Considering that violence and crime in Central America are transnational issues, UNDP projects are regional answers with a national focus. In addition, they are shaped into actions at the municipal level: “Information management based on evidence for citizen security in Central America (InfoSegura)” Program. It seeks to strengthen the design of evidence-based policies and the capacities to analyze and provide information for decision-making at the national and regional levels. It is developed in alliance with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). “Comprehensive Security and Prevention of Violence affecting Children, Teenagers and Youth in Central America” Regional Project. It seeks to incorporate secondary and tertiary prevention perspectives in institutional plans of security and justice regarding children, teenagers and youth, and to implement two models of secondary and tertiary prevention. It is developed in alliance with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) and the Central American Integration System (CAIS). “Project for Municipal Citizen Security in Central America’s Northern Triangle”. It is part of a regional initiative funded by the World Bank in Central America’s Northern Triangle region (comprising Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras). It seeks to improve citizen security by strengthening local and national capacities to implement evidence-based interventions that focus on crime and violence risk factors. It also seeks to improve the capacities to gather and process data on the perception of insecurity. The UNDP’s vision of security and justice issues is cyclic, so it acts within a comprehensive framework that includes violence prevention, access to justice, criminal investigation, penal prosecution, justice administration, social reintegration of persons deprived of liberty and, lastly, peace and reconciliation. The axes of intervention of these three projects deal, on the one hand, with violence and crime prevention issues and, on the other, with information analysis and management systems oriented to decision-making for the design of public policies based on evidence. World Bank Country Manager Fernando Paredes expressed that “the WB is committed to supporting the government of Guatemala in the modernization of the country’s statistical system, including the preparation of a victim survey and a population census next year… We acknowledge that it is important for the Ministry of Government to count on dependable statistical information in order to produce public policies on citizen security”. InfoSegura Regional Manager at USAID El Salvador Mari Carmen Estrada said that “USAID is very committed to supporting regional governments in the field of citizen security…this regional project, the first of several, is a useful tool for governments to take resources and link them to policy planning in order to improve security in their countries. Information management is very important in decision-making and in producing information on advances”. AECID Program Manager Eduardo González welcomed the Ministry of Government’s approach on the project and he reaffirmed the AECID’s commitment to support the strengthening of security and justice in Guatemala. The Assembly of Projects was attended by: From the Ministry of Government: - Francisco Rivas Lara, Minister of Government - Ricardo Guzmán, Deputy Minister of Security - Mario…
San Salvador, 12nd of August 2016. In the framework of the International Youth Day 2016, which focused on promoting Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UNDP organized with the support of Balun Films a meeting to discuss Mateo, a Colombian movie that tells the story of a youngster who managed to get ahead in a context of violence. Around 100 youngsters from Zacatecoluca and Ciudad Delgado, two municipalities that have been prioritized by the El Salvador Seguro Program, and young Technical Committee members of the Human Development Report in El Salvador, attended the screening of the film at a local cinema. Then, they discussed the content of the movie and how it relates to their own reality and challenges to promote the building of a peaceful and safe society in the framework of SDG 16. 26% of the population of Latin America and the Caribbean is aged 15-29, while in El Salvador the percentage increases to 30% according to data from the Statistics and Census Bureau. Both in the region and in the country, youngsters face challenges like unemployment, violence and poverty. The latest affects them disproportionately and has a higher incidence in rural areas. “Colombian movie Mateo is an invitation to think about the situation of youth in contexts of violence and about how it can be a transforming agent that creates a culture of peace” asserted UNDP Resident Representative Christian Salazar. “We strongly believe that youth can lead a big global change towards a sustainable future in the framework of the new 2030 Agenda”, he added. Mateo is the result of a long research that director María Gamboa carried out in 2007 in the context of the “Development and Peace” Program, which sought to prevent teenagers from engaging in various armed conflict dynamics in the region of Magdalena Medio, Colombia. Later, it became the center of the United Nations System communicational campaign “Breath Peace”. The attendance of youngsters from Zazatecoluca and Ciudad Delgado to the meeting took place in the context of the regional project “Comprehensive Security and Prevention of Violence affecting Children, Teenagers and Youth in CAIS countries” (PREVJUVE), funded by the Spanish government and implemented by the UNDP and the Central American Integration System (CAIS). Since 2004, the project has been implemented in both municipalities. Youngsters have been trained in life and work skills and integrated productively in society. In addition, PREVJUVE has promoted their integration in community work such as murals, clean-up campaigns, school gardens and other initiatives that had a positive impact on the community.
