Basic Info

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Nominee Information

Institutional Information

Member State Brazil
Institution Name City Hall of Recife
Institution Type Local Government
Administrative Level Local
Name of initiative COMPAZ
Projects Operational Years 5
Website of Institution

Question 1: About the Initiative

Is this a public sector initiative? Yes

Question 2: Categories

Is the initiative relevant to one of the UNPSA categories? Category 2: Enhancing the effectiveness of public institutions to reach the SDGs

Question 3: Sustainable Development Goals

Is the initiative relevant to any of the 17 SDG(s)? Yes
If you answered yes above, please specify which SDG is the most relevant to the initiative. (hold Ctrl to select multiple)
Goal 10: Reduced Inequalities
Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Which target(s) within the SDGs specified above is the initiative relevant to? (hold Ctrl to select multiple)
10.2 By 2030, empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status
10.3 Ensure equal opportunity and reduce inequalities of outcome, including by eliminating discriminatory laws, policies and practices and promoting appropriate legislation, policies and action in this regard
11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
16.1 Significantly reduce all forms of violence and related death rates everywhere
16.2 End abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children
16.3 Promote the rule of law at the national and international levels and ensure equal access to justice for all
16.6 Develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions at all levels
16.7 Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory and representative decision-making at all levels

Question 4: Implementation Date

Has the initiative been implemented for two or more years Yes
Please provide date of implemenation (dd/MM/yyyy) 12 Mar 2016

Question 5: Partners

Has the United Nations or any UN agencies been involved in this initiative? No
Which UN agency was involved? (hold Ctrl to select multiple)
Please provide details

Question 6: Previous Participation

1. Has the initiative submitted an application for consideration in the past 3 years (2017-2019)? No

Question 7: UNPSA Awards

Has the initiative already won a UNPS Award? No

Question 8: Other Awards

Has the initiative won other Public Service Awards? Yes
If yes, please specify name, organisation and year. 2019 Sustainable Cities Award, supported by Oxfam - Best inequality reduction project in Brazil

Question 9: How did you learn about UNPSA?

How did you learn about UNPSA? GOVERNMENT

Question 10: Validation Consent

I give consent to contact relevant persons and entities to inquire about the initiative for validation purpose. Yes

Nomination form


Question 1

Please briefly describe the initiative, what issue or challenge it aims to address and specify its objectives (300 words maximum)
COMPAZ (Community Peace Center) is a network of community centers designed to promote citizenship, human rights and peace culture in the outskirts, poor neighborhoods and slums of Recife, capital city of Pernambuco. Conceived to prevent violence and promote security in contexts of high criminal rates, the initiative composes a greater multilevel security public policy led by the state government of Pernambuco, “Pacto pela Vida”. COMPAZ offers a pool of integrated public services in four different territories in the city, such as: conflict mediation, legal assistance, community libraries, reading initiation, early childhood activities, social assistance, gender equality promotion and violence against women prevention, entrepreneurs helpdesk, consumer protection, and medical and psychological assistance. The main challenge COMPAZ addresses is to strengthen the city’s criminal prevention network, guaranteeing the state's presence in the most economically and socially vulnerable territories. Security policy in Brazil is known for its focus on repression and police violence, and COMPAZ goes in the opposite way of this tradition. COMPAZ aims to create a positive environment of belonging, stimulating the development of socioemotional skills, through activities such as dancing, sports, classes and other interactions. Also, it aims to increase the offer and access proximity of public services to low-income populations, historically excluded and unassisted. At last, COMPAZ has the objective to reduce violence among the most vulnerable social segments, such as young black people living in Recife’s outskirts. In terms of the public already attended by the four units that exist today, we can divide them into direct and indirect beneficiaries. Direct beneficiaries are residents in an area of influence within a radius of 1 km from the equipment, 9.98% of the population; while indirect beneficiaries are the population within a radius of up to 3 km from the equipment, 30.3% of Recife’s population.

Question 2

Please explain how the initiative is linked to the selected category (100 words maximum)
COMPAZ is fully aligned with the category #2 for its purpose of guaranteeing all human rights and because it promotes an inclusive society for sustainable development, based on the value of a culture of peace. There is a historical fragmentation of public services, which at first seem to have completely different focuses. However, the integration of these services in a public facility that dialogues with the community — and to which they feel belonging — due to this culture of peace, makes it possible to prevent violence. This is how security policies can become effective, with strengthened public institutions.

