UNDP Around the world

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Preventing Violent Extremism

Violent extremism is a global concern.  More than forty countries have experienced at least one terrorist attack.  Thousands have died and thousands more are threatened.  States with weak institutions are particularly vulnerable.  Positive development in countries that emerge from crisis and conflict are undermined.  Governments everywhere are spending increasingly large amounts of revenue to deal with the threats and consequences of violent extremism, taking away resources from other activities. 

OGC initiates research on the drivers of violent extremism – political, social and economic.  A key focus for the OGC is to use insights from research to strengthen UNDP’s approach to PVE programming in terms of the role of women in PVE and the gender dimension of PVE. Our work specifically looks at good practices in gender sensitive design of PVE programs as well as gender sensitive impact measurement frameworks for PVE programs.

OGC has a strategic role in the UNDP’s effort to address violent extremism. 


Magdy Martínez-Solimán

UNDP Global Meeting on preventing violent extremism and promoting inclusive development, governance and diversity.
14 - 16 March 2016, Oslo Norway

The global meeting on preventing violent extremism and promoting inclusive development, tolerance and diversity, hosted by the Oslo Governance Centre, brought together close to 140 participants from diverse backgrounds working in 47 countries. This included representatives from governments; development agencies; civil society including youth organizations and women’s networks; academia; media; law enforcement and security communities to share and discuss experiences, lessons learned and approaches related to the prevention of violent extremism. It was opened by Magdy Martínez-Solimán, UN Assistant Secretary-General, UNDP Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, together with the State Secretary of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tore Hattrem, and a young Pakistani human rights leader, Gulalai Ismail.

The following key messages  emerged from the discussions:

  • A strong multi-stakeholder preventative approach anchored in a human rights approach is needed.  
  • Focus on addressing the root causes of violent extremism (VE)
  • Understanding and acknowledgement of the role of geopolitics and national politics in fuelling or preventing VE.
  • Solutions include mechanisms to build both vertical social cohesion - between the state and the diversity of its population - and horizontal cohesion - between groups and individuals in communities to ensure peaceful and respectful coexistence.

These efforts would require thorough analysis and research at the regional and country level as well as dedicated efforts to capture key lessons learned and knowledge exchange across regions, institutions and sectors. The meeting highlighted the importance of working with a range of key constituents including Youth, Women, inter-faith common front and media with a strong emphasis on analysis and research to capture key lessons learned and knowledge exchange.

The meeting highlighted an important role for UNDP in convening the development community to explore partnerships, approaches and lessons learned in this important field, and UNDP’s approach paper on the issue was warmly welcomed.


Resources from the PVE meeting

Concept Note
Media Advisory
ICCT Report: The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon in the European Union  

Recordings and presentations from the meeting:

Welcome and Introduction - Framing the Debates
Session 1 - Framing the Challenges 
- Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN): Civil society perspectives on violent extremism
Session 2 - Drivers of Violent Extremism 

Session 3 - The Role of Youth 
- Noella Richard, UNDP: Understanding and Supporting the Role of Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism
Session 4 - Gender Dynamics
- Fatima Akilu, PVE expert, Nigeria: Closing the Gap- the role of women both locally and globally in P/CVE   
- Fauziya Ali, Founder and President of Women in International Security Kenya and Chair of Sisters without Borders: The role of women, individually and collectively, in preventing violent extremism 
Session 5 - Faith-based Organizations and Religious Leaders 
- Irfan Amad, Associate Professor of Political Anthropology at the Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, Australian Catholic University: Working with faithbased organizations and religious leaders to counter the abuse of religion by violent extremists
Session 6 - Media and Communication

-James Dean, BBC Media Action: Media and Preventing Violent Extremism 
Session 7 - Multi-dimensional Development Approach
- Patrick Keuleers Director/Chief of Profession, Governance and Peacebuilding, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support, UNDP: Preventing Violent extremism through inclusive development and the promotion of tolerance and respect for diversity 
-Saji Prelis, Director, Children & Youth Programs, Search for Common Ground:PVE and UNDP Strategy  
Feedback on group work

Drawing the Threads Together