Panama City, 9th of June 2016. The first meeting of the National Subcommittee of the “Comprehensive Security and Prevention of Violence affecting Children, Teenagers and Youth in CAIS countries” Project (PREVJUVE) took place on Thursday 9th of June. Implemented in Central American countries and in the Dominican Republic by the UNDP through its country offices and through the Panama-based Regional Center for Latin America and the Caribbean, it is carried out in close coordination with the CAIS and funded by Spanish Cooperation through AECID. The event was chaired by Deputy Director of International Policy at Panama’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs Enilma Alemán. It saw the participation of CAIS Democratic Security Director Hefer Morataya, who made a presentation on the current situation of security in Central America, and Regional Director of the project Carla Hanania. It also saw the participation of UNDP Program Officer Gloria Manzotti and Spanish Cooperation in Panama Manager Rosa Beltrán, in addition to members of various government agencies that are part of the Subcommittee (among others, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Security, the Ministry of Government, the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Ministry of Social Development) and International Agencies such as UNFPA and UNICEF. It received the support of Gabriel Boyke from PREVJUVE Panama. The project focuses on launching the implementation of the Central American Security Strategy at the national level while giving priority to the prevention of violence affecting children, teenagers and youth and to the strengthening of national capacities. The subcommittee meeting marked the official beginning of the project. It is expected that a new meeting will be held soon with the aim of coordinating the first interventions in Panama.
Guatemala, 5th of April 2016. With the purpose of coordinating regional efforts of violence prevention and improvement of the quality of citizen security information with the new authorities and work teams of the Ministry of Government (MINGOB), the UNDP organized a Project Assembly to present the objectives, elements, advances and themes of the projects that the UNDP and donors such as the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the World Bank (WB) and the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) are developing in the country. The meeting took place in the Main Hall of the Ministry of Government and it aimed at presenting each project and its advances, as well as drafting joint actions to be developed during their implementation. UNDP Country Director Igor Garafulic stated that “the Project Assembly is a mechanism used by the UNDP to discuss the challenges and opportunities of the initiatives performed at both the regional and the local level, as well as to coordinate actions seeking to facilitate decision-making that is relevant to control, monitor and implement projects with the purpose of improving the joint action framework on behalf of building a Guatemala committed to social peace”. Minister of Government Francisco Rivas said that he was grateful for “the contribution of the projects to the improvement of the life standards of the population by preventing violence and by increasing citizen security”. He also said that the Ministry is willing to coordinate efforts with other government institutions involved.
Creating a Youth Center or Space is a particularly important action of the project. As the capital of the department, The Youth Center or Space will develop secondary and tertiary prevention programs in the municipality of Chimaltenango, open to teenagers and youth from the municipality and from the department. Named ‘Casa Juventud 180: Gira tus ideas y gira tu mundo’ by youngsters, it is a meeting place where children and youth will be able to do activities promoting personal development and professional training through socio-community participation and through the investment of leisure time in cultural, artistic, recreational and sport activities. The mayor of Chimaltenango lead a tour of the facilities of ‘Casa Juventud 180: Gira tus ideas y gira tu mundo’ and he expressed his commitment to supporting actions to improve the living standards of the youth in the municipality. The space will be coordinated by the Municipal Office for the Protection of Children, Teenagers and Youth. PREVJUVE’s biggest challenge is to improve the living standards of children, teenagers and youth and to guarantee results focused on citizen security from a comprehensive perspective based on sustainable human development.
The Interinstitutional Coordination Space was an outcome of the letter of understanding signed by the UNDP, MINGOB, SBS and the Municipality of Chimaltenango. Its Technical Secretariat resides within the UNDP in order to provide technical assistance to PREVJUVE in Chimaltenango. This space holds meetings regularly and it aims at coordinating actions to promote and control the project, at defining joint activities and at coordinating actions with other key institutions at the territorial level. It is also interested in finding new strategies of implementation based on the advances of the intervention within the framework of the project and its global/annual implementation plans.