NewtonRCUK-CONACYT Co-constructing Security Provision in Mexico: A Methodology and Action Plan from Communities to the State

Lead Research Organisation: London School of Economics & Pol Sci
Department Name: Latin America and Caribbean Centre

Abstract

With more than 175, 000 lives lost between 2006 and 2014, 26,000 people disappeared, and the proliferation of ever more visible and brutal expressions of violence, Mexico's security has experienced a dramatic deterioration over the last decade. Violence and security are key dimensions of economic development and social welfare. An emerging economy with strong global potential, Mexico's current security crisis has exposed the weaknesses of state security responses with serious implications for investment, employment and poverty reduction. Trust in the state's security provision is very low, and this encourages vigilante justice, dependence on private security amongst those with resources to pay for it and also generates the impunity which further fuels violence and criminality. Local economies have succumbed to criminal actors, and a range of drug trafficking organisations have expanded and mutated their illegal activities. Extortion as well as threats of violence blight the lives of thousands of citizens. Many Mexican community, civil and state actors are searching for new options to reduce violence and criminality. This research and action project will develop and test methodologies for co- constructing security provision with these actors in four carefully selected case studies locations: Tijuana, Apatzingan, Acapulco and Guadalupe. It will work with community, civil society and state actors to both better diagnose the security threats they face but most importantly to build shared understandings of security as an effective and equitable public good in their localities. It will encourage understanding of the differential impacts of violence, insecurity and security provision according to income, gender, ethnicity and other social factors. It will use 'local security agendas' constructed from the ground up, to influence the national security approaches in Mexico and beyond. Finally, It will use the research to contribute to wider debates in the global South around security, violence and development.

Planned Impact

This research aims at short, medium and longer term impacts:
1. In the short term, this project will gather together a group of scholars, community researchers, civil and state actors prepared to work together around one of the most pressing problems of Mexico today. At the scholarly level, the mere fact that important Mexican Universities (two national and one local, based in Tijuana, one of the most challenging of Mexican cities in security terms) are collaborating with Peace Studies in Bradford University, UK (an internationally recognised centre of excellence for the study of peace), will put the security issue in Mexico on the agenda in a new way. ITAM and CIDE are highly respected national universities with access to policy makers and state actors. By co-constructing knowledge and action plans around security, the aim is to refresh the security debate in Mexico and suggest a new methodology for influencing thinking and practice on security provision. This will impact on the Mexican university sector, by enhancing the attention given by scholars to the security problem. In the local case study sites, the collaboration will not only generate new evidence on violence dynamics, but give impetus to dialogues between actors who are situated in distinct positionalities in terms of experiencing and responding to insecurity and violence and who rarely come together. By building conversations between communities, particularly poor communities, experiencing chronic violence; civil society actors who despite danger to themselves wish to make visible the threats from rising crime and violence; and state actors who face unprecedented challenges including the loss of the trust and respect of citizens, which they need in order to operate, this project will have immediate impacts in terms of opening up the Mexican security debate in new directions and fostering practical new approaches .
2. In the medium term, the 'Local Security Agendas' which will emerge from the work in the case study sites, aim to capture the complexity of dynamics on the ground in Mexico and how violence and insecurity differentially affect population groups. It is expected that the very construction of these agendas will generate a sense of renewal in terms of security thinking with practical implications around diminishing mistrust, addressing tendencies to implement vigilante justice, and encouraging people to feel they can open up conversations where they were unable to do so in the past. These Local Security Agendas will then be discussed as part of an effort to rethink Mexican national security provision as an effective and equitable public good. The dissemination events are aimed to scale up the impact of the local research and to demonstrate the evidence of how the state might respond in new ways to the knowledge gathered through the participatory process and which has been validated through rigorous analysis using NVIVO software, returning the findings to participants for further input, and peer review. Although this is an impact envisaged during the life of the project, it is one that the project will encourage to continue through the constituencies it will bring together of academics, communities, civil society groups and state actors.
3. In the longer term, the Briefing Paper, the final conference, the sharing of findings with other influential academics and policy makers in Washington, the academic publications and dissemination will open up serious debate about new approaches to security provision in Mexico and beyond. The project aims to encourage sustainable dialogues at the local level that will outlast the project while fostering national debate and even international debate on security provision in the global South.

