Breaking Bad: How transnational drug trafficking creates violent masculinities in local Caribbean communities in Port of Spain

Lead Research Organisation: Coventry University
Department Name: Centre for Trust Peace & Social Relation

Abstract

The research project studies the impact of transnational organised crime and drug-trafficking (TNOC) on poor urban communities in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad, which has seen crime and violence soar since the mid-1990s as the city became transhipment point in the illegal drugs trade. We address the impact of TNOC on vulnerable populations, culture and security by considering the 'transnational-to-community' impact of drug-trafficking. In particular we consider how TNOC contributes to a number of male residents becoming increasingly violent at a micro level as 92% of homicide victims are men: how do relatively benign 'corner kids' turn into violent gang members? In turn we ask, how can these communities work with young men to insulate themselves from the negative impact and violence generation of TNOC?

This research uses masculinities as an interpretive lens and draws upon scholars across the disciplines of Peace Studies, Cultural Anthropology, and International Relations. The methodology is rooted in Trinidadian 'Spoken Word' traditions, and art and music, to grasp how male identity, culture, community violence and TNOC intersect.

Before high levels of TNOC emerged, the region had relatively low levels of violent crime. However, this changed rapidly with the onset of cocaine trafficking in early 1990s across the Caribbean which dovetailed with the multiple clefts of colonial legacies, exclusion and poverty, worsened by the collapse of traditional agricultural exports, racial divisions and widespread institutional weaknesses. Violent death rates in cities in the region have grown to outstrip many warzones, whilst some of the highest rates of sexual and gender based violence (SGBV) in the world are found in the Caribbean.

The answers to understanding violence must be sought at the interface between cocaine-driven TNOC and vulnerable communities, as poor residents have become disproportionately affected by violence. TNOC has weakened the rule of law, posing stiff challenges to already struggling institutions, whilst transforming local communities, hence the rather topical title of this research proposal 'Breaking Bad'. However, we still understand relatively little about the transformative processes between TNOC and community level violence.

Furthermore, we understand little about how masculinities become violent in communities traversed by TNOC. It is at the intersection between TNOC, community, and masculinities, that the new violence of Port-of-Spain can be most productively understood. Certainly it is an area where we must strengthen policy and programming. Whilst there is no silver-bullet solution to violence in these cities, masculinities are clearly an important part of the solution and are almost completely overlooked. This research project strives to create pragmatic, evidence based recommendations to lead to concrete impact by promoting innovative, community-led and gender-based solutions for the populations that most suffer from violence, whilst serving to interrupt the negative impact that TNOC has on poor neighbourhoods.

Planned Impact

This research has been designed with two impact pillars:

1. The first is 'community level impact' through the process of Action Research using Spoken Word, art and music workshops. Our workshops are designed to not only generate data, they also aim to empower local participants to resist the impact of TNOC and drug-trafficking on their communities, using their own knowledge, capacities and experiences of dealing with problems in their own settings; and to generate ways of reducing local men's violence whilst promoting awareness around gender based violence. We will work mainly with the youth population and ensure their involvement in impact activities from the outset. The total number of local direct workshop beneficiaries will be eighty; ten male youths, and ten female youths and women from each of our four target communities. Their workshop experiences, activities and training will then help them influence their home communities as they will become focal points for community ideas and activism around violence reduction.
Their involvement will lead to the co-design of a community safety guide 'Reducing Men's Violence in Your Community'. The aim is that this will become an accessible and transferrable guidebook that can be used in other vulnerable Caribbean communities affected by overarching TNOC, associated drug-trafficking, and community violence. We aim to distribute 500 copies of the guidebook, or 125 in each of our four target communities, with the ultimate goal of reducing the impact of TNOC at a community level by reducing male perpetrated homicide and gang related violence; sexual and gender based violence; and other sources of insecurity identified by local inhabitants using a gender-based approach and a critical analysis of violent masculinities.
The project will aim to consolidate a network of community members committed to building human security from below and link them to state security providers, the University of West Indies, and local UNDP offices to create a flow of knowledge to influence ongoing security policies that impact upon their communities (see also point 1. above). We envision that once opened, such channels of communication will be self-sustainable. This is easily monitored.

