Making Sense of Transnational Organised Crime

  • starting point
  • approach
  • insights & advice
  • impact

organised crime - making sense of the bigger picture

Our partner is a large multi-national organisation working to tackle organised crime. It had conducted extensive interviews in-field, thorough research and desk analysis of the current trends, patterns and challenges facing five states in their efforts to address transnational organised crime. Although it had a wealth of information, it was struggling to pull it all together, get a sense of the bigger picture and develop recommendations. The aim of the partnership was to review the core information and support the development of a coherent and practical overview to help increase understanding for policy makers.

organised crime linkages - approach to analysis

Together with our partner’s counterpart, we reviewed the data and spoke with the interviewers in understanding the difficulties that they faced. Additionally, we had several meetings with the target groups to identify the information that they required for policy development.

Drawing on the experiences and best practices from the peacebuilding and conflict transformation field, we structured the core information by looking closely at the root causes, mobilising factors and triggers of transnational organised crime. This lead into a multi-track actor and activity mapping, which provided the space to begin to explore the inter-linkages and therefore develop recommendations. The last stage was to draw upon the current lessons learned from other organisations and validate the conclusions.

organised crime linkages - insights

Peacebuilding and conflict transformation analytical tools provided new ways of looking at a very old problem. Through exploring the different tracks (Track 1 – 3), specifically their inter-linkages as well as the differing motivations of actors on these tracks, it was possible to take steps to ensure that intervention strategies would hit their mark.

Analysing transnational organised crime in terms of root causes, mobilisation strategies as well as triggers further provided insights into the question of duration and sequencing of activities. For example, root causes change very slowly over time while quick counter measures can be deployed to minimise the effect of triggers.

organised crime impact

The work was disseminated initially among a core group for discussion and deliberation. The conflict transformation analytical framework provided the participants with an alternative approach to understanding transnational organised crime. One conclusion was to use the methodology in future case studies. The study has now been revised and has been disseminated to a broad range of key stakeholders. It is too early to gauge how the work has been used and the subsequent impact within this broader group.