Willman, Alys M.

Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team
Profile Picture
Author Name Variants
Fields of Specialization
Violence prevention; gender-based violence; youth violence; illicit economies; urban violence
Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team
Externally Hosted Work
Contact Information
Last updated: January 31, 2023
Alys Willman, PhD, is a Social Development Specialist for the Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team at the World Bank, taking responsibility for analytical and project work on urban violence, youth violence and gender-based violence. She is the co-author of Violence in the City (World Bank 2011), and Societal Dynamics and Fragility (World Bank 2012), as well as various other books and articles on urban violence, youth violence, and illicit economies. Ms. Willman has worked over a dozen countries throughout Latin America, Africa and East Asia, with NGOs, bilateral agencies and the World Bank.
Citations 128 Scopus

Publication Search Results

Now showing 1 - 5 of 5
  • Publication
    Societal Dynamics and Fragility : Engaging Societies in Responding to Fragile Situations
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2013-01) Marc, Alexandre; Willman, Alys; Aslam, Ghazia
    The objective of the study reported in this book was to understand how societal dynamics can be mobilized toward a convergence across groups in society and thus toward greater social cohesion overall. The team began with an extensive consultation phase to identify some key societal dynamics that seemed important in understanding fragility. The German Development Cooperation (GIZ) was a key partner in the study, providing support to the analytical phase in the form of a background paper, and technical advice throughout the preparation of the report. The team continued to consult with these experts throughout the fieldwork and the writing of the book. This book reports a study about societal relationships in fragile situations. Drawing on relevant literature and fieldwork in five countries, it suggests that fragility, violent conflict, and state failure are functions not only of state inability or unwillingness to perform core tasks, but also of dysfunctional relationships in society that do not permit a state to be formed or sustained. The present chapter has introduced the problem of fragility and suggested that seeing fragility as a problem of relationships in society can lead to more effective interventions in fragile situations. Chapter two turns to a key area of societal relations, the state society relationship in fragile situations. Chapter three begins a conversation about social cohesion in fragile situations. It suggests a critical element of social cohesion: a convergence across groups in society. Chapter four discusses how perceptions of injustice across groups can deepen divisions and hinder coexistence and collective action. Many times such perceptions can be even more influential than measurable differences across groups (such as income inequality) in fomenting resentment and division. Chapter five then takes up the issue of interactions between institutions in fragile situations. It is suggested that social cohesion contributes to more constructive interactions among institutions, increasing their capacity to realize development goals. Chapter six shifts the focus to certain relationships in society that are particularly important for social cohesion. Chapter seven describes an overall approach to policy and programming, including how to conduct research and develop knowledge from this perspective. Chapter eight offers specific orientations for adapting existing tools and instruments to address the societal bases of fragility.
  • Publication
    Gates, Hired Guns and Mistrust - Business Unusual : The Cost of Crime and Violence to Businesses in Papua New Guinea
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Lakhani, Sadaf; Willman, Alys M.
    High levels of crime and violence are widely viewed as a critical constraint to development in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The most casual discussion on the topic inevitably elicits stories of personal experiences of victimization, or those of friends or family. Reports of violent incidents appear in the media on a daily basis. Despite 10 years of strong economic growth, with an increase in GDP of over 8 percent in 2011, there is a perception is that crime and violence have an impact on the business climate in the country, and that the costs to development are significant. This paper is the fourth in a series produced by the World Bank as part of the study "Socioeconomic Costs of Crime and Violence in PNG". The aim of the study has been to conduct targeted data collection and mine existing information sources, creating new analyses, in order to feed an informed dialogue among key stakeholders in PNG, and to help the business community in their ongoing discussions. As such, the study provides an overview of costs according to key themes along with presenting relevant empirical evidence, rather than a detailed accounting.
  • Publication
    Trends in crime and violence in Papua New Guinea
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Lakhani, Sadaf; Willman, Alys M.
    Crime and violence are widely viewed as posing a considerable challenge to development in Papua New Guinea (PNG). The full scale of crime and violence in PNG is difficult to assess, given the scarcity of national-level studies and a distinct urban bias in the available studies. Yet various commentators and surveys estimate that violence victimization rates in PNG are among the highest in the world. This briefing note presents some preliminary findings regarding the prevalence of crime and violence in PNG. It was prepared as part of a broader study to understand the socioeconomic costs of crime and violence to businesses, government agencies, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and households in PNG. The different data sources reviewed and the most significant challenges with the data available are noted in Annex 1. The challenges in partial data and questions concerning the methodology used for collecting and collating some of the data sets and data integrity call for some caution in interpreting the findings, in particular making generalizations about the wide diversity of provincial experiences on the basis of geographically limited data sets.
  • Publication
    The Socio-economic Costs of Crime and Violence in Papua New Guinea : Recommendations for Policy and Programs
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Lakhani, Sadaf; Willman, Alys M.
    At the request of the Prime Minister's office, between 2011-2013, the World Bank conducted a study to understand the social and economic costs of crime and violence in Papua New Guinea. The purpose of the study was to feed a national conversation about crime and violence and inform policy directions and program interventions. The findings of the study are summarized in this research and dialogue series. This brief outlines the policy and programming recommendations that emerge from the research. The recommendations are intended to provide information, possible policy approaches towards an ongoing dialogue on the issue of crime and violence and that they will fuel a growing coalition of state and civil society actors for an integrated response.
  • Publication
    Drivers of Crime and Violence in Papua New Guinea
    (World Bank, Washington, DC, 2014-05) Lakhani, Sadaf; Willman, Alys M.
    Reports in both the national and international media and anecdotal evidence indicate that the prevalence of crime and violence is high in PNG, and presents an important obstacle to long-term development. A growing body of literature and data on the issue identify a diverse range of forms of crime and violence; from violence in the household to violent conflict between clans, and various forms of interpersonal violence. This violence has been linked to various factors, ranging from historical and cultural factors, to, more recently, economic drivers. Conflict and violence have historically been an integral part of social life in PNG. This briefing note presents an analysis of the drivers of violence and crime in PNG. An extensive data and literature review was undertaken by a World Bank team, following a scoping mission to PNG in December 2011. A follow-up mission to Port Moresby in October 2012 which included individual consultations with stakeholders as well as an experts meeting on Conflict and Fragility helped test and refine the analysis. The brief begins with a description of the role of conflict in PNG society, and of traditional mechanisms for managing conflict. Next, it discusses key stresses that increase the risk of violence in PNG. The fourth section examines how these stresses affect the capacity of institutions in PNG to manage the conflicts that come with rapid social and economic changes. The brief concludes with a summary of gaps in the current understanding of the stresses and drivers of violence in PNG.