Measuring Security Progress: Politics, Challenges and Solutions
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Benchmarks, metrics, results, impact and evaluations have been trending topics within the international security community.
In November 2014 the Secretariat of the Platform convened an expert meeting in New York for policymakers, practitioners and researchers to discuss the political nuances and operational challenges of designing, applying and interpreting security progress measurements. This report captures the debates, lessons and innovations that emerged from the day’s discussions.
It finds that internationally agreed standards and locally determined metrics are necessary; but they can operate in tension, or even competition. It can be analytically expedient to separate out the different purposes and audiences that indicators serve. It is important to be ever aware of what norms and expectations are embedded in data presented. But they do have a way of steering the conversation, emphasizing certain questions and concerns while sweeping others aside. This should be considered the next time one reviews a police population ratio or stability index that focuses strictly on violence but ignores corruption.