Naar een evidence-based aanpak van radicalisering en extremisme: Een eerste evaluatie van de gemeentelijke Versterkingsgelden 2020-2021

[Towards an evidence-based approach to tackling radicalisation and extremism: A first evaluation of municipal Reinforcement Funds 2020-2021]

by Fook Nederveen, Emma Zürcher, Lana Eekelschot, Emma Leenders, Iris Leussink, Stijn Hoorens

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Bijlage B: Evaluatie Versterkingsgelden - Handreiking


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Research Questions

  1. What were the expected impacts of activities funded through the Reinforcement Funds in 2020-2021?
  2. How were these activities implemented?
  3. What outputs and outcomes can be identified?

Note: This report and its supporting documentation are in Dutch. An English-language summary is available.

Every year, the National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) of the Netherlands allocates so-called 'Reinforcement Funds' (Versterkingsgelden) to selected Dutch municipalities in support of their activities aimed at combating and weakening extremist movements, preventing new recruitment into such movements, and countering radicalisation. By intensifying preventive measures in combating radicalisation, (violent) extremism and terrorism in those municipalities where these issues are most prevalent, the Dutch government aims to strengthen local efforts in a targeted way and where it is most needed. RAND Europe was commissioned by the Research and Documentation Centre (WODC) of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security to conduct a first evaluation of the expected impacts, the implementation and the realised outputs and outcomes of the activities funded through the Reinforcement Funds in 2020 and 2021. The findings and conclusions of this evaluation are aggregated at the level of five clusters in which municipalities could apply for funding. General lessons are drawn about municipal approaches to countering radicalisation. In addition to providing a first impetus towards evaluating the effectiveness of the activities funded with the Reinforcement Funds, this report also calls for and provides directions for more systematic impact research in this area in the future.

Key Findings

  • The anticipated outputs and outcomes of the activities funded by the Reinforcement Funds typically relate to improving knowledge and strengthening resilience, though objectives remain short-term.
  • Consideration for the mechanisms by which the anticipated outputs and outcomes should be realised differ by the type of activity. Criteria for success are rarely made explicit.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic delayed the implementation of many activities, most notably those involving in-person contact. Nonetheless, most activities were eventually carried out online.
  • The commitment and expertise of individual professionals and collaboration are often key to the perceived success of interventions.
  • Efforts are made in order to expand target groups of interventions to include other forms of extremism, but this also requires a recalibration of the available instruments.
  • Progress as well as the outputs and outcomes of activities funded with the Reinforcement Funds are rarely tracked in a systematic way. Performance indicators to track progress are usually absent. Positive anecdotal evidence is regularly found in both interviews and evaluations, which provide an important foundation for the future, but long-term effects are difficult or impossible to observe.


Robust impact evaluations in the field of radicalisation and violent extremism are scarce both in the Netherlands and abroad. Achieving a more evidence-based local approach to radicalisation in the Netherlands requires objectives and intended impacts to be better formulated. There is also a need to better explain how objectives and impacts can be achieved through the deployment of activities, for example by using an intervention logic. Preferably, this should include a clear (evidence-based) policy theory and reference to proven effective interventions in the Netherlands or abroad. Based on this intervention logic, performance indicators can be identified to help monitor the progress and the results of the activities. It is necessary for this information to be collected systematically to achieve a better understanding and a comprehensive overview of the outputs and outcomes of the activities funded with the Reinforcement Funds.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Methodologische verantwoording

  • Chapter Three

    Overzicht van interventies gefinancierd door de Versterkingsgelden in 2020 en 2021

  • Chapter Four

    Cluster A: Analyse

  • Chapter Five

    Cluster B: Persoonsgerichte aanpak (PGA)

  • Chapter Six

    Cluster C: Sleutelfiguren

  • Chapter Seven

    Cluster D: Deskundigheidsbevordering en voorlichting

  • Chapter Eight

    Clusters E en F: Preventie

  • Chapter Nine

    Conclusie en aanbevelingen

  • Annex A

    Extractieformulieren voor documentatie, interviews en evaluaties

  • Annex B

    Handreiking evalueren van effectiviteit

Research conducted by

The research described in this report was prepared for Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek- en Documentatiecentrum (WODC) and conducted by RAND Europe.

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