The Science & Politics of Violence Prevention in an African Context

Speaker: Dr Guy Lamb, Stellenbosch University, South Africa.


A number of African governments have looked to the Global North for ideas and models on how to best address interpersonal violence in their respective countries especially in areas of violence against women and children, policing, school safety and violence prevention through environmental design. A variety of interventions have been piloted, with some being ‘carbon copies’ of evidence-based interventions in wealthy countries while others have adopted an implementation science approach and adapted ‘effective’ interventions to local environments.

However, very few of these interventions have been adequately up scaled and few have been robustly evaluated. This presentation will focus on why there has been limited success in the mainstreaming of violence prevention interventions in South Africa, a country that has experimented with a variety of such programmes.

Drawing on experiences as both a researcher and government advisor of violence prevention, Dr Lamb will discuss how political and technocratic leadership, performance management systems, whole-of-government budgeting, institutional cultures, advocacy and interactions between political parties have influenced the implementation and outcomes of violence prevention interventions.

Note this is an in-person event and it will not be recorded.

Main Photo Credit: Pawel Janiak, Pretoria, March 2018/UnSplash