News & Resources

Tetra Tech Helps Palestinian Police Implement Crime Scene First Responder Training

April 2016

Justice Sector Assistance Project is training Crime Scene First Responder Officers at the Jericho Police Academy on how to process crime scenes

Following a request by the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP) under the INL-funded Justice Sector Assistance Project IV (JSAP IV), Tetra Tech has developed and helped conduct training courses to enable PCP first responders to protect crime scenes from contamination. Prior to these interventions, the PCP lacked a clear understanding of proper first responder responsibilities and procedures in processing crime scenes.

JSAP IV developed the training materials based on international best practices, carefully tailoring them to the Palestinian context. It then supported the PCP in conducting several training sessions to raise awareness of first responder duties and proper crime scene processing. Key topics covered in the trainings included the importance of reaching the crime scene quickly to collect and process evidence, drafting the first responder report, and transferring evidence to crime scene investigators and the Public Prosecutor’s Office. The training also addressed the processing of more complex crime scenes and the use of advanced forensic techniques.pcp_officers_in_crime_scene_training

Many senior PCP officials and training participants noted that they had gained a greater understanding of first responder processes through participating in JSAP IV trainings. Col. Zaher Sabbah, the Police Academy Director, hailed the importance of these training programs in upgrading the PCP’s efficiency and effectiveness. The trainings and materials have proven so successful that they have been incorporated into the accredited training curriculum taught to all current and future Crime Scene First Responder Officers at the Jericho Police Training Academy. To encourage sustainability, JSAP IV is delivering a train-the-trainers program for First Responder Officers in all of the West Bank governorates to supplement the crime scene trainers at the Police Academy. JSAP IV is mentoring these officers as they deliver trainings to ensure they will have the ability to lead training courses successfully after JSAP IV ends.


 

Improving Court Functionality and Legal Aid Representation in a Remote District of East Timor

April 2016

Tetra Tech is supporting a local organization to regularly monitor court services in the district of Oecusse.

Timorese local organization the Justice Sector Monitoring Program (JSMP) has been partnering with Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Ba Distrito (“To the Districts”) Project to undertake regular monitoring in all courts of first instance in the Oecusse district. The objective of these activities is to use the publication of case summaries, press releases, and thematic reports to support advocacy for improved court functionality and increased access to justice.

JSMP Executive Director, Luis Oliveira Sampaio, expressed his satisfaction with the initiative. “We are thankful to Counterpart International [and subcontractor Tetra Tech] and the Ba Distrito project. With the funds from the Ba Distrito project JSMP was able to place a staff member in Oecusse who monitored the court on a daily basis. Before our partnership with Ba Distrito, we were not able to do this because we did not have a permanent staff assigned to Oecusse, as we did in other district courts.”

With support from Ba Distrito, JSMP published a thematic report on the Oecusse courts in November 2015. The final report is accessible online on the JSMP website. Recognizing that well-functioning courts are essential to the rule of law in a democracy, JSMP plans to continue working with Ba Distrito to monitor courts in Oecusse and throughout East Timor.


launch_oecusse_court

Photo: Presentation of the Oecusse Court Thematic Report in Oecusse


 

National Accolades for Myanmar Grantee and LGBT Advocate

March 2016

The leader of Equality Myanmar/Colors Rainbow, Hla Myat Tun, was named as one of Myanmar’s “Who’s Who” in a leading national publication for his organization’s efforts to advance the rights of LGBT people in Myanmar.

Tetra Tech’s Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PRLP) in Myanmar supports the national government in achieving its goal of bringing transparent and participatory processes to public institutions. Among other activities, PLRP provides grants to local non-governmental organizations with human rights and advocacy programs for citizens. One of the grantees, Equality Myanmar/Colors Rainbow, is implementing a pilot initiative providing case management and legal assistance to members of the LGBT community; conducting human rights training and advocacy at national and regional levels; and creating a documentary film to raise awareness of the issues faced by Myanmar’s LGBT community.

daw aung san suu kyiThe leader of Equality Myanmar/Colors Rainbow, Hla Myat Tun (pictured left), was recently named as one of Myanmar’s “Who’s Who” in the Irrawaddy News, one of the largest print publications in the country. Hla Myat Tun was featured along with Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, the first State Counselor of Myanmar and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and 14 other high-profile individuals and groups. The article praised Hla Myat Tun’s efforts to advance LGBT rights in Myanmar:

