Project 1: Institutional Justice Strengthening Project (2018-2021)
Project 2: Building a Technological Platform to Support Victim Services
The “Guatemalan Institutional Justice Strengthening Project” was designed by JES through a prior comprehensive diagnostic. The implementation phase started in August 2018, with generous support from the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), to be completed over a four-year period.
Designed in collaboration with the Attorney General’s Office, the project includes nineteen sustainable initiatives that aim to strengthen services for vulnerable victims of crime (including women, Indigenous people, seniors, persons with disabilities, and the LGBTQI community). The role of JES is to provide technical support, ensure the responsible execution of activities, and evaluate outcomes. Early activities included strategic planning within several departments, institutional planning, and workshops on mediation and victimology.
The project is divided into four areas:
In addition to JES’ work in strengthening the justice systems in the Northern Triangle, JES is now evolving that work to include improving the services available for victims of violence by using technology to strengthen how the Guatemalan Prosecutor’s Office attends to victims.
In 2003-2004 the Guatemalan Prosecutor’s Office developed a network comprised of governmental institutions and civil society organizations to whom they could refer victims of violence for additional medical, psychological, legal, and social services. Improved coordination between the Prosecutor’s Office and other institutions aims to build a holistic approach to victims attention that takes into account their short and long-term needs.
With funding from Global Affairs Canada, JES will create a technological platform that improves coordination between the Prosecutor’s Office and organizations in the referral networks through the creation of a digital referral system. In addition, the platform will strengthen and streamline the case management system used by victim service providers in the Prosecutor’s Office.
Platforms users in the Prosecutor’s Office and in the referral networks will also have access to e-learning modules about victimology, a reference library, and a forum where they can discuss and share best practices with colleagues.
Lastly, the platform will provide robust and meaningful data about the services provided to victims of violence for platform users and the public.
At the same time the project will design and launch a website in Spanish and multiple Mayan languages that will provide practical and realistic information about the justice system and the available support services, allowing victims to make informed decisions and promote their own safety. In rural and Indigenous communities, JES will partner with the community and Indigenous leaders to promote the content and resources of the website and help victims of violence access support services.
The ultimate objective of the project is to increase responsiveness of public institutions in Guatemala to the needs of victims of violence, especially women and other vulnerable groups.