Safe and Inclusive Cities / Villes sûres et inclusives

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Safe and Inclusive Cities

Jointly funded by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development, the program supports experts from around the world to determine approaches that will successfully prevent violence in urban centres.

Social exclusion, poor economic opportunities, restrictive gender roles, and lack of access to basic services for certain groups are some of the main factors driving violence in many of the world’s urban centres. Since 2012, 15 research teams in 16 countries have been working in more than 40 cities across Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa to test the effectiveness of urban violence reduction theories, strategies, and interventions. They have also researched key knowledge gaps in the links between urban violence, inequalities, and poverty.

With youth accounting for more than half the world’s population, Safe and Inclusive Cities research shows how the marginalization and exclusion of young men and women in rapidly urbanizing cities of the developing world feeds violence and crime. Global research results identify solutions that policymakers and practitioners can use to make their cities safer and more inclusive, effecting change on urban policy, practice, and research.

Learn more about Safe and Inclusive Cities

Villes sûres et inclusives

Financée conjointement par le Centre de recherches pour le développement international et le Department for International Development du Royaume­Uni, cette initiative réunit des experts de partout dans le monde afin de déterminer des approches qui permettront de réduire la violence dans les centres urbains.

L’exclusion sociale, le manque de perspectives économiques, les rôles traditionnels restrictifs et le manque d’accès aux services de base pour certains groupes font partie des principaux facteurs expliquant la violence dans de nombreux centres urbains du monde. Depuis 2012, 15 équipes de recherche dans 16 pays travaillent dans plus de 40 villes de l’Amérique latine, de l’Asie du Sud et de l’Afrique du Sud du Sahara pour vérifier l’efficacité des théories, des stratégies et des interventions en matière de réduction de la violence en milieu urbain. Elles ont aussi étudié les principales lacunes sur le plan des connaissances des liens entre la violence, la pauvreté et les inégalités en milieu urbain.

Comme les jeunes représentent plus de la moitié de la population mondiale, l’initiative Villes sûres et inclusives vise à étudier comment la marginalisation et l’exclusion des jeunes hommes et des jeunes femmes dans les villes des pays en développement qui connaissent une urbanisation rapide alimentent la violence et la criminalité. Les résultats de recherches à l’échelle mondiale font état de solutions auxquelles les responsables des politiques et les praticiens peuvent recourir pour rendre les villes plus sûres et plus inclusives, en apportant des changements à la politique, à la pratique et à la recherche liées au milieu urbain.

