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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 preventing violent extremism (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. 



Launch of the new UNDP report on violent extremism - "Journey to extremism in Africa: drivers, incentives and the tipping point for recruitment".

OGC collaborated in the launch of the new UNDP report on violent extremism - "Journey to extremism in Africa: drivers, incentives and the tipping point for recruitment" at the Litteraturhuset, Oslo on the 15th September. The event was held in English and was open to everyone interested in the topic. It followed the earlier launch in New York.

As part of its program to combat violent extremism, UNDP's regional office in Africa interviewed former recruits from several violent extremist groups across the entire continent, such as Boko Haram, Al Shabaab and ISIS. The overall objective of this initiative is to use the research recommendations in moving from theory to practice in the prevention and combating of violent extremism.

The growth and consequences of violent extremism contribute to the reversal of development advances in the African continent and may threaten development for decades to come. UNDP estimates that more than 33,300 people in Africa lost their lives in violent extremist attacks between 2011 and 2016. In addition, millions have lost their livelihood due to forced relocation or loss of dependents.

Past events

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. UNDP’s approach paper on the issue was warmly welcomed.

Click here to see videos of the presentations held at the PVE meeting, available at our Youtube channel.



Some key resources from the 2016 PVE meeting:

Concept Note

- ICCT Report: The Foreign Fighters Phenomenon in the European Union  

- Sanam Naraghi Anderlini, Co-founder and Executive Director, International Civil Society Action Network (ICAN): Civil society perspectives on violent extremism

- Noella Richard, UNDP: Understanding and Supporting the Role of Youth in Preventing Violent Extremism

- 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

- 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

-James Dean, BBC Media Action: Media and Preventing Violent Extremism 

- 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



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