Urban crime and violence are among the most costly and divisive issues facing cities worldwide. Across various contexts, policymakers are searching for violence prevention measures that can serve as alternatives to coercive tools, such as aggressive policing, punishment, and imprisonment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has emerged as a potential alternative strategy for a more targeted and potentially less expensive approach.
In Liberia, the Sustainable Transformation for Youth in Liberia (STYL) Program, which was an 8-week CBT program paired with cash transfers, successfully reduced criminal, violent, and other antisocial behaviors immediately after the program. Ten years later, the positive impacts of reduction in crime and antisocial behavior were sustained.
Through this workshop, IPA and NEPI convened local researchers, implementers, policymakers, and donors to share the STYL program results and discuss the policy implications for policymakers, implementing organizations, and donors. The workshop featured a panel highlighting these stakeholder perspectives in a moderated discussion by Walker Higgins, IPA Liberia & Sierra Leone Country Director. Breakout sessions facilitated detailed discussions on policy-relevant actions following the panel discussion.
- Julian Jamison, Professor of Economics at the University of Exeter
- Emmanuel Johnson, Assistant Minister for Youth Development, Ministry of Youth & Sports, Republic of Liberia
- Klubosumo Johnson Borh, Head of Network for Empowerment & Progressive Initiative (NEPI)
- Walker Higgins, Country Director, IPA Liberia & Sierra Leone
- Omalha Kanjo, Acting Country Director, GiveDirectly
- Mardea Nyumah, Youth Coordinator, United States Agency for International Development (USAID)