Publications

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Description The research has first of all contributed an innovative methodology for researching contexts of chronic violence, in this case in neighbourhoods in four of the most violent municipalities of Mexico. These contexts are very difficult to research and thus the local, detailed, and complex realities of living multiple insecurities and violences are not well understood by policy makers or academically. The research created teams of academics, practitioner academics and community researchers, working under carefully agreed security protocols, including an emergency app for any of the team to call for assistance. These local teams worked with members of the community itself over two years. This built trust between the researchers and the community, as the latter knew that the researchers were not just 'extracting' data, but were interested in understanding the everyday insecurities and seeking to build ideas with the community for relevant responses. Thus the methodological innovation is also linked to the knowledge produced, and its capacity to generate a level of detail and depth that does not often take place in academic research, in particular in contexts of violence. Secondly, out of this methodology we were able to generate co-constructed Agendas of Human Security for all but one of the communities (Acapulco proved too dangerous and we decided we could not risk lives in the community through producing an Agenda). These have been important tools for the community to turn their experiences into concrete policy suggestions for officials, for civil society organisations and for the community itself. They have also contained messages about the everyday realities people face, and that aren't reducible only to drugs trafficking and gangs. We showed the intersections between the violences generated by these actors, but also by local police, and the lack of security in the varied social domains defined by the UN's 'Human Security' agenda, to which we added gender and the specific insecurities lived by women. These Agendas not only were used to generate debate within the community, but also with local civil society organisations, the university in some cases, and with public officers and politicians where the circumstances allowed. Thirdly, we scaled up the impact of these local Agendas, by producing a National Human Security Agenda, which we used to engage at the Federal State level to feed our field research and voices from the communities into an increasingly crowded debate due to the election of the new President, committed to rethinking security practice in the country. We were able to bring the importance of building with communities, giving them voice and taking a wider vision of what security means on the ground, into the new President's transition team, to key figures in the political establishment as well as amongst advocates for new forms of policing and who recognisie and value the complexity of the 'locality' in developing security policy but also the importance of building from the ground. We were able to demonstrate how this could be done and the kinds of outcomes that could be achieved.

With respect to ODA concerns, our original proposal was influenced by the 2011 World Development Report which recognised that 'in the past 60 years areas characterised by repeated cycles of political and criminal violence are being left far behind, their economic growth compromised and their human indicators stagnant' (2011:1). It quotes the Mexican government's estimate that crime and violence cost the country 1 percent of GDP in 2007 alone (ibid.: 65). However, while the report emphasised the importance of citizen security, justice and jobs to addressing crime and violence, it acknowledged the gaps in collective capabilities to support these areas. Insecurity, it argued not only remains but has become a primary development challenge of our times (ibid:1). Our project has aimed to contribute new methodologies for tackling these challenges, using action research methods that build capacity for agency in impacted communities as well as analysis. We see our work as integrally connected to Sustainable Development Goal 16 and its recognition that 'peace, justice and effective, accountable and inclusive institutions are at the core of sustainable development'.The OECD has produced two recent reports on Mexico (Towards a Stronger and More Inclusive Mexico, December 2017, and Getting it Right: Strategic Priorities for Mexico, May 2018). These give an up to date summary of how Mexico is faring in global development terms. They point out that at close to 17%, Mexico's poverty rate is not only twice the OECD average, but its regional inequalities remain substantial. An estimated 30 million people continue to work in informal jobs and current rates of growth will not address the acute problems of youth unemployment. The latter our research has found, remains an issue of concern with all our population groups, and one that connects to fears of youth criminality and recruitment to organised crime. The OECD also emphasises the fact that Mexico has the highest homicide rate in the OECD and only 46% of people feel safe walking alone at night, well below the OECD average of 68%. It highlights the weakness of the rule of law, widespread corruption and that over 60% of Mexican believe that their government is corrupt. Persistent inequalities mean that growth favours the few; the richest 20% in Mexico earn ten times more than the poorest 20%, compared to 5.4 times OECD average. Our four case study neighbourhoods reflect high levels of marginality within cities of varying degrees of marginality in the national tables, from the 'wealthier' Guadelupe and Tijuana to Acapulco and Apatzingan,the poorest municipality. They also reflect the regional social and economic divides and experiences of violence in Mexico. As the country entered its electoral year in 2018, it was against the background of 29,168 murders, higher than their peak during the drug war of 2011 of 27,213. Our concept of chronic violence aims to highlight the fact that homicides are only one measure of violence, and that violences of many kinds take place in all the spaces of socialization in Mexico, from the intimate to the street, to the school etc. Mexico Evalua now measures 10 crimes of high impact, including rape, kidnapping and extortion. Forced displacement and disappearances are only beginning to be researched. These are aspects of violence that our research was able to highlight, contributing to their recognition in the policy debates of the country.The crisis of security in Mexico is a crisis of institutions and a crisis of development. Our concept of 'Human Security' captures the multiple intersecting developmental, social and governance factors which lie behind this situation.