2. The second pillar is 'policy, advocacy, and programming impact' supported by our strategic partnerships with UNDP, the NGO Promundo, and our PIs track record of turning research into practical violence reduction intervention programs with UNDP. The UNDP and Promundo were specifically chosen to promote the second impact pillar.
UNDP is participating fully in this project from the outset from design, research, workshops, through to output publications. The UNDP interfaces with high level policy makers in Trinidadian state and government sectors and the international donor community, therefore they are strategically placed to lead the impact of this project in terms of influence and reach over state policy making and international cooperation for security in the country.
A roundtable will be held with high-level stakeholders in Port-of-Spain, including state ministries and security forces, the international donor community, and leading academics and practitioner experts, to disseminate the results of the research and the final policy briefing written in conjunction with UNDP.
Promundo is a leading NGO working on masculinities. They have significant reach in policy circles in Washington DC and with UN Women. Promundo will be supporting our workshops, the dissemination of the project research.
Finally, the project will serve as a launchpad for future bids for violence prevention projects with a focus on masculinities based on our research. PI Dr Adam Baird has used his previous work on gangs and masculinities to design a UNDP project worth US$250,000 which ran in Belize 2012-2014. We will use our project to influence and design future programming interventions through UNDP and the broader international community.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description Project Overview:
This research project focused on the impact of transnational drug and gun trafficking on poor urban communities in eastern Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. These communities have seen violence soar since the mid-1990s as the city became a transhipment hub in the illegal drugs supply-chain. The project sought to understand impact of transnational 'macro' flows of drugs, and by association guns, on communities at a 'micro' level. We asked:

o Does transnational organized crime create and influence patterns of male-led gang violence at a community level;
o How do poor young men turn from relatively benign 'corner kids' into violent gang members who drive up murder rates, and;
o How is this process connected with 'macro' flows of drugs and guns across the country?

The project was interdisciplinary, combining researchers from International Relations (IR), Sociology, and Cultural Anthropology.
The project was methodologically innovative using Trinidadian 'Spoken Word' workshops to conduct research with young people affected by violence in eastern Port of Spain.

Findings Summary:
Transnational organized crime alone does not simply cause booms in community violence. Rather, when drug trafficking processes are proximate to vulnerable communities, a complex process of interlocution takes place, bringing both weapons and drugs into communities. This process generates increasingly violent forms of masculinity linked to gang culture, which drives the homicide rate upwards.

What did we learn by looking at the Macro, Meso, and Micro levels?

- MACRO - 'Residues' of the drugs trade: From an IR perspective, Trinidad is in a distinctive 'macro' position along the global illegal drugs supply-chain. It is a porous geostrategic transit point between South America and destination markets beyond, whilst the country is a comparatively minor destination drugs market. We found that gun trafficking coalesces around drug trafficking, and residues of these processes find their way into poor local communities, effectively turning Trinidad into a 'weapons sink', contributing to what we have termed 'residual violence' at the 'micro' level. What we mean by this is that the violence conventionally associated with 'drugs and guns' is only indirectly linked to drugs, but much more directly to guns because these two phenomena, although linked up to a point, have distinct political economies;

- MESO - Community vulnerability a key connector to the international drugs trade: A community's susceptibility to violence depends on the way they connect-up to 'macro' level drugs trafficking networks, where geographical proximity to these networks is a key factor. Community susceptibility is best understood as a collection of multifaceted local level vulnerabilities generated by histories of colonialism, slavery, and continued marginalization and exclusion, creating a deeply fractured social contract where people have lost trust the state's capacity to address local problems. This generates a social terrain that prompts 'micro' level individual agents to seek opportunities through interlocution with the overarching drugs trade. This draws in 'residues' of drugs followed by guns, from the international to the local, which galvanizes community violence;

- MICRO - Gender roles, violent masculinities and gangs: Violent masculinities in Port of Spain pre-date the drugs trade, but these masculinities have become the vectors for the recent homicide boom in the city, which are intensified by the easy availability of powerful firearms. Drug and gun residues galvanize community violence by prompting a gendered and cultural shift towards violent gangland masculinities specific to poor communities. Once established - both ontologically and normatively - this gendered gangland culture has proved remarkably resilient, contributing to the constant re-generation of gangs and high murder rates.
Exploitation Route Recommendations:

