Reducing urban violence, poverty, and inequalities

Safe and Inclusive Cities (SAIC) is a global research program that documents the links between urban violence, poverty, and inequalities. Jointly funded by IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), the program supports experts from around the world to find out what works — and what doesn’t — to reduce violence in urban centres.

Fifteen research teams have been awarded multi-year grants of up to CA$500,000 each to undertake research in 40 cities across sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean. Together they will identify key knowledge gaps; test the effectiveness of urban violence reduction theories, strategies, and interventions; and propose comprehensive solutions to urban violence, inequalities, and poverty based on rigorous data collection and analysis.

Projects by region

M. Safodien/IRIN

Sub-Saharan Africa

Six teams of researchers based in West and Southern Africa are mapping the actors involved in violence, evaluating urban upgrading interventions, and challenging the links between poverty and crime. The teams are also exploring the potential of poverty reduction programs to reduce violence, and identifying the obstacles to accessing housing and public services.

UN Photo/Kibae Park

South Asia
Teams of researchers based in Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka are unpacking the gendered differences of urban violence, testing the idea that inclusive urban planning processes can reduce violence in cities, and analyzing how internal displacement contributes to urban violence.

World Bank/S. Wallace

Latin America and the Caribbean
Researchers working in six Latin American countries are studying the role of institutions in mediating urban violence, investigating how communities respond to high levels of local violence, and exploring how social and spatial exclusion contribute to creating insecurity in urban centres.

Tom McKelvey

Groups of researchers in six countries are drawing lessons from compared experiences as they determine the contributing factors to men choosing violent and non-violent lifestyles, identify the impact of urban violence reduction programs on social cohesion, and study the impact of urban mega-projects on communal violence.



Safe and Inclusive Cities: A key entry point to addressing fragility


​Around the world, urban growth is booming. Job seekers are converging on cities to find work, and in many countries urban slums are sprawling. Fragile cities — where municipal powers fail to provide citizens with basic services and shelter — are...

Knowledge, innovation, and solutions to improve the lives of people in the developing world
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