Supporting communities: work on the ground

Overview

Overview

Action on Armed Violence helps build institutions at the international, regional, national, and local levels that help prevent armed violence and mitigate its impact on people. AOAV is one of the leaders of Global Alliance on Armed Violence (GAAV), a coalition of local and global leaders committed to reducing armed violence that shares best practices on armed violence monitoring and analysis around the world.

AOAV has provided mentoring to and conducted joint research with SEHLAC (Seguridad Humana en Latinoamerica y el Caribe), a regional network composed of Latin American experts and organisations that shares ideas, debates armed violence reduction strategies, and lobbies regional leaders to focus greater attention on armed violence.

AOAV has also been very active at the national and local levels in over a half dozen countries in Africa. AOAV has been working with Nigerian NGOs to form a national Working Group on Armed Violence that will measure the incidence and impact of armed violence across the country. AOAV has also begun to support government bodies such as the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) and the Polisario Ministry of Defense in Western Sahara as they address issues of weapons stockpile management and landmine action, respectively.

AOAV supports survivors’ groups as they plan and conduct advocacy and public awareness campaigns on the rights of armed violence victims and the disabled and lobby for legislative and regulatory reforms to better address their needs.

COUNTING THE COST

In its work on the ground, AOAV is committed to building a better understanding of the costs of armed violence through short studies, nationwide assessments, and ongoing monitoring of armed violence.

AOAV does this to inform evidence-based strategies that will be used by governments and civil society to address armed violence in a targeted and effective way.

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The Liberian Observatory on Armed Violence regularly gathers, analyses and reports on incidents of armed violence across Liberia.

The observatory exists to promote and inform positive change. Currently being developed into a national facility, it aims to be managed by a working group of over 20 members, including government and non-governmental bodies, academics, the media, and international organisations.

AOAV is working with partners to develop similar facilities in Burundi, Sierra Leone and Nigeria, and also works with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to better understand the impact of armed violence in the region.

Counting Costs: S Leone

Counting Costs: S Leone

AOAV considers that understanding armed violence is the first critical step to reducing its incidence and impact. Empirical evidence informs effective, practical and targeted initiatives to reduce and address armed violence on the ground.

Kids_at_dump_in_Sierra_LeoneIn order to build a better understanding of armed violence in Sierra Leone, AOAV worked in partnership with the Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms (SLANSA) to conduct a baseline assessment of armed violence in 2012. This nationwide assessment provides insight into the perceptions and experiences of armed violence at a community level, and provides evidence for targeted policies and programmes, concentrating on highly affected areas.

The analysed findings of the baseline assessment determined that armed violence persists in Sierra Leone, notwithstanding the significant progress made on peace and stability since the end of conflict in 2002. Detailed findings and recommendations can be found in the full report, linked below.

AOAV continues to work in partnership with institutions in Sierra Leone including SLANSA and the Sierra Leone National Commission on Small Arms (SLeNCSA) to respond to findings of the baseline assessment. In particular, AOAV is supporting the implementation of the Arms and Ammunition Act (2012) through the establishment of a nationwide registration system for small arms, supporting blacksmith producers of small arms to secure alternative livelihoods, and will be working with various institutions to facilitate the establishment of an armed violence observatory, similar to the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory.

 

Publications

Sierra Leone Armed Violence Baseline Survey Report – 2013

Cover Sierra Leone Armed Violence Baseline Survey Report-1This report presents findings of a 2012 nationwide baseline assessment of armed violence. The research included key stakeholder interviews, a nationwide household survey, focus group discussions and a literature review.

The research was conducted jointly by AOAV and SLANSA (the Sierra Leone Action Network on Small Arms).

 

Counting Costs: Liberia

Counting Costs: Liberia

Liberian Armed Violence Observatory (LAVO)

Reliable data on the incidence, impact, and perceptions of armed violence are critical to addressing the root causes of violence and ultimately reducing its effects. AOAV established the LAVO in March 2011, working together with a multi-stakeholder group to develop a collaborative facility for collecting and analysing data on armed violence throughout Liberia.

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Liberia’s 14 years of widespread, chronic and vicious armed violence have left the country struggling to recover economically, institutionally and psychosocially.

Local ownership has been a guiding principle in designing and implementing the LAVO, recognising that any program, reform plan, or project must be designed by or in close cooperation with Liberians, who best understand the country’s history and current situation.

