IMPACT Europe Explores 'What Works' in Tackling Violent Radicalisation and Extremism

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Background

Over the last decade, as we see terrorist activities on the rise worldwide, Europe has increasingly become a target for terrorist attacks. How to prevent and tackle violent radicalisation and extremism has thus become more important than ever. This is recognised by the European Union and its member states, who since the early 2000s have make significant investments in policies, programmes and interventions aimed at tackling these issues.

Recent years have seen a shift in focus away from more traditional security measures to more holistic approaches which seek to build resilience to violent extremist ideologies at the individual and community level, and to address what we understand to be the root causes of violent radicalisation. Our understanding of what works best in this field remains however limited. New policies, programmes and interventions are introduced and implemented, but robust evaluations of their effectiveness are lacking.

Goals

IMPACT Europe was established to improve our knowledge and understanding of what works in the prevention and countering of violent radicalisation and extremism. The project aims to help evaluators, policy-makers, frontline workers and academics answer three questions:

  1. Effectiveness: How effective are various programmes at tackling violent radicalisation and extremism?
  2. Good practice: What is evidence-based practice in tackling violent radicalisation and extremism?
  3. Knowledge & understanding: How does this inform our knowledge and understanding of violent radicalisation and extremism?

Toolkit

IMPACT Europe developed an online evaluation toolkit that draws on a state-of-the-art knowledge database on radicalisation factors, existing counter violent radicalisation interventions, and approaches to evaluating these interventions.

The toolkit was created to help stakeholders correctly evaluate their counter violent radicalisation and extremism interventions, initiatives and programmes, using the most appropriate and scientifically robust methods.

The toolkit is open to use by anyone in the field of radicalisation and extremism, including policymakers, social workers and law enforcement agencies.

The toolkit was developed and fine-tuned over a year-long pilot programme. Thanks to the input and collaboration of over 150 experts worldwide, IMPACT Europe developed a robust, wide-ranging, knowledgeable and user-friendly online evaluation toolkit for practitioners everywhere.

IMPACT Europe process map

The IMPACT Europe online evaluation toolkit comprises three main sections

  1. An evaluation guide that guides users on how to design and operationalise evaluations of counter violent radicalisation and extremism interventions, through interactive, step-by-step advice.
  2. A database of interventions that gives users access to an extensive collection of prevent and counter-violent-radicalisation and extremism interventions and of their respective evaluations.
  3. A reflective lessons learned section that offers a comprehensive account of lessons learned, focusing on promising practices and known pitfalls in preventing and countering violent radicalisation and extremism.

The toolkit is accompanied by a manual and training course, inclusive of a train-the-trainer component.

Access the Toolkit

RAND Europe's Role

RAND Europe coordinated and managed the project, which involved 14 partners from across Europe and beyond, with delegated authority from project partner TNO.

RAND Europe led the development of the project evaluation toolkit and its scenario testing phase. RAND Europe contributed to the analysis of the state of the art in evaluating the effectiveness of counter-violent extremism interventions, as well as to the piloting of the toolkit, and to the development of training courses and manuals.

RAND Europe Project Team

Hans Pung
Jacopo Bellasio
Joanna Hofman
Tom Ling
Ben Baruch
Richard Warnes
Talitha Dubow
Kate Cox
Megan Sim

For questions related to the project please email the project manager, Jacopo Bellasio, at info@impacteurope.eu

EU flag

An FP7 Project

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no 312235.