Willman, Alys M.

Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team
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Fields of Specialization
Violence prevention; gender-based violence; youth violence; illicit economies; urban violence
Social Cohesion and Violence Prevention Team
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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

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  • Publication
    Interpersonal Violence Prevention : A Review of the Evidence and Emerging Lessons
    (Washington, DC: World Bank, 2011) Willman, Alys
    Acknowledges how development is held back by violence, especially high levels of interpersonal violence that includes harmful acts of gangs and domestic violence. Chronic, high rates of such violence deter investment, erode social cohesion, limit access to employment and educational opportunities, drain state resources, and threaten governance at various levels. Violence is an important signal of fragility, because it indicates the breakdown of state capacity to provide basic security, and of societal capacity to impose social controls on violent behavior. Risk factors for increasing violence include high unemployment, a history of conflict, rapid urbanization, high inequality, trafficking in weapons and drugs, and institutional fragility. Violent behavior may offer opportunities for physical, social and economic mobility. Gender-based violence is related to both criminal and political violence. Factors for prevention are linked to community and family connection, early intervention, and local government intervention programs like community policing. Because various types of violence overlap, more integrated approaches present the most effective means for prevention while avoiding duplication of efforts.