From January 17–18, 2019 in Bucharest, Romania the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service organized an international meeting for the Norway Grants programme partners from the beneficiary states and donor state, setting up three international working groups – "Education", "Conference and Seminar" and "Evaluation and Indicators". The aim of the working groups is to strengthen bilateral cooperation between the donor state and the Norway Grants programme operators from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Czech Republic. The cooperation will promote the exchange of experience, topical information and views on the events and activities planned under 2014–2021 programmes of the Norway Grants. The working groups will be chaired by representatives from the Directorate of Norwegian Correctional Service.
The first meeting of working group "Evaluation and Indicators" took place from May 8–10, 2019 in Cambridge, the United Kingdom.
Researchers of the Prisons Research Centre of the Institute of Criminology of the University of Cambridge presented the methodology for assessing the quality of the correctional system (Measuring the Quality of Prison Life survey) (here and after–MQPL), which was established and developed by the Prisons Research Centre of the Cambridge University professor Alison Liebling, to the representatives of donor state, the European Commission and programme operators from Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria. This methodology was introduced and applied in several countries, including qualitative and quantitative approaches. The methodology makes it possible to assess the quality of the functioning of the detention facility using several dimensions of evaluation. MQPL is a deep descriptive analysis of the social environment of the detention site, which involves detailed observation and sensitive, respectful interception of staff and prisoners, and the use of two conceptually credible instruments. The first instrument – MQPL has been developed for the target group of prisoner. The second instrument – the Staff Quality of Life – is intended for the prison staff. As part of the meeting the members of the working group had the opportunity to familiarize themselves in depth with MQPL, the practice of applying this methodology as well as the opportunities and benefits associated with implementation in their country.
The Ministry of Justice as programme "Correctional Services" operator was represented at the working group by Dr. psych Jeļena Ļevina, Head of Risk and Needs Assessment Division of the European Social Fond project No 188.8.131.52/16/I/001"Improvement of the effectiveness of the re-socialization system" of Latvian Prison Administration.
Working together for a safe and inclusive Europe.
The overall funding of 2014–2021 programme amounts to EUR 15,294,118; 85% (EUR 13,000,000) are financed by the Norway Grants but 15% (2,294,118) are co-funded by the State budget. Furthermore, additional EUR 100,000 were granted for the activities of bilateral cooperation.