191201 UNITY: Preventing Violence within the Urban Context

Wednesday, October 29, 2008: 1:10 PM

Deborah Prothrow-Stith, MD , Harvard School of Public Health, Roxbury, MA
Violence is preventable, not inevitable. Rooted in a complex set of underlying social and economic factors, violence is often a predictable behavior in unsafe urban environments where people live. Despite the complexity of violence, cities have employed approaches that respond to the problem after-the-fact. Thus, it is time to consider a new approach, in which broad-based strategies and multi-sectoral collaboration aim to prevent violence before it occurs. UNITY: Preventing Violence within the Urban Context presents a national initiative to support cities in preventing violence through the development of strategies, tools, and capacity to address the complex underlying contributors of violence. Further, this presentation will introduce the UNITY RoadMap a comprehensive framework for preventing violence.

Many cities do not have a collaborative plan or a clear strategy for preventing violence. UNITY (Urban Networks to Increase Thriving Youth) is designed to support cities to develop, implement, and/or evaluate strategic efforts to prevent violence, through consultations, trainings and a peer city network in which cities can share with and learn from each other. Further, to maximize existing resources and promote sustainability, UNITY proposes a paradigm shift – from not only programs to programs, policies and practices based on a comprehensive strategy. This strategy is highlighted in the UNITY RoadMap, a comprehensive framework, which delineates the WHO (partnerships), WHAT (prevention) and HOW (strategy) of preventing violence. The RoadMap includes protocols for data and evaluation; coalition building tools; links to effective programs, policies, and organizational practices; and guidelines for developing a strategic plan.

Learning Objectives:
1. Describe the nine elements that must be in place to achieve effective, sustainable violence prevention efforts at a city level. 2. Identify how the UNITY Roadmap can be utilized to evaluate a city’s prevention efforts. 3. Define the importance of a coordinated approach to addressing violence in urban areas.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Expert in the area
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.