Policy Brief

Countering Violent Extremism and Development Assistance

Author : Eelco Kessels and Christina Nemr
Date : February 2016

It is well documented that economic and social development are better attained in the absence of violent conflict. Relatedly, a consensus is building that violent extremism and terrorism are both international security and development issues. However, a gap remains between the policies, practices, and tools used by those concerned with international security and those responsible for stabilization and development cooperation. The gap exists at an organizational level within governments and other bureaucracies and in implementation of programming on the ground. An integrated approach has the potential to play a stronger role in strengthening community resilience against violent extremism and reducing many of its enabling factors.

This policy brief examines the nexus between countering violent extremism and development assistance, looking specifically at opportunities and risks, different approaches taken by donor organizations, and the impact on programs and implementers. It highlights lessons learned and emerging practices, and provides recommendations that could increase their efficiency and impact.

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