Principal Investigators: Ali Cheema, Ali Hasanain, Jacob Shapiro
Country: Pakistan



Dates of Intervention: September 2017 - November 2018

Background: Pakistan’s first successful democratic transition under civilian rule in 2013 revived political interest in citizen-centered policing and justice, and the devolution of power to the local level. There has been increased – but informal – experimentation with policing reforms within the Punjab province’s Police Service during the past five years. The aim of the project is to rigorously test the efficacy of citizen-centric problem-oriented policing versus local alternative dispute resolution and reconciliation forums, which are the two main interventions recently piloted informally in Pakistan.

Research Design: A sample of police beats will be randomly assigned to each of three treatment arms: a common arm implementing a package of community policing interventions; an alternate arm that creates alternative dispute resolution forums; and a control arm. The common arm package includes: 1) frequent police patrols; 2) training and support for community watch teams; 3) frequent village meetings between local police and citizens; 4) a toll-free number for reporting crime; and 5) cell-phone based feedback elicitation of officer performance from citizens. The alternate arm institutionalizes and provides legal cover to an alternative dispute resolution forum, and provides training by legal experts to participants in its use.

Hypotheses:
  • Rates of crime and violence will decrease in both common and alternate arms in comparison to control.
  • Trust levels in the Punjab Police and the state will rise in both common and alternate arms in comparison to control.
  • Citizen cooperation with the police is expected to rise in the common arm relative to other treatment arms.
  • An increase in dispute resolution is expected in the alternate arm.