A public health framework to translate risk factors related to political violence and war into multi-level preventive interventions

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Political violence, armed conflicts and human rights violations are produced by a variety of political, economic and socio-cultural factors. Conflicts can be analyzed with an interdisciplinary approach to obtain a global understanding of the relative contribution of risk and protective factors. A public health framework was designed to address these risk factors and protective factors. The framework resulted in a matrix that combined primary, secondary and tertiary interventions with their implementation on the levels of the society-at-large, the community, and the family and individual. Subsequently, the risk and protective factors were translated into multi-sectoral, multi-modal and multi-level preventive interventions involving the economy, governance, diplomacy, the military, human rights, agriculture, health, and education. Then the interventions were slotted in their appropriate place in the matrix.

The interventions can be applied in an integrative form by international agencies, governments and non-governmental organizations, and molded to meet the requirements of the historic, political-economic and socio-cultural context. The framework maps the complementary fit among the different actors while engaging themselves in preventive, rehabilitative and reconstructive interventions. The framework shows how the economic, diplomatic, political, criminal justice, human rights, military, health and rural development sectors can collaborate to promote peace or prevent the aggravation or continuation of violence. A deeper understanding of the association between risk and protective factors and the developmental pathways of generic, country-specific and culture-specific factors leading to political violence is needed.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)71-79
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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