Proceedings of a Workshop
Identifying the Role of Violence and Its Prevention in the Post-2015 Global Agenda
Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief
The establishment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) begins a new phase for international development. Building on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), eight anti-poverty targets that the world committed to achieving by 2015, the SDGs provide a blueprint for action to end poverty, protect the environment, and build a safer and more just world through the year 2030 (UN, 2015). The post-2015 SDGs set out 17 specific goals and 169 associated targets across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development, all to be achieved by 2030. The SDGs include the prevention of violence and have several targets that address the underlying causes of violence as well as targets that address such risk factors as poverty, alcohol misuse, social protection, and justice. Multiple goals in the SDGs include reducing all forms of violence, including against children (16.1, 16.2), the creation of safe learning environments and the promotion of a culture of peace (4.a, 4.7), eliminating violence and the exploitation of women and children (5.2, 5.3), eradicating child labor (8.7), and developing safe transport and public spaces (11.2, 11.7) (UN, 2015).
To further illuminate the role of violence and its prevention in the post-2015 global agenda, the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention convened a 2-day meeting to explore the ways in which violence prevention efforts fit into the global agenda and to begin to identify the ways in which the U.S. government as well as state governments, industries, multilaterals, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other institutions might be able to support and advance both the sustainable development agenda and the violence prevention objectives within it. Invited speakers and workshop discussions were guided by the following questions: (1) In what ways do violence and its prevention permeate the various goals, targets, and indicators of the SDGs, including how violence impacts less obvious goals and targets such as those related to sanitation, education, and cities, among others? (2) In what ways might countries or governments approach the SDGs and the post-development agenda in terms of prioritization and practicality, and how might this impact the field of violence prevention in the coming years? (3) How might violence prevention experts contribute in meaningful and robust ways to the post-2015 global agenda and in-country efforts to reduce the burden of violence as a means of reaching goals, targets, and indicators? (4) What are current evidence-based policies, interventions, and violence prevention frameworks that show promise in reducing the burden of violence with an aim of meeting the proposed SDGs? and (5) What are the opportunities for collaboration across sectors and stakeholders in meeting the SDGs, and how can violence prevention experts “make the case” to external experts and stakeholders that reducing the global burden of violence is integral to the success of the post-2015 agenda?
This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief is organized by day and presents panel discussions, plenary presentations, and small and large group discussions.
INTRODUCTION TO THE WORKSHOP
Sheldon Greenberg of Johns Hopkins University and chair of the Forum on Global Violence Prevention, welcomed participants and noted that the forum has adopted the definition of violence put forward by the World Health Organization: the intentional use of physical force or power, threatened or actual, against one’s self, another person, or against a group or community that either results in or has a high likelihood of resulting in injury, death, psychological harm, maldevelopment, or deprivation (Krug et al., 2002).
INTRODUCTION TO THE POST-2015 GLOBAL AGENDA PANEL
Greenberg explained that the speakers would address violence prevention within the post-2015 global agenda. Forum member James Mercy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) spoke of the importance of the SDGs in bringing together critical and diverse stakeholders, Tony Pipa of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) provided an overview of the role of the U.S. government in supporting the SDGs, and Molly Elgin-Cossart of the Center for American Progress reviewed the role of national governments in planning for sustainable development.
The Violence Prevention Agenda Within the Sustainable Development Goals
The SDGs are important, Mercy said, because the goals will promote social mobilization, provide an opportunity to use peer pressure to move the goals forward, spur the development of networks of expertise and practice, and mobilize diverse stakeholders to work together for a common purpose. To translate the goals into measurable progress by 2030, Mercy said, the prevention efforts should be targeted toward those countries and regions with the highest risk and should act on the cross-cutting and lifespan nature of violence. Mercy also noted the importance of prioritizing environmental change, addressing social norms, addressing access to lethal means of violence and alcohol, and addressing poverty and improving equity. In moving forward, Mercy said, it will be important to take innovation into action through creating a workforce, supporting training, monitoring progress, providing technical assistance and coaching, and creating prevention delivery through organizations that can carry out and sustain effective and accessible programs, policies, and practices.
