The one thing more harmful than no knowledge is half knowledge.
By Honey Mehta, Cities Alliance Communications Team
[21 May 2018] -- Public safety and security has been a challenge in Peru for some time now. While systems are in place to safeguard citizens, not everyone is aware of or utilising the services provided by the state.
Peru’s Instituto de Defensa Legal (IDL) Seguridad Ciudadana is one organisation that has been working to change that. With support from Cities Alliance, the IDL has been placing relevant public safety information at people’s fingertips through its project Peru: Más información para más seguridad (More Information, More Security). The project was funded through our Catalytic Fund as part of the Know Your City Call for Proposals.
It has helped provide accurate information on public safety in metropolitan Lima to enable better public safety strategies and greater citizen engagement in the process. The IDL team collected, analysed and disseminated extensive data on local security risks and prevention through interactive maps, annual citizen security reports, and studies. The results are available to the public and those responsible for managing public safety, namely municipal governments, the national police, and neighbourhood committees.
The initiative also involved educating citizens on how to use information to actively participate in managing public safety. For example, the “Schools of Leaders” component provides training for community leaders, and communities were encouraged to form citizen groups that continue to advocate for and train their communities in citizen safety beyond the closure of Cities Alliance grant funding in 2017.
Since then, the IDL team has continued to take their project forward. Recently, Ms Fabiola Franceza of the IDL visited the Secretariat to share how Más información para más seguridad was progressing in Peru.
Lima is known to have high rates of crime and theft, giving a general feeling of insecurity among citizens. It is important to know what the local government is doing to deter crimes, prevent robberies, and maintain peace and order. If residents understand how the city government is enforcing security, they can use that knowledge to act and participate in managing public safety.
The project is helping to bridge the gap between data and transparency by providing information on public safety. To collect the most accurate data, the IDL team met decision makers, the mayor, local government officials, municipality supervisors, residents, and many others to confirm the information. With not everybody eager to divulge details on security, it became a challenging task, which the team was able to overcome.
The team has now released a report on the norms in place for public safety and security in Lima and Callao. This information enables better public safety strategies and greater citizen engagement.
The report, available in Spanish, focuses on four key areas:
- Statistics on the breach of safety and security in Peru
- What the government (local and national) are doing to improve the situation
- Information on citizens working for public safety
- Security system in Lima
Download the full report
About the Catalytic Fund
The Catalytic Fund is a Cities Alliance global funding instrument which provides grant support for innovative projects that promote the role of cities. The Fund aims to catalyse the process of urban transformation, by funding projects which can be implemented within two years. As part of our Strategic Plan 2018–21, the Catalytic Fund is being transitioned into a new, even more flexible Innovation Fund.