Planning Safety Initiatives

Planning Safety Initiatives – Learn how

The Planning Phase 

You have completed the analysis of risk factors, which increase the likelihood of young people resorting to violence and crime. You have identified protective factors as well as relevant actors from different fields and sectors.

These actor are necessary for bringing about significant changes that reduce the risk factors and/or increase the protective factors. You have developed a deeper understanding of the dynamics and interdependencies in our “social system” with regard to violence and crime.

The core of this third phase is the planning of prevention measures, be it as single project or initiative, or as part of an overall community safety plan.

The further planning is based on the assumption that:

Violent behaviour can be reduced in a sustainable way by effecting long-term behaviour changes in actors who influence young people, either directly or indirectly.

These actors can contribute to creating an enabling environment for young people, reducing the risk factors or increasing protective factors regarding the likelihood of resorting to violent behaviour.

That means that the objective is to achieve sustained changes in the situation of violence and crime through a reduction of corresponding risk factors or strengthening of protective factors. This calls for behaviour changes among the key actors, within the community and beyond the community.

Key actors can be institutions, organisations people who fulfil a certain function, or groups of citizens. They have a direct or indirect influence on risk or protective factors, and thus on the probability of young people resorting to violence.

Behavioural change in key actors

Therefore, the aim is to bring about long-term changes in the behaviour of these actors. This can be supplemented with measures that address young people directly, such as the strengthening of youth organisations.

We recommend that you begin with small feasible steps, which can show results quickly. The higher the participation of concerned people (male and female citizens – including explicitly young people, CBOs, different duty bearers/ service providers), the higher the number of feasible options for action and the commitment for their realisation will be.

The tools presented below build on each other and mostly use the concept of behaviour change as a central planning concept. Consequently, instead of picking and mixing these tools as in earlier chapters, we strongly recommend that you follow them in the sequence below - with the small exception of tools 1 and 4, which can be used more freely.

An important starting point is to create a common vision for community safety, which will provide guidance through the whole planning proces - the first tool presented below will help you achieve that.


Below you will find some tools which are helpful when you start to work with people on the topics of crime and violence, as well as prevention. They help to get participants to tune in to the topics and the way of working.

Tool 1 - The Imaginary Walk - Creating a Common Vision for Community Safety ( 90 min.)


  • To develop a shared vision.
  • To begin to shift participants’ focus from crime control to community safety To formulate indicators.

By the end of the activity, participants would have discussed what they want their community to look like or to be in 5 years, specifically with regard to community safety. They would also have offered their diverse perspectives on what community safety means.


Tool 2 - What do we want to achieve? ( 90 min.)


  • To collectively establish a prevention objective, which will become the goal for future prevention measures.
  • To create a prevention objective that will be formulated as a set of long-term behaviour changes.

    The behaviour changes are those that will be the key actors relevant to young people will demonstrate as well as those displayed by the children and young people themselves. These behaviour changes are related to the selected problem areas and identified risk factors and/or protective factors. The prevention measures will be defined in a way that they support key actors to change accordingly.


Tool 3 - New Ways of Thinking and Doing Things ( 90 min.)


  • To define necessary or supportive behaviour changes of other people or institutions inside and outside of the community;
  • To develop actors’ chains;
  • To select ‘boundary partners’ and formulate progress indicators for their desired behaviour change.


Tool 4 - Brainstorming on Solution Alternatives ( 90 min.)


  • To gather ideas from all participants about what can be done to bring about changes including measures designed to reduce risk factors or strengthen protective factors, or ideas which do or do not require external support to put them into effect.
  • To pave the way for more in-depth planning.


Tool 5 - What? How? Who? When? Where? How many? How much? ( 90 min.)

Objective: To plan activities are implementable and that leads to the expected results. Download

Templates for Activity and Cost Plans

Below you find a number of examples that will help you develop your own activity and cost plans - in line with the planning methodology explained above.

  • Activity Plan (according to behaviour changes): Download
  • Activity plan/Time Planning (example & template): Download
  • Cost Plan (example): Download


Earl, S., Carden F., Smutylo, T. (2001): Outcome Mapping. Building Learning and Reflection into Development Programs

OECD DAC (2002): Glossary of Key Terms in Evaluation and Results Based Management

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