Striving to Reduce Violence in Neighborhoods through Community Engagement

Two out of every three children were expected to be exposed to violence in 2013, according to a report by the Attorney General’s National Task Force on Children Exposed to Violence. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 900,000 youth ages 10-24 sustained non-fatal, violence-related injuries in 2011. Homicide is consistently one of the top three leading causes of death for this cohort, resulting in approximately 4,800 deaths and an estimated $9 billion in lost productivity and medical costs in 2010.

To support communities in implementing evidence-based violence prevention, CDC contracted with AIR to deliver training and technical assistance using a public health approach that features sustainable community coalitions. AIR experts and partners are working with 12 local public health departments: eight will receive basic technical assistance; four will receive intensive technical assistance. Training and technical assistance will support effective use of community data to understand issues underlying youth violence and identify local risk and protective factors.

STRYVING (Striving to Reduce Violence in Neighborhoods through Community Engagement) will enhance the ability of local public health departments to

  • plan, implement, evaluate, and sustain youth violence prevention strategies;
  • reduce violence through community-wide, population-level programs;
  • bring together multiple stakeholders from numerous service systems;
  • evaluate how other stakeholders have addressed youth violence;
  • use community data to pinpoint problems and target solutions; and
  • share successes and lessons with key audiences, including youth, families, practitioners, and policymakers.

A process and outcome evaluation mixing qualitative and quantitative methods will capture comprehensive information across the project sites. Methods include analyzing semi-structured phone interviews with stakeholders and analyzing community prevention plans, budgets, and other documents. Project partners include a Technical Working Group of youth violence prevention experts bringing expertise in using a public health approach and in designing and evaluating community-based violence prevention initiatives. The project is planned to run from 2013 to 2018.

Xan Young
Principal TA Consultant