A U.S. Government Perspective on the Creation and Advancement of the Sustainable Development Goals
Pipa said that the MDGs provided the first indicators and measurement of specific areas of global health and that the SDGs are creating the opportunity to both continue and expand around new areas, such as violence prevention, within the post-2015 agenda. Pipa stressed the political commitment behind the development of the SDGs, which he said was among the most inclusive and transparent processes in the history of the United Nations (UN). Because the SDGs require resources beyond what governments can provide, he said, the presence of political commitment can elevate partnerships across sectors—the commitment of the United States, both domestically and internationally through agencies such as USAID, is guided by the core theme of “leave no one behind.” Pipa noted that USAID and the U.S. Department of State are also engaged in the Call to Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls, launched by Sweden and the United Kingdom in 2013, with the United States assuming leadership in 2014. Pipa told the audience that the Call to Action developed a roadmap to operationalize a framework for transitioning the commitments made by the participants into substantive and meaningful change, and the SDGs help guide domestic endeavors and USAID’s work globally, and vice versa. Both Mercy and Pipa said that the SDGs provide a platform for sharing lessons learned, models and interventions, and data.
Planning for Sustainable Development
Elgin-Cossart said she approaches work toward sustainable development based on the five Ps: involving people, the planet (e.g., tackling climate change), prosperity to create positive changes in the economy, peace, and partnerships. She said that the SDGs create an opportunity to shape norms, an agenda for public advocacy, and a common reference point for policy; however, as key stakeholders, national governments are challenged by limited or poor data, the overall trends in violence, and a lack of practical policy and guidance. Elgin-Cossart challenged national governments to champion the SDGs, to embed the SDGs into national plans and strategies, and to provide financial, technical, and convening support with other key stakeholders. To fully plan for the SDGs and advance the violence prevention agenda, Elgin-Cossart called on key stakeholders to articulate a compelling narrative, overcome current fragmentation, develop clear strategies for implementation, allocate funds, and ensure standards, protocols, and technology for implementation.
USING TECHNOLOGY AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS TO AMPLIFY YOUTH VOICES GLOBALLY AND IGNITE CHANGE
Kristen Ali Eglinton, the executive director and co-founder of the Footage Foundation, spoke about using information and communication technology to address violence prevention. Eglinton described how participatory digital storytelling, a technique using 1- to 2-minute films with images, text, and sound, not only grants her the ability to learn to understand people’s rich complexities and social realities but also acts as a tool of transformation at the individual and collective level. She said that the Footage Foundation uses these methods to amplify the voices of young people and, in doing so, promotes change within themselves and within their wider community. Because compassion and empathy are the core of the Footage Foundation’s programming, she said, using the SDGs as guidance in the implementation of interventions starts with the voices of the people being served. Eglinton spoke about the Girl-talk-Girl program, which focuses on gender-based violence and connects the shared experiences of young women in New York City and young women in Russia. The program uses Paulo Freire’s concept of conscientization, where a person tells his or her story, reads the story again, talks about it again, and through reflecting back on that story becomes conscious of that story. Through becoming conscious of his or her story, the individual gains an in-depth understanding of the story, gains the perspective necessary to change the story, and thereby is able to create change. This change occurs both within the individual young person and within the community so that it eventually becomes collective change. Eglinton described how young women are forming a grassroots movement, creating a larger compassionate community that breaks down isolation and provides tools for advocacy. The Girl-talk-Girl application’s programming is localized; girls receive training on information and communication technology (ICT) and they provide input on what features are the most useful given their local needs, and in turn, they help design a phone application that works locally. She said that the application includes a toolkit with local resources and locally updated safe and dangerous routes home and also that the Girl-talk-Girl program engages young women in full digital storytelling workshops, with a monitoring and evaluation component that measures, for example, increases in compassion and increases in ICT skills. Eglinton described how more recently, five young women in New York City and five in St. Petersburg, Russia, have undergone intense leadership training and are now working in their communities documenting stories with other young women.
Greenberg began the discussion that followed Eglinton’s presentation by asking what other forms of interventions have been sought out by the young women, and Elizabeth Ward of the Violence Prention Alliance asked about the accessibility of the apps. Eglinton said that many of the young women have continued with the program, moving from internships to paid employment, as well as being engaged at the civic level. She spoke of the difference in Russia, where their partner is the Russian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Network—a group that is currently listed as a foreign agent—and the intervention includes young women telling their stories of being subjected to corrective rape. She said that this opportunity to talk, which for many of the women is the first such opportunity, is a major form of closure for some of the women, while others have sought other therapeutic interventions afterward. Eglinton clarified that the apps are not available to the public, as a young person must go through the organization and the training in order to access the app.
Breakout Session: Exploring the SDGs Through the Lens of Violence Prevention
After splitting up according to their areas of interest (i.e., violence against women, collective violence, violence against children, community-based violence), workshop participants met in small groups and discussed the opportunities for the United States and other countries and institutions to contribute to the success of the SDGs, with each group having a specific focus on SDGs related to its subfield of violence prevention. Afterward, Greenberg invited Ward, Valerie Maholmes of the National Institutes of Health, Evelyn Tomaszewski of the National Association of Social Workers, and Shavon Artis Dickerson of the Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to present overviews of the small group discussions.