“[He] openly challenged prejudices and discriminatory practices…, demanding equality and acceptance of LGBT persons across Burmese society. He leads an LGBT rights organization, Colors Rainbow, that co-organized Burma’s inaugural LGBT film festival ‘& Proud’, that aimed to create more space for the LGBT community and constructive conversations and engagement among the broader public. The activist has been working together with the country’s Education Ministry to put gender identity and LGBT issues in high school curriculums. He is regarded as among the most prominent advocates on the issue...”

 

First-Ever Training on Fraud for Palestinian Prosecutors

March 2016

Tetra Tech used co-facilitation model to train civil and military prosecutors on fraud.

prosecutor_trainingTetra Tech’s INL-funded Justice Sector Assistance Project (JSAP) has facilitated the first-ever training on fraud for 20 civil and military prosecutors from across the West Bank governorates. The training provided prosecutors with greater knowledge of fraud-related statutes to help them more effectively prosecute such cases, which are on the rise in Palestinian society.

The training was conducted in coordination with the Training Unit at the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and was co-led by two experts with extensive experience in fraud investigation and prosecution, JSAP Chief of Team Emery Adoradio and Public Prosecution Office Chief Prosecutor Khaled Awwad. The training, which was the first to be co-led by JSAP and the AGO, addressed the theoretical aspects of fraud cases and engaged prosecutors in practical working group exercises to help them gain a better understanding of fraud statutes.

During the opening session, Attorney General Ahmad Barrak thanked JSAP for organizing the event: “We want to benefit as much as we can from this training. We need to examine fraud in Palestinian laws as this is an important crime to understand in this day and age.” Iyad Jarrar, assistant public prosecutor for Jenin, added, “The training was outstanding and aided us in classifying and clarifying fraud cases.”

The AGO plans to build on the joint trainings and eventually conduct them on its own. “JSAP has been able to improve the quality of curricula by localizing case scenarios and establishing a sustainable model for future trainings to be conducted solely by the AGO,” said AGO Director of Planning Yasser Hammad.

 

US Expert Shares Disability Advocacy Strategies with Ivoirian Governmental and NGO Partners

February 2016

American disability expert traveled to Côte d’Ivoire, providing insights from 25 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act to assist the Ivoirian Government with inclusion strategies for citizens with disabilities.

Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Justice Sector Support Program in Côte d’Ivoire (ProJustice) works alongside governmental and non-governmental partners to improve the efficiency of justice sector operations, train magistrates and court staff, improve access to justice, and educate the population on legal rights. In 2015, USAID awarded ProJustice an additional $598,000 to incorporate disability issues into the program’s activities. With this new funding, the ProJustice Handicap activity was launched.

cedar_training_jamaica jamaica_tree_planting

Photo (L): American disability expert Susan Scheer with Judge Jean-Baptiste Angaman of the Yopougon Court of First Instance

Photo (R): Ms. Scheer meets with representative of the handicapped community in Bassam

ProJustice Handicap has generated intense interest in the disability community as well as in the Government of Côte d’Ivoire. In connection with the project’s high-level conference on the UN Convention on Persons With Disabilities (which Côte d’Ivoire ratified in 2014 but has not yet implemented), American disability rights expert Susan Scheer spent 10 days sharing experiences with Ivoirian partners. Discussions covered the US Americans With Disabilities Act, advocacy activities, and strategies for institutional and legislative reforms. The connections forged during those discussions had a profound effect on the participants. In the words of Judge Jean-Baptiste Angaman, Côte d’Ivoire’s only judge who uses a wheelchair: “I did not appreciate until now the importance of simultaneously making changes to legislation and institutions while also pursuing an advocacy and public awareness-raising agenda.” He added, “Based on what I have now learned about the experience in the United States, I see that Côte d’Ivoire has a long road ahead, but we are on the right path.”

ProJustice s planning to carry out a survey in several pilot courts to identify barriers to accessing justice for persons with disabilities in Côte d’Ivoire and then tackle them systematically in the coming year.

