Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in Africa: A Development Approach

Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in Africa:

A Development Approach

Project Details

In response to the growing threat of violent extremism in Africa and in line with the Secretary General’s Action Plan to Prevent Violent Extremism, UNDP implemented a six-year regional project, entitled Preventing and Responding to Violent Extremism in Africa: A Development Approach (2016-2021), with the aim to address the immediate and underlying factors that foster the growth of violent extremism.

Project location

At the national level, the project scope covered 25 countries, including Lake Chad Basin Countries, across six key areas: socio-economic; rule of law and security; disengagement and reintegration; media and technology and public awareness: including countering violent narratives and extremist propaganda; community resilience and gender-specific initiatives. Programming in these areas was supported by two cross-cutting initiatives: research, policy, and advocacy; and capacity-building for regional and sub- regional organizations. For example, over 1,000 responded from the Lake Chad Basin countries contributed to the key findings of the second iteration of the Journey to Extremism in Africa Study, which is envisaged to be launch in 2023. More specifically, notable achievements from the Project at the national and local levels of the Lake Chad Basin Countries include:

Chad

  • Established platforms for improved civil-military dialogues and local peace committees in Lac province.
  • Addressing human-security challenges faced by 6,000 island inhabitants through purchasing of 2 hove rboats to reach island communities.

Cameroon

  • Established a CSO-driven Human Rights Observatory (40+ state and non-state stakeholders) in the Far North with Human Security Collective to alert trends in VE and contribute to prevention of human rights abuses. Since its inception in 2020, it has documented more than 170 human rights violation taking place in the context of counter-terrorism operations, including Close cooperation with Diffa University - community consultation on Regional Strategic Communication Plan of Action on PVE in the Lake Chad Basin;
  • (Ongoing) Development of a handbook for Qu'ranic school management, based on the Tanzania model.

Niger

  • Close cooperation with Diffa University - community consultation on Regional Strategic Communication Plan of Action on PVE in the Lake Chad Basin
  • Supported the establishment of a legal and institutional framework to combat violent extremism in Niger through 2019 Project initiation Plan

Nigeria

  • Developed a PVE-sensitive Human Rights Training Manual in partnership with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRD) for community security providers (90 Male and 10 Female) and security agencies training schools in Nigeria on Rights Based Approach to PVE to strengthen community security and engagement.
  • Supported at-risk youth through small-scale business with Citizenship and Leadership Training Centre (youth reported 94% good prospects in future, 95% likely to earn money: Survey by UNDP Knowledge hub.
  • Conducting perception surveys on impact of COVID-19 on livelihoods to influence policy and programmes by predicting how the pandemic compound drivers of VE in Nigeria. (70% of 750 participants indicated lost revenue because of Covid-19 and greater recruitment by VEGs due to lockdowns in 2020).

At the regional level, the project supported the capacity of the African Union, civil society, faith-based groups, and Regional Economic Communities (RECs) (IGAD, ECOWAS, SADC, ECCAS), and Lake Chad Basin Commission, and International Conference on the Great Lakes Region (ICGLR).  More specifically, in the Lake Chad Basin region, the project became an active member of the Security and Protection Cluster in the Task Force Coordination Structure for the Regional Stabilisation Strategy, namely Pillar 3 (Disarmament, Demobilization, Rehabilitation, Reinsertions and Reintegration of Persons associated with Boko Haram), and Pillar 8 (PVE and Peacebuilding). Under Pillar 3 of the RSS, the project and the RSS-Secretariat successfully mobilized funding from UNDP ’s Global Rule of Law Programme for the establishment of a CSO-network on SPRR in the Lake Chad Basin to focus on technical capacity building for community-based reintegration from a PVE-perspective, and advocacy for increased inclusivity in formalizing and implementing policy frameworks on SPRR.  Furthermore, Radio Ndarason International, a leading community radio dialogue platform in the region, was engaged as an RSS-partner through support from the Project to showcase the added value of PVE networks, active in communities most affected by Boko Haram for broader stabilization efforts in the region. Concurrently, the project partnered with the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) on strategic communication which directly contributed to the Strategic Objective 34 of the RSS on Alternative Narratives for PVE. As a result, the Regional Strategic Communication Plan of Action on PVE in the Lake Chad Basin was finalized and preparation of its official launch is envisaged in 2023.

The follow-up project, Prevention and Response to Violent Extremism in Africa and the Arab States: A Development Approach (2022 to 2025) was launched in late 2022.

Reports and publications

Regional Level:

  • Journey to Extremism in Africa: Drivers, Incentives, and the Tipping point for Recruitment (2017), including countries from the Lake Chad Bassin Region (Cameroon, Nigeria, Niger), A new follow-up study to be launched in 2023 which also includes Chad.
  • Social Media in Africa (2018)
  • Toolkit for Design, Monitoring and Evaluation (2018)
  • Measuring the Economic Impact of Violent Extremism Leading to Terrorism in Africa (2020)
  • Monitoring National Action Plans on Preventing Violent Extremism (2020)
  • Measuring Protective Factors Against Violent Extremism (2020)
  • Toward New Policies for the Climate Change and Violent Extremism Nexus in Africa (2021)
  • Early Warning/Early Response and PVE Toolkit (2021)
  • Regional Strategic Communication Plan of Action on PVE in the Lake Chad Basin (2022)

National Level:

  • Perception of Economic Opportunities Among Livelihood Training Participants in Nigeria (2019)
  • Handbook for Qur’anic school management in Cameroon (on-going)