SCS Jamaica Repeats Co-Creation Success Targeting Youth Crime and Violence, Harnesses Youth Voice
FHI 360

Preventing crime and violence in communities requires intense collaboration—especially with youth who are either at risk or have already committed crimes or violent acts. SCS Jamaica has relied on a co-creation approach for each step of its crime- and violence-prevention programming, ensuring it is driven by host-country, cross-sectoral actors and informed by youth voices.

In February 2020, SCS Jamaica held a series of co-creation workshops to design evidence-based interventions for high-risk youth in the most volatile and vulnerable communities across the country.  Representatives from SCS Jamaica’s four core partner organizations—Multicare Youth Foundation, Peace Management Initiative (PMI), RISE Life Management Services, and Violence Prevention Alliance—explored issue and designed a coordinated set of interventions together with key stakeholders, including youth.

A carefully designed session gave at-risk youth a safe space to share personal experiences and offer advice about the proposed interventions, including pitfalls to avoid.

Me did under a whole heap of influence since my father dead in 2018... PMI get involved cause me know me did a go down a wrong path.. PMI come in and dem tek me up and ting and I start work with them... if a never for that, maybe me woulda .. look fo fight the next side or something.” - Youth participant, speaking in Jamaican Patois

By the final workshop, participants had agreed on interventions, monitoring and evaluation elements, and initial intervention locations—Whitfield Town and Trench Town— two Kingston inner-city communities that experienced 69 reported murders in 2019.

The workshops built on earlier SCS Jamaica collaborative efforts, beginning with a SCALE+ Whole System in the Room event in December 2018 to launch co-creation (reported in our Winter 2019 newsletter) efforts to prevent youth crime and violence in Clarendon. Five locally-developed and locally-implemented initiatives resulted and now receive assistance from SCS Jamaica to support 150 at-risk youth. Youth receive coordinated services, including psychological support, help reintegrating into the school system, support to learn business skills, and mentorship, in partnership with Clarendon Police. Parents of at-risk children and youth also receive support and guidance.

SCS Jamaica is a six-year program strengthening CSOs, government, and businesses to prevent youth crime and violence and foster cross-sectoral partnerships. Through co-creation, it nurtures strong dialogue between these organizations and at-risk youth in high-crime communities across the island.