 


 

Tetra Tech Supports Cross-Agency Information Sharing System for Palestinian Security Forces

January 2016

For the first time, four Palestinian Authority security force (PASF) agencies will be able to access the cumulative knowledge of all security agencies operating in the West Bank, leading to more effective crime-fighting.

jsapiv_expansion_epsilon_group

The US Department of State Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL) and the US Security Coordinator developed a joint Law Enforcement Case Management and Information Sharing Initiative (Epsilon-P) to enhance PASF operations and improve overall security and rule of law in the West Bank. Tetra Tech is assisting with implementation of Epsilon-P under its INL-funded Justice Sector Assistance Project IV (JSAP) in the West Bank, working in partnership with the Public Leadership Institute, a US-based organization with extensive experience developing cross-agency information sharing systems.

Epsilon-P will enable four PASF agencies – the Palestinian Civil Police (PCP), District Coordination Office (DCO), Civil Defense, and Presidential Guard – to access the cumulative knowledge of all PASF agencies operating in the West Bank for the first time, facilitating better use of investigative information about crimes, suspects, and arrests.

Up till now, the PASF have had limited capacity for information sharing, which hampers investigations and case processing. When Epsilon-P is fully operational, it will dramatically reduce the time spent by law enforcement personnel on routine data entry. More broadly, the automation will improve operations as varied as issuing warrants, collecting evidence, using force, and managing informants. Epsilon-P will also help managers formulate more effective crime strategies and will facilitate cooperative investigations.

Leaders from the participating PASF agencies have expressed enthusiasm about Epsilon-P. Col. Aniss Kishko, head of the DCO Planning and Development Unit, stated: "The DCO hopes that the Epsilon initiative will help complete the technological development that the DCO has been aspiring to achieve. This technology will save us time, effort, and cost, as well as provide efficient access to data processing. Sharing data and documents with other security agencies participating in this program will enhance the capacity of law enforcement to combat criminal activities."

To create buy-in, Tetra Tech has led a series of meetings with the PASF agencies. Among the outcomes was the establishment of the Epsilon Leadership Council, an implementing authority that will ensure coordination and information sharing as Epsilon-P is rolled out. The council elected PCP Col. Suliman Al-Khatib to serve as chairman. As Epsilon-P develops and expands, additional PASF agencies are expected to join the initiative, moving toward the eventual creation of a case management and information sharing system for all of the West Bank.

 

Young Boy Becomes an Advocate in the Fight Against Gender-Based Violence in Mexico

January 2016

Tetra Tech’s training course on reducing violence toward women and girls made a big impression on an unlikely participant, inspiring him to take action.

One of the objectives of Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Promoting Justice Project (PROJUST) in Mexico is to fight gender-based violence (GBV), including through outreach and training. From July to October 2015, PROJUST offered a diploma course entitled “Victims of Gender Violence in the New Criminal Justice System in Mexico” to the staff of Women’s Justice Centers (WJCs) in the cities of Campeche and Torreon. WJCs work to improve access to justice for victims of GBV and reduce violence toward women and girls.

mexico_young_boy

Although only adults were enrolled in the course, an 11-year-old boy became a surprise participant and fervent advocate for non-violence. Tadeo had tagged along with his mother to the Torreon classes because of a lack of child care, but he became so interested in the subject matter that he made sure not to miss a single day. Declaring that "any type of violence is not good," Tadeo vowed to promote a culture of respect for and non-violence against women.

Not long after Tadeo began attending the course, one of his schoolmates confided in him that his father beat his mother. Tadeo immediately related what he had learned about the WJC and the fight against GBV. With Tadeo’s help, the schoolmate convinced his mother to visit the Torreon WJC, where she soon began receiving assistance and support.

Thirty-one women and 2 men received certificates of completion at the closing ceremony for the Torreon course. Tadeo was surprised and pleased to receive a symbolic certificate as well. PROJUST is continuing offer the diploma course at other WJCs, hoping to inspire more men, women, and youths like Tadeo to join the fight against GBV.

