Evaluating Countering Violent Extremism Programming: Practice and Progress

Author : Naureen Chowdhury Fink, Peter Romaniuk, and Rafia Bhulai
Date : September 2013

As the threat from terrorism becomes more diffuse and transnational, with newly emerging self-radicalized or homegrown individuals or groups, so too have the tools of counterterrorism continued to evolve. Policymakers and practitioners are focusing more on preventing radicalization and recruitment and improving the resilience of individuals and communities against the appeal of violent extremism. Reflective of these trends, efforts on countering violent extremism (CVE) have emerged in a relatively short period as an increasingly important instrument in the counterterrorism tool kit for both states and multilateral actors, such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum and the United Nations.

This report draws on the symposium discussions and related literature, emphasizing the ways in which the field has advanced since the publication of the Global Center’s earlier report, “From Input to Impact: Evaluating Terrorism Prevention Programs.” It captures the main conceptual and operational challenges in evaluating CVE programs, as reflected in recent practice, and offers four case studies demonstrating experiences and lessons learned from evaluating CVE programming and progress in the field. This report analyzes the current state of play on that basis and suggests opportunities for further developing the field of evaluation and its application to CVE programming.

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