Communities and Public Spaces

Despite the extent of violence in cities and among youth, there is surprisingly little policy work or research on associated strategies for violence prevention and reduction. Indeed, 'community-level violence prevention' is often described in general terms. The focus tends to be on inequality de-concentration, targeting at-risk youth with vocational programmes, or temporary restrictions on alcohol and firearms. And while these may be effective, there is comparatively limited guidance on prioritising or sequencing interventions and targeting those most at risk. What is more, guidelines seldom specify how the impact of these strategies would vary in different conditions, or how these may be aligned with other prevention programmes offered within a community setting. The evidence on what works in fragile low and medium income urban settings, where the incidence of community-level violence is likely to be higher, is sparse.

Through a series of commissioned papers and regional meetings, the third Learning Group will prepare structured reviews of current evidence on community-level risk factors and prevention strategies from around the world, and discuss challenges to programme implementation, adaptation and sustainability, particularly in violent, fragile cities. It will have two primary aims and related questions: (1) to determine the drivers of violence in fragile low and medium income urban settings; and (2) to review evidence-based prevention strategies that are feasible in fragile low- and medium-income urban settings and comprehensive prevention models. Read More...

The following 13 papers will be produced under the Learning Group reflecting on the aforementioned aims:

  1. Executive Summary. (Lead authors: Nancy Guerra, University of Delaware; Alys Wilman, The World Bank; Robert Muggah, Igarapé Institute; and Thomas Abt, Harvard University);
  2. Violence prevention in high-burden and fragile cities (Lead author: Robert Muggah, Igarapé Institute);
  3. Assessing "readiness" and "needs" to prioritise and implement community-level youth violence prevention in fragile cities: Findings from a multi-country study (Lead authors: Nancy Guerra, University of Delaware; and Rodrigo Serrano, the Inter-American Development Bank);
  4. How can we best understand the role of gangs in serious youth violence and what special considerations should be in place when preventing gang violence? (Lead author: Jose Miguel Cruz,Florida International University);
  5. Gender dimensions of violent urban contexts (Lead authors: Valeria Esquivel and Andrea Kaufmann, UNRISD);
  6. Towards a comprehensive model for preventing violence in childhood in fragile cities (Lead author: Thomas Abt, Harvard Univeristy);
  7. Urban renewal and environmental design to make fragile cities safer for children;
  8. Access to alcohol, drugs, and firearms and implications for children in fragile cities (Lead author: Andres Villaveces, University of North Carolina);
  9. Civil society, organised criminal activity, and the rule of law in fragile cities (Lead author: Juan Garzon Vergara, Woodrow Wilson Center);
  10. Municipal level strategies for preventing violence in childhood in fragile cities: Successes and challenges (Lead authors: Flavia Carbonari and Alys Wilman, World Bank);
  11. People as agents of change to prevent violence against children in fragile cities (Lead author: Cathy Mcilwaine, Queen Mary, University of London);
  12. A public health approach to preventing violence among high-risk individuals (Lead author: Gary Slutkin, Cure Violence, University of Illinois at Chicago); and
  13. Community-based interventions using everyday activities to engage high-risk youth: A systematic review of extra-curricular programmes in lower and middle-income countries (Lead Author: Alejandro Cid, Center for Research in Applied Economics, University of Montevideo).
  • KVIC Partners - Public Health Foundation of India
  • KVIC Partners -University of Delaware
  • KVIC Partners - FXB
Supported by
  • Unicef
  • Benard Van Leer Foundation
  • Ikea Foundation
  • American Jewish world Service
  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
  • Oak Foundation
  • End Violence
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