By co-constructing an analysis of their security challenges with people who experience them in their daily lives, and demonstrating how the variables of 'human security' intersect, our research has shown that both the hard line repressive approaches of some of those who wish to bring in the military, and the preventive strategies of others, has failed to connect with these lived realities. The former threatens to reproduce more violences (as happened when they were first brought into the war on drugs), while preventive strategies have often been bureaucratically and some argue, corruptly, managed and failed to deliver on the ground. Nor, our research shows, is violence and insecurity reducible to poverty alone. Our diagnoses of insecurity in its multiple variables (community, personal, food, health, economic, environmental, political) reveals that for people in the poorest neighbourhoods, only an integrated approach to addressing social, economic and political factors of violence reproduction will have sustainable impacts. Our additional argument, is that this analysis emerges most potently from 'below', the marginal spaces and places where insecurity is felt in all its dimensions. Our co-constructed Human Security Agendas are not just about investigating how these dimensions intersect, but about the sensibilities which arise and potential to act when these intersections are analysed with those most impacted and translated into proposals for action with local and national civil society and state actors. In this way, Mexico's security policies and their implementation can be shaped by knowledge of complex realities on the ground and the need to rebuild trust in the country's institutions. These arguments we have brought to the national debate as a new President has taken office in Mexico with the goal of looking at the security debate with a new lens. Our aim now is to use our Human Security Agendas to impact on this debate whenever the opportunity arises. In addition to the municipal and national Local Agendas on Human Security, each team worked with a documentary maker to produce Audiovisual Letters. These have been used to cross fertilise issues between research sites, and help to enable communities used to having no voice to express their situation through collaborating with a professional documentary maker. The latter also made a documentary on the methodology, which we use to show how human security agendas could emerge from a co-production process, and the impact this has on all participants.
Exploitation Route Throughout this research we have built in the importance of connecting with other local and national actors during the process rather than at the end. We have put effort into connecting with other academics. The UK PI gave a presentation in the Tec de Monterrey University in April 2017, to the Colegio de Michoacan, in CIDE Apatzingan and in CIESAS in Veracruz in May 2018, and we shared the research with UDEM in Monterrey (where we presented the Agendas with members of the community), and with the Universidad de Baja California in Tijuana. In addition, we teamed up with another Newton working in Mexico, who were focussed on citizens activism and security in Michoacan. This meant that not only did the PI share the methodology in practice in Zamora where the other team were working, but the team collaborated on two events in October 2018, We co-organised a two day seminar in CIDE Mexico City, where we brought academics, civil society organisations and policy makers together to hear about our two research findings and to comment on them. In policy terms, we also collaborated on an event in Morelia, the capital of Michoacan. We brought many of the key actors we had worked with in Apatzingan, also in Michoacan, to meet with other actors from the state. The civil society group from Zamora want to use the methodology to co-construct an Agenda there, and in Apatzingan, a local businessmen has set up an Observatory of Human Security, employed our Community Researcher and began work using our methodology. The PI and Co-I are members of the advisory group. The collectives of activists who work in the city around various issues related to violence indirectly through cultural and other activities (one organisation defends animal rights, but is conscious of the contribution to a more humanitarian consciousness in the town), agreed following our workshop with them, to articulate their activities and work together more. Apatzingan proved to be our most effective efforts at sustainability. However, in Guadelupe, we also built a strong connection with an NGO focussed on youth , Supera, who joined with us in our dissemination event in the university of Monterrey, UDEM, and are now developing ideas for taking our word forward. Nationally, we held a dissemination event with key national actors. We also held a discussion with Jesuits for Peace in Mexico City. The Jesuit who runs this organisation is also working with the Pi and Co-I in another project using the methodology in El Salvador, Colombia, Guatemala and Jamaica, as well as in Tancitaro, Michocan. He has been an advisor to the Secretary for Peace of the incoming administration, and has proposed that the PI and CoI join an international advisory group.He is now part of a team developing a Diploma in Human Security with the Observatory of Human Security of Apatzingan which emerged directly from our research. The Observatory of Human Security in Medellin continues to develop the methodology with the PI and Research Coordinator as advisors, ensuring that the regional work continues.

