GIZ’s systemic approaches to violence prevention

Rubeena Esmail-Arndt
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
Terence Smith
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Due to the complexity of the problem, the creation of safe public spaces and communities cannot be achieved by one actor alone. Effective strategies for preventing violence require a systemic approach, bringing together actors from different sectors at different levels to work collectively in tackling the context-specific causes of unsafety. The presentation therefore focuses on the importance of collaborative action by showcasing GIZ's approach to violence and crime prevention in South Africa and Central America. A core question explored is how to more strongly involve the local level, be it cities, local government, civil society or local businesses, in the creation of safety. In the case of South Africa, on the national level, there are numerous progressive policies and strategies intended for the creation of safer cities and communities in a holistic way, however the challenge remains the implementation on the local level. Here, local government is considered a pivotal actor in its steering function vis-à-vis other levels of government, civil society and the private sector. In many developing countries, including South Africa and those in Central America, youth under the age of 24 make up over half of the overall population - a majority of them living in cites. As many cities struggle to provide their youthful populations with opportunities for participation, youth find themselves increasingly marginalised without access to employment or quality education, with the result that young people are disproportionally affected by violence. Involving young people is therefore a crucial part of solutions to achieving safety. Hence GIZ adopts a “youth lens” in its projects and aims at activating young people for the creation of safer communities.


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verwandte Schlüsselbegriffe

Violence Prevention