The Role of Data in Safety Planning in South Africa

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Knowledge and information are critical to understanding safety. Information is required to understand the specific and local nature of safety problems; to gain insight into global best practices and interventions likely to respond effectively to local safety problems; and to monitor the impact and adapt the implementation of local projects.

Traditionally knowledge and information relating to crime and violence have almost exclusively encompassed quantitative crime statistics. In recent years an increasing emphasis is placed on local lived experience data, gathered predominantly through local safety auditing tools. There is also a move to acknowledge perceptions, and other more qualitative data, as significant, especially for planning and design.

Advances in data technology represent opportunities for gathering and managing information which can significantly impact the understanding of local safety factors. However, technology can be expensive, and intimidating.

In the Data themed session of the Municipal Case Studies, discussion focused on contemporary innovations in the generation and analysis of data relating to safety; lessons of where technology can be useful; and the challenges of integrating quantitative and qualitative data to gain a nuanced and practically useful understanding of safety at a local level.

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