In national and international academic and methodological terms, we have continued to open up debate on how our methodology can be used to enable field research in these contexts of violence and criminality. The team presented the research to a panel at LASA in Peru 2017. The PI and Reseach Coodinator presented at a panel at the international conference on 'Rethinking Global Urban Justice' in Leeds in September 2017. The PI was invited to speak on the research at the Montreal Concordia University conference on Ethnography in March 2018. She presented a paper on aspects of the methodology: 'Researching violence and insecurity: the academic as citizen, the citizen as informed agent' on a panel in LASA in Barcelona in May 2018; and she was a keynote section speaker at the conference 'Successful Cities- Crises of Citizenship' International Conference in Potsdam in September 2018 in which she presented the methodology to a global audience, but in which this was the main presentation on urban issues in the global South. These conference presentations aim at influencing the wider academic debate on researching violences in the global South. The PI presented the methodology at a conference in Aberdeen by our fellow Newton Project and the Research Coordinator at the Overseas Development Institute in London in November 2018, as part of our collaboration, and together with the PI of the sister project at Aberdeen we have put in a bid to the British Academy to host a conference on citizens participation in security thinking and practice. The PI organised a workshop with a large GCRF project at SOAS on Drugs and (Dis)Order (where she is chair of the Advisory Board) on methods, ethics and security in this kind of research, and the research coordinator also presented. The idea was to cross fertilise the Mexican research experience with that of other academics, and in particular this GCRF project. The PI will participate in May 2019 in a Latin America Studies Association annual conference panel on participatory methodologies in contexts of chronic violence ( an outcome of the presentation in 2018 in LASA Barcelona), as well as on a panel to build the collaboration further with the fellow Newton project working in Mexico, and aimed at exploring with Latin Americanist colleagues ways of engaging citizens and communities in Mexico in the security debate.

These academic activities are taking place as a new President has taken office in Mexico committed to rethinking Mexican security policy, and where a lot of our work on the ground is now feeding in from below and up the policy chain to the State. The President has taken a rather more militaristic turn in his understanding of security since taking power in December 2018. Our team in Mexico are constantly looking for opportunities to influence the national debate. We have a monthly Skype with the whole team, and a WhatsApp group, to share experiences and opportunities for following up with the Agendas. The work in Apatzingan is moving forward well with the Observatory of Human Security of Apatzingan. Our focus is now on building connections with the new Public Security Secretary appointed at the end of last year in Guadelupe, and building on our connections with civil society actors and businessmen in Tijuana.

Internationally from the LSE Latin America and Caribbean Centre, we are strengthening uptake in the ideas, by posting all the Human Security Agendas onto the website, translating the national agenda and its summary in English, and short booklet summary of all the findings in each municipality. We have also translated the documentary on the methodology and that is also now available on the LACC website (addresses above). The PI and Research Coordinator presented the methodology to LSE/LACC colleagues at a seminar on 24 January 2018, which also aims to generate interest in the methodology.