By collecting data from multiple stakeholders, the LAVO can create a more comprehensive picture of where and how armed violence occurs nationwide and identify gaps and duplications in official data. The Liberian National Police, United Nations Police and Ministry of Health and Social Welfare are the key data providers, in addition to the Early Warning and Early Response Network, media, international organizations, and local civil society groups, who provide data on a smaller scale.

LAVO data and analysis are open to public scrutiny – in keeping with the transparency and accountability the observatory embodies – in order for information and analysis can be checked and corrected.

The LAVO collects data on:

  • Demographics of victims and perpetrators (e.g. age, gender, nationality)
  • Time and place of incident
  • Type of violence
  • Type of weapon used
  • Outcome of the incident (e.g. physical harm, theft)

The LAVO data can be viewed as part of the Early Warning and Response Network’s dataset on an interactive website (LAVO findings are accessed under ‘groups’). The website allows the public to cross check incidents by location and filter data by categories, such as data source, type of violence, weapon used, demographics of offenders and victims, and date the incident occurred.

With a robust dataset that spans two years of incidence data, the LAVO has been transitioning into increased advocacy for responses to the data findings. For example, the Ministry of Justice recently instituted a curfew for motorcycle drivers in response to the incidence of violence enacted by this population. In addition, AOAV is working in West Point Monrovia to implement armed violence reduction projects.

 

Publications

Third Progress Report on the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory – December 2012

cover-lavo_third_report-1The Third LAVO Report reveals an increase in the number of incidents being submitted to the observatory throughout 2012. There is a notable increase in reports from rural areas in particular.

This report presents the findings from 20 months of analysed armed violence data between May 2011 and December 2012.

 

 

Second Progress Report on the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory – July 2012

cover-second-progress-report-on-the-liberian-armed-violence-observatory-july-2012-1This second LAVO report is based on data from a full year of observation – May 2011 to April 2012. It demonstrates the LAVO’s improved capacity to monitor the incidence of armed violence in Liberia in order to inform effective measures to address the problem. Armed violence data is organised by different criteria: source, location, time, type, outcome, weapon, age, gender and nationality of victims and offenders. The report also discusses the LAVO’s next steps to improve data collection methods,  identifies problem areas and groups prone to violence,  informs policy debate, and provides insight into targeted strategies to reduce and prevent violence.

 

First Progress Report on the Liberian Armed Violence Observatory (LAVO) – December 2011

cover-first-progress-report-on-the-liberian-armed-violence-observatory-lavo-december-2011-1The LAVO was established in March 2011. Since then, a multi-stakeholder working group has been working to establish the observatory and develop a collaborative facility to collect and analyze data. This constitutes the first LAVO report, presenting data on armed violence collected from official sources for the period 15 April to 31 August 2011.

In addition to presenting data and characteristics of armed violence in Liberia, this report outlines some of the opportunities and challenges involved in the Observatory development process.

 

Baseline Assessment on Armed Violence in Monrovia– June 2011

cover-baseline-assessment-on-armed-violence-in-monrovia-june-2011-1A baseline assessment of armed violence and insecurity in Monrovia, the capital of Liberia.

 

 

 

Latin America/the Caribbean

Latin America/the Caribbean

AOAV works with partners in Latin America and the Caribbean to better understand the impact of armed violence in the region. In collaboration with the working group SEHLAC (Seguridad humana en latinoamerica y el Caribe) we research national capacities to understand and address the problem and we carry out advocacy work with governments to ensure that armed violence is addressed effectively.

 

Publications

Best practices to prevent and reduce armed violence: Prevention as a key element in building citizen security and coexistence – November 2012

The second article in the series discusses Bogota’s successful public policies to prevent and reduce armed violence. It provides insights into the combination of prevention and improved law enforcement which has significantly reduced crime and homicide rates in Colombia’s capital city over the last twenty years.

The original Spanish version is available here.

 

Women as victims: How can you explain that God knows what he is doing? And lets them take away my son? – September 2012

SEHLAC is publishing a series of articles on topics related to armed violence prevention and reduction in Latin America, selected for their timeliness and relevance to the region. The first article highlights the situation of women as direct and indirect victims in the case of Venezuela. It shows that, even though the majority of the dead are male, the women and families who are left carry the brunt of armed violence. It focuses on the people who grief and highlights the impacts on their lives.