Pour en savoir plus sur les Villes sûres et inclusives


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 20 of 176
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    SAIC Final Technical Report : SurveyMonkey
    (2016-04-20) Barolsky, Vanessa
    The dimensions of social cohesion may be profoundly different in the global south. This Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) policy brief reports on a survey of findings in Khayelitsha (South Africa). In South Africa the most basic legitimacy of state institutions is at stake. Participation may involve immediate defence of life; a sense of national or even local belonging remains intensely problematic, and social inequality is so pervasive that trust is deeply undermined. The research attempts to understand the way in which solidarity is imagined by social actors in terms of shared “webs of significance” or perceptions of “reality” that make social relationships possible.
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    SAIC final technical report : summary and tables
    (2016-12-06) Barolsky, Vanessa
    This detailed report provides an update on the progress of research. Qualitative studies were carried out in Brazil and South Africa, investigating the spatial distribution of violence, poverty and inequality in order to better understand the structural context of social cohesion. The analysis yielded important new understandings: even when interventions significantly improve violence, they can at the same time have a negative effect on social cohesion. This in turn affects long term sustainability and ownership by communities. Analysis includes the relationship between inequality, poverty and homicide down to the municipal level, using the most recent homicide data.
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    SAIC final technical report : summary and tables : crime and poverty nexus in urban Ghana
    (2016-03) Owusu, George; Owusu, Adobea Yaa; Oteng-Ababio, Martin; Wrigley-Asante, Charlotte
    This report provides a narrative summary along with tables of publication, conference presentations and other outputs. In contradiction to mainstream criminology literature, data suggests low-class and poor neighbourhoods are less prone to crime and safer than middle-class neighbourhoods. The relative safety of upper-class neighbourhoods was attributed to extensive target-hardening of homes, and higher presence of both state and private security agencies in these neighbourhoods compared to low-class and middle-class neighbourhoods. The study has significant implications for crime mapping and law enforcement interventions as well as overall efforts of the state in crime prevention.
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    Annex 1-6 : SAIC mid-term evaluation
    (2016-09) Wheeler, Joanna
    This annex summarises methods used in the mid-term evaluation process. Methods were diverse in order to develop a multi-dimensional understanding of the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) program. The analysis process triangulated between different perspectives and data sources to support recommendations. Based on gaps and inconsistencies identified in the document review process, interview schedules were designed specific to each respondent, based on their role and engagement with the program. Policy relevant outputs are provided along with survey results.
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    SAIC final technical report : SurveyMonkey
    (2016-12) Taylor, Alice
    The report features findings in relation to “Understanding non-violent male identities for safe and inclusive cities.” Urban violence and criminality are intertwined with gender identities, sexuality and violence. Young men, disempowered by unemployment and poverty, seek ways to affirm their male identities. Findings showed the main drivers of joining criminal activities was to have access to girls and women, to impress women, and to compete with men. Young men seek older women who have a house and family, to reach the status of socially recognized manhood. The impact of trauma on gender identity construction is the strongest factor to predict use of violence at all levels of society: individual, family and community. The research indicates some clear suggestions for policy change.
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    SAIC final technical report : assessing the impact of state-community collaboration to address urban violence in South Africa
    (2016-05) van der Merwe, Hugo
    The report provides detailed answers to standard questions, such as “Describe any unexpected, unusual, or counter-intuitive findings coming out of your research project.” The diversity of context explored by the Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) study allowed it to examine situations where very similar interventions resulted in quite different outcomes that resulted from pre-existing community networks and entrenched patterns of local cohesion. Implications of the South African study are taken into account in terms of socio-economics, gender, policy, and engagement with other research and researchers.
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    SAIC final technical report - summary and tables : assessing the impact of state-community collaboration to address urban violence in South Africa
    (2017-05-27) van der Merwe, Hugo
    The final technical report provides detailed answers about the Community Work Programme (CWP) research in South Africa, within a standard question and answer format. It includes a table of publications and other outputs of the project, impacts of the study, key findings, and lessons learned in relation to the original objectives as stated in the research grant. The project shifted from research-driven to one that involved various collaborative components with implementation partners. The research provided a strong case that CWP has significant potential for preventing violence in urban areas.
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    SAIC final technical report : Survey Monkey
    (2016-04) Lloyd, Sam; Matzopoulos, Richard
    The report provides detailed answers to standard report questions for the period 2013-2016 for the project “Urban upgrading for violence prevention in South Africa: Does it work?” The diversity of context explored by this study allowed it to examine situations where very similar interventions resulted in quite different outcomes resulting from pre-existing community networks and entrenched patterns of local cohesion. Implications of the study are taken into account in terms of socio-economics, gender, policy, and engagement with other research and researchers.
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    SAIC final technical report summary and tables - urban upgrading for violence prevention in South Africa : does it work?
    (2017-02) Lloyd, Sam; Matzopoulos, Richard
    This report format provides a detailed evaluative summary that includes the project's progress, including in terms of objectives the researcher originally proposed, and the findings resulting from the project. Comments are framed as achievements against original objectives. Tables show publications, activities, conference participation and other outputs and outcomes. Publication of the review “A Systematic Review of the Effects of Poverty Deconcentration and Urban Development on Youth Violence (2014),” is in process, as well as are other objectives.
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    Rapport technique final SAIC : sommaire et tableaux
    (2016-12) Akindes, Francis; Kra, Walker
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    SAIC final technical report
    (2017-02) Owusu, George; Wrigley-Asante, Charlotte; Oteng-Ababio, Martin; Owusu, Adobea Y.
    The study demonstrates the complex relationships between crime and poverty. This technical report provides a brief update to the larger project which explores relationships between crime and neighbourhood socio-economic characteristics in key Ghanaian cities – Accra, Kumasi, Sekondi-Takoradi and Tamale.