The book from this project will be published in Mexico in March 2019: Kloppe-Santamaría, G. & Abello Colak, A. (Eds) forthcoming 'Seguridad humana y violencia crónica en México: Nuevas lecturas y propuestas desde abajo' Porrua Editorial. An academic article on the methodology is being written by the PI and Co-I to be submitted to an academic journal in 2019. In terms of development goals and issues, these academic publications will help to frame a new perspective on security and chronic violence. We intend this to strengthen the debate on Human Security , which is very much part of the UN approach to global challenges, along with the Sustainable Development Goals. On the latter, we contribute particularly to SG16 with its particular focus on violence. Our work has fed in the idea of chronic violence, which emphasises the importance of looking at violence in all the socialisation spaces form the intimate to the street to the prison, into the UN debates. The PI was invited to a meeting with UN and other actors in New York in January 2018, to highlight this approach to violence, as the UN system has been geared to responding to war violences rather than violence committed by non state actors who are not at war, and where violence is expressed in various forms. We could feed in findings from our research on intimate space violence and forced displacement, and we have been told that this has influenced UN discussion on how to frame non war violences in Latin America.
Sectors Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy

URL http://www.lse.ac.uk/lacc/publications/Co-constructing-Human-Security-in-Mexico,http://www.lse.ac.uk/lacc/news/Towards-a-Human-Security-Agenda-for-Mexico
 