- Distinctive Geostrategic Positioning. The precise nature of violence in Trinidad is different to elsewhere; it reflects a particular geostrategic location within the hemispheric narcotics supply-chain. Interventions therefore need to be tailored with this diagnosis in mind;
- Drugs and weapons should not be treated as a stand-alone technical problem. Policy should focus on the way drugs and weapons connect and interact with vulnerable communities where we seek to reduce social violence;
- Securitization measures need to consider how they address community vulnerabilities to the drugs trade and why young males are attracted to gangs, or risk aggravating community violence;
- Consider a gang amnesty, negotiation, and DDR program to break ingrained cycles of gang violence. This 'radical approach' has shown tangible benefits in other settings;
- Culturally relevant methodologies. The use of distinctive local cultures in developing new approaches to collect sensitive data locally. Our 'Spoken Word' methodology has a working curriculum that can be rolled out - with some local tailoring - to places experiencing similar problems;
- Integration of former gang members into social development work. Identify, develop and use ex-gang members who have been through a process of transformation in social development work and as violence interrupters, they bring credibility and create rapport with young adults. They can often be far more knowledgeable about all the intersecting on the ground issues young adults face than the academics and professional experts.
- Youth interventions: Develop youth from programs such as our own to become violence interrupters themselves (pay them for this work) and by developing such a body of young people you can create a network of young people who can work together in violence interruption (see Jeremiah Ferguson for a good example).
- Mainstreaming to change gender cultures that support community violence: 'Connect voices' of vulnerable youth outwards to academic experts, professionals, ministry staff, outreach workers, etc., who can counter the myths young people together create around gender and violence; help them understand what is happening to them at a local level in connection to global processes (Govt of T&T could push this as a component for local CSR);
- Mainstream gender/masculinities and violence sensitization into school education system from adolescence and capacity build with local partners who work with youth through strategic workshops on skills development - these can be built up from our Spoken Word experiences.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Security and Diplomacy

 
Description To summarise without repeating the individual sections, what really struck the research team was the impact the Spoken Word workshops were having on the young people taking part who came from markedly poor and violent neighbourhoods. We monitored this as the workshops progressed and fine tuned our curriculum so it transformed from a pilot initiative into a cohesive whole. In September 2017, our local partner the ROOTS Foundation began developing and rolling-out this Spoken Word curriculum we had piloted through the research, calling the new project 'Abyssinia a Journey of Change'. When rolling out the curriculum Roots collaborated with the Community Transformation Foundation social arm of Walking in the Spirit Ministries; Women of Transformation; Certus Consultancy Limited and endorsed by the Citizen Security Programme, and the Ministry of National Security. 'Season One' of the new workshops were sponsored through the Public Affairs Division of the US Embassy, Port of Spain, and 'Season Two' was sponsored through the Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism Unit of The Commonwealth Secretariat, UK. In total over 6,500 young people attended the workshops in 2017 and 2018, which was a huge step up beyond the 30 youths in the pilot workshops designed for the Breaking Bad research project. 'Abyssinia a Journey of Change' used Spoken Word techniques that we had blended with gendered perspectives, and how TNOC connected to the streets, to surface and analyse the causes of community violence amongst young people. Gendered narratives, particularly masculinities, were used in this analysis to reduce the impact of drugs, gangs and violent extremism amongst young people. The initiative used mentors who were locals with 'real life' experience of crime, violence, or extremism to connect with and sensitise students in schools across Trinidad and Tobago on the consequences of living a life of crime, and the impact of such a choice on the individual and the community. The workshops aimed to show youth how transforming attitudes can lead to more positive life outcomes, whilst encouraging a critical appraisal of the gender dynamics of violence can provide resilience to gang membership. male-on-male gang murder, and an array of SGBV. The impact was such, that one male youth whom the Roots Foundation were concerned would end up avenging the murder of a family member, made a life changing u-turn and ended up becoming a UN Youth Ambassador. One other striking case was a youth in conflict with the law who was due to be held in a youth detention centre for a number of years. The responsible judge was petitioned by the Roots Foundation on the grounds he would be taken under the wing of the workshops mentors. He was given a second chance and went on to successfully complete the workshop program, showing a transformation in attitude, and has not been in conflict with the law since.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Education,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Cultural,Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Policy Workshop run in conjunction with UNDP
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact The UNDP noted in the police workshop held September 2018 that the focus on how 'marco' flows of guns and drugs reached the 'micro' level communities was useful in prompting action on violence. UNDP representative Dr Magdy Martínez-Solimán stated: "My view is that discussing these [policy recommendations from the research] (in addition to other perspectives brought to the table by the other participants) will be tremendously useful for our partners in Government, particularly the NCPP and TTPS, as well as the civil society, and will help us to move swiftly from 'debate to action'. They will also help us in establishing the most effective pathways for implementing the recommendations of the research." Further, in terms of bringing a novel 'masculinities' approach to violence Martínez-Solimán asked "at the MICRO level, how can the masculinised gangland culture which has proved remarkably resilient in poor communities be tamed and transformed into brotherhoods of positive change in communities?" Raising these questions amongst influential policy makers was a main aim of the project. The UNDP as 'impact partner' was an excellent conduit for this process, as these issues were raised during the roundtable with policy makers from CARICOM IMPACS; Ministry of National Security; Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force; Trinidad and Tobago Police Service; the Citizens Security Programme; National Crime Prevention Programme; National Drug Council, and the Women's Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD). Finally, Martínez-Solimán sated that the policy workshop had provided "additional impetus for us to reflect on how we can do more, particularly in ensuring synergy between government priorities and the works of non-state actors."
URL http://www.tt.undp.org/content/trinidad_tobago/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/undp-uwi-policy-rou...
 
