We possess an unparalleled depth of understanding of the drivers of violent extremism (VE) and approaches to preventing and countering it. Our work is rooted in rich quantitative and qualitative data, evidence-based interventions, and rigorous systems to assess context and program results. We stress context-specific, community-led initiatives that work to strengthen resilience to address both push and pull factors. We leverage youth as positive agents for peacebuilding rather than stigmatizing them as risks and threats.
Applying our Violent Extremism Assessment methodology we undertake a close analysis of drivers that stretch across four geographic locations—global, regional, national, and local— as VE ideologies, propaganda and assets cross borders and country contexts are rarely well understood in isolation. Our work engages local, regional and national-level actors to research, develop and carry out a range of solutions which address root causes of VE and rely on collaborative community partnerships to sustain gains. This includes:
- Campaigns, digital media, and radio programming to promote positive alternative narratives to VEO organizations;
- Small grants and livelihood opportunities to allow youth to positively contribute;
- Capacity building for communities to build resilience to identify, disrupt and resist recruitment and mobilization; and
- Activities that foster inclusive and participatory decision-making.
We integrate ongoing context and situational awareness capabilities, including complex aware monitoring, to ensure we are able to pivot and adapt in response to needs, new opportunities, unintended consequences and contextual changes. We have created the Guide to the Drivers of Violent Islamist Extremism and Development Assistance and Counter-Extremism: A Guide to Programming. Together with our “Religions for Peace Guide” and country assessments of VE risk, they are widely used in the development community.