Project Factsheet
Tools for » Improving citizens' security in Panama -- contributing to the social construction of peace
Project ID:00067216Description:MDGF-1945-F-PAN Improving citi
Fund:
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
Theme:
MDGF Conflict Prev Peacebld
End Date*: 31 Mar 2013
Country: Panama Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple
About

Overview:

The main objective of the program was to achieve greater capacity in Panama for the management of citizen security with a rights approach focused on prevention instead of punishment. The Programme proposed to do this through three outcomes: 1) production of knowledge and evidence to support public policy; 2) supporting prevention of violence and crime and; 3) development of institutional capacities to sustain these efforts. The programme focused on three municipalities and in parallel supported national level interventions. 

The Programme was responsible for the creation of an Observatory on Citizen Security under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama for the analysis, production and dissemination of evidence based knowledge and the development of safety recommendations. This entity is the product of an innovative public-private partnership where the Panamanian Chamber of Commerce is committed to deal with citizen security, an issue that was not traditionally part of their agenda, and is based on the Colombian model. The Observatory produced the first Report on Public Safety in Panama, several other reports, including the first ever surveys on victimization and perceptions of violence, as well as a self-financed magazine and hosted several discussions on security related issues. 

The Diplomado on citizen security was developed to train authorities and civil society on the human rights approach to prevention of violence. It was held at both national and local level, the latter funded by the University. The Diploma in Journalism and Public Safety through a strategic alliance with the School of Communication at the University of Panama and the National Council of Journalism was the first of its kind in the region. 

The programme worked to strengthen and empower the local level through Committees on security, composed of community leaders, civil society and local authorities, charged with designing local level citizen security action plans.

The JP supported youth networks as a key strategic group for prevention of both violence and gender based violence, and women's organizations, including the National Coordination of Indigenous Women (CONAMUIP), which includes participation of the seven indigenous groups in Panama. It supported existing initiatives to fight domestic violence providing a resource guide for survivors, and training on issues of Human Rights, Gender, Masculinities. 

The programme created three Infoplazas or centers for access to technology in the three municipalities for use by the wider community. Training in the use of new technologies for children and adolescents was promoted, as well as training on prevention of violence and community participation. This was done in partnership with the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation who have committed to maintaining the centers after the programme.

 

Outcome1:

Knowledge management through the creation and strengthening of a national mechanism for analysis of the situation of violence, with skills developed for the analysis, production and dissemination of evidence based knowledge and the development of safety recommendations.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • Creation of an Observatory on Citizen Security under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, Industries and Agriculture of Panama. The Observatory issued the First Report of Public Safety in Panama in 2010.
  • Four reports were presented and for the first time in the country, two surveys of victimization and perceptions of violence were undertaken as evidence to inform public policy.
  • Consolidation of a Advisory Council to the Observatory which consists of illustrious members from public, private, academia and civil society.
  • Themed breakfasts were held on Citizen Security on issues such as: Human rights and public safety; Organized crime: trafficking; “How do you measure safety?”; Media and safety; Children and adolescents: safety and human rights and  Youth Violence Prevention. These helped strengthen links across thematic areas.

 

Outcome 2:

Institutional strengthening at the national and local, to develop capacities to comprehensive management of public security from the perspective of human rights and gender.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The Programme contributed to the technical strengthening of local observatories in the three target municipalities which allowed to evidence strengths, weaknesses and threats.
  • The Diplomado on citizen security was developed to train authorities and civil society on the human rights approach to prevention of violence. It was held at both national and local level, the latter funded by the University.
  • An innovation of the programme was to build a local version of the diplomado based on the reality of the municipality under the name "Local Management of Citizen Security Gender perspective."
  • The Diploma in Journalism and Public Safety through a strategic alliance with the School of Communication at the University of Panama and the National Council of Journalism was the first of its kind in the region.
  • Support to local level action plans on citizen security through the promotion of security Committees.

 

Outcome 3:

Preventing violence through initiatives promoting social prevention of youth violence and violence against women.

 

Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP supported youth networks as a key strategic group for prevention of both violence and gender based violence.
  • It supported women's organizations, among them the National Coordination of Indigenous Women (CONAMUIP), which includes participation of the seven indigenous groups in Panama. The program assisted in the revision of its strategic plan and provided training.
  • The programme supported previous initiatives for domestic violence helping to expand their networks, helped develop a resource guide for survivors, annual work plans, provided training on issues of Human Rights, Gender, Masculinities.
  • The programme provided Infoplazas or centers for access to technology in the three municipalities for use by the wider community. Training in the use of new technologies for children and adolescents was promoted, as well as training on prevention of violence and community participation. This was done in partnership with the National Secretariat for Science, Technology and Innovation who have committed to maintaining the centers after the programme.

 

Best Practises:

  • Given the complexity involved in coordination and integrating work with counterparts, a focus on a few objectives (3) provided clarity and helped to avoid dispersion. 
  • A central coordinating structure, whose staff reside under a single agency and is organized around outcomes, broke with the agency structure facilitating integration and coordination.
  • Participatory methodology helped to empower national and local institutions.
  • Strategic partnerships were a key mechanism to promote sustainability and ownership.
  • The JP promoted and increased participation of the private sector and Civil Society in citizen security.

 

Lessons Learned:

  • The design phase must account for inception activities, such as staff recruitment, and reduce planned activities for the first year accordingly.
  • Inclusive and active participation of the beneficiaries and implementing partners was key to aligning the different agendas with the results of the program.
  • It is essential to identify a methodology for joint implementation during the design phase.
  • Sustainability processes should be part of the processes from its inception. In some cases the pressure to implement and show results in a short-term made it difficult to focus on sustainability.
  • Despite a reasonable number of outcomes the nature of the program involved a large number of activities which together with the pressure generated by individual agencies to meet their own initiatives sometimes led to dispersion.
  • The objectives and program strategies must be adequate to the times and resources available.
  • Centralization of resources - for example one budget under the responsibility of the Lead Agency – would decrease administrative burden and costs, and facilitate the ability to think in terms of sequence, since the joint work does not necessarily imply that all agencies work at all stages of the programme.
  • Value of securing sufficient financial and human resources for communication and M&E within the coordination unit. The lack of adequate resources for M&E and communication hampered the visualization of progress and potential improvement of the programme interventions.
  • Importance of sensitizing beneficiaries and manage expectations from the beginning.
  • The need to develop an accountability system that can reflect the achievements and progress with enough content and context to be used by people outside the program. 

 

More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
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