Weak justice data is undermining progress towards justice for all. Without people-centred justice data, policymakers may misdiagnose problems or misallocate scarce resources. Data can reveal justice investment strategies to most effectively and efficiently address and resolve problems.
A shift towards better justice data is underway. The 2019 Justice for All Report of the Taskforce on Justice laid out a roadmap to put people at the centre of justice systems and justice at the heart of sustainable development. As more and more justice leaders, policymakers and funders embrace people-centred justice approaches, they are realizing that available justice data often does not give them the information they need. If they want to target justice investment, they need data to understand the most common and impactful justice problems people face. If they want to advance innovations that respond to people’s needs, they need data that reveals how people access (or do not access) information and advice. If they want to convince a finance ministry to invest in justice, they need data that reveals the social, emotional and financial impacts of unresolved justice problems and the costs of structural injustices.
As the COVID-19 pandemic places new pressures on health, policy and fiscal systems, some justice leaders are prioritizing a shift to people-centred justice data to target services and drive transformation. Recent practitioner exchange convened by the Pathfinders for Peaceful, Just and Inclusive Societies, World Justice Project, and the Open Society Justice Initiative has begun to identify common data priorities and innovative strategies that are driving transformation.