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Preventing violence while reducing poverty

July 10, 2015

​​Can a poverty-reduction program also help reduce crime and violence? New findings from IDRC-supported research in South Africa suggest that it might, if it is implemented in the right way.

In a new article for the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR), David Bruce traces one of the ways South Africa's Community Work Programme contributes to reducing poverty, while also reducing violence: wages.

However, Bruce cautions that the path to less violence through wages earned in the program contains important gender dimensions. Most participants are women. When their economic power increases, their partners may feel threatened or undermined. Bruce argues that providing gender training to participants who are at risk of domestic violence and increasing the number of men benefiting from the program are ways to mitigate this risk. 

Read David Bruce’s article in the South African Crime Quarterly.

Learn more about CSVR’s project, “Assessing the impact of state-community collaboration to address urban violence in South Africa.”

Discover other projects that seek to understand how urban violence, poverty, and inequalities interact through the Safe and Inclusive Cities initiative, a partnership of IDRC and the UK’s Department for International Development.