Background and introduction
NNSC significantly broadened the scope of our network in 2017 with the launch of an international portfolio. International Interventions collaborates with a diverse range of partners outside the U.S. on effective strategies to increase community safety and reduce violence. NNSC’s international portfolio requires significant country-based adaptation, taking into account variations in social norms, histories of violence, institutional capacity and legitimacy, and more. By building coalitions of key stakeholders in communities, sharing knowledge among cities in the NNSC network, and consulting with subject matter experts, NNSC’s International Interventions portfolio is playing a meaningful role in addressing global violence.
Guided by our six key principles, we take steps to learn from our partners in an effort to fully understand the challenges they face. These steps include action research and convening local thought leaders who will work with us to adapt the framework to their context. Building coalitions of key stakeholders in the community, knowledge sharing with other cities in our network, and consulting with subject matter experts are different ways we support our partners. The goal is to achieve sustainable impact through leveraging and reallocating existing resources and social capital to implement the strategy, rather than relying on significant additional funding.
NNSC’s efforts beyond the United States add valuable insights to the existing knowledge base on focused deterrence. While the current knowledge base predominantly focuses on the U.S., NNSC’s global experiences contribute to a broader understanding of effective strategies in combating violence.
Through ongoing collaborations and the exchange of best practices, NNSC continues to drive positive change in communities worldwide. Our commitment to adapting and refining evidence-based approaches ensures that our efforts remain relevant, relatable, and effective in diverse international contexts.
Jarfalla & Upplands-Bro, Sweden
Ceará State, Brazil
Chihuahua State, Mexico
Nuevo León State, Mexico
Successful violence reduction must be a collective effort across institutions and communities. Effective violence reduction hinges on the legitimacy of state institutions in the eyes of the community—when legitimacy goes down, violence goes up. Communities need to see law enforcement, especially the police, as fair, respectful, and on their side. Our work in the United States continuously addresses questions of legitimacy in cities and communities that have been historically marginalized and where institutions have struggled to meet the needs and demands of the people they serve. International Interventions brings this understanding of how legitimacy issues play out in practice to our global network.
As a global community we have committed to certain principles of human rights, global development, and international cooperation. We believe that NNSC approaches can be a positive part of the solution to violence outside the U.S., just as they have been a part of the solution to reducing violence within the U.S.
GVI in sweden
One notable international success has been the implementation of NNSC’s Group Violence Intervention in Sweden. Starting in Malmö in 2017, it has since expanded to five additional cities by 2022.
Malmö was the pilot municipality for GVI implementation, under the name “Sluta skjut” (stop shooting). Malmö University has carried out two evaluations of Sluta skjut. A process evaluation was published in October 2020, showing that the American strategy could be adapted to suit Swedish conditions and that the model could also be useful in other Swedish cities with similar problems to Malmö. An impact evaluation was published in February 2021, showing that the number of shootings in Malmö fell during the Sluta skjut pilot project period (PDF of English summary of both reports). Malmö has chosen to continue to work with the GVI strategy as part of their regular operations
Following the Malmö pilot, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, the Swedish Police Authority, and the Swedish Prison and Probation Service formed a national support team to assist new local implementations. To date, the municipalities of Örebro, Gothenburg, Uppsala, Huddinge, Järfälla and Upplands-Bro have decided to start working with the strategy.
We have observed both similarities and differences in urban violence dynamics across the various locations. Key factors such as the principle of concentration and group dynamics play a crucial role. However, the level and scale of group organization can differ significantly, shaping the task of disrupting group-driven violence.
Adopting evidence-based strategies is not a one-size-fits-all approach. It requires careful consideration of local contexts and precise action-research. By leveraging “what works” and making necessary adjustments, NNSC has achieved significant impact in reducing violence. This process highlights the importance of continuously learning and adapting interventions to achieve desired outcomes.
working with nnsc
Contact us to learn about working with NNSC.
The Art and Science of Violence Prevention
This panel from the 2023 Stockholm Criminology Symposium discusses focused deterrence frameworks, NNSC’s adaptation of Group Violence Intervention in Sweden, and the application of NNSC’s Intimate Partner Violence Intervention in Malmö, Sweden.
Violence Across Borders
This panel from the 2019 NNSC National Conference discusses violence prevention that has been developed in one setting and is applied in settings that are both new and different but share underlying fundamentals. The panelists consider the shape of the problems on the ground and how to address them.
Effective Violence Prevention: Progress and Practice in Non-U.S. Contexts
This panel from the 2017 NNSC National Conference discusses applications and challenges in contexts as diverse as Sweden, Honduras, Bermuda, El Salvador, and Mexico, while also exploring how government officials and communities are organizing to address those challenges.
This report was commissioned by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Central America Regional Security Initiative (CARSI), a United States government effort
In the News
A US strategy sometimes credited with helping Malmö bring its shootings under control after years of gang violence is now being rolled out to troubled
After years of increasingly violent gang crime in Malmö, the southern Swedish city was faced with little choice but to try something new. Here’s how