Ward reported that several individual participants in the community-based violence interest group said that community violence can be seen within the spectrum of violence, which ranges from disorganized sporadic incidents to highly organized violence. She said that the development arena needs to address community violence as a critical part of the SDGs; for example, efforts under Goal 5, which addresses violence against women and girls, will affect SDGs addressing education and economics, which in turn will address the safety of the communities. She reported that several individual participants in the interest group suggested building community response by using broad-based coalitions that are culturally appropriate to the situation as well as working to create a synergy between key stakeholders, such as law enforcement and public health officials. She also reported that while it was agreed that more data are needed, several individual participants suggest using what data are available, working to improve the data, and sharing the information with community
members. Another challenge is that many of the information systems are not homogenized and thereby are not easily translated across different platforms. She finished by saying that engaging communities may require using data based on a different profile—rather than presenting victimization numbers, for example, one could measure the decrease of violence in an area or the number of children who could safely play in their own communities.
Maholmes provided an overview of the topics discussed by the participants in the violence against children interest group, and Tomaszewski summarized issues brought up by the individual participants. Maholmes reported the areas discussed by the participants, which included recognizing the complex yet interrelated relationship among the issues of collective violence and all other forms of violence and that in looking at the root causes and commonalities of these different forms of violence, one often finds the same actors or perpetrators of multiple forms of violence toward children. She also reported the suggestion that institutional silos based on typologies of violence for technical, logistical, and political violence should also look at the commonalities in order to identify common risks and predictors of when and where violence might occur. Maholmes further said that in order to help identify these intersections, the SDGs need increased data availability, with the theme of using a long-term developmental life course perspective being critical. She said that changing social norms and values, including the “isms” perpetuated often through collective oppression, can work to reduce cross-cutting types of violence. She also addressed the benefit of using salient moments that allow individuals to engage and to share those stories that help people connect and transform thinking and behaviors in ways that promote ending violence, including the use of social media—and, she added, evidence exists, so stakeholders should find it, implement it, integrate it, and build capacity that sustains change. Tomaszewski referred to the U.S. Government Action Plan on Children in Adversity (USG, 2012) and reported that the individual group participants discussed several opportunities for implementation of that action plan, including having the forum on Global Violence Prevention explore the use and implementation of the action plan during a “science into action” workshop. Group participants also explored the idea of having the forum review Public Law 109-95 (Assistance for Orphans and Other Vulnerable Children in Developing Countries Act of 2005) from the lens of the SDGs.
Dickerson, who provided an overview of the violence against women (VAW) interest group discussion, noted that most of the SDGs present an opportunity to address VAW and girls. She described how intersectionality in addressing VAW across various areas and infrastructures is critical; for example, involving those working on economic development, water and sanitation, and education in the effort to end VAW and girls can create safer communities. Dickerson reported that some group participants discussed the need to implement interdisciplinary approaches to assess gaps and assets in laws, services, and policy addressing VAW. According to Dickerson, individual members of the VAW group stressed that addressing mental health is critical to building and reinforcing resiliency and that the lack of specific inclusion of mental health in the SDGs needs to be met by finding opportunities to address mental health across Goals and targets. She reported that the group also discussed the impact of branding and language and the idea of using different language that could resonate across cultures and communities; for example, referring to Goal 5, words such as “gender equity” and “empowerment” may translate better as “harmony” or “building resiliency to address equality and empowerment.” Finally, Dickerson reported that some group members spoke about how long-term commitment requires including those invested in individual programs and those committed to violence prevention; one example is that the federal interagency working group looks at VAW by bringing together diverse stakeholders and cultivating partnerships to help expand ideas and resources for creating prevention strategies.
Responding to multiple comments about the needs to better interpret and share data and to create evidence-based practical tools, Mercy discussed the CDC technical packages, which outline the best available evidence concerning the prevention of child maltreatment and sexual violence. He added that, on a global level, the World Bank, UNICEF, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief, and the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children are working together to package the best available evidence concerning violence against children.
EXPLORATION OF SELECTED INDIVIDUAL GOALS PANEL
Arturo Cervantes, of Anáhuac University, member of Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, and the forum, said that presentations in the next panel, Exploration of Selected Goals, would focus on specific SDGs and targets related to violence prevention either directly or indirectly. Luigi De Martino, project coordinator of the Geneva Declaration, speaking via a remote link, spoke about Goal 16 as an opportunity to reduce the illicit arms flow globally. Cervantes provided an overview of research findings focused on corruption and impunity. Forum member Susan Bissell, director of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children, provided an overview of the partnership’s strategy. Cailin Crockett of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) offered an overview of the role of UNDP in achieving the post-2015 agenda.
