General Guidelines to National CVE Strategies

While national strategies will reflect the context and culture of each country, the following guidelines should be considered in their development:

  • Establish clear roles and responsibilities of different government ministries, departments, agencies and offices with respect to CVE national strategy development and implementation—including intra-government coordination and communications mechanisms;
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities between central, regional and local government and between government and non-government organizations, civil society organizations, communities and private sector when it comes to CVE;
  • Include mechanisms that allow different actors to hold each other accountable;
  • Consider the potential for unintended consequences and assess the risk for approaches that could exacerbate violent extremism or vulnerability to violent extremist messaging, and identify constructive means of addressing grievances (real or perceived); and
  • Promote and foster ownership for non-governmental actors including civil society and the private sector to engage on CVE.

 

Steps

  1. Assess the current status of CVE strategies and policies that exist in that country. This includes:
    • Identifying and assessing the relevance of past, ongoing or planned initiatives in the field of preventing terrorism, whether by public authorities at state, regional and local levels, civil society, academia, international/regional/subregional organizations, or bilateral assistance projects.
    • Identifying main lessons learned in the country through a trends and perceptions analysis, drawing also on relevant lessons from related fields like development, education, communications and community engagement
  2. Conduct an analysis of the threat to identify the local push and pull factors associated with radicalization and recruitment to violent extremism as well as to identify the threat level of violent extremism. This includes taking stock of the prevailing understanding(s) of CVE and its factors conducive in the country by different stakeholders from government (local and foreign), civil society, academia, media, and international/regional/sub-regional organizations.
  3. Review the existing relevant research.
  4. Review other existing national CVE strategies, good practices and lessons learned internationally to draw on the existing body of knowledge.
  5. Identify the key actors and stakeholders to consult and involve throughout the process, including security organizations, non-security parts of government, non-governmental organizations, religious actors, civil society, community leaders and private sector partners. When identifying these stakeholders, be sure to include individuals and groups that could play a critical role in CVE, including women, youth, and local traditional and nontraditional leaders and religious authorities. Also, evaluate the potential of these stakeholders as implementing partners to, for example, promote peer-to-peer action to counter violent extremism or address factors conducive.
  6. Create a designated forum, such as a “working committee” to develop the strategy with clear tasks and responsibilities. Build a coalition; broker understanding and build bridges between civil society organizations, communities, law enforcement, private sector, and religious leaders/authorities to galvanize a CVE response.
  7. Create a timeline for the development process of the strategy, with key objectives and milestones that includes time for non-working committee stakeholders to review and provide feedback.
  8. Set priorities for CVE activities and concrete, measurable goals.
  9. Determine budgetary resources and capacity (including staffing) needed, and assess availability. If the resources are not available, outline an approach to attain them or prioritize based on an analysis of the threat.
  10. Develop and disseminate the strategy document to all relevant stakeholders and partners and ensure the following actions are taken:
    1. Prioritize specific CVE programming to address local push and pull factors.
    2. Create clarity on roles, responsibilities and tasks of all implementing partners.
  11. Develop a strategic communications plan that enhances transparency about the programs and communicates them in a manner that is suitable to the context, demystifying the programs and building local awareness about the threat, recruitment strategies, persuasive narratives and means of challenging them and building resilience.
  12. Review local push and pull factors, analysis of the threat, and strategy systematically and periodically. Be prepared to adapt the strategy in response to changes in the push and pull factors, and create an environment for frank and honest evaluation that can inform the next iteration of programs and policies.
  13. Build local, particularly community-based awareness of the general violent extremist threat, to include recruitment narratives, techniques, and avenues of communication.
  14. Monitor programs during implementation and evaluate results based on goals established in step 8.