Question 3

a. Please specify which SDGs and target(s) the initiative supports and describe concretely how the initiative has contributed to their implementation (200 words maximum)
As an initiative of a multilevel public policy to prevent violence, COMPAZ is directly aligned with SDG 16 and many of its targets, such as to reduce all forms of violence (16.1), especially against children (16.2); to promote the rule of law and guarantee equal access to justice (16.3); to develop effective, accountable and transparent institutions (16.6); and to ensure responsive, inclusive and participatory decision-making (16.7). Known as a true “citizenship factory”, COMPAZ has become a public space that expands the offer of integrated services in vulnerable communities, promoting inclusion and safety. Therefore, it is also aligned with SDG 11, especially 11.7, which aims to provide universal access to safe, inclusive, accessible and green public spaces, particularly for women and children, the elderly and people with disabilities. Finally, as a public facility present in territories heavily affected by poverty and violence, the expansion of access to basic public services seeks to reduce inequalities (SDG 10), specifically: empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, regardless of age, gender, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion, economic status or otherwise (10.2); and ensure equal opportunities and reduce inequalities in results (10.3).
b. Please describe what makes the initiative sustainable in social, economic and environmental terms (100 words maximum)
Brazilian youth is the one who kills the most and who dies the most. Young people (18 to 24 years old) have twice the unemployment rate of the general population, making them more likely to be co-opted by organized crime. Young people (18 to 29 years old) are also the ones who suffer most from police repression in the country, representing approximately 56% of the prison population. Therefore, the initiative is sustainable, primarily, because it is socially and economically more viable to work on guaranteeing basic services and preventing violence than on police and institutional repression.

Question 4

a. Please explain how the initiative has addressed a significant shortfall in governance, public administration or public service within the context of a given country or region. (200 words maximum)
COMPAZ addresses a historic shortfall in Brazilian public governance, which is its usual institutional fragmentation, considering the offer of services and the implementation of policies, at all government levels. Also, security policies were traditionally geared towards the logic of repression, and with the implementation of the COMPAZ, they started to work on the logic of prevention. Instead of combating drug trafficking and violence solely with police force, COMPAZ encompasses a crime prevention strategy, offering educational, cultural and sports activities designed to maintain youngsters out of the streets and engage them in a protection environment at a brand-new all-in-one compound, built with high quality materials and exquisite architecture. The various public services can also be reached by their parents, relatives and caregivers, strengthening family and community ties. At last, the initiative also addresses the fact that vulnerable communities need greater access to public services, another shortfall in public administration. The offer of integrated public services in specific territories is what allows the City Hall of Recife to reach the city’s most vulnerable communities and populations.
b. Please describe how your initiative addresses gender inequality in the country context. (100 words maximum)
As a “citizenship factory”, some services in COMPAZ are specifically directed towards gender inequality, as it is the main reason of violence against women. To face this scenario, an important service is the program “Today Girl, Tomorrow Woman”, implemented with the technical support of UNICEF, that discusses with young girls their rights, offering courses and strategies to improve the level of knowledge and to support female initiatives. There are also two programs, developed alongside two different local universities, working with men, providing them the tools to change their sexist behavior. Inside each center there is a Women's Department.
c. Please describe who the target group(s) were, and explain how the initiative improved outcomes for these target groups. (200 words maximum)
Being a community equipment with integrated public services, COMPAZ’s target groups are Recife’s most vulnerable populations — children, youngsters, and the elderly, mostly blacks, coming from low-income backgrounds and living in or around low-income neighborhoods and communities. The centers are designed to address activities and outcome policies from early childhood to elderly people. Despite this relatively diverse audience, there is a specific target group to which the policy is mostly directed: young black girls and boys living on the outskirts of Recife. COMPAZ has venues for different sports, courses and workshops designed for youngsters, in digital inclusion and job searching, among others. The median age of those registered in COMPAZ is 23 years old, representing the exact age group with the highest homicide rates in Recife, more than 2.5 times the general homicide rates — that also includes young people. Data from the program’s evaluation indicate that 24 months after the launch of COMPAZ units, the moving average of crimes against life in neighborhoods with the most frequent users of the equipment show a reduction compared to the rest of the city, whose index isn’t positive — COMPAZ Eduardo Campos = -13.8%; COMPAZ Ariano Suassuna = -5.8%.