Supporting Goal 16 Through the Reduction of the Illicit Flow of Firearms
Speaking about the connection between firearms and violence deaths, De Martino said that, taking the annual average between 2007 and 2012, firearms accounted for about 44 percent of all violent deaths. De Martino said that Goal 16 links peace promotion to sustainable development, and he highlighted Target 16.4, which calls for a significant reduction of illicit financial and arms flow to strengthen the recovery and return of stolen assets and combat all forms of organized crime. Little information currently exists on the scale and dimension of transactional firearms trafficking, and De Martino suggested that to reach the goal of peace and security and to help reduce violence, it would be useful to strengthen arms control measures by reducing the risk of diversion of arms into illicit markets. He noted that Indicator 16.4.2 calls for the measurement of the proportion of seized small arms and light weapons that are recorded and traced (in accordance with international standards and legal instruments), which places seizures and tracing on the international agenda; supports efforts to trace weapons used in crimes, acts of terror, and in armed conflict; and will stimulate good practices in international tracing. De Martino stressed that partnerships at the regional and global level are needed to support national efforts, noting the German government has called for a global partnership on small arms and light weapons that could focus on such things as indicators, analysis, good practices, resources, and capacity building.
Supporting Goal 16 Through the Prevention of Corruption and Impunity
Also speaking about SDG 16, Cervantes spoke of the importance of Targets 4–8, which include metrics on reducing corruption and bribery; building transparency in institutions; and supporting inclusive, participatory, and representative decision making. He commented that corruption is not exclusive to governments and politicians, but rather it pervades other sectors and activities and all social classes. Presenting research on the public perception of the government in Mexico performed by Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity, Cervantes noted that although 79 percent of Mexicans identify corruption in the public sector as a serious problem, only 34 percent of Mexicans, on average, reported that it exists within their own social circles (co-workers, neighbors, relatives), with the average household forced to consign 14 percent of its income to extra-official payments. The same research found that corruption costs represent about 5 percent of Mexico’s gross domestic product (GDP), or about 17.5 times the budget of Mexico’s Justice Department and 3 times the budget of Mexico’s Ministry of Public Education. Transparency has its costs, Cervantes said, with 6 out of 10 Mexicans not reporting a crime to the authorities because it is “not worth the effort” or they “don’t trust the authorities.” He reported that Mexicans Against Corruption and Impunity believes that acts of corruption may be prevented and that corruption networks can be dismantled through effective national policies, political will, and civic leadership. Cervantes outlined five weapons that can be used against corruption and impunity: applied research, investigative journalism, strategic litigation, an active citizenship, and social mobilization to create an organized civil society and empowered citizenship.
The Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children
Bissell said that the mission of the Global Partnership to End Violence Against Children is to make societies safer for children, protect childhood, and end violence against children everywhere. It envisions a world in which every child grows up free from violence and exploitation. Bissell identified the SDGs that support the vision and mission of the partnership: end violence against children (Goals 4, 5, 8, 16), reduce the impact of violence in families and communities in all settings (Goals 11, 16), and ensure access to fair and effective institutions and to justice for all (Goal 16). She said that partnership efforts are guided by three goals: building political will, accelerating action, and strengthening collaboration. Bissel said that building political will to end violence against children and promoting evidence-based strategies that lead to significant, sustained, and measurable reductions in violence are priorities of the organization. Building political will includes governments forming alliances with all sectors of society to prevent violence against children. Acceleration will occur, Bissell added, through the central contribution of partnerships with “pathfinder countries,” taking necessary action to end violence against children and deliver SDG 16.2 and related targets. To facilitate action, she said, pathfinders within the partnership will receive technical support to execute a whole-of-government approach to violence prevention, which is to include development of a road map for the implementation of evidence-based solutions and a national commitment to increased financing. She said that strengthening collaborations is critical to success and that the partnership and pathfinder countries will build and strengthen collaborations among and between countries and form alliances with key stakeholders and civil society across all sectors of society to prevent violence against children. Bissell concluded that the Partnership will continue to create platforms for sustained trans-national action and learning and to serve as a global forum for setting learning standards while promoting mutual accountability and the generation and dissemination of knowledge and evidence.