 

Diploma Course in Peru Prepares Justice Sector Actors to Handle Corruption Cases Effectively

December 2015

Tetra Tech’s project trained 92 judges, prosecutors, and public attorneys from Lima and the Amazon Region to apply the new Criminal Procedure Code in processing corruption cases.

Under the USAID-funded Pro-Integridad project in Peru, Tetra Tech partnered with the Institute of Democracy and Human Rights of the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru (IDEHPUCP) to develop a specialized diploma course on how to handle corruption cases.

peru success story photo


Photo: Participants from Lima and Callao during the closing ceremony of the Diploma Course on Corruption Cases


Read more...

 

Protecting the Legal Rights of Women and Vulnerable Groups in Myanmar

November 2015

As Myanmar's rule of law environment evolves, advocacy and awareness-raising initiatives for women and marginalized groups are helping ensure that all citizens benefit from improved access to justice throughout the country.

Tetra Tech’s USAID-funded Promoting the Rule of Law Project (PLRP) in Myanmar works with various government and civil society partners to preserve and protect the legal rights of women and other gender identity groups in the country and encourage their participation in public policy dialogue. PRLP’s civil society organization (CSO) partners are implementing activities in education, direct legal services, and advocacy on the legal rights of women, children, and LGBT people.

myanmar gender justice workshop

Photo: CSO leaders participated in the project’s Gender Justice Workshop to identify priority areas for reform in Myanmar’s legal system to address the concerns of women and girls

In the Yangon area, the Ratana Metta Organization leads community talks to educate youths about important issues such as domestic violence, drug use, employment, human rights, and criminal justice. The organization also hosts community legal and human rights awareness workshops for women to learn about child protection, gender-based violence (GBV) prevention, and access to court services. In select cases, Ratana Metta represents women and children in need of legal aid free of charge.

The Karenni National Women's Organization operates a safe house in Kayah State for survivors of GBV; educates and deploys field trainers to raise GBV awareness among thousands of villagers; and lobbies local and national government officials for effective GBV-related laws.

In Bago, Mon, and Yangon, Equality Myanmar/Colours Rainbow documents cases and provides legal assistance to hundreds of LGBT victims of harassment, intimidation, and imprisonment. The organization brings these cases to the attention of an LGBT lawyer network and other bodies for further representation. Equality Myanmar/Colours Rainbow combines grassroots human rights education and awareness raising with political advocacy, calling on senior officials to end institutionalized LGBT discrimination.

At the national level, the PRLP is enabling its CSO partners to engage in public consultations and shape Myanmar's forthcoming law on violence against women. Following the country’s recent ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the project is supporting the CSO CEDAW Action Myanmar by directly conducting focus groups and data collection.

By supporting women and vulnerable groups to improve awareness of legal rights, gain access to legal services, and voice concerns in the public policy dialogue, PRLP is increasing the level of inclusive participation in Myanmar's rule of law transformation.


 

With Tetra Tech Support, Revived Legal Aid Organization in East Timor Helps Rural Villages Obtain Justice

October 2015

A venerable local organization has resumed its free legal assistance and outreach activities in the remote district of Oecusse.

The Fundasaun Fatuk Sinae Oecusse (FFSO) is one of the oldest non-profit civil society organizations in the Oecusse Region of East Timor. Founded to increase citizens’ understanding of, access to, and confidence in the justice sector, it provides free legal services and outreach programs in poor rural communities. Only a few organizations provide free legal services in Oecusse, so rural villages suffered when the FFSO was forced to reduce its staff at the close of a previous USAID access-to-justice program that ended in 2012.

ba distrito

Photo: FFSO conducting a legal awareness session for community members in suco (village) Bana Ufe

Since the launch of the USAID-funded Ba Distrito (“To the Districts”) project, Tetra Tech has built a strong relationship with FFSO. Among other activities, Tetra Tech has supported FFSO in conducting legal outreach sessions for more than 400 Timorese citizens.

Tetra Tech’s recent support has been critical. FFSO director Antonio dos Remedios explained: "Because there are only a few organizations that provide such services to the poor and vulnerable, our partnership with USAID-funded Ba Distrito project is fundamentally valuable because it ensures that the poor and vulnerable people living in the rural villages can also have access to justice through access to free legal aid assistance and legal outreach activities.”