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23.9.2021 : 19:27 : +0200

Armed Violence Monitoring Systems

Accurate and reliable data on the scope, scale, and causes of all forms of armed violence is vital for shaping policy, developing responses, and monitoring progress.

Mechanisms for monitoring and analysing situations of conflict, crime and violence, such as observatories on crime and violence, or armed violence monitoring systems (AVMSs), have helped to improve the effectiveness of  armed violence reduction.

Armed Violence Monitoring Systems, a new Research Note by the Small Arms Survey and the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, examines the different types of AVMSs, their activities and functions, and the issues affecting their efficiency.

Key findings include:

  • AVMSs involve intersectoral collaboration among various levels of government, with public, private, and non-profit sectors to support the coordinated collection, dissemination, and use of information on armed violence. This enables a comprehensive multidisciplinary analysis of such violence.
  • The adoption of an integrated approach to armed violence, based on data supplied by AVMSs, is crucial to understanding the scope, scale, and sources of violence and insecurity, enabling effective violence prevention and reduction programmes and policies.
  • Regardless of whether an AVMS is established by a public body, private institution, or international organization, it is essential that it engages relevant authorities to ensure that analysis produced by AVMS is policy relevant and actionable.
  • Many AVMSs integrate multiple data sources, including survey data and NGO reports, thereby compensating for the possible limitations of any single source.
  •  Recent advances in geographic information systems, website development, and information and communication technologies could radically change the way in which armed violence is monitored in weak institutional settings.
  •  A toolkit that collates best practices and training tools for AVMSs in weak institutional settings should be developed; this would assist national and international agencies to establish appropriate systems for data collection and analysis.

This Research Note is published in support of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development, a high-level diplomatic initiative signed by more than 110 states, designed to support states and civil society to achieve measurable reductions in the global burden of armed violence by 2015 and beyond.


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