Ending Violence Against Women and Girls
Violence against women is both a human rights issue and a challenge to sustainable development, Crockett said, and it requires shifting those social norms rooted in disparities between women and men. She said that women’s empowerment is a pre-condition for the success of the SDGs and that tackling gender violence is at the heart of this mission. Crockett told the audience that UNDP’s Gender Team on ending violence against women and girls is guided by SDG 5: to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. She said that UNDP has integrated ending violence against women throughout the development portfolio and included it as part of implementation efforts via community and country-led partnerships. Crockett highlighted one particular partnership, a pilot project in Kenya that addresses the intersection of HIV and sexual violence, which has successfully encouraged investment in violence prevention from the private and public sector. Crockett noted that other specific targets address the factors that contribute to VAW, such as harmful substance use (3.5), socioeconomic inequality and lack of economic rights (1.4, 8.5), and access to education (4.5). She said that UNDP is working on two main indicators to measure progress on Goal 5’s violence-related targets; the first indicator measures the 12-month prevalence of intimate partner violence among women and girls 15 years and older with data disaggregated by form of violence (physical, sexual, psychological) and by age, while the second indicator measures the 12-month prevalence of non-partner sexual violence and will be disaggregated by age and place of occurrence. She stressed that meaningful rigorous data collection is pivotal to the SDG mandate to leave no one behind. Crockett told the audience that the SDGs hold promise for addressing both the symptoms and the roots of VAW by providing a comprehensive picture of the intersectionality of VAW and other types of violence across the life course, by confirming VAW as universal, by requiring broader and deeper partnerships globally, and by requiring use of human rights principles and inclusive and comprehensive responses across sectors, SDG targets, and social justice movements.
During the group discussion, Rodrigo Guerrero, Mayor of Cali, Colombia said that the World Health Organization has significantly improved its measured homicide rates, allowing countries to capture data at the national and city levels, while Cervantes added that data disaggregation needs to be improved so as to continue to include sex, age, and location but also to measure the instrument of violence. Andrés Villaveces from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill suggested learning from efforts to hold the tobacco industry accountable for the health problems due to tobacco use and, accordingly, to gain data and create policy-level accountability for producers of firearms. Vicki Stein from USAID highlighted UNDP’s research looking at men’s attitudes about gender-based violence; understanding norms from the male perspective is critical to developing successful prevention efforts, she said. Jackie Campbell from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing asked the panelists to further discuss how to address the reality of unsupportive criminal justice systems. Tomaszewski asked about the best way to engage communities and build partnerships among those promoting human rights or working with the LGBT community or addressing gun violence. Responding to the issue of law and implementation, Crockett said that in the development sector, this can be addressed by working directly with law enforcement agencies and officials on the ground, doing norms-change trainings and building on the capacity of these agencies to provide trauma-informed responses as well. For partnerships, she said, it is important to reach out to all sectors of development from climate change to peace building and democratic governments. Bissell added that breaking down silos is key in order to raise confidence that individuals working together can make improvements that will address all issues, and that supporting social norms change is critical. Cervantes noted the importance of the ecological framework with a life course approach.
EXPLORATION OF MONITORING AND EVALUATION PANEL
Tomaszewski invited panelists to highlight opportunities to monitor and evaluate the successes related to the post-2015 global agenda that will be seen in coming years. Thomas Abt of the Harvard John F. Kennedy School of Government focused on community-based violence in his presentation. Then Aubrey Fox of the Institute for Economics and Peace presented an overview of key drivers and measures of peace.
The kNOw Violence Approach: Measuring and Addressing Community Violence Among Youth
Abt explained how the kNOw violence initiative works to address the prevention of violence against children in the home, at school, and in the community. It is a learning-based advocacy initiative that leverages existing information on effective policies, practices, and programs to prevent childhood violence with the goal of stimulating global, prioritized, and coordinated action to end violence. Abt said that kNOw Violence builds on three central themes: violence is preventable, sound evidence and effective communication inform policy, and countries can learn from one another. According to Abt,
community violence concentrates both globally, with countries with 11 percent of the world’s population accounting for 46 percent of homicide victims, and locally, with community violence being highly concentrated among a small number of places, people, and behaviors. The evidence indicates, he said, that because of this concentration, focused interventions targeting the highest-risk places, people, and behaviors are the most effective. He added that tertiary and secondary prevention are generally more effective than primary prevention and that monitoring and evaluation strategies should be as focused and strategic as possible. The best approach, he said is to, first, build or improve reporting systems for homicide using data from both law enforcement and public health, then expand to other types of violence; second, study and publicize the sizable national, state, and local costs of violence; and, finally, monitor the institutions most responsive to violence, including police, hospitals, and prevention providers. Abt ended by calling for more and better evaluation of evidence-informed approaches, blending global knowledge with local innovation and expertise, with a strategic emphasis on the cumulative development of comparable knowledge, using consistent methodologies across contexts.
