Making Cities Safer
Citizen security innovations from Latin America
This report explores the evidence of what works and what does not when it comes to promoting citizen security in Latin American and Caribbean cities. While not exhaustive, the report features a range of positive and less positive experiences of 10 municipalities and metropolitan areas across the region. The goal is to highlight the change in approach from hardline law and order approaches to ones that emphasize multi-sector and preventive measures. The structure of the report is straightforward. Each case study includes a broad overview of the context and problem, a description of the intervention and how it was implemented, and some reflections on the outcomes and impacts (p. 2). Interventions involving outreach to youth and use of education are mentioned in the Chile and Jamaica case studies.
An over-arching conclusion is that citizen security is challenging and can take time. There are no silver bullets. Not all of the interventions listed below were completely effective and impact evaluations were limited, even for many of those that did register signs of improved security and safety. Taken together however, the case studies present fascinating lessons for consideration. They underscore the importance of connecting formal institutions to vulnerable communities, addressing social and economic development, ensuring sustained political support, and robust analysing and monitoring throughout the life of discrete programs and projects (p. 2).