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    Reducing urban violence in the global south
    (Routledge, 2019-05-31) Salahub, Jennifer Erin; Gottsbacher, Markus; de Boer, John; D., Mayssam
    Reducing Urban Violence in the Global South seeks to identify the drivers of urban violence in the cities of the Global South and how they relate to and interact with poverty and inequalities. Drawing on the findings of an ambitious five-year, 15-project research program supported by Canada’s International Development Research Centre and the UK’s Department for International Development, the book explores what works, and what doesn’t, to prevent and reduce violence in urban centres. Cities in developing countries are often seen as key drivers of economic growth, but they are often also the sites of extreme violence, poverty, and inequality. The research in this book was developed and conducted by researchers from the Global South, who work and live in the countries studied, and challenges many of the assumptions from the Global North of how poverty, violence, and inequalities interact in urban spaces. In so doing, the book demonstrates that accepted understandings of the causes of and solutions to urban violence developed in the Global North should not be imported into the Global South without careful consideration of local dynamics and contexts. The book concludes by considering the broader implications for policy and practice, offering recommendations for improving interventions to make cities safer and more inclusive. The fresh perspectives and insights offered by this book will be useful to scholars and students of development and urban violence, as well as to practitioners and policymakers working on urban violence reduction programs.
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    Promoción del empoderamiento jurídico en asentamientos informales : recomendaciones y enseñanzas extraídas
    Durante los dos días de debate entre asociados de América Latina y África del Centro de Investigación para el Desarrollo Internacional de Canadá (International Development Research Centre, IDRC) se formularon las siguientes recomendaciones y extrajeron las siguientes enseñanzas. Los participantes provinieron de organizaciones de la sociedad civil y universidades de Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Gana, Kenya y Nigeria. Cada uno de estos países se encuentra en distintas etapas de la investigación participativa llevada a cabo en asentamientos informales cuyo objetivo es mejorar el empoderamiento jurídico, el respecto de los derechos básicos y las condiciones de vida de los residentes.
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    Promouvoir l’autonomisation juridique dans les quartiers informels : recommandations et leçons retenues
    Les recommandations et les leçons retenues qui suivent ont été définies au cours de deux jours de discussions entre les partenaires du Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI) provenant d’Amérique latine et d’Afrique. Les participants représentaient des organisations de la société civile et des universités d’Argentine, de Bolivie, d’Équateur, du Ghana, du Kenya et du Nigéria. Dans chaque pays, la recherche-action participative dans les quartiers informels visant à améliorer l’autonomisation juridique, le respect des droits fondamentaux et les conditions de vie des résidents en est à différentes étapes.
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    Promoting legal empowerment in informal settlements : recommendations and lessons learned
    Workshop participants represented civil society organizations and universities from Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria. Countries are at different stages of conducting participatory action research in informal settlements aimed at improving legal empowerment, respect for basic rights and living conditions of residents. Recommendations and lessons learned relate to: (i) how informal settlement communities can ensure participation and voice of their residents, (ii) how civil society organizations (CSOs) – in many cases external actors to the informal settlements – can play an effective role in supporting residents to those ends, and (iii) roles and responsibilities of government actors.
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    Social theories of urban violence in the Global South : towards safe and inclusive cities
    (Routledge, 2018-04) Salahub, Jennifer Erin; Gottsbacher, Markus; de Boer, John
    Investing in research from the ground up, based on local realities and local understandings, the chapters in this book reflect research undertaken in dozens of cities in Latin America, Sub- Saharan Africa, and South Asia. Northern theories on their own are inadequate to explain everyday, structural, and sporadic forms of interpersonal and criminal violence in the cities assessed. At the core of this book is the ethos that lasting solutions to urban violence and inequality are best developed locally. This is the first of two books which map inter- linkages between social, political, and economic forms of inequality, exclusion, and violence.
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    Para comprender la violencia en Venezuela
    (Fundacion Centro Gumilla, 2016-03) Briceño-León, Roberto
    El 2015 cerró como el año más violento y con mayor criminalidad: las cifras más grandes de homicidios, robos, secuestros, extorsiones en la historia del país. Sin embargo, las cifras oficiales no dijeron nada. El silencio parece ser la política oficial desde hace más de una década… El presente trabajo recoge lo que ha sido la historia y metodología de trabajo del Observatorio Venezolano de Violencia, el informe que presenta la institución del año 2015 y un artículo de su director, que intenta comprender y explicar la violencia y la criminalidad en nuestro país.
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    Safe and Inclusive Cities survey report
    (Southern & Eastern African Regional Centre for Women's Law, 2015)
    With increasing urbanization worldwide over the past half-century, cities in sub-Saharan Africa have been completely changed. In this context, researchers present a comprehensive survey of the Zimbabwean cities of Harare and Bulawayo. They present findings related to the characteristics of household members, the availability of and access to shelter, water and sanitation as well as income sources.
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    Social cohesion : the missing link in overcoming violence and inequality?
    (HumanSciencesRCSA, 2016)
    In order to address the high levels of poverty and violence experienced in Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro, local governments have been seeking evidence on which strategies and interventions are effective for the reduction of violence. Social cohesion is hypothesized to have an important role in reducing community violence. This video documentary is a result of the work done by researchers in the communities of Cape Town and Rio de Janeiro looking into the impacts of social cohesion on violence.
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    Loving thy neighbour in times of violence : social cohesion and collective efficacy in South Africa
    (Scielo, 2016) Barolsky, Vanessa
    The South African state has an understanding of civic solidarity that seeks a common good. Referred to in the literature as “social cohesion,” this is an idea that is said to be a preventative force against violence in communities. Researchers in this study however find that the community of Khayelitsha does not fit into this pre-defined definition. This study examines the ways that collective community order in the material conditions of Khayelitsha present an opposition force to the control of the State. Researchers argue that this can at times be supportive and communitarian and at other times exhibit severe violence.