Center for Study of Violence at São Paulo University

Av. Prof. Almeida Prado, 520
São Paulo - SP
CEP 05508-020

The Center for the Study of Violence of the University of São Paulo – the Núcleo de Estudos da Violência in Portuguese (NEV/USP) – has, since 1987, been researching and training researchers on the relations between violence, democracy, and human rights.

Over the past 26 years, NEV/USP has received funding from:

  • Brazilian scientific research funding organizations such as the State of São Paulo for the Support of Research (FAPESP) and the National Council for the Advancement of Science;
  • International agencies such as the Ford Foundation, the Rockefeller Foundation, The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the European Union, and UN agencies (WHO/PAHO, UNDP);
  • The Brazilian Ministries of Justice and the Secretariat for Human Rights.

Currently NEV/USP’s research focuses on the way in which laws, rules, and procedures are implemented over time and how this defines the legitimacy of institutions that are key for democracy. NEV/USP proposes to analyze how the legitimacy of key institutions for democracy is constructed, or jeopardized, by exploring the contacts between citizens and civil servants and their implication on human rights and violence.

Since 2000, NEV/USP has been receiving funding from FAPESP’s Special Programme on Research, Innovation and Diffusion Centers (CEPID) becoming one of its ten centres of excellence. As a CEPID, NEV/USP’s research and knowledge transfer activities have become more institutionalized.

In 2011, NEV/USP was selected to join the Research Incentive Programme of the Office of the Pro-Rector for Research at the University of São Paulo. As part of this research programme, NEV/USP has established partnerships with the departments of Sociology and Anthropology (Faculty of Philosophy, Literature and Human Sciences), Preventive Medicine (Medical School), and Philosophy and Theory of Law (Law School).

Since 2009, NEV/USP also hosts the National Institute of Science and Technology’s (INCT) Violence, Democracy and Citizen Security programme, coordinating collaboration among six national centers of excellence around a common agenda for research in the areas of violence, democracy, public safety and human rights, covering four of the five Brazilian macro-regions.

NEV/USP has been, since 2002, a WHO Collaborating Center and, in 2013, became an official member of Violence Prevention Alliance.

VPA focal person


Renato Alves, who has a PhD in Psychology from São Paulo University, is a researcher at NEV/USP, where he has coordinated the development of the Healthy Childhood Programme. This is a home visitation programme that aims to improve the healthy development of adolescent mothers and their children and prevent child abuse and neglect and violence against mothers.