Description Public outreach by Roots Foundation Partner #BIGMANTING
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact - By training our local partner Mtima Solwasi at the Roots Foundation on how masculinities connect to violence this has contributed to the gender sensitisation across their outreach programs, particularly the #bigmanting campaign (as in Big Man Thing, a critical appraisal of local masculinities in Trinidad). This is a public outreach program on tackling violence masculinities. See link below.
URL https://rootsfoundationtt.org/what-we-do/media/
 
Description Spoken Word Workshop Curriculum Roll-out
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
Impact The Spoken Word workshops on masculinities, gangs, and violence piloted a curriculum with the intention of rolling-out and scaling-up the intervention with further cohorts of vulnerable youths. These workshops aim at sensitising youths to issues around gender, masculinities and violence, promoting the reduction of murder, the reduction of SGBV and preventing young males from joining gangs. Our local partner The Roots Foundation went on to develop the curriculum and delivered workshops under there title "Abyssinia: The Journey of Change" to over 6,512 vulnerable young people at schools and community centres across Trinidad. These were run by our local partner Mr Mtima Solwazi over two semesters in 2017 and then 2018, and were funded by the US Embassy (US$80,420) and The Commonwealth Secretariat UK (£35,000.00 GBP). This has been a remarkable development which the research team is delighted with.
URL https://rootsfoundationtt.org/what-we-do/abyssinia/
 
