The Organised Crime Index for Africa

The ENACT Organised Crime Index provides a multidimensional assessment of organised crime and its impact.

Tools for measuring the scope and scale of organised crime in Africa are limited. An improved evidence base is needed so that states and key agents can effectively monitor, analyse, prioritise, and address the threat presented by organised crime systematically and sustainably.

Launched in September 2019, the Organised Crime Index is informed by a baseline assessment that identifies the availability, quality, and relevance of continental data, as well as priority data.

The Index is an interactive platform on the ENACT website. It’s complemented by an annual report intended to sensitise policy-makers.

For evaluating a state’s overall vulnerability to organised crime, the model, which has three sub-indices, is designed to measure three categories of information:
The presence and magnitude of the threat, as a component of 12 types of organised crime
Risk of organised crime
State capacity and political will to respond to organised crime threats.

The juxtaposition between these three categories is analysed to arrive at a cumulative score for each African state, indicating that state’s vulnerability to organised crime threats.

Vulnerability models

Presence: the first of the three component indices concentrates on the presence of organised crime. Specifically, this index serves as a longitudinal study that aims to show how organised crime has evolved to reach its current status, which may eventually provide insights into its future evolution.

Information from the Organised Crime Index for each African state is depicted in a “flower” that combines the scores for each type of crime. These scores can be used to illustrate trends over time.

Risk: Organised Crime gangs exploit week or dysfunctional state institutions, porous borders, and disadvantages in social welfare and local political economies to continue and expand their operations. To measure a state’s risk of organised crime, the second component considers various factors, namely a state’s economy, physical geography, natural resources, social cohesion and conflict, as well as its global trade.

Response: As a third index, state capacity and political will are measured based on the awareness that a state demonstrates in the fight against organised crime. This includes whether they have appropriate legal, political, and strategic frameworks in place to deal with organised crime, as well as whether they are actually achieving results. This index assesses a state’s actions in combating organised crime, noting this capacity and its precursors for the implementation of actual strategic policies.

One component of the Organised Crime Index includes the Data Dashboard, which provides a comparison of two of the broad metrics: the presence and the impact of organised crime.

Presence:  The dashboard compiles data from 12 individual crime types from the Organised Crime Index. It allows users to see the scale of crime subsets for each particular type of crime. For example, “Maritime crimes”, could include subsets like “piracy” and “illegal, unregulated, or unreported fishing activities”.

Impact: The Dashboard provides crime-sensitive indicators to assess the correlations between the five impact areas: security and violence; economy; social development; environment; and governance and democracy. Each of these impact areas is comprised of a series of components to which the user can add a particular crime type and see its impact in the selected area. For example, the correlation between “human trafficking” and the “gender-based violence” or “terrorism” components of the “security and violence” impact area can be seen.


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