Some 1.5 billion people live in areas affected by violent conflict and large-scale organized crime. Persistent insecurity is causing widespread human suffering and represents one of the most significant challenges to development today. The impact of pervasive insecurity and violence is pushing more governments into situations where they are unable to deliver essential services and represent their citizens. In some cases, the state itself contributes to these conditions. Faced with weak, unresponsive, or repressive governments, communities sometimes have no choice but to turn to – or to create – alternative sources of authority to access services such as security and justice. Criminal gangs and armed groups often thrive in these settings, terrorizing communities and testing the legitimacy and relevance of the state.
IDRC’s Governance, Security, and Justice (GSJ) program funds research that addresses these issues. This research focuses on states that are weak or fragile, as well as on communities and marginalized groups that suffer from persistent insecurity, injustice, and abuse of power at the local level in otherwise democratic states. GSJ funds research that examines how states and societies interact to build secure, just, and responsive societies. Research that integrates the impact of gender dynamics and analyzes the importance of information and communication-based innovations is particularly welcome. Our goal is to support research that influences debates, policies, and practices, which provides citizens and public authorities with evidence-based solutions. These solutions should respond to the development challenges posed by violent conflict, large-scale organized crime, and weak governance.
For more details on our program, see our prospectus in English, French or Spanish.