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Second Special Meeting on Criminal Gangs Toward a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter- American Cooperation March 2, 2010 USAID Gang Prevention Activities.

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Presentation on theme: "Second Special Meeting on Criminal Gangs Toward a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter- American Cooperation March 2, 2010 USAID Gang Prevention Activities."— Presentation transcript:

1 Second Special Meeting on Criminal Gangs Toward a Regional Strategy to Promote Inter- American Cooperation March 2, 2010 USAID Gang Prevention Activities in Latin America & Caribbean

2 U.S. Anti-Gang Strategy Integrated Approach: Justice Sector Strengthening Law Enforcement Capacity-Building Prevention Rehabilitation

3 USAID Anti-Gang Programs Prevention/Rehabilitation U.S. Experience: Solid Evidence for Prevention Sustainable: focus on underlying factors helps break the cycle of poverty and violence. Cost-effective. Eases pressure on prison system. Rehabilitation reduces risk of recidivism, builds community cohesion. Recommendations of Gangs Assessment, 2006 Prevention programs to mend social fabric. Municipal information systems. Skills training. Employment opportunities. Health and Social Services.

4 USAID Anti-Gang Programs Focus on the Justice Sector Crimes Against Life Unit and 24 Hour Courts - Guatemala Criminal Procedure Reform - El Salvador Dispute Mediation Centers - El Salvador Juvenile Justice Reform – Central America Focus on Law Enforcement Capacity-Building Community-based Policing Villa Nueva, Guatemala Grants Pen, Jamaica El Salvador

5 USAID Anti-Gang Programs Focus on Community-Based Solutions Gangs are not the only problem. Entire community must be made resilient and resistant to crime and violence. Youth growing up in safer communities are less likely to face the temptation of crime and violence. Examples: Centros de Alcance Por mi Barrio – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras Community-Based Crime and Violence Prevention – El Salvador Community Empowerment and Transformation - Jamaica

6 USAID Anti-Gang Programs Focus on Local Government Long-term sustainability Cultural shift, promoting official prevention policies. Examples Municipal Partnerships for Violence Prevention – Central America. Encourages sharing of best practices and lessons learned among local officials. Centros de Alcance strong local government buy-in. Community-based crime and violence prevention – El Salvador. Encourages problem-solving between communities and local officials.

7 USAID Anti-Gang Programs Focus on Youth Education: Educatodos – Honduras. Basic education Civic Education and Values for Youth – Honduras. Participatory citizenship and problem-solving. COMET. Entrepreneurship opportunities to at-risk youth. Centros de Alcance. constructive recreation, life skills. Media OAS – Central America. Teaches at-risk youth to create and disseminate messages against crime, violence, and substance abuse. Changing Popular Attitudes: Desafio 10 –Guatemala. Changed attitudes about ex-gang members. Desafio 100 –Guatemala. Provides jobs to at-risk youth in large companies.

8 Why Evaluate Programs? To improve our programs To build support for community-based crime prevention programs Lack of rigorous evaluation of crime prevention methodology U.S. Governments typical indicators do not measure impact/outcomes Example: # of communities assisted in crime prevention with USG support

9 Evaluation Design Random division of 100 similar communities 33 treatment and 67 control communities El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama 3 years – baseline, mid-point and final Multiple methods to collect data Vanderbilt University/LAPOP – AmericasBarometer Surveys Focus Groups In-depth Interviews Hard Data Accurate portrayal of community conditions before and after program implementation

10 Evaluation Challenges Significant commitment by USAID Long timeline Resource intensive Multiple stakeholders Community selection Sequencing Evaluation design built alongside program design Baseline before program begins Scientific challenges Lack of data Selection bias, attribution, spillover, lagged effects

11 Challenges & Next Steps USAID Seeks Partnership to: Build and share best practices in monitoring and impact evaluation as an approach. Develop national strategies and deploy resources for prevention approaches. Engage municipalities to systematically share best practices across the region. Identify private sector equities and partnerships. Develop strategies to work with media.

12 Contact Information USAID Democracy and Human Rights Team Office of Regional Sustainable Development Bureau for Latin America and the Caribbean E. Brennan Dorn


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