Measuring a Peaceful World
Fox said that the Institute for Economics and Peace strives to better understand the key drivers and measures of peace and to identify the economic benefits that increased peacefulness can deliver. The institute measures a very broad issue, she said, which is the state of peace in the world. To do this it uses several different indicators, looking at both negative peace and positive peace; negative peace is defined as the absence of direct violence and the absence of fear of violence, with findings represented in the Global Peace Index (GPI). The GPI indicators, she said, include 6 measures of ongoing domestic and international conflict looking at organizational and relational issues; 10 measures of societal safety and security, such as incarceration, terrorism, and number of refugees; and 7 measures of militarization, including ease of access to small weapons. Fox identified a decade-long trend, with the world having seen a 2.4 percent decrease in peace since 2008; deaths from internal conflict and the impact of terrorism have accounted for the largest part of that deterioration, she said. The global cost of violence is 13.4 percent of the world’s total GDP, she reported, which is an increase of 15.3 percent from 2008. She recommended using the GPI as a tool to help better understand the drivers of peace, to provide a monitoring tool for governments and intergovernmental organizations, and to provide data for use in advocacy.
Fox also outlined the factors of the Positive Peace Index (PPI), which measure the attitudes, institutions, and structures that sustain peace. She explained that the PPI is based on analysis of more than 8,500 variables addressing the macro economy, social relations and attitudes, economic and social development, economic and social integration, the functioning and structure of government, and external relations—in short, that the PPI is an attempt to reframe the study of peace in terms of what works. She said that the institute has come up with eight factors that it considers to be important to peace: functioning governments, the equitable distribution of resources, the free flow of information, good relations with neighbors, high levels of human capital, acceptance of the rights of others, low levels of corruption, and sound business environments. She added that the institute has found a very strong division between the most peaceful nations of the world, which are becoming more and more peaceful, and the least peaceful nations, which are becoming less and less peaceful. Speaking of the SDGs, she said that the institute has consistently found that countries embroiled in conflict simply cannot meet any of these development goals.
CONNECTING THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS WITH RESEARCH, POLICY, AND PRACTICE PANEL
This session explored how the SDGs could influence research, policy, and practice over the coming 15 years. Lisa Witter of Apolitical and a member of the Forum on Global Violence Prevention welcomed and introduced the panel. Maureen Greenwood-Basken of Wellspring Advisors presented the Shiffman Framework as a means of preventing violence against children, Rachel Jewkes of the Medical Research Council of South Africa addressed (via remote link) the importance of connecting evidence research to violence prevention, Andrew Morrison of the Inter-American Development Bank provided an overview of big challenges to attaining the SDGs, and Joanna Rubinstein of the World Childhood Foundation USA discussed the post-2015 agenda from the practice perspective.
Using the Shiffman Framework to Advance the Violence Prevention Agenda on the Global Stage
Greenwood-Basken reviewed the Shiffman Framework as a means of addressing how social movements become a political priority. The Shiffman Framework, she explained, looks at four main categories within the public health space: actor power (the strength of the individual and organizations), ideas (understanding and presentation), political context (the environment in which a person operates), and issue characteristics (the features of the problem) (Shiffman and Smith,
2007). She further explained that actor power includes guiding institutions, leadership, civil society mobilization, and policy community cohesion; ideas include an internal and external frame of reference, commonly rooted in ethics with a supporting economic argument; political contexts include the global governance structure and the policy window; and issue characteristics require credible indicators and effective interventions, which are often challenged by data collection, the complexity of problems, and reaching consensus for a specific solution. Greenwood-Basken provided an overview of using effective evidence-based interventions and strategies that have proven to have a high likelihood of reducing violence as building blocks for violence prevention. She described one program, THRIVES, which is a global package to prevent violence against children. The name, she noted, stands for Training in parenting, Household and economic strengthening, Reducing violence through protective policies, Improved services, Values and norms that protect children, and Evaluation and Surveillance.1
Connecting Research, Policy, and Practice to Advance Violence Prevention in the Post-2015 Agenda