Description Cross-University; UNDP; local partner organisation; international organisation collaboration 
Organisation Promundo
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution *Please note that this project finished on 30th September 2018, as a consequence a number of our academic publications are still under review, although one has been accepted for publication. The PI Dr Adam Baird is based at Coventry University. This project collaborates with one co-I at the University of Sheffield, Dr Matthew Bishop, and another at the University of West Indies (UWI), Trinidad, Dr Dylan Kerrigan. We are developing research collaborations between these three institutions and building research excellence in the Global South, in this case Trinidad. The co-Is are from the disciplines of Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the PI is a sociologist and ethnographer with a background in Peace Studies. This research team brings an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Matthew Bishop has been surveying the political economy of TNOC and drug trafficking in Trinidad from numerous field-trips, adding to his existing seven years experience in Trinidad as a former academic at UWI. Dr Dylan Kerrigan has been leading the national partnerships with the UNDP, with local organisation The Roots Foundation, and has been managing the empirical data collection in the field.
Collaborator Contribution The UNDP is our 'impact partner', who supported the 'Spoken Word' workshops with disadvantaged youths in Port of Spain. In September 2018 they supported our 'Policy Workshop' with relevant stakeholders (expanded upon in detail later). The Roots Foundation is a local organisation that has been instrumental in setting up the 'Spoken Word' workshops, under the leadership of Mr Mtima Solwazi. Promundo have supported the workshops with specific training on masculinities and violence for both facilitators and also the youth participants. The UNDP have supported the Spoken Word workshops, led by Dr Kerrigan and Mr Solwazi. The 15 workshops with 30 youth participants have now completed (in 2017), and the UNDP and our research team led the Policy Workshop in September 2018.
Impact - Broadly speaking the youth workshops have influenced the cultural perceptions of the vulnerable youth participants towards gender based violence, the role played in this by masculinities, and the pernicious effects of TNOC, drug and arms trafficking have upon local communities. A 'check-in' followed by a 'check-out' sessions were used to measure perceptional change over time of the youth participants. One particular success, was a disaffected youth who took part in the Spoken Word workshops. He has now, with the support of UNDP, Roots Foundation and Dr Kerrigan, gone on to become a UN Youth Ambassador. This is a significant success demonstrating project impact. - The Spoken Word workshop curriculum has been taken by our local partner and rolled-out across Trinidad to 1,139 young people at six schools working in poor or violent contexts in 'Season 1', and in 'Season 2' to a further 5,373 young people Seasons 1 & 2 of the curriculum roll-out. This was a tremendous success. - In September 2018 a policy workshop was held and a policy brief delivered in conjunction with UNDP (elaborated upon under policy impact later).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cross-University; UNDP; local partner organisation; international organisation collaboration 
Organisation The Roots Foundation
Country Trinidad and Tobago 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution *Please note that this project finished on 30th September 2018, as a consequence a number of our academic publications are still under review, although one has been accepted for publication. The PI Dr Adam Baird is based at Coventry University. This project collaborates with one co-I at the University of Sheffield, Dr Matthew Bishop, and another at the University of West Indies (UWI), Trinidad, Dr Dylan Kerrigan. We are developing research collaborations between these three institutions and building research excellence in the Global South, in this case Trinidad. The co-Is are from the disciplines of Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the PI is a sociologist and ethnographer with a background in Peace Studies. This research team brings an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Matthew Bishop has been surveying the political economy of TNOC and drug trafficking in Trinidad from numerous field-trips, adding to his existing seven years experience in Trinidad as a former academic at UWI. Dr Dylan Kerrigan has been leading the national partnerships with the UNDP, with local organisation The Roots Foundation, and has been managing the empirical data collection in the field.
Collaborator Contribution The UNDP is our 'impact partner', who supported the 'Spoken Word' workshops with disadvantaged youths in Port of Spain. In September 2018 they supported our 'Policy Workshop' with relevant stakeholders (expanded upon in detail later). The Roots Foundation is a local organisation that has been instrumental in setting up the 'Spoken Word' workshops, under the leadership of Mr Mtima Solwazi. Promundo have supported the workshops with specific training on masculinities and violence for both facilitators and also the youth participants. The UNDP have supported the Spoken Word workshops, led by Dr Kerrigan and Mr Solwazi. The 15 workshops with 30 youth participants have now completed (in 2017), and the UNDP and our research team led the Policy Workshop in September 2018.
Impact - Broadly speaking the youth workshops have influenced the cultural perceptions of the vulnerable youth participants towards gender based violence, the role played in this by masculinities, and the pernicious effects of TNOC, drug and arms trafficking have upon local communities. A 'check-in' followed by a 'check-out' sessions were used to measure perceptional change over time of the youth participants. One particular success, was a disaffected youth who took part in the Spoken Word workshops. He has now, with the support of UNDP, Roots Foundation and Dr Kerrigan, gone on to become a UN Youth Ambassador. This is a significant success demonstrating project impact. - The Spoken Word workshop curriculum has been taken by our local partner and rolled-out across Trinidad to 1,139 young people at six schools working in poor or violent contexts in 'Season 1', and in 'Season 2' to a further 5,373 young people Seasons 1 & 2 of the curriculum roll-out. This was a tremendous success. - In September 2018 a policy workshop was held and a policy brief delivered in conjunction with UNDP (elaborated upon under policy impact later).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cross-University; UNDP; local partner organisation; international organisation collaboration 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Department United Nations Development Programme
Country United States 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution *Please note that this project finished on 30th September 2018, as a consequence a number of our academic publications are still under review, although one has been accepted for publication. The PI Dr Adam Baird is based at Coventry University. This project collaborates with one co-I at the University of Sheffield, Dr Matthew Bishop, and another at the University of West Indies (UWI), Trinidad, Dr Dylan Kerrigan. We are developing research collaborations between these three institutions and building research excellence in the Global South, in this case Trinidad. The co-Is are from the disciplines of Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the PI is a sociologist and ethnographer with a background in Peace Studies. This research team brings an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Matthew Bishop has been surveying the political economy of TNOC and drug trafficking in Trinidad from numerous field-trips, adding to his existing seven years experience in Trinidad as a former academic at UWI. Dr Dylan Kerrigan has been leading the national partnerships with the UNDP, with local organisation The Roots Foundation, and has been managing the empirical data collection in the field.
Collaborator Contribution The UNDP is our 'impact partner', who supported the 'Spoken Word' workshops with disadvantaged youths in Port of Spain. In September 2018 they supported our 'Policy Workshop' with relevant stakeholders (expanded upon in detail later). The Roots Foundation is a local organisation that has been instrumental in setting up the 'Spoken Word' workshops, under the leadership of Mr Mtima Solwazi. Promundo have supported the workshops with specific training on masculinities and violence for both facilitators and also the youth participants. The UNDP have supported the Spoken Word workshops, led by Dr Kerrigan and Mr Solwazi. The 15 workshops with 30 youth participants have now completed (in 2017), and the UNDP and our research team led the Policy Workshop in September 2018.
Impact - Broadly speaking the youth workshops have influenced the cultural perceptions of the vulnerable youth participants towards gender based violence, the role played in this by masculinities, and the pernicious effects of TNOC, drug and arms trafficking have upon local communities. A 'check-in' followed by a 'check-out' sessions were used to measure perceptional change over time of the youth participants. One particular success, was a disaffected youth who took part in the Spoken Word workshops. He has now, with the support of UNDP, Roots Foundation and Dr Kerrigan, gone on to become a UN Youth Ambassador. This is a significant success demonstrating project impact. - The Spoken Word workshop curriculum has been taken by our local partner and rolled-out across Trinidad to 1,139 young people at six schools working in poor or violent contexts in 'Season 1', and in 'Season 2' to a further 5,373 young people Seasons 1 & 2 of the curriculum roll-out. This was a tremendous success. - In September 2018 a policy workshop was held and a policy brief delivered in conjunction with UNDP (elaborated upon under policy impact later).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cross-University; UNDP; local partner organisation; international organisation collaboration 
Organisation University of Sheffield
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution *Please note that this project finished on 30th September 2018, as a consequence a number of our academic publications are still under review, although one has been accepted for publication. The PI Dr Adam Baird is based at Coventry University. This project collaborates with one co-I at the University of Sheffield, Dr Matthew Bishop, and another at the University of West Indies (UWI), Trinidad, Dr Dylan Kerrigan. We are developing research collaborations between these three institutions and building research excellence in the Global South, in this case Trinidad. The co-Is are from the disciplines of Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the PI is a sociologist and ethnographer with a background in Peace Studies. This research team brings an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Matthew Bishop has been surveying the political economy of TNOC and drug trafficking in Trinidad from numerous field-trips, adding to his existing seven years experience in Trinidad as a former academic at UWI. Dr Dylan Kerrigan has been leading the national partnerships with the UNDP, with local organisation The Roots Foundation, and has been managing the empirical data collection in the field.
Collaborator Contribution The UNDP is our 'impact partner', who supported the 'Spoken Word' workshops with disadvantaged youths in Port of Spain. In September 2018 they supported our 'Policy Workshop' with relevant stakeholders (expanded upon in detail later). The Roots Foundation is a local organisation that has been instrumental in setting up the 'Spoken Word' workshops, under the leadership of Mr Mtima Solwazi. Promundo have supported the workshops with specific training on masculinities and violence for both facilitators and also the youth participants. The UNDP have supported the Spoken Word workshops, led by Dr Kerrigan and Mr Solwazi. The 15 workshops with 30 youth participants have now completed (in 2017), and the UNDP and our research team led the Policy Workshop in September 2018.
Impact - Broadly speaking the youth workshops have influenced the cultural perceptions of the vulnerable youth participants towards gender based violence, the role played in this by masculinities, and the pernicious effects of TNOC, drug and arms trafficking have upon local communities. A 'check-in' followed by a 'check-out' sessions were used to measure perceptional change over time of the youth participants. One particular success, was a disaffected youth who took part in the Spoken Word workshops. He has now, with the support of UNDP, Roots Foundation and Dr Kerrigan, gone on to become a UN Youth Ambassador. This is a significant success demonstrating project impact. - The Spoken Word workshop curriculum has been taken by our local partner and rolled-out across Trinidad to 1,139 young people at six schools working in poor or violent contexts in 'Season 1', and in 'Season 2' to a further 5,373 young people Seasons 1 & 2 of the curriculum roll-out. This was a tremendous success. - In September 2018 a policy workshop was held and a policy brief delivered in conjunction with UNDP (elaborated upon under policy impact later).
Start Year 2017
 
