UNDP Launches New Series of Reports on Preventing Violent Extremism
October 25, 2022
Rising violent extremism threatens peace, stability, and hard-won development gains in Africa and the Arab States region—and evidence shows that stand-alone security responses are insufficient to address it. Solutions based in development are needed to tackle highly localized root causes of violent extremism, according to a new series of reports from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP).
The three complementary reports of the series examine underlying drivers of violent extremism, from the tipping points that lead to recruitment to the spill-over impacts of extremism in border areas to the evolution, modus operandi, and business models of violent extremist groups. They shed new light on the phenomenon of violent extremism and offer new programmatic and policy responses to address it.
- The first study of the series is entitled “Perceptions, Vulnerabilities, and Prevention: Violent Extremism Threat Assessment in Selected Regions of the Southern Libyan Borderlands and North-Western Nigeria”. It examines recruitment strategies employed by armed groups in borderland communities, as well as attitudes towards violent extremist groups and their associated values. By shedding light on popular perceptions, the study highlights common trends across the borderlands and provides a granular understanding of challenges. It also provides new data and analysis on the prevalence and severity of the drivers for violent extremism in selected regions of the Southern Libya borderlands. The study offers policy and programmatic recommendations for strategic coordination, early action, and responses to address structural issues and pull factors of violent extremism and to build resilience across communities in cross-border areas in Chad, Libya, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan.
Online Virtual launch | 2 November 2022 | 4:00 — 5:40 P.M. | Amman and Addis Ababa time - Register here for online launch event.
UNDP will launch two further reports in the series in early December:
- “Dynamics of Violent Extremism in Africa: Conflict Ecosystems, Political Ecology, and the Spread of the Proto-State" details the modus operandi and the evolution of violent extremist groups over time. It examines how these groups have increased their influence as ideological affiliates of global terrorist organizations such as ISIL and Al-Qaeda and penetrated new areas by exploiting localized grievances, positioning themselves as alternative service providers to the formal state.
- “Journey to Extremism in Africa: Pathways to Recruitment and Disengagement,” which builds on UNDP’s 2017 “Journey to Extremism in Africa” report, comprises 2,186 interviewees across eight countries (Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Somalia, Sudan)—roughly three times the number of interviews in the earlier study. These allow a comparison of the drivers of violent extremism, while further situating these findings in relation to the changing nature of violent extremism in sub-Saharan Africa and efforts to counter or prevent its spread. This study delves deeper into triggers for disengagement and includes a larger cohort of female interviewees, allowing a better understanding of gendered nuances related to recruitment and disengagement—often overlooked in policy and programming to prevent violent extremism.
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