The original Spanish version is available here.

 

States’ capacities to address armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean AOAV-SEHLAC – May 2012

Layout 1This report looks at national capacities to address the issue of armed violence of 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, the report documents states’ efforts to:
– Measure, monitor and analyse the phenomenon of armed violence
– Develop and implement legal instruments and programmes to address victims’ rights
– Develop and implement legal instruments and programmes to prevent and reduce armed violence.

The original Spanish version is available here.

 

Instruments for measuring armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean – June 2010

This document offers an overview of existing government efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean to measure and monitor armed violence. It looks at types of data collected, at the institutions in charge of collecting the information and it analyses some of the issues related to the use of the collected data. This is a preliminary report that is followed by a complete regional overview to be published in October 2011.

Nigeria

Nigeria

Mapping key efforts to prevent & reduce armed violence

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A member of the NWGAV during a report planning meeting in Abuja in August 2012

What?
The mapping aims to provide an overview of “who does what” in the field of Armed Violence Prevention and Reduction (AVPR) in Nigeria. It seeks to identify key actors and organisations to map the scope, scale and nature of their major interventions and to review the existing legislation related to armed violence.

Who?
The mapping is conducted by the members of the Nigeria Working Group on Armed Violence (NWGAV) and selected civil society partners who are collaborating with AOAV during the length of the project. The Women’s Right to Education Programme (WREP) acts as a national focal point for the NWGAV.

Where?
The mapping will focus on 18 states in Nigeria with a high incidence on armed violence, and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) of Abuja. Research is conducted both at the national and federal level.

When?
The project lasts from July 2012 to December 2012. It consists of four different phases:

    1. Designing the methodology
    2. Desktop research
    3. Field research
    4. Compilation of information and final report

 

Publications

Mapping efforts against armed violence in Nigeria – June 2013

Cover NigeriaFinalReport-1To get a better idea of “who does what” in the prevention and reduction of armed violence, the Nigeria Working Group on Armed Violence and Action on Armed Violence have mapped more than 500 organisations – mainly from civil society, but from government, academia, and international organisations – and their projects tackling violence. This report presents a first overview of the findings, with a special focus on the role of NGOs and faith-based organisations.

 

Publications

Publications

Latin America & the Caribbean

Best practices to prevent and reduce armed violence: Prevention as a key element in building citizen security and coexistence – November 2012

The second article in the series discusses Bogota’s successful public policies to prevent and reduce armed violence. It provides insights into the combination of prevention and improved law enforcement which has significantly reduced crime and homicide rates in Colombia’s capital city over the last twenty years.

The original Spanish version is available here.

Women as victims: How can you explain that God knows what he is doing? And lets them take away my son? – September 2012

SEHLAC is publishing a series of articles on topics related to armed violence prevention and reduction in Latin America, selected for their timeliness and relevance to the region. The first article highlights the situation of women as direct and indirect victims in the case of Venezuela. It shows that, even though the majority of the dead are male, the women and families who are left carry the brunt of armed violence. It focuses on the people who grief and highlights the impacts on their lives.

The original Spanish version is available here.

States’ capacities to address armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean AOAV-SEHLAC – May 2012

Layout 1This report looks at national capacities to address the issue of armed violence of 12 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. In particular, the report documents states’ efforts to:
– Measure, monitor and analyse the phenomenon of armed violence
– Develop and implement legal instruments and programmes to address victims’ rights
– Develop and implement legal instruments and programmes to prevent and reduce armed violence.

The original Spanish version is available here.

Instruments for measuring armed violence in Latin America and the Caribbean – June 2010

This document offers an overview of existing government efforts in Latin America and the Caribbean to measure and monitor armed violence. It looks at types of data collected, at the institutions in charge of collecting the information and it analyses some of the issues related to the use of the collected data. This is a preliminary report that is followed by a complete regional overview to be published in October 2011.

 

Nigeria

Mapping efforts against armed violence in Nigeria – June 2013

Cover NigeriaFinalReport-1To get a better idea of “who does what” in the prevention and reduction of armed violence, the Nigeria Working Group on Armed Violence and Action on Armed Violence have mapped more than 500 organisations – mainly from civil society, but also from government, academia, and international organisations – and their projects tackling violence.

This report presents a first overview of the findings, with a special focus on the role of NGOs and faith-based organisations.