Project Factsheet
Tools for » Networks for coexistence, communities without fear
Project ID:00067225Description:MDGF-1961-F-CRI Networks for c
MDG Achievement Fund
Start Date *: 31 Dec 2008
MDGF Conflict Prev Peacebld
End Date*: 28 Feb 2013
Country: Costa Rica Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   Multiple


The JP’s main objectives were to support nine cantons particularly vulnerable to insecurity to become Communities Free of Fear, by addressing violence and fear at the same time. The programme aimed to forge networks for peaceful coexistence which would be able to drive actions focused on prevention of violence and promotion of peace, as opposed to a punitive approach, in line with a human rights based approach. By addressing the population of these 9 cantons, the JP addresses 23.4% of the total population of Costa Rica.

To this end, the JP prioritized the strengthening local capacities for the Prevention of Violence, Promoting Peace and Public Safety (PVPPSC), through reinforcing local Protection Subsystems.  The programme supported the development of municipal gender and culture strategies, as well as the promotion of a participatory urban management approach "(In)security and Public Spaces” .

In line with the provisions in the "National Plan for the Prevention of Violence and Promotion of Social Peace: A Country Without Fear "(PNPVPP), the programme promoted formal and informal education, capacity building for increased dialogue and expansion of recreation options for persons  aged between 12 and 24 years as a high priority group.

The JP supported the construction of a model for violence prevention through art, culture, sport and recreation, the recovery of public spaces for public safety and the promotion of participatory management of them. And the mobilization of social networks. As a result of the programme activities a greater degree of community organization was reported as well as a more favorable disposition to develop strategies to prevent violence.

The JP supported projects with aimed to address violence and prevention, which helps make the progamme’s impact more sustainable.


Outcome 1:

Strengthened institutional capacities for the Prevention of Violence, Promoting Peace and Public Safety (PVPPSC).


Outcome Achievements:

  • Strengthening protection subsystems, and through and the involvement of local and institutional actors and communities raised awareness of this issue and provided a platform to facilitate joint action.
  • Development of policies and/or local and municipal gender strategies in the cantons of Montes de Oca, Limón Aguirre, Santa Cruz, San Jose and Moravia.
  • Development of policies and/or local/municipal culture strategies in the cantons of San Jose Montes de Oca and Moravia.
  • Promotion of participatory urban management approach "(In)security and Public Spaces” through thematic forums and  a photo contest.


Outcome 2:

Support the creation of opportunities for education and recreation, protective environments, safe and inclusive spaces - from a gender perspective - and healthy habits for girls, children, adolescents and youth.


Outcome Achievements:

  • The JP supported the construction of a model for violence prevention through art, culture, sport and recreation. It supported local actors who use sport, culture, art and recreation as tools for community mobilization and prevention of violence at the local level.
  • Overall, mobilization processes aimed to strengthen social networks of children, adolescents and young people. In the cantons involved, a greater degree of community organization was reported as well as a more favorable disposition to develop strategies to prevent violence.
  • The JP supported projects aimed at expanding options in education, through initiatives such as "The school in our hands”
  • The JP promoted a National Plan for Educational Coexistence (Programa Convivir). The approach to include prevention of violence in education makes the initiative more sustainable.
  • The JP contributed to the implementation of “Education for a comprehensive affection and sexuality” which aims to promote emotional maturity and better coexistence. The JP designed a communication and information strategy and produced information and outreach materials.
  • Implementation of recovery projects and activating public spaces in Heredia, Aguirre, Limón and San José.
  • Implementation of participatory design and management of public spaces in San Jose, Aguirre and Heredia.


Outcome 3:

Expanded skills, capacity and readiness for dialogue and conflict resolution in the selected cantons.


Outcome Achievements:

  • Support to the Vice Minister of Peace in developing material to promote a program for community organizers through pilot workshops.
  • Formation of youth networks in the nine communities for violence prevention through the use of Information and Communication Technologies.
  • Activating and recovery of public spaces and local planning for public safety.


Best practices:

  • A good practice was the reformulation process that took place in the second half of 2010 which served to move from a national strategy to a cantonal, and put more emphasis on distributing responsibilities among actors and ordering products in a logical and coherent manner. It served to revamp the work process between agencies and national counterparts.
  • The JP supported the creation of social networks through recreational activities. A pedagogical model was developed to ensure proper implementation, and was linked to the Ministry of Public Security, strengthening its programs and capabilities, as well as their link to the communities.
  • The first festival of Peace: The festival mobilized over 2,000 people around sports and leisure activities. During the first part of this process the programme promoted workshops for teens, teenage parents, mothers and caregivers on violence prevention. Training sessions with police and community leaders in Alternative Dispute Resolution and management for violence prevention were also conducted.
  • Use of ICT for violence prevention with young people as tools for human development, poverty reduction, and democratic consolidation through the theory that informed youth are able to participate actively and should be involved in decision-making.
  • Improved inclusion and participation of beneficiaries and national counterparts in the design of programs.


Lessons learned:

  • Joint implementation should start from the beginning of the program.
  • Synergies can be obtained if there is good will and by drawing on the experience of each agency. Two or more agencies can contribute and have a level of impact that one agency alone cannot achieve. Processes must be initiated with national and local authorities from the outset to ensure sustainability of the programme initiatives.
  • Budget reductions for approved concept notes should involve a substantive reassessment and reduction of scope. The programme’s budget was cut by 40-50%, but the final design was not adjusted to the reduced budget.


More details can be found in the documents below.

Recent Documents
Key Figures
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If you have questions about this programme you may wish to contact the RC office in Costa Rica or the lead agency for the programme.

The persons with GATEWAY access rights to upload and maintain documents for the programme:

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