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Regional answers to national problems

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:

  1. “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).
  2. “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).
  3. “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 René Alvarez, Deputy Minister

- Israel Santizo, Special Advisor to the Minister

- Axel Romero, Advisor to the Head Office

- Magaly Morales, Advisor to the Third Deputy Minister

From donor agencies:

- Mari Carmen Estrada, InfoSegura Regional Manager at USAID El Salvador

- Carlos Rosales, Democracy and Governability Advisor at USAID Guatemala

- Fernando Paredes, World Bank Country Manager

- Eduardo González, AECID Program Manager

From the UNDP:

- Igor Garafulic, Country Director

- Manuela Sessa, Security and Justice Advisor and Program Manager

- Marcela Smutt, InfoSegura Regional Director

- Carla Hanania, PREVJUVE Regional Director

- Elisa Gómez, Citizen Security Project Manager/InfoSegura


UNDP defines citizen security as living free from the threat of violence and crime, so its efforts aim at supporting countries in building public policies based on the development paradigm.