Photo - Jesus Serrano Redondo – UN:MINUSTAH

Vertically Integrated Peace Building and Community Violence Reduction in Haiti By: Geoff Burt | Haiti | Feb 4, 2014

The Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) has published a paper a new paper from Professor Timothy Donais of Wilfrid Laurier University and Geoff Burt from the Centre for Security Governance (CSG). The paper, entitled “Vertically Integrated Peace Building and Community Violence Reduction in Haiti,” examines gang-driven violence in the urban slums of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. These communities have, in recent years, been the site of an ongoing series of experiments, involving a range of different actors, aimed at reclaiming them from armed gangs; however, the isolated and fragmented nature of these interventions has reduced their cumulative impact. The paper makes a case for greater coherence and coordination between bottom-up community violence reduction efforts and top-down police reform, based on a broader argument around the importance of “vertically integrated peace building.” Based on field interviews with community leaders as well as officials from both the UN and the Haitian government, this paper suggests that, in the public security realm as elsewhere, the careful integration of top-down and bottom-up efforts represents an important avenue for strengthening state-society relations, increasingly recognized as a crucial component of any sustainable peace-building process.

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