Measuring and Monitoring Armed Violence - Goals, Targets and Indicators

TitleMeasuring and Monitoring Armed Violence - Goals, Targets and Indicators
Publication TypeBook
Subtitle / Series TitleBackground Paper for the Oslo Conference on Armed Violence
Year of Publication2010
Number of Pages32 pp.
PublisherSecretariat of the Geneva Declaration on Armed Violence and Development and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Accession Number1522

The human, social and economic costs of armed violence are extensive and far reaching: direct and indirect violence claims more than 740,000 lives each year. A growing body of evidence indicates that armed violence may hinder progress towards certain Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and development in general.
The forthcoming MDG review process (starting on 20-22 September 2010) is an opportunity to revisit the relationship between armed violence prevention and reduction and achieving MDGs. In order to support this process, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General has recommended that clear goals, targets and indicators be created to measure and monitor armed violence.
This paper sets out a framework of goals, targets and indicators to track armed violence, and to support prevention and reduction activities. The framework is based on extensive consultations with UN agencies and specialists in various disciplines. The three overall goals are to (1) reduce the number of people physically harmed from armed violence; (2) reduce the number of people and groups affected by armed violence, and (3) strengthen institutional responses to prevent and reduce armed violence. The paper also introduces eight specific targets that flow from these goals, and proposes specific indicators to measure progress towards achieving them. Taken together, the framework offers a means of comparing and measuring patterns and trends in armed violence to 2015 and beyond.
The paper does not propose to include these goals, targets and indicators as part of the MDGs in their own right. The MDG process is far too advanced for these kinds of armed violence measurements to be usefully or practically integrated into MDG monitoring and assessments. Rather, the paper presents a framework for international partners, national and local governments and civil society to measure systematically changes in armed violence and to monitor progress in prevention and reduction activities in tandem with and complementary to the MDGs.
The framework draws extensively on a variety of data sources and data harvesting mechanisms. It also considers the limitations and challenges associated with collecting and analysing data on armed violence. In order to assist in expanding and deepening information and analysis of armed violence, it recommends establishing an armed violence monitoring group, with governmental and non-governmental expert representatives who specialize in statistics, economics, demographics, public health, sociology, criminal justice and criminology. The group would test proposed goals, targets and indicators in a pilot phase to identify gaps and build towards a global database of proposed indicators.

Full Text