Programmes aiming to prevent violent extremism need to be grounded in the context in which they are intervening, be based on evidence and have a realistic monitoring framework, according to a new toolkit published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in partnership with International Alert.
The toolkit, published on 9 March, provides guidance to development practitioners and specialists to improve the design, monitoring and evaluation of programmes that focus on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE).
The first of its kind, the toolkit provides a comprehensive set of tools on all stages of PVE programming, responding to an urgent need to improve efficiency, targeting and design of such programmes to ultimately have the highest impact.
“Violent extremism has become an unprecedented threat to international peace, security and development, and its prevention is a priority for UNDP and our development partners,” said Mourad Wahba, United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Director of UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Arab States.
“This toolkit is a major step forward that will help development partners sharpen our offer in this vital area – more importantly, it will help us continue to learn and innovate with a view to scaling up our impact,” he added.
With more focus on PVE programming, there is increased demand to understand which methods achieve the most impact, and ever greater efforts across UNDP and other organisations to sharpen methods and sharing of experiences.
“A community of practice is developing to better inform PVE programming. But the systems and tools for understanding the suitability of PVE as an approach and the impact PVE interventions have in different contexts are not yet available. This toolkit is designed to close this gap,” said Ruth Simpson, co-author of the toolkit and Senior Lead – Development, Impact and Learning, Middle East and North Africa at International Alert.
Comprising four sections, the toolkit covers the whole programme cycle from design to evaluation. It starts by laying the foundations of good practice for projects related to PVE, such as conflict and gender sensitivity. Next it offers analysis tools for identifying factors of vulnerability and resilience to violent extremism in the project context, building theories of change, and developing indicators and monitoring. It then provides guidance on developing a monitoring strategy, collecting data and evaluation. Accompanying the toolkit is an online indicator bank with 180 PVE-relevant indicators which can be tailored for programmes and adapted for specific country contexts.
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