In 2012, the Program on Poverty and Governance at Stanford University established a cooperation agreement with SESEG to conduct a research project that aims to analyze the institutional, contextual and individual factors leading to the use of lethal force by the military police in Rio.
LAV is an academic organization from the State University of Rio de Janeiro (UERJ) that produces public policy-oriented research in the areas of public safety, violence, crime, justice and human rights with a focus in Rio de Janeiro. The institution also offers consulting services to government agencies, NGOs and civil society organizations, and conducts evaluation of different programs aimed at influencing policymakers to foster change. PovGov partnered with LAV’s team to conduct an extensive survey in 22 police battalions and 35 UPPs (Pacifying Police Units) located in various zones of Rio. Over 6,000 police officers - including 70 commanders - took part in the unprecedented study.
Observatório de Favela is a civil society organization that conducts research, consulting work and public action aimed at producing knowledge and political propositions on slum-related issues and the urban phenomena. The center seeks to push forward an agenda on “rights to the city,” based on the redefinition of the slums in the context of public policy initiatives, development and public security. PovGov partnered up with Observatory in the implementation of a large-scale community survey to be conducted in 5 “pacified” Rio favelas that seeks to explore resident’s perceptions of security issues in their communities.
The strong partnership between PovGov and Rio’s military police allowed Professor Magaloni to conduct an in-depth analysis of violence patterns and police behavior in Rio de Janeiro – made possible thanks to PMERJ’s willingness to provide confidential information on homicide numbers and ammunition usage (as well as open access to battalions and UPPs to conduct interviews and questionnaires to complement the research). PovGov have obtained information on homicides by police intervention and consumption of ammunition on an individual basis, and in now working on georeferenciating data on homicides at the street level. A research project of this kind - including this level of access to confidential information and insight into police’s behavior - is unprecedented in any Latin American city.
Jovenes con Porvenir (Youth with Hope) is a public-funded program run by the government of Zapopan, located in the state of Jalisco. This pioneering policy initiative was designed and implemented in response to the major educational and employment challenges affecting young people. The Program on Poverty and Governance is conducting an impact evaluation of the program, which is the first large-scale vocational training initiative implemented in Mexico. Youth with Hope aims at increasing educational engagement and attainment, employability and labor market mobility among 15-30 year olds.
Cauce Ciudadano is a Mexican NGO successfully working with at-risk youth throughout the country. Its mission is to prevent, reduce and eliminate violence generated by young people. The organization provides life skills training to young people and adults that aim to reinforce the protective factors and eradicate risk factors involving violence and crime. These life skills include: health promotion, resilience, the prevention of psychological and health problems and the promotion of social responsibility. In partnership with the World Bank, PovGov will conduct
a research on Cauce's practices and initiatives in hopes to provide an insight into the reasons why youth choose to join gangs, and how they can be encouraged to invest in non-violent and legitimate life options. For example, juveniles in correctional facilities are the target-population in one of the studies being developed.
PovGov and ITAM have been collaborating since 2009 in field research projects in Oaxaca and Chiapas collecting data on indigenous governance in Southern Mexico. We have sponsored joint conferences on citizen security in Latin America, the first at ITAM in May 2013 and the second one at Stanford in May 2014. ITAM students from the Political Science Department have been collaborating with PovGov as research assistants on projects dealing with public safety and development in Brazil and Mexico. These collaborations will be further enhanced with a collaboration agreement signed between FSI and ITAM to further academic exchanges, teaching and research.
PovGov is partnering with the Stockton Police Department (SPD) to examine SPD’s comprehensive and innovative crime prevention strategies.Through close collaboration,PovGov will study SPD’s policing model, analyze its different elements, and assess their efficacy. We hope to provide useful feedback to SPD and, at the same time, further our understanding of law enforcement institutions and violence-reduction practices. The lessons from Stockton will be translated into policy recommendations for other cities facing similar challenges, and will inform approaches for our concurrent projects in Mexico and Brazil.