Sunday, July 21, 2024

UNDP InfoSegura Project Continues to Support Citizen Security in Belize


On August 20, 2023, a ceremony to mark the launch of a Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) at the Forensic Laboratory of the National Forensic Science Service (NFSS) was held at the Radisson Hotel in Belize City. This initiative is a part of the “Evidence-based Information Management for Citizen Security in Central America and the Dominican Republic Project” (also known as the InfoSegura Project), the first regional strategic partnership of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which has been central to enhancing the capacities at key institutions ensuring the security of Belize’s citizens over the past decade.
In his remarks, Hon. Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs, added that “while a modernized LIMS is intended to provide immediate benefits to Forensic Laboratory’s workflow by way of digitization of records and digitalization of processes, there are equally significant yields toward data-informed public policymaking and decision-making that will come from having a modern, electronic, customizable and integrated information management system at Belize’s largest Forensic Laboratory.”
Mr. Ian King, UNDP’s Deputy Resident Representative, highlighted the importance of this modern information management system for the NFSS stating that “it will improve the delivery of justice in Belize by capturing scientific data to assist with death investigations and providing relevant information management solutions for criminal laboratory functions.” This new system will also feed into the Belize Crime Observatory’s (BCO) Crime Intelligence Architecture which aims to strengthen the interagency sharing mechanism for a more comprehensive capture of multi-dimensional data to facilitate the implementation of data policy.
The United Nations Development Programme, through the InfoSegura Project and in partnership with USAID, has been supporting the BCO and its key partner agencies including the NFSS since May 2014, with the goal of enhancing access to justice through a comprehensive ICT framework and the realization of Belize’s multi-agency Crime Intelligence Architecture by May 2024. The launch of LIMS supports the NFSS to acquire and develop proper information management systems to feed into the intelligence architecture and to strengthen the interagency sharing mechanism for a more comprehensive capture of multi-dimensional data. It will further aim to efficiently provide critical evidence for decision-makers and policymakers as well as improve the delivery of justice in Belize by providing modern information management solutions for crime lab functions and medicolegal death investigation needs that guarantee access to justice for all.
This support also builds on the earlier Infosegura-enabled digital transformation at the NFSS’s Scenes of Crime Unit through the donation of a network file server for secure electronic storage and data management of crime scene records and reports.
UNDP Infosegura support for the installation of the LIMS software will allow for a wealth of untapped citizen security data to be mined, unpacked, disaggregated, and analysed from out of the approximately 60,000 casefiles which are kept at the Forensic Laboratory spanning the past three decades. Digitizing these types of records and digitalizing the processes of evidence submission, case file creation and completion, property management, end-user access, and customer/client support, among other processes, will be made possible through this ICT donation valued at US$125,100. InfoSegura Project contributes to the strengthening of technological capacities so as not to leave anyone behind.

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