Description Cross-University; UNDP; local partner organisation; international organisation collaboration 
Organisation University of the West Indies at St. Augustine
Country Trinidad and Tobago 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution *Please note that this project finished on 30th September 2018, as a consequence a number of our academic publications are still under review, although one has been accepted for publication. The PI Dr Adam Baird is based at Coventry University. This project collaborates with one co-I at the University of Sheffield, Dr Matthew Bishop, and another at the University of West Indies (UWI), Trinidad, Dr Dylan Kerrigan. We are developing research collaborations between these three institutions and building research excellence in the Global South, in this case Trinidad. The co-Is are from the disciplines of Political Science and Cultural Anthropology, the PI is a sociologist and ethnographer with a background in Peace Studies. This research team brings an interdisciplinary approach. Dr Matthew Bishop has been surveying the political economy of TNOC and drug trafficking in Trinidad from numerous field-trips, adding to his existing seven years experience in Trinidad as a former academic at UWI. Dr Dylan Kerrigan has been leading the national partnerships with the UNDP, with local organisation The Roots Foundation, and has been managing the empirical data collection in the field.
Collaborator Contribution The UNDP is our 'impact partner', who supported the 'Spoken Word' workshops with disadvantaged youths in Port of Spain. In September 2018 they supported our 'Policy Workshop' with relevant stakeholders (expanded upon in detail later). The Roots Foundation is a local organisation that has been instrumental in setting up the 'Spoken Word' workshops, under the leadership of Mr Mtima Solwazi. Promundo have supported the workshops with specific training on masculinities and violence for both facilitators and also the youth participants. The UNDP have supported the Spoken Word workshops, led by Dr Kerrigan and Mr Solwazi. The 15 workshops with 30 youth participants have now completed (in 2017), and the UNDP and our research team led the Policy Workshop in September 2018.
Impact - Broadly speaking the youth workshops have influenced the cultural perceptions of the vulnerable youth participants towards gender based violence, the role played in this by masculinities, and the pernicious effects of TNOC, drug and arms trafficking have upon local communities. A 'check-in' followed by a 'check-out' sessions were used to measure perceptional change over time of the youth participants. One particular success, was a disaffected youth who took part in the Spoken Word workshops. He has now, with the support of UNDP, Roots Foundation and Dr Kerrigan, gone on to become a UN Youth Ambassador. This is a significant success demonstrating project impact. - The Spoken Word workshop curriculum has been taken by our local partner and rolled-out across Trinidad to 1,139 young people at six schools working in poor or violent contexts in 'Season 1', and in 'Season 2' to a further 5,373 young people Seasons 1 & 2 of the curriculum roll-out. This was a tremendous success. - In September 2018 a policy workshop was held and a policy brief delivered in conjunction with UNDP (elaborated upon under policy impact later).
Start Year 2017
 
