Responding to vulnerability and marginalisation in ABVPI

  • Policy/Research brief

Responding to vulnerability and marginalisation in ABVPI – Resources

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Vulnerability plays a pivotal role in the daily lives of South Africans, whether it’s on the basis of gender, socio-economic status, age or any other factor. Many of these vulnerabilities are compounding, which increases one’s susceptibility and risk to violence and crime exponentially. Intersectionality serves as a valuable lens through which to view and understand vulnerability and the power relations it emanates from. It brings to light factors of exclusion, marginalisation and privilege/power, which is essential for effective area-based violence prevention interventions (ABVPI). ABVPI is also enriched by adopting an outcomes-based approach which gives better insights into what works and what does not work, because it allows one to assess whether actions are having the desired impact or contribute to the envisaged change. Being explicit about outcomes also moves the conversation beyond undefined qualifiers, such as ‘safe’, ‘inclusive’ or ‘resilient’, that often have a ‘feel good’ factor associated with them, but can mean different things to different people. Effective and inclusive violence and crime prevention is informed by an understanding of where different factors of power and vulnerability emanate from and how these factors interact, as well as an explicit and intentional focus on working towards building a common understanding and harmonised practice towards safer neighbourhoods.  


This Practice Brief draws on the presentations and discussions at the second SPRINT Champions Event, held in May 2023, which brought together representatives from national, provincial and local government and civil society organisations. It is targeted at urban practitioners who want to contribute to making neighbourhoods and cities more inclusive, vibrant and safe. It does this by offering key insights shared by other practitioners who participated in the Champions Event.