The project is a continuation of the Safer Cities pilot project in Abidjan in the three municipalities of Adjame, Treichville and Yopougon from 1998-2001, with the financial support of UNDP. This pilot initiative resulted in the development of a culture of prevention among the population, local authorities and key stakeholders, the development of a new field of expertise in Cote d'Ivoire and the development of social prevention practices. However, the first phase also showed that the impact of prevention would be more significant if addressed from the metropolitan angle, (the relationship between the police and the population, for example) and those good results need to be replicated in other municipalities of Abidjan. The project, in its initial phase, also played an important role in peaceful conflict resolution in the three municipalities covered. This was significant considering the difficult political and social conditions experienced by Cote d’Ivoire since 2001. It is within this context that Belgian Technical Cooperation and UNDP have given their support to the continuation of the project to the Metropolitan area of Abidjan (13 municipalities). The objectives of the project are to:
- Reinforce the capacities of the municipalities of Abidjan to prevent insecurity and crime;
- Reduce delinquency, violence and crime in Abidjan; and
- Reduce the fear of crime among the inhabitants of the city.
The project's approach and methodology will include the following 5 main Phases:
- The development of technical expertise to conduct the project;
- The development of participatory diagnoses in the municipalities, completed by the conducting of a city-wide victimization survey;
- The setting-up of a City-wide Safety Coalition which will design a concerted plan of action;
- The implementation of this plan of action with prevention policies addressing the causes of insecurity;
- The institutionalization, at the Metropolitan level, of an observatory of insecurity and monitoring and evaluation mechanism.
Progress in all activities is proceeding slower than anticipated due to the political situation in Cote d'Ivoire. However, the following has been achieved so far:
- Recruitment of a team of 20 persons to manage the project;
- Training of the project's team (national coordinator, 3 municipal coordinators and 13 assistants) on overall crime prevention approaches by two international experts;
- Launching of the project at the metropolitan level and at the level of the municipality; and
- Initiation of the diagnosis of insecurity in each municipality.