Description The Roots Foundation 
Organisation The Roots Foundation
Country Trinidad and Tobago 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution - Our research team trained Mr Mtima Solwasi from the Roots Foundations in issues around masculinities, gender, and violence - Using our original pilot curriculum, supported the development of an educational youth curriculum 'Abyssinia Journey of Change' on masculinities, gangs, gender based violence, drugs, and TNOC, which has since been rolled out to 6512 young people in Trinidad by Mr Solwasi who secured further funding. - Financially supported the Roots Foundation online platform to develop outreach for these initiatives (written into project budget) - Supported the Roots Foundation in post-project funding bids for impact and roll-out of curriculum 'Abyssinia Journey of Change' - Will still provide Mr Solwasi support post-project as a strong working relationship has bee established
Collaborator Contribution The Roots Foundation: - Supported the Spoken Word workshops with young people in Trinidad - Highlighted Spoken Word initiatives on their website - Helped organise individual and focus group meetings - Provided access to vulnerable and dangerous communities for focus group discussions
Impact - Spoke Word curriculum on masculinities and violence for young people created and tested as a pilot (see outputs); this was then developed by Mt Solwazi with the support of our research team into the above mentioned 'Abyssinia' project, which was funded the US Embassy (US$80,420) and The Commonwealth Secretariat UK (£35,000.00 GBP) and rolled out across the country to young people.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Interview for National News 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Interview on a national television new programme about the project with Dylan Kerrigan and Mr Natko Geres from NGO Promundo whom supported the project workshops.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Interviews for national radio show 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Several interviews on both national television and radio programmes were conducted with Dr Dylan Kerrigan and Mr Mtima Solwazi about the project, and the importance of understanding gender and masculinities in community violence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Macho Research blog for LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact This blog post written for LSE received over 1000 unique visitors in the first week of publication. It draws upon Dr Baird' experience of research in the field, including that funded during the Breaking Bad research project. The blog starts: "Being a man in research in Latin America and the Caribbean entails a peculiar set of benefits and risks, but it also shapes research projects, data, and ultimately analysis. Unlike their female colleagues, male researchers seldom reflect on their positionality, yet this can strengthen our research, help us to develop as professionals, and improve our ethical behaviour in the field".
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
URL https://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2020/02/13/macho-research-bravado-danger-and-ethnographic-saf...
 
