GEMS team publishes policy brief on gun carrying restrictions
The 2019 GEMS in Colombia published its first policy brief. Learn more about the brief, the project, and team below:
The Policy Brief, in Brief
- JHSPH, SAIS, and the School of Government of Universidad de los Andes joined in a project sponsored by the the JHU CGH to understand the decision-making process and the role of civil society that led to the implementation of the restriction, as well as its adoption in young populations in vulnerable contexts.
- The policy brief (available here) is the first product of this effort, led by SAIS and Uniandes students, which does a regulatory and evidence-based review on gun-carrying restrictions in Colombia. This policy brief provides recommendations for policy. based on national legislation and on both local and international evidence about the convenience of maintaining gun-carrying restrictions in Colombia and how to strengthen them further. The aim is to provide policy makers and civil society members with a tool to be used during their respective regulatory and advocacy efforts.
- This project will continue delivering research products led by both faculty and students of the three schools.
In Latin America, only Brazil and Colombia have nation-wide permanent gun-carrying restrictions. In the case of Colombia, such restriction took place in 2016, largely in response to the high homicide rates, to the expectation that with the peace agreement private carrying of guns would be less necessary, and thanks to researchers that demonstrated these restrictions saved lives when implemented in specific cities within the country. The restriction is an administrative ruling that must be must be renewed every year by the government, and its renewal often highlights the tensions between evidence at the population level and the perceptions of safety of some citizens that feel safer gun-carrying. Given that this is an important policy process that only two countries in Latin America have been able to carry out, more inform
ation is needed about the policy process and the roles that different stakeholders played out to effectively pass and maintain this life-saving, but also controversial restriction.
This team brought together students from the Johns Hopkins Schools of Public Health (JHSPH) and Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in collaboration with faculty and students from Universidad de los Andes in Colombia to develop unique approaches to understanding and tackling this challenge. By bringing students together with unique backgrounds and interests, this team broadened the scope of work to include analysis on policy, media, society, and stakeholder engagement.
The GEMS Program
GEMS aims to tackle complex global health challenges by forming multidisciplinary teams of faculty and students from JHU and its collaborators. These teams work together to apply disciplinary expertise, learn from each other's approaches, and build capacity in cross-disciplinary learning. GEMS students are required to live and work in-country for a minimum of 6 weeks though this can be accomplished over multiple trips. Twinning with local students is always encouraged where possible. Learn more about the GEMS program and its past awardees here.