Good Practices and Principles
- A national CVE strategy that is comprehensive and integrated into a wider counterterrorism strategy framework should include all relevant government (both national and sub-national) and non-government actors to address the complex and transnational challenges posed by contemporary violent extremist groups. On the governmental side, stakeholders often include traditional security policymakers as well as policymakers from other sectors such as education, social work (including women and family support), human rights, youth and sport, health and/or emergency services, and local officials who can speak to the sub-national context. These stakeholders may also include civil society voices that are often underrepresented such as women and youth.
- An agreed mechanism and platform for flexible and responsive coordination and communication is critical to addressing what may be a rapidly evolving challenge. Communications between relevant stakeholders at the local, national and international levels will be key, including also frontline CVE implementers and practitioners, to ensure consistency in strategy delivery and messaging.
- An effective dissemination plan for the CVE strategy must ensure consultation and engagement with critical stakeholders including local governments, communities and partners.
- It is important to focus CVE national strategies and prioritize based on a well-informed threat analysis of identified drivers, the nature and level of the threat as well as available resources.
- Trust-building and respect between governments and communities is crucial to developing a comprehensive national CVE strategy and successful programming at the grassroots level. This includes a focus on youth by fostering communication and understanding within communities – to include teachers and youth themselves, into high schools and after school programs.
- National strategies may be sector-specific and include non-traditional stakeholders in counter-terrorism such as the private sector, human rights NGOs, grassroots organizations, religious leaders etc.
- It is important to ensure that national strategies are developed with due consideration of regional and international strategies that aim to prevent and counter violent extremism. The UN Strategy elaborates a broad range of counterterrorism measures and acknowledges that national governments, different parts of the UN system, regional and sub-regional bodies, and civil society each have important roles to play to promote and ensure its effective implementation. Because the nature of the threat varies in different locations and contexts, however, it is important for each region, sub-region and country to develop their own strategies and ensure that they reinforce broader international efforts to counter violent extremism. Effective implementation of any CVE strategy will therefore need to take into account local needs, perspectives, and priorities and involve the active participation of key sub-regional stakeholders, including national governments, sub-regional bodies, and civil society.
- National CVE strategies should ensure they are also in alignment with other national action plans (NAPs) and strategies that are related in terms of common objectives or stakeholders. For example, this may include relating CVE strategy development to NAPs on Women, Peace and Security or good practices in the non-binding Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) framework documents.
- When creating and implementing a national CVE strategy, it is important that governments adhere to their international law, including international human rights, refugees, and humanitarian law obligations, as underscored by the UN Global CounterTerrorism Strategy.