Karen Hughes is a Professor in Behavioural Epidemiology at the Centre for Public Health, Liverpool John Moores University; a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Violence Prevention. She runs an extensive research programme undertaking epidemiological studies, systematic literature reviews and evaluation studies examining issues around violence prevention, alcohol use, nightlife health and other youth risk behaviours. She oversees the development of the Violence Prevention Evidence Base and Trials Register at www.preventviolence.info, which collate information on published studies and ongoing trials of violence prevention outcome evaluations. She has also co-authored a series of policy briefings, evidence reviews and focused reports on violence prevention with the World Health Organization, including the Prevent Violence: The Evidence series. Within the UK, Karen works with the Department of Health, the Home Office and a range of other national and local partners to support violence prevention activity. She has published a wide range of peer-reviewed journal articles and has acted as an expert advisor to bodies including the World Health Organization, the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the National Institute for Health Research.
Is the Violence Prevention Evidence Base Fit to Inform a Global Violence Reduction Strategy?
Global strategies to address violence have increasingly recognised the importance of applying a science-based approach to prevention. The need for evidence has been identified as particularly substantive in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where over 85% of violent deaths occur. These countries are also predicted to account for the vast majority of global population growth over the next 30 years. Thus, understanding what works to prevent violence in less developed societies and how transferrable evidence-based interventions developed in high income countries are to LMICs is fundamental in developing a global violence reduction strategy. Drawing on the rolling systematic reviews conducted to populate the prevent violence evidence base (www.preventviolence.info), a collaborative project between Liverpool John Moores University, the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this presentation will examine the state of the global violence prevention evidence base, identifying gaps in its geographical distribution and the types of violence addressed. The evidence base contains almost 400 journal articles reporting findings from violence prevention outcome evaluation studies published between January 2007 and June 2014. The presentation will consider how it can contribute to the development of a global violence reduction strategy and how it could be strengthened to support substantial reductions in violence over the next 30 years.