Citizen Security Dialogues

Examining what works and what does in ensuring safety and security in Latin America and Africa

Stability Journal special edition


Stability Journal, Dispatches from Colombia (October 2015)

Stability Journal, Dispatches from South Africa (May 2015)

Stability Journal, Dispatches from Mexico (Jan 2015)

Stability Journal, Making Brazilian Cities Safer (May 2014)

What are Citizen Security Dialogues?

The Citizen Security Dialogues consists of four high-level sessions bringing policy makers, practitioners and analysts together from across Latin America and Africa to discuss innovations in public security, justice and penal reform and violence prevention. Dialogues were held in Rio de Janeiro, Bogota, Mexico City and Cape Town between 2013 and 2015 bringing hundreds of specialists together to discuss what works, and what does not, in the emerging field of citizen security. The Dialogues also generated four special issues of the peer review journal, Stability: International Journal of Security and Development.

What do the Dialogues hope to achieve?

The Citizen Security Dialogues have four basic objectives. First, they identify promising practices in promoting public security and safety in low- and middle-income settings. Second, they foster a growing international network of global specialists in the field of citizen security. Third, they incubate innovations, including new technologies, with respect to the promotion of security, justice and penal reform. Finally, they trigger international media and policy engagement with challenging issues of violence prevention and safety promotion.

Who are the key partners of the Dialogues?

The Citizen Security Dialogues are coordinated by the Igarapé Institute with financial support from Canada´s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Key partners include the Fundación Ideas para la Paz (Colombia), the Instituto para la Seguridad y la Democracia (Mexico) and the African Policing and Civilian Oversight Forum (South Africa). The initiative also involves collaboration with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Saferworld, Open Society Foundations and GIZ, with exchanges involving government and civil society organizations from across Latin America and Africa.

How do the Dialogues use new technologies?

The Igarapé Institute, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank, produced the Citizen security dashboard.  The dashboard data visualization is an interactive online app that tracks almost 1,300 citizen security interventions in more than 20 Latin American and Caribbean settings. The dashboard includes information across a dozen variables, including the focus of registered interventions, the timing, budget, and also the evidence of their effectiveness according to the latest scientific evidence.

Citizen Security Dialogues events


Citizen Security Dialogue in Bogota, Colombia, 16-17 April 2015, in partnership with FIP.

Citizen Security Dialogue Cape Town, South Africa, 25-27 February 2015, in partnership with APCOF.  

Second Citizen Security Dialogue meeting Mexico City, México, 7-8 November 2014, in partnership with APCOF.  

World Urban Forum “Lessons learned: from crime prevention to violence reduction”, 11 October 2014, Medellín, Colombia, in partnership with IDB and GIZ

Citizen Security Dialogue in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil, 20-21 March 2014

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