In Latin America and the Caribbean there is a growing need to better align citizen security research done by the academic community with what the practitioners actually do. Bringing the two closer together would improve the effectiveness of programs to reduce crime and violence as well as take into account the realities of each country, region and city.
The challenge is the big gaps in knowledge on what constitutes effective governance in citizen security.
Recently, the renowned professor David Farrington – winner of Stockholm University’s 2013 Criminology Prize – urged governments to create special agencies to coordinate national prevention strategies (Farrington, 2013). In some countries in Latin America and the Caribbean there are many instances tasked with this coordination, which tends to duplicate efforts.
Over the last decade, countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Mexico have moved to include more prevention in their efforts to lower crime and violence. Bogota and Sao Paolo have even developed special local plans.
Even so, the region lags in its ability to consolidate and manage anti-crime public policies based on information analysis and empirical evidence. To reduce these knowledge and training gaps, we are asking regional and non-regional institutions to express their interest in crafting a special course for citizen security practitioners. The course looks to strengthen the technical capacities of officials, decision-makers and other actors, thus contributing to improved implementation of citizen security policies in Latin America and the Caribbean.
This will be carried out through a special Leadership and Management in Citizen Security Certification Program, which will include key aspects such as:
– Strengthening the technical capacities and specialization of decision-making authorities to improve the quality of their public policy design processes, implementation and evaluation;
– Sharing experiences and creating a network of top practitioners;
– Identifying effective approaches and models that take into account the realities of each region.
Universities (from the region and beyond) are welcome to form alliances with institutions that have experience in training and interacting with practitioners.
The science of social service implementation to prevent violence is a new field. This endeavor seeks to generate platforms for dialogue to share experiences on what works and what does not — emphasizing implementation to encourage the use of rigorous methodologies to design and implement new projects and initiatives. The idea is to have a strong component of evaluation to generate more region-wide evidence of what works.
While the course will be imparted on site, eventually many of the materials will be used to generate a massive online course for use with other audiences.
Parties should use this website to express their interest in taking part in the program. Deadlines and additional details on the process are here and you can reach us at this email: email@example.com.
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Photo credit: Flickr CC Florida Memory