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Title Randomized Impact Evaluation of the Community Auxiliary Police, Bougainville, Papua New Guinea
Post date 08/20/2016
C1 Background and Explanation of Rationale

In developing countries, the state is often unable to deliver the protections of the law to all its citizens. When the state’s reach is limited, the few interactions citizens have with police are often marked by corruption, absenteeism, or abuse, contributing to dissatisfaction and distrust. These citizens sometimes instead rely on informal security providers, such as chiefs, families, or mobs, whose punitive and remedial procedures may be biased toward certain social groups at the expense of other groups. For example, men may receive systematically more beneficial outcomes from the informal justice system than women.

This study seeks to measure the effectiveness of a novel project implemented in Papua New Guinea by the New Zealand and Bougainville Police Services that seeks to overcome the challenges of policing in weak state environments, called the Community Auxiliary Police (CAP). The CAP project transfers the state’s constitutional police powers to carefully selected community members in villages located in remote parts of the country, and trains those officers in investigative techniques and legal norms, particularly surrounding gender-based violence. CAP officers are unarmed but do have powers of arrest, detention and investigation in the communities that they come from.

In partnership with the Bougainville and New Zealand Police, researchers are conducting the first randomized evaluation to study the impact of the Community Auxiliary Police program on crime, norms and citizens’ relationship to the state.

C2 What are the hypotheses to be tested?

The main hypotheses on household outcomes state that:
- having a CAP hired in one's village will decrease the probability that one falls victim to assault or theft
- having a CAP hired in one's village will increase subjective perceptions of safety and security
- having a CAP hired in one's village will increase trust in the police in terms of procedural justice
- having a CAP hired in one's village will increase alignment with state norms related to justice and to gender
- having a CAP hired in one's village will decrease the importance and legitimacy of traditional forms of justice

The main hypotheses on candidate outcomes state that:
- being hired as a CAP may increase or decrease one's propensity for corruption
- being hired as a CAP may increase or decrease one's sense of impunity to local punishment
- being hired as a CAP will increase alignment with state norms on gender and justice

C3 How will these hypotheses be tested? *

Randomization inference (RI) and Bayesian inference (BI) methods are described at length in the PAP. Briefly stated, all models employ inverse probability weighted estimators with block dummies to take account of the randomization design.
RI methods will involve computing confidence intervals through inverted hypothesis tests using the random assignment mechanism. BI methods involve hierarchical empirical priors derived from non-experimental data and from expert elicitation performed prior to the study. Intra-cluster correlation is accounted for in RI methods using cluster-robust variance covariance matrices, and in BI methods using a random effect specification with empirical priors on the cluster-level variance.

C4 Country Papua New Guinea
C5 Scale (# of Units) 1600
C6 Was a power analysis conducted prior to data collection? Yes
C7 Has this research received Insitutional Review Board (IRB) or ethics committee approval? Yes
C8 IRB Number AAAQ2155
C9 Date of IRB Approval 07/27/2016
C10 Will the intervention be implemented by the researcher or a third party? New Zealand Police and Bougainville Police Service
C11 Did any of the research team receive remuneration from the implementing agency for taking part in this research? No
C12 If relevant, is there an advance agreement with the implementation group that all results can be published? Yes
C13 JEL Classification(s) D78, F68