Description The findings of our research have been designed firstly to have impact on the communities with whom we have worked, on the civil society groups who work with them at the municipal level and the municipal business, political and security actors. Our second aim, was to shape the debate on security in Mexico and feed the lived experiences of the communities we are working with into that debate and to show what security as a humanised, violence reducing public good might look like. Thirdly, we aimed to influence the methodological and academic debate around researching violence, and this has been discussed under Key Findings. This section will focus on the first and second goals, which the boxes ticked under 'types of impact' highlight. The methodology for this research centred on co-producing knowledge with four Mexican communities living in contexts of chronic violence and criminality. The exchange of knowledge between experiential in the community and academic knowledge, was aimed at impacting on all those involved. The academics learn to engage with the knowledge of lived experience, to respect the people who generate it and to commit not only to extracting it for third party academic and policy audiences, but to ensure the co-produced knowledge returns to the communities who participated, enabling them to act on it for change. Our community researchers in all four municipal studies, gained a sense of confidence and recognition by working with academics and entering spaces (eg the university, public policy forum, meeting the municipal president) often denied them. This had a deep personal impact on them. They all lived in the neighbourhoods we had chosen and were vital bridges between the communities and the academic team, building the trust essential for the research process to prosper. This was particularly apparent with the community researcher in Apatzingan, who has gone from a deeply disliked and badly paid job dealing with debt and insurance, to working with the newly established Observatory of Human Security in Apatzingan, which will be taking the research forward in that municipality (see Key Findings). But it is these personal impacts that stand out on all the community researchers who notably grew in confidence and understanding of the issues facing their communities through the research process. They were all encouraged to write field diaries, or to put notes into an especially designed app which encrypted their communications. The community researchers were supported by Practitioner Academics or Pracademics, who also connected the community researchers to the academics in the team, being selected for their experience working with communities as well as in academia. Our Pracademic in Tijuana for instance, lived in the neighbouring community to Sanchez Taboada where we worked and the community researcher lived. But she had gone to university. The methodology helped her to see the connections between her academic training and doing something for the communities experiencing a great deal of violence. She herself was touched by that violence. She recognised that her future was transformed by a methodology which was about research and social action. The same could be said for the Pracademic in Acapulco, who had a similar background. Through the community researchers and pracademics, we were able to build close relationships with communities who rarely get to express the difficulties they face to anyone, including their neighbours. Carefully opening up a way of talking about issues of insecurity and violence was another way in which this research impacted on the community. The way this happened varied in each context. The most challenging was Acapulco, as the community we worked with was Afro Mexican and Indigenous and living in great poverty and fear. Our contribution here was to begin the process of opening up the subject, by using (as in all our cases) human security as the entry point. This was both because it was safer to talk 'human security' for all involved, and secondly because we discovered that communities wanted to talk about the varied domains in which they felt insecure, from housing, to health, to education to personal and community security and safety as a woman. And when we talk about communities, we were always working with different sectors of the community and their particular experiences. So we worked with young people, women, older people and the most difficult sector was the working males, partly because they were not at home and as available for conversation, and partly because they were the least able or willing to discuss the situation they were in. We were able, through the methodology, to open up the issue of violence in the intimate space, for example, which was very rarely discussed. Women could not talk about this violence when the main violence that was recognised was that related to drugs and criminal actors. By creating a space for talking about all these forms of violence, we also enabled a discussion which could highlight links between the reproduction of all violences and criminality, from non state and state actors. This we captured through the concept of 'chronic violence'.The impact of this work is evidenced by the Agendas of Human Security, that we built with communities at the local level and are a printed tool that we could give back to the communities. They brought to light a range of themes which the community never discussed themes which were still difficult to raise, but which emerged through conversations that we had over two years. We also discovered the 'silenced' issues, such as forced displacement, and the slow collective trauma taking place in the communities we worked with. In Tijuana, we found young boys who had seen decaptitated heads in the street. Nevertheless we also found what we called 'agency', young people who wanted to act and avoid being part of the criminal world. In Guadelupe we worked with young people at school and who had left. We found a great capacity to analyse and propose ideas for how the violence could be addressed, and through them we heard of abusive behaviour by the police towards young people smoking marijuana but not involve in criminal activities. The Agendas for Human Security were taken back in draft and completed form to the communities with whom we had worked, generating further discussion on how they could be used and connecting community actors to each other. Where possible, we then brought community actors (and always the community researcher) into other spaces, the university, meetings with civil society groups, with businessmen, with political and state actors. So this leads to the second aim of influencing the local and national debate on security, and enabling the complexity of each context to be acknowledged as vital to any 'national' security policy. We have worked at all levels of policy making to bring the key issues from each context to the discussion, but also to highlight common threads. These common threads were brought together in a National Agenda for Human Security, with an Executive Summary and a shortened 'primer' summarising the process and proposals from the four local Agendas. We used this material to engage at all levels in public and private spaces. At the local level, we were able to build connections with a range of civil society groups, particularly in Apatzingan and Guadelupe. For us these were all ways to guarantee sustainability with the research, in that these organisations as well as the community, now had a tangible tool to work with, a well produced Agenda, co-constructed with the communities of their locality. The reception to this was