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Open Source Distance Learning Web Portal for Judges and Prosecutors
Institution: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP country office in Bosnia and Herzegovina)
Implementation Date: Jan 01, 2005
Summary: The Centre for Education of Judges and Prosecutors in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a government institution that is part of the High Judicial and Prosecutorial Council.

Established in January 2004 to enhance the capacities of the judicial sector by deploying and coordinating training and seminars in the areas of family law, business law and new legislation for judges and prosecutors in the entire country, it has two offices: one in Banja Luka and the other in Sarajevo.

Owing to the lack of equipment and well-trained human resources, neither of the Centres was providing services efficiently or effectively. Also, the judges and prosecutors did not have time to attend training, which resulted in their having on average only four days of training per year.

In view of the above, the UNDP country office in Bosnia and Herzegovina identified the need to automate the process of educating judges and prosecutors. It therefore launched a project with the aim of supporting both Centres in the re-engineering of their work and the promotion of ICT in the provision of services.

The goal of the project was to implement the first government distance-learning education portal for judges and prosecutors in the country. In less than six months, the first distance-learning Web portal was operational, allowing judges and prosecutors to access the training opportunities from their offices or their homes.

Developed with open source solutions, the system demonstrates how open sources can deliver features required for complex information systems; how they can be implemented very competently; and how, on the other hand, this kind of information system can motivate both the service provider and the beneficiaries to re-engineer the way in which they work, interact and move forward.
Impact: The Centres can now schedule and inform judges about events in a matter of minutes. The Web portal enables the creation of a repository of knowledge from previous training.

Also, judges and prosecutors can now log on to the Web portal to check the calendar of events and plan their training schedule for the whole year. In less then four months after the launch of the portal, more than 60 training events online (from both offices in Banja Luka and Sarajevo) had been provided and over 3,500 visits and requests for training materials online had been received. Clearly, the new system generates better results (in terms of user percentage) than the one deploying training traditionally.

Moreover, judges and prosecutors not only can access information and opportunities more efficiently and effectively but they can also collaborate via forums and e-mails. They can read and download all the training material, view pictures from training, ask trainers questions online, etc.

Furthermore, the use of modern methodology dramatically reduced the workload of the Centres relating to information delivery. For instance, the Centres would have had to send over 100 faxes and make twice as many phone calls in order to pass the information about related training to courts. Now all of this is done automatically by one administrator in a minute.

Finally, through this system, judges and prosecutors are offered continuous education on new legislation, which is in line with the UNDP efforts to spur the reform of legislation in the country.

Source: UNDP country office in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Project Home URL: http://www.is.gov.ba/
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