Description Policy Workshop (scheduled September 2018) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact This high level "Policy Workshop" coordinated in conjunction with our 'Impact Partner' the UNDP in Trinidad. This event took place in September 2018 in the Port of Spain. Here the research team discussed and shared out project key findings and recommendations with policy makers.
The high level event was hosted by Dr Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UNDP's Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support. The event was attended by Government and Civil Society partners; CARICOM IMPACS; Ministry of National Security; Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force; Trinidad and Tobago Police Service; the Citizens Security Programme; National Crime Prevention Programme; National Drug Council; Women's Institute for Alternative Development (WINAD), the Roots Foundation, other research institutions, as well as other critical stakeholders.
The UNDP produced a public statement for the event (see link below).
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL http://www.tt.undp.org/content/trinidad_tobago/en/home/presscenter/articles/2017/undp-uwi-policy-rou...
 
Description Press article for LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Blog written by the PI for LSE website focusing on he role of masculinities in community violence across Latin America and Caribbean, referencing the project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/latamcaribbean/2017/07/18/breaking-bad-recognising-the-role-of-masculinities-...
 
Description Spoken Word Workshops 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact These workshops formed a core component of our innovative methodology. We ran 15 workshops over 15 consecutive weeks in 2017 with 30 young people who were school drop-outs located in SERVOL, a national service for troubled youth. These youths are from challenging, poor and violent neighbourhoods. They were encouraged to think critically around issues of TNOC, drugs, gender - principally masculinities -, and violence. In the 'check-out' session at the end of the workshop schedule, the participants showed a significant transformation in attitudes towards violence, understanding of the role played by gender, and broader TNOC and drug trafficking that filtered into the community. One youth became Youth Ambassador for the UN, a quite remarkable turnaround for a poor, disaffected young man from a gang affected neighbourhood who had come into the Spoken Word workshops after a a family member was murdered.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017