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Systemic Prevention of Youth Violence – a handbook to design and plan comprehensive violence prevention measures

German Company for Technical Cooperation Ltd., Sector Project Implementation of Children an Youth Rights
Year of publication2010
Languagesspanish german english
Useful forCommunities Governments Evaluators
Keywordscrime prevention evidence-based crime prevention youth at risk delinquent youth

What´s it about?

Poverty, the lack of future prospects and social, economical and political marginalization shape the daily lives of many young people and are important structural causes for violence. Overall, young people’s frustration too often results in a propensity for violence and unsafe behavior. As a consequence children and young people become not only victims but also perpetrators of violence. However, young people are also key agents for peace, security and sustainable development and the frame-conditions for their inclusion are created through the development of capacities of state and non-state actors. Youth violence is a com¬plex phenomenon that cannot be addressed and sustainably prevented from a singular perspective. Effective strategies have to follow a systemic approach. This entails to think and act in networks and bring together stakeholders from diverse sectors and administrative levels with the aim to address the context-specific causes of youth violence. The handbook supports the planning, implementation and monitoring of systemic measures to prevent youth violence. Thus, it supports the inclusion of actors from the relevant sectors on all administrative levels. The young individual is percei¬ved as being in the centre of a complex system of actors, who all impact on his/her behavior. Thus, the actors influencing the environ¬ment of young people – parents, teachers, the police and social workers, staff of municipal authorities and national ministries – are activated as partners and target groups of the planned violence prevention measure. By systematically utilizing the handbook, a systemic approach to preventing youth violence can be designed and the positive potential of young people be enhanced.

What´s included?

Based on detailed causal analysis and in cooperation with relevant actors, incremental activities are planned which – directly or indirectly – create better living conditions for young people. In this way, the planned activities discourage the development of youth violence while pointing out alternatives to violent behaviour. Besides background information on youth violence, the handbook includes two workshop concepts which can be used for the context-specific analysis of the causes, extent and consequences of youth violence, and for the planning of tailor-made prevention measures. These concepts are then complemented by a range of tried and tested examples of approaches and methods for the prevention of youth violence, which should provide an initial impetus.

Who can use it?

State-run or non-governmental development cooperation projects in all sectors can use the handbook to design new prevention measures, to redirect existing projects and programme components to address youth violence, or to provide advice to partners. Advisors and members of local or national governments and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can use it for the planning of prevention measures or when establishing a prevention council.

What can it be used for?

Planning and organizing prevention projects and strategies at the local or national level.

What is the value?

Stepwise procedures for planning workshops to study the current (problematic) situation and to initiate inter-sectoral cooperation to prevent youth violence.