Mass Violence and Atrocities | Other Publication

Lessons from Effective Offices of Violence Prevention

January 2024


Violence is highly concentrated in cities, and local elected officials are increasingly called upon to prevent and reduce violence. Many municipalities have created or supported Offices of Violence Prevention (OVPs), local-level governmental, civil-society-run, or public-private entities whose central mandate is to prevent different forms of violence. These offices vary in institutional design, resources, and challenges. This report, published by Peace in Our Cities (PiOC), aims to optimize the functioning of OVPs and inform the wider violence prevention field by reviewing the components that could make these efforts  more effective.

The study shows that the range of violence prevention options for OVPs is large and varied. It also identifies key elements that commonly feature in effective OVPs, gathering insights, tradeoffs, and lessons in urban violence prevention. These findings can help inform policymakers, stakeholders, and policy experts on urban violence prevention to set up effective OVPs or draw lessons for existing violence prevention structures and initiatives.

Working with member cities, Peace in Our Cities undertook a tailored approach to further consider how the application of lessons from this research could support more effective prevention practices in Bristol (England), Cali (Colombia), Edmonton (Canada), and Rosario (Argentina). While OVPs can come in different shapes, sizes, institutional locations, and names, the analysis presented in this report outlines key principles central to OVP effectiveness that can be applied across a variety of urban contexts.

Read the report.