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Economic inclusion of youth to build citizen security in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

Since 2008, violence has adversely impacted the social dynamics in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico with an increase in insecurity and intentional homicides. From 2008 to 2011, Ciudad Juarez witnessed a peak in violence with homicide rates exceeding 100 per 100,000 inhabitants. In 2010, for example, there was a high of 3,075 malicious homicides. This violence has predominantly affected the youth in Ciudad Juarez, with young men being victims as well as perpetrators of violence. Furthermore, Ciudad Juarez has one of the highest femicide rates worldwide, the majority of whom are girls, adolescents and young women.

This project seeks to build evidence regarding the linkages between youth participation in economic opportunities and violence reduction, with an emphasis on young women. The aim of this project is to promote the social and economic inclusion of youth living in marginalized and violence-affected contexts in Ciudad Juarez, The project will undertake training of youth aged 15 to 34 years living in Ciudad Juarez in the methodology of social economy, violence prevention and citizen security. In this context, social economy is a set of practices that seeks to alter the mechanisms of production, marketing and distribution of goods and services to strengthen capacities of individuals and communities to achieve social transformation through economic activities. This project seeks to promote community leadership and increase economic opportunities for youth living in situations of vulnerability, and to equip these young people with tools for peaceful conflict resolution. The project will also foster capacity building and skills enhancement in systematizing and evaluating initiatives that focus on social interventions among youth in marginalized and violence-affected communities. The project will contribute to the exchange of lessons learned, practices and experiences with similar initiatives and IDRC-supported projects at the regional level. Ultimately, it aims to inform public policies and decision-making on economic inclusion of youth and prevention of social violence.

The project is a joint initiative between IDRC and FICOSEC- a Mexican private foundation, and will be undertaken in collaboration with three local organizations. The implementing partner, Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte (DJN) is a grass-roots community-driven organization in Ciudad Juarez and Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) and the Iberoamerican University are academic institutions which will support the project’s methodological component and capacity development activities. In order to ensure uptake, the project will engage key stakeholders and their social networks for dissemination of the results at the local, national and regional levels.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Nicholas Benequista
Total Funding
CA$ 546,100.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte, A.C.
Institution Country
Project Leader
Carlos Cortés Flores
Desarrollo Juvenil del Norte, A.C.