positive everywhere. In Tijuana, where the context of violent criminality worsened during our period of study, although not as in Acapulco to the extent that we decided not co-construct an Agenda, we were able to work with the local church in our chosen neighbourhood. This meant that we could both strengthen their work with young people in particular, but we could also build connections in a relatively safe space, with those young people seeking alternatives. We could also link up these voices from the ground, through meetings between our research team on 23 October 2018 and the President of the Citizens Council for Public Security, USAID and the State Centre for Prevention of Crime and Citizen Participation, as well as the Frontera Norte College. By bringing these actors together to discuss how people on the ground propose to address their security issues when given the opportunity to work together with academics to formulate proposals, we are showing the capacity for agency within Tijuana's most stressed communities. In Apatzingan, one of the most important of our connections with the community where we were working, was with the local secondary school. The head teacher was in a very difficult situation, as the teachers union had been divided politically, and this was influencing how she could run the school. At the same time, children were coming to school from very troubled backgrounds, some with aspirations to be assassins at the age of 9 . Our research team was able to support her in building with others to open up discussions about what was happening, and in turn she hosted in the school a number of encounters with parents that helped us to understand more deeply what was happening in the community. These are connections we have built, that are now being taken forward by the Observatory of Human Security in Apatzingan, an organisation which has emerged from our work locally (see Key Findings). In all our case study areas, we had invited local civil society and state actors to a workshop in Mexico City in 2017, which had established important relationships we could draw on when the Agendas were ready. In one of our cases, this enabled us to ensure that the Agenda would be used by influential State and public security actors, including the police command. This was Guadelupe where we were able to have two discussions with officers and politicians , some of whom were clearly seeking alternative security policies and were open to our methodology and process. We were able to sow a seed here, where we could share for instance how community voices still did not trust the police although there were efforts to build a less abusive more responsive police. We were also able to communicate the way in which political contests and pursuit of local support, divided communities and made it difficult for them to build a common platform for engaging with public officials from a community rather than partisan perspective. Our productive final encounter ,where we shared the local and national Agendas, laid the basis of an ongoing relationship with the State actors. This is promising as at the time, it was still unclear who had won the Guadelupe election. However, the victor turned out to be someone very open to the perspectives our research was developing. These processes at the local municipal and state level are very important in the Mexican context. Although we were less effective in Acapulco, due to an extreme deterioration in the security situation, we still fed in our research to local actors where possible. But our main impacts were in the other three municipalities and at the State level in Guadelupe and Apaztingan/Michoacan. Here we have established very good connections with a range of actors seeking to transform the repressive security policy and re-shape security under the new Presidency. Our key impacts at these local societal/public levels have been our methodology of co-production and the importance of listening to local people even though they live in stigmatised areas, and in what came out of the Agendas, in terms of taking a more integral approach to violence, to not reducing all the violence to drugs and crime, and to looking at insecurities in multiple domains. At the National level, we worked hard from the beginning to involve Senators and Congressmen and women, state and other public officials, in our research. Inviting key players to hear about the progress of our research following our Mexico City team workshops. We held an important workshop with the Director of the Centre of National Security in Mexico City, and this relationship enabled us to feed in our methodology in a visit to Morelia, where a new head of the police was experimenting with new approaches to policing. This visit in turn, has enabled us to connect our Human Security Agendas, to the debates that have emerged over policing in Mexico since the new President took office. These are again seeds, connections and relationships which our Mexican team hope to build on , even though the project has ended. A key part of our effort to influence governmental policy was to host a national event in Mexico City to disseminate our Agendas, with the presence and participation of all the researchers in the team. We held this in a symbolic central location at the Museum of Memory and Tolerance on 8 October 2018. The meeting was attended by people from the governmental and legislative bodies of government, members of civil society and national and international academics. We showed a documentary produced for us, on the methodology, as well as presented the key findings from our research. This event enabled us to set out the contribution from our research to key actors in the security and governmental fields. In the contributions from participants, contributions from a Senator, a representative from Michoacan, and the Director General of Crime Prevention and Community Services of the Attorney General's Office, engaged very thoughtfully with the research. Again, what we can say, is that we have sown seeds, new approaches and frameworks to security, which have the credibility of having been co-produced over two years fieldwork in the very areas that insecurity and violence is experienced most intensely. The UK and the Mexican PI followed up on this with interviews on two of the countries most influential radio programmes, and the UK PI subsequently met with a Senator working closely with the transition team, and who had a history of recognising the importance of building from the local and an interest in the 'human security' framework. In other words, without going into more detail, what the research has done is opened as many doors as possible at many levels of government and civil society, to feed in evidence based arguments for an approach to security as a public good, which makes the participation of citizens possible as a key task rather than militaristic approaches which reproduce more violence. In doing so , we are both reinforcing the voices that are seeking democratic change to Mexico's security policy, and providing new arguments from the ground up. Two years is not enough time to gauge whether our arguments have been taken up. We have fed into the national debate, but at the local level, we have several processes underway in Apatzingan, Tijuana and Guadelupe, especially, suggest that a range of actors are committed to making sure the Agendas are translated into real impacts on public policy. In terms of ODA, our
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Communities and Social Services/Policy,Government, Democracy and Justice,Security and Diplomacy
Impact Types Societal,Policy & public services

