The Safer Places: Resilient Institutions and Neighbourhoods Together (SPRINT) Project was conceptualised in response to the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to grow the capacity of CSOs and local government in the utilisation of Area-Based Violence Prevention Interventions (ABVPI).

Violence and crime are systemic in South Africa and are rooted in a range of risk factors, like poverty, unemployment, inequality, prejudicial attitudes and weak social cohesion. In recent times, we have seen an increase in the levels of violence and crime, partly due to the impact of COVID-19. To address and prevent violence and crime, it is necessary to use a combination of spatial, social and institutional approaches within a specific geographic area – as seen in targeted ABVPI. 

Now in the second phase of implementation (SPRINT II), the focus of the project is embedding ABVPI approaches institutionally within relevant national government departments, within key municipalities and within civil society to ensure sustainability.

As part of this, Isandla Institute will be working across two key themes:

Enabling Conditions: This theme focuses on embedding an ABVPI orientation in relevant government policy, practice and programmes. It includes drafting an institutionalisation strategy to analyse the current context and possible opportunities for integration, developing guidelines to the inclusion of ABVPI in key government programmes and plans, and identifying opportunities to incorporate ABVPI more explicitly into public funding.

Activation: This theme refers to the mobilisation of and support for ABVPI champions in municipalities and civil society. Within this theme, Isandla Institute will work to build a community of practice by identifying and connecting champions. Isandla Institute will build on relationships, networks and knowledge products developed during SPRINT I and seek to deepen and augment these relationships and disseminate materials (both existing and new) to relevant stakeholders. We will also host a series of virtual and face to face events to foster relationships and build capacity and knowledge.

In addition, Isandla Institute will support work under the themes of Capacitation and Implementation lead by our colleagues at VPUU.

Municipalities, together with communities, are the primary actors in advocating for, planning, coordinating, implementing and assessing ABVPI. However to do so, it is critical that the necessary enabling conditions are in place for ABVPI to emerge and be sustained. These conditions are created when provincial and national departments planning are informed by safety and violence prevention considerations. The Advisory Group members champion ABVPI in their respective departments, with support from the SPRINT implementation partners where necessary.  The SPRINT Advisory Group consists of the Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), the Department of Human Settlements (DHS), National Treasury, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Services (CSPS).

Isandla Institute produces a range of knowledge products, including thematic learning briefs, practice briefs, informative animations and advocacy outputs, which are shared below and on Isandla Institute’s resources page.