Question 5

a. Please describe how the initiative was implemented including key developments and steps, monitoring and evaluation activities, and the chronology. (300 words)
In compliance with the provisions of Recife’s Plan for Urban Security, launched in 2013, the city’s most vulnerable territories were prospected and those with the highest rates of intentional lethal violent crimes and social inequalities were chosen to receive one COMPAZ. At that time, 16 out of 94 neighborhoods concentrated 45% of violent crimes. This type of evidence makes explicit the Management By Results (MBR) method, characteristic of the state's public security policy, “Pacto pela Vida”. COMPAZ was part of this multilevel effort as an instrument to prevent violence, the main role played by municipalities in Brazilian legislation. After identifying the area of ​​implementation, the Citizen Security Department’s team introduced the COMPAZ project to residents and began the process of listening to the local population to identify which services and activities should be part of the initiative. Based on the information collected at the popular consultation, in 2014 the architectural team began the design of the complex, meeting high aesthetic and quality standards. The City Hall created a broad Committee with the participation of all its Departments, to develop the strategic, tactical and operational planning for the implementation of COMPAZ, as well as monitoring the results. The first unit implemented was COMPAZ Eduardo Campos, located in Alto Santa Terezinha, in March 2016. Then, COMPAZ Ariano Suassuna, in Cordeiro, in March 2017. In December 2019, we implemented COMPAZ Miguel Arraes, in the neighborhood of Madalena. And finally, COMPAZ Dom Helder Câmara, implemented in December 2020 at Coque. The neighborhoods of Cordeiro and Madalena are more populated and with a greater daily flow of people. While the neighborhoods of Alto Santa Terezinha and Coque are located in highly vulnerable regions with high levels of violence in the surroundings. There is a project to double the service capacity in the next few years.
b. Please clearly explain the obstacles encountered and how they were overcome. (100 words)
Many challenges exist when implementing a multilevel and integrated public policy such as COMPAZ. A first obstacle encountered in the design phase was the choice and definition of the territories in which the equipment would be implemented, having to deal with organized crime. This particular obstacle was overcome with much dialogue with the local population, and their demand for the integrated services that COMPAZ would offer. Another obstacle later encountered was the encouragement of community belonging, for which a specific methodology was created, based on intergenerational solidarity, with strong social participation in workshops and activities.

Question 6

a. Please explain in what ways the initiative is innovative in the context of your country or region. (100 words maximum)
COMPAZ is an innovative initiative mainly because it promotes the integration of public services focused on the prevention of violence, through an intergenerational community dialogue methodology. It represents an outcome considering the historical lack of initiatives on local municipal administration level addressed to public security, since police force command is a constitutional responsibility of state governments in Brazil. The offer of integrated services in a community equipment is another innovative aspect of the initiative, given the traditional institutional fragmentation that is characteristic of Brazilian public policy, which is generally brief and disconnected.
b. Please describe, if relevant, how the initiative drew inspiration from successful initiatives in other regions, countries and localities. (100 words maximum)
COMPAZ is directly inspired by successful initiatives implemented in the Colombian cities of Bogotá and Medellín. These cities used to be among the most violent in the world and became global examples of citizen culture and innovation. Some of their services and landmarks are in COMPAZ: the house of justice, the park libraries, the entrepreneurs services, the programs for peace culture and the early childhood initiatives. Colombians counterparts have addressed compliments to Recife’s complex for its fulfillment, delivering better services in an integrated model, being an easier gateway for citizens and also a more efficient management model for government.
c. If emerging and frontier technologies were used, please state how those were integrated into the initiative and/or how the initiative embraced digital government. (100 words maximum)
The City Hall of Recife is currently implementing a digital transformation strategy, materialized in the “Conecta Recife” app, a unique digital portal and single gateway for citizen communication and for the provision of integrated public services, with over 600,000 downloads by now. Apart from building four new equipments in different communities and increasing existing ones with new facilities, focusing on early childhood, the expansion strategy for COMPAZ includes the entry of its services in the app. This will amplify the concept and potential of the offer of public services in an integrated model, both locally and digitally.

