Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment

The Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment (TLAVA) seeks to identify concrete entry points to reduce real and perceived armed violence.

The Timor-Leste Armed Violence Assessment (TLAVA) is an initiative supported by the Timorese government together with ActionAid/Austcare, the Small Arms Survey, and a network of partners. The project TLAVA seeks to identify concrete entry points to reduce real and perceived armed violence. ActionAid and the Small Arms Survey undertook the assessment to identify concrete policy-relevant entry points to prevent and reduce actual and perceived armed violence in Timor-Leste. Carried out between May 2008 and May 2009, the AusAID-supported assessment established a Dili-based repository of existing international and domestic data on armed violence and served as a clearing-house for information and analysis. The objective of the assessment was to provide valid and reliable policy options for the Timorese government, civil society, and their partners in identifying appropriate priorities and practical strategies.

On the basis of consultations with stakeholders in Timor-Leste, assessment focus areas include:

  1. an assessment of the risk factors, impact, and socio-economic costs of armed violence in relation to population health (particularly women, children, male youths, and internally displaced persons);
  2. a review of the dynamics of armed violence associated with ‘high-risk’ groups such as gangs, specific communities in affected districts, petitioners, veterans, state institutions, and potential triggers such as elections; and
  3. the role of arms (such as bladed, home-made, 'craft', and manufactured weapons) as a factor contributing to armed violence.

The assessment includes a combination of household survey instruments, focus groups, and extensive on-the-ground research with national partners. Findings are released in the form of short policy-relevant Issue Briefs and commentaries summarizing findings on issues such as victimization, gang violence, sexual and gender-based violence, the arms trade and storage procedures, legislation associated with civilian possession, private security companies, electoral violence, and violence data management. Issue Briefs are released in English, Tetum, Bahasa, and Portuguese.