 
Description Research Capacity in Participatory Methodologies in Contexts of Chronic Violence
Geographic Reach Local/Municipal/Regional 
Policy Influence Type Influenced training of practitioners or researchers
 
Title Participatory Methods for Researching with Communities living in Contexts of Chronic Violence 
Description The above does not capture these social science methods we have been developing and which are at the core of our project. It was the only drop down that mentioned 'human'. Our research method is an ethnographically informed process of building teams which include community researchers who live in the research site, as well as practitioner academics and academics. Our goal was to get an understanding of everyday violences in contexts of chronic violence but also contribute to agency for change. We did this by the co-construction of human security agendas in each research site. 
Type Of Material Model of mechanisms or symptoms - human 
Year Produced 2019 
Provided To Others? Yes  
Impact I have put 2019, but this research methodology has been in gestation since 2008, and has had various iterations, of which the most recent is in Mexico. One of the impacts is that the methodology which had roots in learning from Latin America and taken to field sites in Bradford when the PI set up an International Centre for Participation Studies, in Peace Studies in the city. The research process fed into a successful grant application to build the Observatory of Human Security in Medellin, Colombia, and was taken up in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and most recently is part of an IDRC project in Mexico, Jamaica, Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador. Thus the regional extension and deepening of this methodology over time is what this methodology is about, and the experience for the Newton project has been to further deepen the methodology. The academic systematisation of this will be published in 2019. However, examples of outcomes from this research are available from the LACC/LSE website. 
URL http://www.lse.ac.uk/lacc/news/Towards-a-Human-Security-Agenda-for-Mexico
 
Description Building Connections with Key Security Policy Actors in Mexico (1) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This activity was part of a series of activities aimed at building connections with national security policy thinkers and actors to prepare our pathway to impact on national security policy. In this case, we invited the former Director of the Centre of Investigation and National Security of Mexico, CISEN, and Under Secretary for Public Security for Mexico's Ministry of Security, SEGOB (Jorge Enrique Tello Peon) to address our Team Workshop in Mexico City in January 2017 to give us an overview of the national security outlook in Mexico. This connection has enabled us to form a connection with an 'insider' who can help us to develop our impact activities with the State with better understanding and effectiveness.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Building Connections with Key Security Policy Actors in Mexico (2) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact In addition to the January meeting with Jorge Tello, we invited a Senator on the Human Rights Commission, and various civil society organisations, and Conacyt (the Mexican Research Council) to our post Workshop presentation of our research. We did this in January and April. And in October, we organised a specific forum in which our researchers invited policy actors from their local/municipal and State levels, and in Mexico City, we invited key national political actors. This forum gave us an opportunity to share our research at an early stage, but in particular the methodology of building with communities and finding new approaches to security. Those who attended the event were from the National Security Commission, the Federal Police, the Interior Ministry, the Attorney General's Office and the Institute of Geography and Statistics. They are all key players in the debate, and it means that our research process has already interacted with these actors, so that when we come to disseminate findings, there is already interest in our work to build from.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation of Research and Participation in National Security Council workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This event was organised by the National Security Council, who invited the UK Principal Investigator to present the research in May 2017 to policemen and civil society groups concerned about the failure of security policy in Mexico.This was an important encounter with both police and civil society groups who are looking for new approaches to security. Subsequently, the PI visited Morelia in Michoacan, where an innovative approach to policing was beginning, under the auspices of the NSC. These connections lay the basis for future collaborations once our findings are ready for dissemination.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Research Dissemination Nuevo Almaguer 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact This was an event where we presented to the community with whom we had worked, the Human Security Agenda they had helped co-construct. We pained a mural with the community, in order to involve them in the process and lay the foundation for further work. The Mural was focussed on Human Security for the community
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Research Dissemination Tijuana 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact In Tijuana, we held several meetings to discuss the research and to ensure key actors knew of our work and our goals. The one I am highlighting here, is a meeting with a key businessmen and his team, who had been concerned by security issues and built up a process, Tijuana Inovadora, to try and change the image of the city. We held other meetings with security actors, with NGOs, one working in a neighbouring area to our research site, and with policy makers and politicians.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Research Dissemination, Apatzingan, Mexico 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Other audiences
Results and Impact In each of the Municipalities where we worked, we held feedback events with as many groups as possible. This event in Apatzingan was particularly well attended, including by the local Bishop and key actors in the town searching for solutions to the problem of violence, and many of whom had collaborated with the co-construction of our Human Security Agendas. This event (and there were others over the course of the research, including with the local school), paved the way for the setting up of the Observatory of Human Security for Apatzingan.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
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