The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) works to keep Americans safe at home by countering international crime, illegal drugs, and instability abroad. INL helps countries deliver justice and fairness by strengthening their police, courts, and corrections systems. These efforts reduce the amount of crime and illegal drugs reaching U.S. shores. As part of INL, the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative Program (CBSI) has been working to reduce illicit trafficking, advance public safety and security, and promote social justice in 13 Caribbean countries since 2010.

In 2014, DevTech conducted an evaluation of CBSI, collecting data from seven of the 13 Caribbean countries. The following year, the Department of State called on our Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) experts again to assess CBSI. DevTech collected data from the remaining six countries and conducted a cross-national survey in order to provide INL decision makers with information on the extent to which INL projects and activities have been implemented as intended, what problems or issues have arisen, and how programs might be modified to ensure successful implementation.

Upon evaluation, we found that INL’s assistance has had a positive impact on both individual and institutional outcomes, and on regional integration and coordination (Source):

  • At the individual level, more than 90% of survey respondents who received training said the training allowed them to be more efficient and effective in their work, while just under 90% of respondents who received CBSI-funded equipment noted the same effect.

  • 85% of training participants said that training facilitated the creation of informal networks of professionals, and that these networks enabled respondents to better perform their duties.

  • For example, participants in the INL-funded Gang Investigations and Prosecutions program applied knowledge and techniques taught in the program to arrest and charge one of Port of Spain’s biggest gang leaders.

Based on our evaluation, we leveraged our extensive M&E expertise in order to provide INL with best practices for future programming, including:

  • Promoting hands-on training that teaches practical skills, such as forensic investigation techniques or necessary language skills, over purely theoretical or awareness-raising training.

  • Bringing U.S. expert trainers to the region as much as possible, especially when they are able to teach to the specific country context, rather than sending trainees to U.S-based training.

When DevTech was founded in 1984, our earliest projects supported development efforts in the Caribbean. Employing our rich M&E capabilities, we still monitor the performance and evaluate the impact of development assistance projects in the Caribbean and have evolved to implement innovative and practical solutions in over 100 countries around the world. Accordingly, when the U.S. Department of State enlisted the help of DevTech’s experts to assess the impact of CBSI, our deep familiarity with the Caribbean region, combined with our 32+ years of M&E experience, allowed us to tackle the project with precision. To learn more about this project and DevTech’s capabilities, please visit the page for this project.