Question 7

a. Has the initiative been transferred and/or adapted to other contexts (e.g. other cities, countries or regions) to your organization’s knowledge? If yes, please explain where and how. (200 words maximum)
Elements of the initiative have been studied and adapted by other cities, both in and out of Brazil. The state government of Pernambuco has replicated some of the services provided in COMPAZ in two other local cities, Petrolina and Arcoverde. Park libraries and early childhood services were social technologies transferred to those cities. Since the beginning of the year, Recife’s City Hall and City Council have been debating a Culture of Peace policy law, to advance the institutionalization of COMPAZ as a state policy, designating competences for all the city departments to act all over the city. The state government of Pará, in the Northern region of the country, is in the process of adapting the legislation that supports the initiative. Also, partner organizations such as Bernard Van Leer Foundation brought delegations from abroad, to visit the compounds and learn more especially about early childhood policies and initiatives, observing areas designed specifically for babies and toddlers. In general, Recife shares its knowledge with delegations mostly interested in public policies that prioritize the poorest segments of the population and focuses on establishing a Culture of Peace and violence prevention strategies.
b. If not yet transferred/adapted to other contexts, please describe the potential for transferability. (200 words maximum)
COMPAZ has great potential for transferability to similar contexts, of extremely unequal urban reality, with strong demographic density. This situation is commonly found in other large urban centers in Latin America, just like Medellín served as an inspiration for Recife. A public equipment that integrates services and is strategically located in the territory, in places where the surroundings have high crime rates, has been proven to diminish lethal crime occurrences. It is recognized in the specialized literature that the presence and territorial occupation by state institutions and agents is an effective strategy to deal with drug trafficking and organized crime. Although the focus of COMPAZ is on violence prevention, dealing with the segment that kills the most and dies the most in the city (black youth), the means used by the public policy is to include the entire community, in a methodology based on intergenerational solidarity. This intergenerational solidarity methodology is itself a potential for transferability, as it is through it that we can explore the sense of belonging in the community, including activities for all ages in the same environment.

Question 8

a. What specific resources (i.e. financial, human or others) were used to implement the initiative? (100 words maximum)
As an initiative backed by the “Pacto pela Vida”, the initial investment for the construction of the four COMPAZ compounds sums R$ 41,100,000. In addition to contributions from other government levels (state and federal), Recife's City Hall alone contributed more than half of all this amount invested. The monthly maintenance costs are about R$ 230,000 comprising structural maintenance and costing of human resources, a team of 321 public servants. Furthermore, to finance the program's expansion strategy, an investment of R$ 95,000,000 is estimated until 2024.
b. Please explain what makes the initiative sustainable over time, in financial and institutional terms. (100 words maximum)
COMPAZ is institutionally sustainable, as it is anchored in a multilevel effort, with shared governance between the Recife City Hall, the State government and partner institutions. Also, being launched in 2016, it has already gone through more than one city hall mandate, which indicates its centrality in the city's development strategy. In this year of 2021, it started to have yet another institutionalization instrument, a municipal law that institutes the Culture of Peace Policy. The initiative is also financially sustainable, as the City Hall has already included in its budget the commitment to double the service’s capacity.

Question 9

a. Was the initiative formally evaluated either internally or externally?
b. Please describe how it was evaluated and by whom? (100 words maximum)
The City Hall's strategic management is carried out by the Department of Planning, Management and Digital Transformation (SEPLAGTD), which also has a specific sector responsible for evaluating public policies. In the case of COMPAZ, the assessment is carried out for each installed unit, at intervals of 24 months, using impact indicators. Among these indicators, the one that stands out is the monthly moving average of intentional violent and lethal crimes, calculated for 24 periods, weighted by the population. The evaluation must be carried out for each unit separately, due to the territorial occupation logic that is characteristic of the program.
c. Please describe the indicators and tools used (100 words maximum)
The main tools for carrying out the evaluation of this public policy are: 1) the State's crime database; 2) census and population projections; and 3) COMPAZ users registration dataset. The registration data is basically used to carry out the operation of COMPAZ and its monitoring. While the other instruments are used for a clearer monitoring of the results and impact of the policy. The main indicators used for evaluating security policies in the country are: Rates of intentional violent and lethal crimes (CVLI) and violent crimes against property (CVP).
d. What were the main findings of the evaluation (e.g. adequacy of resources mobilized for the initiative, quality of implementation and challenges faced, main outcomes, sustainability of the initiative, impacts) and how this information is being used to inform the initiative’s implementation. (200 words maximum)
The key finding of the policy impact assessment was the correlation between COMPAZ unit locations and crime rates. At COMPAZ Ariano Suassuna, in the Cordeiro neighborhood, a region with an intense daily flow of people, the monthly moving average of intentional violent and lethal crimes in the neighborhoods with the most registered users in COMPAZ, revealed a decrease of -5.8% two years after the launch of the equipment, while in the rest of the city the same indicator remained stable. In COMPAZ Eduardo Campos, located in the Alto Santa Terezinha community, on the outskirts and hills, the drop is even more expressive: -13.8% two years after the start of the equipment's operations. The decrease in crime rates are the direct impact of group targeting services to the young black citizens of Recife, nearly 1/4 of the over 50,000 COMPAZ registered users. With this in mind, the expansion strategy is considering the most vulnerable areas to define the location for the four new COMPAZ units, to be delivered in the heart of the communities with highest crime rates in Recife. The government's territorial presence strategy in these areas contributes to the prevention of violence.

