s three planned outcomes:
- Strengthened legal and normative framework for monitoring places where people are deprived of liberty, including:
- Re-establishment of civil society monitoring boards in Georgia
- Amended legal provisions regulating the work of the National Preventative Mechanism (NPM) in Armenia
- Strengthened frameworks for monitoring of police detention units
- Improved public and government support for torture prevention and independent monitoring
- Increased capacity of oversight bodies to monitor places of detention effectively, including:
- Monitoring body members are better able to provide effective oversight of detention facilities and identify systematic problems in detention that lead to increased risk of torture
- Enhanced post-monitoring follow-up
- Improved highlighting of the issue of torture and monitoring as a form of prevention in the media and strengthened visibility of the Armenian NPM and its work through public awareness campaigns
The evaluation found that the project is likely to be very effective on the capacity building and monitoring tools outcomes.The project’s managers have been very successful in identifying the gaps in skills and capacities of monitoring bodies and ensuring that the training activities will meet these gaps.
However, due to political circumstances and an over optimistic project design, progress has been stalled on some of the outcomes. With changes in the second half of the project and a focus on advocacy with key government stakeholders, significant progress should be attained by the project’s conclusion.
The evaluation gives recommendations for the remainder of the project, which will also be useful for future PRI projects and for other organisations working on criminal justice reform.
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