Conflict and Fragility

ISSN :
2074-3637 (online)
ISSN :
2074-3645 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/20743637
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This series of books from OECD's Development Co-operation Directorate address the issues of violent conflict and fragile governments in developing countries, and how aid can be designed to reduce violence and strengthen governments.

Also available in: French
 
Investing in Security

Investing in Security

A Global Assessment of Armed Violence Reduction Initiatives You do not have access to this content

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Author(s):
OECD, UNDP, Geneva Declaration
Publication Date :
16 Sep 2011
Pages :
81
ISBN :
9789264124547 (PDF) ; 9789264124530 (print)
DOI :
10.1787/9789264124547-en

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Conservative estimates indicate that at least 740 000 men, women, youth and children die each year as a result of armed violence, most of them in low- and medium-income settings. The majority of these deaths occur in situations other than war, though armed conflicts continue to generate a high incidence of casualties.   Approaches to preventing and reducing these deaths and related suffering are becoming increasingly important on the international agenda. In spite of the global preoccupation with the costs and consequences of armed violence, comparatively little evidence exists about how to stem its risks and effects. Virtually no information is available on Armed Violence Reduction and Prevention interventions, much less their effectiveness.

This publication aims to fill this gap. It seeks to generate more understanding of what works and what does not, to stimulate further evaluation and to contribute to more effective and efficient policies and programmes.

A large-scale mapping of Armed Violence Reduction and Prevention activities around the world form the basis of analysis, focusing primarily on programming trends in six countries – Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa and Timor-Leste. These countries represent the very different programming contexts – from high rates of urban criminal violence to protracted post-conflict insecurity – in which development practitioners are currently engaged.

While offering new data and analysis, this assessment builds directly on the 2009 publication Armed Violence Reduction: Enabling Development.

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    Executive summary
    Conservative estimates indicate that at least 740 000 men, women, youth and children die each year as a result of armed violence, most of them in low- and medium-income settings (Krause, Muggah, Wenmann 2008). The majority of these deaths occur in situations other than war, though armed conflicts continue to generate a high incidence of casualties. Approaches to preventing and reducing these deaths and related suffering are becoming increasingly important on the international agenda. The United Nations (UN) Secretary General (2009) and UN General Assembly (2008) highlighted the relationships between armed violence and under-development and various high-level diplomatic processes are drawing more attention to promising solutions. In spite of the global preoccupation with the costs and consequences of armed violence, comparatively little evidence exists about how to stem its risks and effects. Virtually no information is available on armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) interventions, much less their effectiveness.
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    Introduction
    There are literally thousands of armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) interventions underway around the world. Some regions – North America, Western Europe, South-Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean – seem to have more programming experience than others. Indeed, North and sub-Saharan Africa, South, South-East, and Central Asia and Central and Eastern Europe exhibit less activity (though not necessarily indicating low levels of actual programming experience).
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    Conceptualising armed violence reduction and prevention
    This chapter sets out a basic typology of different Armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) programmes and highlights emerging promising practices. It "sets the scene" for the empirical assessment featured in subsequent chapters. Armed violence reduction and prevention interventions can be direct, indirect or components of wider development schemes. Direct interventions aim to influence the instruments, actors and institutional environments that enable armed violence. Indirect interventions counter the proximate and structural risk factors that shape armed violence onset and intensity. Broader development schemes may not have armed violence reduction and prevention as their primary aim but can nonetheless contribute to reductions in insecurity over time.
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    Mapping Armed violence reduction and prevention programming trends
    This chapter considers the general characteristics of armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) activites in Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa and Timor-Leste. It detects a surge in policies and programmes over the past five years and some innovative shifts in programming theory and practice. It features a comparative analysis of direct, indirect and broader AVRP activities in each setting, the types of armed violence specific interventions aim to redress, their gender dimensions, their timelines, approaches to monitoring and evaluation, and budgets.
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    Case study summaries
    This chapter considers the wide range of armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) activities in Brazil, Burundi, Colombia, Liberia, South Africa and Liberia. It reviews the historical and social factors giving rise to specific forms of AVRP, but also profiles the policies and activities in each context. In states affected by and emerging from armed conflict, approaches may be more direct and include controlling the tools of violence or demobilising and reintegrating combatants. In states experiencing acute rates of violent crime, interventions may be more indirect and emphasise recurring risks such as chronic youth unemployment and extreme inequality.
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    Conclusion
    This report represents a groundbreaking effort to map out armed violence reduction and prevention (AVRP) programmes around the world. It introduces an innovative conceptual framework and survey methodology, and new empirical material. It is not a "how to" guide to programming, but rather a descriptive overview of the state of AVRP programming. While not exhaustive – the focus was primarily on mapping six settings and 570 initiatives – it is substantial. The findings are illustrative of the many thousands of programmes being advanced to prevent armed violence in lower- and middle-income contexts.
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