Jewkes suggested that the role of researchers through the next 15 years should be to guide policy makers, NGOs, and donors toward evidence-based interventions, actions, and investments in order to continue to generate knowledge and to document, interrogate, and evaluate the global efforts and generate learnings based on the SDGs. Jewkes presented data from a 2014 comprehensive evidence review implemented by What Works to Prevent Violence. The findings from that review identified prevention programs that were ineffective or conflicting, such as single-focus intervention campaigns or bystander interventions, as well as ones that were promising in terms of their potential to be effective in addressing VAW; the latter group included parenting programs (promising) and microfinance and gender transformative approaches (effective). Jewkes described a review of policing that found mandatory reporting and arrest for domestic violence to be ineffective, but protective orders with mandatory arrest to be a promising intervention. Addressing the balance of prevention and response, Jewkes said that it is not either/or, but rather both. She mentioned several shortcomings, including a lack of basic protective legislation, the lack of political and social will among law enforcement agencies to provide justice and protection for victims and survivors of violence, and a lack of services for victims (mental health, health services, shelter). Jewkes offered an overview of programs currently under review through the What Works to Prevent Violence Global Program Consortium. These programs, she explained, are designed to support the three pillars of research within the global program: increasing the understanding of drivers of violence, evaluating interventions, and understanding the cost of intervening. The intervention pillar is divided into four groups of interventions, she said: the economic empowerment of women (and men) and gender programming, interventions and research with children (mainly in schools), social norms change programs that work with men and women in their community, and interventions with couples. She explained that the research findings will provide evidence to help donors better understand the costs and benefits of scaling up interventions and to help governments assess the potentially disabling impact of violence. Jewkes listed several next steps in furthering the post-2015 agenda: investing in research, including economic analysis, developing platforms for scaling up interventions, and carrying out research on new modalities.
Focusing on policy in his presentation, Andrew Morrison identified three big challenges to attaining the SDGs on VAW. First, he noted, there is little known about what works to prevent VAW, particularly in developing countries; second, the data remain limited; third, national plans lack an evidence base, are consistently underfunded, and are not results based. He said that the result of these gaps is to create a cycle of low-quality national plans that receive little from economic ministries and include poor choices in investments and programs. He stressed how difficult it is in developing countries to fund impact evaluations on any issue and especially on issues of violence against women and children, which means there is little evidence on the effectiveness and cost of programs dealing with such violence. Regarding Abt’s suggestion of starting with measuring homicide, Morrison said it might be possible to bring prominence to the issue of VAW by linking the statistics of femicide and homicide, and youth homicide and gang-related homicide. He did note, however, that finding a platform to do so may be challenging. He described a results-based approach used in Chile. The country’s national gender mainstreaming strategy, which was managed by Chile’s Ministry of Finance, was being ignored, so the ministry set sectorial targets for the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Transport and Communications, with incentives for meeting the targets. When ministries met their targets, they received a higher budget. The strategy was successful enough that Mexico is embarking on a similar plan now.
Rubinstein spoke from the practice perspective and as a long-time advocate for investing in early childhood development. She worked on the MDGs in 2005, and she commented that the MDGs are not gone, but rather have been
1 The THRIVES global package to prevent violence has since been superseded by a new version, INSPIRE: Seven Strategies for Ending Violence against Children See http://www.who.int/violence_injury_prevention/violence/inspire (accessed February 5, 2018).
reframed as SDGs 1–6. She said that investing in research will make it more likely to reach solid outcomes that can then bring funding; however, the current lack of research results in a lack of available evidence from which to develop interventions. She said that with the high rates of sexual violence against children, the greatest challenge as an advocate is to get people to acknowledge the problem or to articulate and understand the scale of the problem. She said that it is very important to put the problem on the map and help people understand that there are solutions and that there is a need and opportunity for child advocacy centers to link and collaborate with academic institutions, medical and health centers, and schools of public health. Rubinstein said that she heard general agreement in the workshop that all goals should be viewed as relevant and, further, that a very important communication message is that the SDGs are all interdependent.
