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Urban violence and displacement, gender, and community ties


SAIC experts explored poverty, violence, and inequality in 40 cities across Latin America, South Asia, and sub-Saharan Africa. The 15 research teams covered a variety of research topics such as urban infrastructure, access to basic services, sexual violence, and public security.

Several themes are prominent throughout the research. For example, many SAIC researchers examined the complex ways that displacement can both fuel and be influenced by urban violence and social exclusion. They identified practices and policies that can make the process of resettlement safer, fairer, and more sustainable when disaster, political upheaval, urban development, or a lack of economic opportunity forcibly displaces communities.

The links between violence and strong community ties constitute another cross-cutting theme. Social cohesion may help to explain why some communities are less prone to violence than others. However, those same social ties can deepen forms of violence and exclusion, such as gang violence and vigilantism, especially where communities have lost faith in the rule of law or have experienced waves of migration.

Several projects have explored the various ways in which men and women experience urban violence. SAIC findings highlight how values and beliefs about masculinity or femininity can put women and sexual minorities at risk and stoke frustrations that push youth toward a life of crime.

The thematic briefs delve into these three cross-cutting themes.