Question 10

Please describe how the initiative is inscribed in the relevant institutional landscape (for example, how it was situated with respect to relevant government agencies, and how the institutional relationships with those have been operating). (200 words maximum)
COMPAZ entails partnerships and actions from several government agencies, civil society and multilateral organizations. It is a compound in which different public policies and integrated services operate in interdisciplinary and intersectoral ways. Specifically, COMPAZ has various legal and violence prevention services developed in straight partnership with the State judicial power, such as: actions of extrajudicial practices (specially mediation); dissemination of restorative practices, including a space for welcoming ex-prisoners and juveniles; reception of women victims of violence for care; and their partners for awareness-raising and re-education actions). Over the years, it has hosted debates promoted and involved the most diverse bodies of the justice and security system — such as the courses for People's Defenders promoted in partnership with the Public Defender's Office, in which community leaders are trained in issues related to human rights — to effectively guarantee the right of access to justice. Multilateral organizations, on the other hand, have been operating primarily in actions and projects with a methodology based on intergenerational solidarity. With a clear focus on reducing inequalities, one of the social segments with the greatest impact on social transformation are actions aimed at Early Childhood, in which UNICEF and the Bernard Van Leer Foundation are great partners.

Question 11

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development puts emphasis on collaboration, engagement, partnerships, and inclusion. Please describe which stakeholders were engaged in designing, implementing and evaluating the initiative and how this engagement took place. (200 words maximum)
Many stakeholders were involved in different stages of this public policy. Key partners ahead of the Colombian experience were essential in the design phase, especially in the definition of the services more directly linked to violence prevention. The state government of Pernambuco was also an important partner in this initial phase, as well as civil society organizations like the Public Security Forum and local urbanism organizations. At the implementation level, partner stakeholders such as public planning agencies were involved in conducting daily activities. The program has already been a case study of research from leading local universities, such as the Federal University of Pernambuco, and the Federal Rural University of Pernambuco, which contributed to the analysis of the City Hall about the program, and supported the expansion strategy of the experience for other neighborhoods of the city, that will gain four new equipments in the following years. At last, COMPAZ has been the object of technical reports from Getulio Vargas Foundation, UNICEF, INSPER University and Princeton University, which served to crystallize COMPAZ as an international good practice of public policies for the prevention of violence.

Question 12

Please describe the key lessons learned, and how your organization plans to improve the initiative. (200 words maximum)
The main lesson is that public service should focus on citizens’ needs, which are multiple and complex, as well as the human rights they are entitled to. So is the interdisciplinary and intersectional perspective to achieve the fulfillment of long-standing public policies. On a daily basis, working together with representatives of so many agencies is not only necessary, but vital. And the next step is to ensure the offer of digital services for all citizens, social, and community development and citizenship coexistence, based on non-violent communication and strategies for conflict resolution. This is an evolution strategy for the program to better serve the social segment most affected by violence: black youth. Today's youth is more immersed in the digital world than when the policy was launched, and this is clearly a point of evolution in order to keep up with new social dynamics. Another important lesson learned concerns the geographic location of the equipment. Numbers indicate that the impact on the reduction of violent crimes is greater in the surroundings of compounds located in the heart of vulnerable communities, and slightly smaller in equipments located in places with greater traffic of people who do not live in the surroundings.

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