Intersectoral urban violence prevention

This programme has a public health approach to torture and organized violence, and aims to provide security through cooperation between state and citizens. Urban areas with high rates of violence have many conflicts between the citizens and the state and much torture, but building trust between authorities and civil society enables us to prevent violence and thereby put torture and organized violence on the political map.

Programme description

Poor urban areas in the Global South are characterized by high violence-rates, neighbor-conflicts and violent police work. Often the relationship between police and residents is characterized by conflict, distrust and the use of torture and degrading treatment. An urban environment characterized by violence creates the prerequisites for the use of torture.

The purpose of this programme is to build mutual trust between leaders in urban areas, police institutions and municipalities. By documenting violence and torture, developing leadership skills in the different sectors and working purposefully with local administrative and political ownership in the prevention of violence, we set the strategic basis for increasing the security for the population, thus eliminating torture and degrading treatment.

The purpose of the programme is to develop, establish and test local sustainable project models that prevent violence in urban areas in the Global South. This is done through local interventions in Mbale, Uganda, Nakuru, Kenya, Guatemala and Honduras. The specific objectives of the individual projects are to improve relations between police and citizens, to assist these in cooperation with local authorities and local civil society in developing policies and measures to prevent violence, as well as assisting local authorities in ongoing monitoring of what types of violence are most prominent in the local areas. The projects therefore focus on the development of management skills in the public and private sectors, on the development of professional tools for the monitoring and prevention of violence, and on the support of a political and civil culture that perceives the absence of violence as a positive goal. The concrete results of the projects are: Increased knowledge on how violence is prevented among project participants in state and civil society, improved cooperation between police, local authorities and citizens in the work to prevent violence,  development of local policies for the purpose of preventing violence and securing the implementation of these. This is supported by improved monitoring- and data collection methods, which can provide data for ongoing adjustments of implemented policies. The concrete project efforts focus on technical assistance to local key actors in both the state and civil society, with the aim of ensuring long-term sustainability of the efforts. The work is relevant to the Sustainable Development Goal no.16, to 'Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels'.


The programme is based on more than 10 years of experience in developing and implementing local, sustainable solutions that involve civil society in the prevention of violence in urban areas in the South, thereby establishing a strategic framework that can prevent violence. The intersectoral approach is used in a variety of areas that affect the health and safety of the population and is recommended by the World Bank and the World Health Organization, and the Violence Prevention Alliance.

Country/region background

The programme has project components in four urban areas in four countries. All urban areas are characterized by marginalization and poverty, but are chosen because local authorities have expressed their political will to participate in the projects. The success of the projects depends on this connection.


The projects are working to develop the capabilities of the involved actors in the areas of leadership and dialogue, knowledge of data collection and research, citizenship and political participation as well as knowledge of basic legal safeguards and guarantees for citizens and police.



If you have questions regarding this programme you are welcome to contact: Project Manager Finn Kjærulf


Kenya, Uganda, Honduras, Guatemala

Projects in this programme

  • Intersectoral urban violence prevention in Midrift Valley, Kenya
  • Intersectoral urban violence prevention in Mbale, Uganda
  • Intersectoral urban violence prevention in Honduras
  • Intersectoral urban violence prevention in Guatemala

Related projects

Torture and corruption

In this research project, we work to better understand and describe these mechanisms in poor urban areas in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Congo and South Africa.