A Toolkit for Participatory Safety Planning - Overview

A Toolkit for Participatory Safety Planning - Overview – Learn how


Safety of public spaces and within communities impacts profoundly on the mobility and quality of life of citizens and their opportunities to participate in public life and developmental processes. The causes of violence in South Africa are multi-layered and complex. Confronting them requires a systemic approach that facilitates active cooperation across disciplines and stakeholders as well as on all levels, from national to local.

As a response, the South African government has developed a number of comprehensive policies and strategies that provide important frameworks for preventing violence and promoting community safety. These include the Integrated Social Crime Prevention Strategy, the Integrated Urban Development Framework and the 2016 White Paper on Safety and Security.

Safety planning at local level

The Toolkit for Participatory Safety Planning provides participatory tools and methods that are in line with the principles of the ‘National Development Plan - Vision 2030’. It aims to support the implementation of the above-mentioned national policies at local level, e.g. through the work of Community Safety Fora and the integration of safety into municipal Integrated Development Planning.

The toolkit guides users in the systemic planning of violence prevention and safety measures at local level. It helps identify risk factors as well as sources of resilience to build on when planning measures and interventions towards promoting community safety. Engaging communities in making their own environments safer can achieve long-term behaviour change in young people and those that influence them directly or indirectly.

The toolkit draws on existing knowledge, research, guidelines and manuals to promote an integrated and holistic way of addressing the multiple causes of violence and crime.

Who can use the Toolkit?

The toolkit is an open source product accessible to practitioners from across sectors and professional disciplines that aim to understand and raise awareness on systemic approaches to violence prevention.

Being in a draft stage, the toolkit is currently tried and tested by practitioners from all spheres of government, civil society organisations, academia and the private sector.

The pick-and-mix approach allows for a selection of tools according to the practitioners specific needs and context as well as for a structured use of the whole toolkit, guiding through the entire process of safety planning including the monitoring of project implementation.

Sections of the Toolkit

The Toolkit provides an overview on the situation regarding violence and crime in South Africa and offers a comprehensive conceptual framework on the systemic approach to violence prevention, the causes of violence and crime and the creation of behaviour change in young people as well as significant others that influence them directly or indirectly.

It consists of an introductory chapter and five sections that provide a range of tried and tested tools and methods to pick-and-mix according to the user’s demand and specific context.

Tackling violence in South Africa: Backgrounds and Concepts

This introductory chapter provides an overview on the situation of violence and crime in South Africa, as well as into core concepts of violence prevention.


Setting the Scene for Participation

This section provides participatory tools that introduce basic concepts of violence prevention that can be used as icebreakers and sensitizers leading up to workshops for data collection, analysis and planning of safety measures.


Collecting Data and Information

Tools provided in this phase support the conduction of a situation analysis to obtain information about the specific conditions, cause of violence and risk factors together with the community you work in.


Analysing the Safety Situation

Building on the data generated in the previous phase analyses of actors, sectors and levels of violence can be carried out using participatory tools. The results of the analyses can be utilized as a baseline study for monitoring and evaluation of the measure. It helps identify strategic starting points for prevention activities.


Planning Safety Initiatives

This phase provides process-oriented planning tools for safety measures. Together with the workshop participants the results from the analyses are used to identify partners and establish objectives of the measure in terms of desired behaviour change among young people and intermediaries.


Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation

The last section of the toolkit provides tools to support the monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes achieved by your activities. The aim is to engage the community in assessing behaviour change achieved by the intervention and its impact on the resident’s perception of safety.


For more information

If you'd like to receive more information, please contact:

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

Inclusive Violence and Crime Prevention for Safer Public Spaces (VCP) Programme

Contact: Terence Smith

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