WODC (the Dutch abbreviation for Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum, in English: Research and Documentation Centre) is the Ministry of Justice and Security's knowledge centre. The WODC conducts independent in-house research or commissions external research. The WODC contributes to the Ministry's policy development through facts and knowledge.
The WODC's activities can be subdivided into three core tasks:
- Conducting in-house research.
- Commissioning and supervising external research.
- Indicating the possible implications of research findings for the Ministry's standing policy.
The WODC advocates independent research that can pass the research quality test. The WODC's research contributes to policy that is supported by facts and knowledge. The WODC contributes to a safer and more just society by opening up research results for politicians, professionals, members of the public, media and researchers.
By conducting or commissioning research, the WODC creates a body of knowledge in the field of Justice and Security. The WODC's knowledge is available to everyone. In practice, the reports are mainly used by the staff of the Ministry of Justice and Security and its implementing agencies, but politicians, scientists, journalists and members of the public can also use the information contained in the research.
Access to high-quality, socially-relevant knowledge from the WODC's reports ensures that policymakers can make better decisions, that elected representatives and media can better verify the policy that is being implemented, that members of the public can make informed choices when exercising their democratic rights and that the research community can benefit from the WODC's insights. In doing so, the WODC contributes to a strong constitutional state.
The WODC was founded in the early 1970s and evolved from the Study and Documentation Centre that started its work around 1950. In the 1990s, the then Central Research Directorate (Centrale Directie Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek) was integrated into the WODC. Amongst other things, this organization conducted and supervised research, created databases, worked on statistics and conducted policy analyses.