The State of Violence Prevention: Reflections from the First South African National Conference on Violence Prevention
Our analysis of the state of violence prevention in the country is based on a thematic content analysis of abstracts submitted for the First South African National Conference on Violence Prevention. A description of the constituent features of interventions, as well as the theoretical and evaluative assumptions that underlie them, is useful for identifying gaps, strengths and areas for development in the violence prevention sector. Our analysis suggests that the work presented at the conference, albeit a limited representation of violence prevention initiatives in the country, may be indicative of the plural forms of violence and is partially responsive to the complex psychosocial drivers of violence. While multidimensional interventions seem to focus on central contributing factors, including gendered cultural norms and practices, hegemonic masculinities, specific vulnerable groups and locations, the structural drivers of violence are not directly addressed. There is thus space and scope for prevention interventions that target socioeconomic and material determinants of violence directly. Likewise, for national implementation science and related efforts to grow, future interventions will have to incorporate theoretical and evaluative frames that help to explain the factors that may optimise intervention success, uptake and sustainability.