207512 CeaseFire Basra: The adaptation of the CeaseFire model to the Basra context

Monday, November 9, 2009: 11:30 AM

R. Brent Decker, MPH/MSW , Chicago Project for Violence Prevention, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Zainab Al-Suwaij, Exec Director , American Islamic Congress, Washington D.C., DC
Gary Slutkin, MD , University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
CeaseFire is a public health intervention designed to reduce lethal violence through outreach, mediation, public education, and community collaboration. The CeaseFire intervention has shown large, statistically significant reductions in shootings, including an average first year reduction in shootings of 42%. A U.S. Department of Justice funded evaluation confirmed these results, finding statistically significant results in all seven communities analyzed.

In June 2008, CeaseFire began collaboration with the American Islamic Congress to adapt and implement the CeaseFire model in Basra, Iraq. Adapting such a program to a new cultural setting presents a number of challenges. Over the course of several months a team of people with Iraqi expertise partnered with CeaseFire staff to create an adaptation for implementation in Basra focusing on relationships with tribal leaders, religious leaders, and other key community stakeholders to anticipate and resolve potentially lethal conflicts or other lethal events, and prevent escalating violence.

In December, 2008, CeaseFire Chicago staff traveled to Iraq for the training of 8 Iraqi outreach workers to begin implementation of the violence prevention model in Basra, Iraq. During the first six weeks of implementation 65 meetings took place with tribal leaders, 34 meetings with religious leaders, various other meetings with key community stake holders, and 11 potentially lethal conflicts were mediated. This unique research provides an opportunity to test the efficacy of a specific and evaluated violence prevention program across potentially large cultural and national boundaries, as well as to serve as a possible additional method for stabilizing a post-conflict zone.

Learning Objectives:
Discuss how to transfer an evaluated violence prevention model across national and cultural borders. List wayt to adapt model to post conflict environments.

Keywords: Violence Prevention, International

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have worked on the CeaseFire model for 6 years and am the main liaison to AIC. I have worked closely with them to adapt training to be relevant to the situation in Basra, Iraq and have participated in the training.
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.