Case Study of the Integrated Electronic Case Management System for the Ministry of Justice in Rwanda

Automated Case Management Systems are still at an early stage of adoption in many developing countries. These are frequently standalone systems implemented with donor financing, and they often fail due to capacity constraints or as a consequence of short-term, project-based funding. But there are examples of developing countries overcoming these pitfalls and producing innovative solutions that surpass government practices in more developed countries.

The Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS), developed and implemented by the Ministry of Justice of Rwanda from 2015-2016, is one such innovation. This system has progressed rapidly in its level of adoption and integration between law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office, courts, and corrections. This paper will discuss the key system functionalities and the implementation methodology, including both the benefits and shortcomings of this approach, with the goal of applying lessons learned in future installations.

Foremost among the successes of this project were the integrated Sector Wide Approach, the thorough business process reengineering, and strong ownership by the Rwandan Justice Sector staff. Particularly instructive will be the analysis of the integrated approach, covering five institutions with a single system in less than two years. However, the particular success in this case may not be replicable for governments with a more decentralized approach.