Exploring Both What We Have Accomplished Thus Far and Where We Go from Here
The closing plenary provided an opportunity for participants to reflect on the successes and challenges of the MDGs as a way of identifying promising evidence-based policies and interventions, recognizing effective collaborations and partnerships, and discerning the appropriate role of government, industry, multilaterals, NGOs, and other institutions in advancing the sustainable development agenda with a focus on violence prevention. To help frame the discussion, John McArthur from the Brookings Institution and UN Foundation discussed accomplishments and how to build on successes and lessons learned. He opened the plenary by asking participants to briefly discuss the question, “What do you think are the two most important issues the world needs to solve today?” By offering responses of violence, poverty, nuclear disarmament, injustice, education, climate, youth unemployment, gender equality, general inequality, healthy living, water, and human resilience, the members of the group listed the general topic of 11 of the SDGs. McArthur noted that the original process of assembling the SDGs had taken more than 3 years to complete through global dialogue and consensus, while the group had taken only a few minutes. McArthur then reflected on his early involvement and the launch of the MDGs, saying that, in his view, the number one success of the MDGs has been the stories about the global health revolution. He reported that the MDGs have had a major impact on (1) accelerating gains in saving the lives of children under age 5; (2) based on current efforts, reaching the goal of 4 percent of the world living in extreme poverty by 2030 and perhaps reaching the point that up to 98 percent of the world’s population has access to water; and (3) changing the global economy. In 2000, McArthur noted, much of the annual global economic change occurred within rich countries, while over the next 15 years most of the change in the world’s economic activity is expected to be driven by developing countries, which will have a great impact on the environment. McArthur suggested adapting a new mindset, a matrix approach to the world, that includes legacy programs (e.g., the World Bank) working alongside infrastructure investment banking and the growing number of public–private scientific partnerships (e.g., The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance) working alongside governments as well as an increase in collaborations between global business and academia. He also highlighted a project called Ending Rural Hunger, which is reviewing more than 100 variables to assess how each country is doing and what is needed as well as how an international partner or a local partner could help. To prioritize efforts, he suggested using three simple questions: What are the needs? What are the policies? What are the resources? Unclear or absent policies, he explained, are not going to attract significant resources at either the local or international level. McArthur said that the workshop participants and speakers represent the energy or engine that fuels policy debate, stressing that policy debates are won through debates on ideas, on evidence, and on how ideas and evidence apply to practice.
During the discussion, several participants asked questions about what might be emerging or what new issues will need to be considered in the next 15 years as well as about lessons learned and how to ensure that violence prevention remains part of the conversation and does not get left behind. While the SDGs are a starting point, McArthur said, it is important to be aware of trends in emerging technologies and the risks associated with these technologies, such as privacy issues, and to understand the impact of lifetime exposure to violence. To stay current, he said, the violence prevention community needs to identify and organize around an agenda, including needs, policies, resources, institutions, and scale then organize across disciplines in science, institution, leadership, and partnerships and policy and then identify important actors and create communities of influence and communities of change.♦♦♦
Krug, E. G., L. L. Dahlberg, J. A. Mercy, A. B. Zwi, and R. Lozano. 2002. World violence report on health. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.
Shiffman, J., and S. Smith. 2007. Generation of political priority for global health initiatives: A framework and case study of maternal mortality. Lancet 370:1370–1379.
UN (United Nations). 2015. Transforming our world: The 2030 agenda for sustainable development. https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld/publication (accessed January 18, 2018).
USG (U.S. Government). 2012. U.S. government action plan on children in adversity: A framework for international assistance, 2012–2017. https://www.childreninadversity.gov/about/how/action-plan (accessed February 5, 2018).
DISCLAIMER: This Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief was prepared by Evelyn Tomaszewski as a factual summary of what occurred at the workshop. The statements made are those of the rapporteur or individual workshop participants and do not necessarily represent the views of all workshop participants; the planning committee; or the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
Planning Committee for Workshop on Identifying the Role of Violence and its Prevention in the Post-2015 Global Agenda**
Susan Bissell, UNICEF; Brigid McCaw, Kaiser Permanente; and James A. Mercy, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
**The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s planning committees are solely responsible for organizing the workshop, identifying topics, and choosing speakers. The responsibility for the published Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief rests with the institution.
REVIEWERS: To ensure that it meets institutional standards for quality and objectivity, this Proceedings of a Workshop—in Brief was reviewed by Thomas Abt, Harvard University; Maureen Greenwood-Basken, Wellspring Advisors; and Sheldon Greenberg, Johns Hopkins University. Lauren Shern, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, served as the review coordinator.
SPONSORS: This workshop was partially supported by Administration for Community Living; Anheuser-Busch InBev; Archstone; Avon Foundation; Becton, Dickinson and Company; Catholic Health Initiatives; Felix Foundation; Insituto Nacional para la Evaluación de la Educación; JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc. (USAID); Kaiser Permanente; Leading Age; National Institutes of Health; New Venture Fund Oak Foundation; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and the U.S. Department of Labor.
For additional information regarding the workshop, visit nationalacademies.org/hmd/Activities/Global/ViolenceForum/2016-MAY-12.aspx.
Suggested citation: National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2018. Identifying the role of violence prevention in the post-2015 global agenda: Proceedings of a workshop—in brief. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: https://doi.org/10.17226/25076.
Health and Medicine Division
Copyright 2018 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.