Capacity, Integrity and Sustainability Framework

CIS Framework

The Capacity, Integrity and Sustainability (CIS) Framework is a simple tool to help move beyond a focus on personnel skills and equipment, and towards three crucial dimensions of institutional survival (see Figure 1 below). Originally designed to look at the capacity and integrity of an institution to be effective and accountable at the individual and organisation level, the CIF has since evolved to also look at external oversight aspects, as well as at the sustainability or continuity of not only individual posts and functions (recruitment and retention), but also organisational staffing structures and resourcing.  

In analysing an institution, the CIF distinguishes between three levels of an institution:

  1. Individual: an individual’s background, education, experience and aptitude that helps him/ her accomplish his/ her tasks
  2. Organisational: an organisation’s mandate, resources, structures, policies and procedures
  3. External: its interdependence with other institutions

The three quality dimensions of an institution are:

  1. Capacity : existing resources, structures and procedures
  2. Integrity : respect for basic norms and values when using its capacity
  3. Sustainability : conditions for building a stable and sustainable service

For the full tool, download the pdf below, or use the online version in the Methodology section to see how the tool is used to Identify Causes in a Community Based Needs Assessment of the Criminal Justice Chain.

An 2011 blog by Alexander Meyer-Reickh developing the CIS Framework provides insight into its application.


Top 10 Programming Tools for Security and Justice Sector Reform

Screenshot 10

This collection contains 10 commonly used tools for Security and Justice Sector Reform Programming as well as additional online resources. Download the PDF document below to read more on each tool. 


  • Political, Economic, Social, Technical, Legal, Environmental and Security (PESTLES) Analysis
  • Results -Based Management (RBM)
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Power/Interest Matrix
  • Conflict Mapping
  • Capacity, Integrity and Sustainability Framework
  • Effects Estimate
  • Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) Analysis
  • Organisation Mapping
  • Gap Analysis

Effects Estimate

The Effects Estimate provides a framework for:

• Understanding the contemporary operating environment;
• Estimating second and third order effects;
• Managing risk;
• Warning of the need for actions-on unintended consequences;
• Implementing measures of effect;
• Improving the overall effect and ‘stickiness’ of a project.

This Estimate is especially suitable at project level, and can be carried out as a quick, or more in depth, analysis. With use of subject matter experts and regional or local area knowledge, the Effects Estimate does not need to take a lot of time. As with any analytical process, the resulting analysis is dependent on the quality of the data input to the process.

There are six basic steps:

  1. Define the project
  2. List negatives within the implementing community
  3. List positives within the implementing community
  4. Refine the project to enhance positives and diminish negatives
  5. Manage risks
  6. Build and monitor measures of effect

For a full description download the pdf.

The Effects Estimate has its origins in mainstream development work on conflict sensitivity and Do No Harm. It is adapted to apply across the security sector, including military and police reform / assistance projects, and combines important elements in risk management and evaluation / assessment of effect.


Criminal Justice Sector Assessment Rating Tool

The Criminal Justice Sector Assessment Rating Tool (CJSART) is designed to assist policy makers and program managers to prioritize and administer host-nation criminal justice sectors needing assistance. Once the assistance programs are underway, the CJSART is a systematic tool designed to measure progress and accomplishments against standardized benchmarks. Used in its entirety, the CJSART holistically examines a country’s laws, judicial institutions, law enforcement organizations, border security, and corrections systems as well as a country’s adherence to international rule of law standards such as bilateral and multilateral treaties.

The CJSART is the first USG attempt to comprehensively identify the crucial components of a healthy criminal justice system, assess them, and create a framework for improving rule of law over the long term. The CJSART can be used to increase efficiency, conserve finite foreign assistance resources, and help to ensure that our efforts are cost-effective and transparent. The components CJSART captures of healthy systems are international principles, not U.S. practices. The framework in this tool takes into consideration those components universally necessary for democratic rule of law, while remaining sensitive to the customs, traditions, and social structures of the world’s myriad forms of democracy and their individual levels of development.


The Community-Based Approach to Criminal-Justice Assessments - the full guide in pdf

This operational guidance note (OGN) provides advice on how to conduct a community-based assessment (CBA) of the criminal justice system under real-world constraints. An assessment is a process of gathering and analysing information on needs to inform decision-making on programming. The criminal justice system refers to the practices and institutions directed at preventing crime, sanctioning those who commit crimes, making efforts to rehabilitate them, and providing reparations to the victims.

In the criminal justice field, assessments often start with the defects of criminal justice institutions such as the police, the courts or the prisons. Such an actor-focused assessment looks for the reasons why the institutions are ineffective or inefficient in what they do. But it does not ask whether these institutions actually do what they should do. Programming developed on the basis of an actor-focused assessment will address certain institutional defects but may miss out on the problems and needs of communities. Programming on this basis helps institutions to do things right but not necessarily to do the right things.

A CBA, on the other hand, starts with identifying the criminal justice needs of communities, then asks what institutions should but do not do to respond to these needs, and finally looks for the reasons that account for why these institutions do not deliver services to meet the needs. Such an approach grounds programme decisions in the needs of communities, links needs with institutions, and ensures a service orientation for criminal justice activities. Programming on this basis helps institutions to do the right things right.

Assessments are usually more complex than anticipated, especially in fragile and post-conflict contexts. Assessments are politically sensitive, time consuming and resource intensive (for general guidance on how to plan and conduct assessments see the ISSAT OGN series on security and justice assessments). Moreover, the assessment team often has to operate under serious time and resource constraints. This CBA tool aims to provide easy methods on how to conduct quality assessments under such real-world constraints. One technique used in this tool is mapping, which is a process of gathering just thebasic facts on the objects of interest, for instance on all criminal justice actors. Mapping is broad and complete but not deep and not detailed. A good mapping process produces a complete inventory and provides a bird’s-eye overview of all objects of interest.

The CBA consists of five stages: mapping needs, mapping actors, linking needs with actors, identifying the institutional causes that account for why the needs are not met, and analysing the CBA findings. This OGN describes step by step the five CBA stages and provides tools and templates to facilitate the CBA process.