The relationship between development assistance and security has attracted particular attention since the post-2001 ‘global war on terror’. Heightened international concern about religious extremism has placed the development-security nexus into a renewed focus, with increasing recognition of the links between development, governance, and terrorist threat.
Drawing from the available literature, approaches to tackling violent extremism and terrorism include:
- Funding community activities
- Support to local government
- Internet based de-radicalisation
- Public awareness campaigns
- Radio programming
- Prison based de-radicalisation and counter-extremism
- Role of women in tackling extremism
Some of the lessons identified in the literature for actors engaging in ‘countering violent extremism’ (CVE) work include:
- Context is critical: Terrorism and violent extremism are often context specific, and approaches to addressing them must take into account local environment and culture. Supporting national governments and regional organisations can help to develop tailored and context-sensitive approaches to violent extremism (Global Center 2014, p. 8).
- Enhance south-south cooperation, particularly for developing countries that share common cultural and historical ties, and development challenges (Global Center 2014).
- Broader stakeholder engagement is beneficial (USAID 2013, p. 7). Donors should emphasise local sustainability and partnerships, and could consider direct support to established community organisations (USAID 2013, p. 7).
- Programmes are effective when they are voluntary (ISD 2012).
- More refined beneficiary targeting can help ensure a broad representation of beneficiaries are exposed to programming. Targeting should be able to adapt to locally changing conditions and have mechanisms built in to programmes to enable rapid response to opportunities (USAID 2013, p. 7).