Any act of violence is an assault on the health of the public regardless of the reasons and ways the violence is perpetrated. Violence is of public health concern, and disciplines such as social science, law, epidemiology, behavioral science, and risk-communication, commonly used to tackle public health problems, can successfully contribute to addressing violence and improve community safety.
Our team consists of a multi-disciplinary group of researchers from the fields of public health, medicine, biostatistics, mathematics, religious studies, terrorism studies, diplomacy, and public policy in the Division of Policy Translation & Leadership Development at the Harvard Chan School. Our work helps inform the development of policies and interventions based on sound scientific evidence on the nature, causes, and consequences of violence with focus on youth violence and violent extremism. We provide technical assistance and training to organizations interested in improving prevention programs and conduct evaluation studies to analyze the effectiveness of their interventions.
At present, our work falls into three broad categories:
Our team is working to create capacity in the evaluation of programs designed to prevent targeted violence in the US, Canada, and Europe. We also leverage science to contribute to the overall effectiveness, transparency and accountability of programs to prevent violent extremism in local communities.
Cultural Intelligence refers to a person’s ability to adapt effectively to new cultural contexts. While existing research on Cultural Intelligence has largely been conducted within professional settings, we study and apply Cultural Intelligence from within a societal framework that incorporates race-theory and public health approaches to violence prevention.
Our team of experts in measurement science, statistics, and survey development has conducted research on children’s online behaviors and developed an online safety index to assess their exposure to risky situations.
Our team has developed toolkits and online trainings designed to support organizations engaged in the development of programs to prevent acts of targeted violence.