Welcome to Training Module 4 of the Preventing and Addressing Violent Extremism (PAVE) project on how to bolster community resilience and multi-stakeholder collaboration to support reintegration to society and disengagement from violent extremism in your efforts to prevent or counter violent extremism in your context. In this module, participants will gain an understanding on how communities and their actions can either add to resilience or vulnerability factors towards the radicalization of individuals. Participants will be introduced to key concepts, approaches and best practices to advance disengagement, deradicalization and reintegration in multi-stakeholder collaboration with civil society and key challenges emerging from practice. Building upon these key concepts, participants will be able to better identify the roles of different actors in multi-stakeholder collaboration and ways to advance collaboration in their own context. 

    Amount of Time Anticipated for Module:  7 hours 

     Sessions in Module 4

    Session 1: Conceptual Framework and Practical Applications to Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

    Session 2: Conceptual Framework and Practical Applications to Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

    Session 3: Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization, Reintegration and Community Harmonization

    Session 4: How to Apply and/or Strengthen Multi-Stakeholder Approaches at the Local Level

    PAVE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement No. 870769.

    PAVE Consortium

    PAVE Publications

    Published by the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. April 2023.

    This publication is part of WP7 of the PAVE project, led by Finn Church Aid (FCA) / the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.

    Authors: Sarah Tyler and Jessica Roland

    Design: Triss Yap, Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers

    A special thanks to those who helped to refine and support the development of this training module, including: Milla Perukangas, Juline Beaujouan, Amjed Rasheed, Gillian Wylie, Dr. Elie Hindy, Nandini Gupta, Samet Shabani, Erinda Bllaca, Ahmed Windi, Emina Frljak, Dr. Jessica White, Nancy Yammout and Professor Ayhan Kaya.

    The authors are solely responsible for its content, it does not represent the opinion of the European Commission and the Commission is not responsible for any use that might be made of data appearing therein.

    To cite: The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. ‘Training Module 4. Community Resilience and Multi-stakeholder Collaboration to Support Reintegration to Society and Disengagement from Violent Extremism.’ 2023. PAVE Project Publications.

    • Section 1: Objectives and Expected Results

      Amount of Time Anticipated for Section 1: 2 hours  

      Objective: Participants will be introduced to key concepts surrounding deradicalization and disengagement and how those concepts can be successfully supported through utilizing a multi-stakeholder approach, with a focus on the Western Balkans and MENA regions.  

      Expected Results:
      Participants will be able to identify how deradicalization and disengagement can be supported by key stakeholders, including policymakers, faith actors and broader civil society. 

      Agenda for Session 1:

      • Key Concepts: Deradicalization and Disengagement

      • The Critical Need for a ‘Whole-of-Society’ Approach

      • The Role of Policymakers Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

      • The Role of Faith Actors and Institutions Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

      • The Role of Broader Civil Society Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

      • Applying An Inclusive Lens to Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

    • Key Concepts Part 1: Deradicalization and Disengagement

      Significant attention is placed upon why someone may join or be lured into a terrorist organization and the efforts in which to prevent or counter radicalization, recruitment and violent extremism. However, questions still remain on what happens when a person wants to leave a terrorist organization. How do communities adequately support the disengagement and reintegration of radicalized individuals? This module will explore ways in which stakeholders - including the PAVE target group of religious actors, civil society, and policymakers, can support a ‘whole-of-society’ approach to deradicalization and reintegration. 

      As defined through the PAVE project, radicalization is a change in beliefs, feelings, and behaviors in directions that increasingly justify intergroup violence and demand sacrifice in defense of the ingroup, stressing the importance of the shift in position towards acceptance of violence. Radicalization is a process at the individual level which is highly personal – as is the process of deradicalization. Yet, like radicalization, deradicalization does not happen in a void and communities can shape the setting and factors influencing deradicalization – through their agency exerted in both online and offline spaces. 

      Although the terms are often used interchangeably, disengagement and deradicalization refer to two rather different social and psychological processes. Disengagement refers to a behavioral change, such as leaving a group or changing one’s role within it. It does not necessitate a change in values or ideals but requires relinquishing the objective of achieving change through violence. Deradicalization, however, implies a cognitive shift—i.e., a fundamental change in understanding.

      Disengagement and deradicalization require sustained and concerted efforts. One size does not fit all: what works in one country may not work in another and each returnee may require a unique approach or service. There is, as such, no straightforward guidelines when creating and implementing efforts for disengagement and reintegration. However, it is recognized that integrating community members into strategies is an effective mechanism. Research has found that prosocial involvement is especially effective as a disengagement and deradicalization method. Those who have sought out “voluntary, sustained, and ongoing helpfulness” over a sustained period prove less likely to rejoin a group or to adhere to extremist ideals. Prosocial activities and skills help instill a “higher purpose” that individuals often sought by joining a violent extremist group in the first place.

      Hear from Caleb Cain, a former far-right extremist in the United States on why became radicalized and the path towards deradicalization: https://news.sky.com/story/caleb-cain-former-far-right-extremist-says-no-one-has-a-strategy-for-ongoing-threat-12228120 

      Photo source: Gough, S. (February 2021). Caleb Cain: Former far-right extremist says ‘no one ha a strategy’ for ongoing threat.’ Sky News. https://news.sky.com/story/caleb-cain-former-far-right-extremist-says-no-one-has-a-strategy-for-ongoing-threat-12228120 

    • The Critical Need For a ‘Whole-of-Society’ Approach

      Success of deradicalization, disengagement and reintegration programs often arise from the holistic integration of local level agencies, like the police, municipalities, and non-governmental organizations, into the initiatives. Ensuring a whole of society approach is critical to preventing and countering violent extremism.  It envisions and supports a role in which all segments of society can meaningfully support in prevention, intervention, deradicalization and reintegration programs. This includes engaging the community, which is composed of individuals, social groups and institutions based in the same area and/or have shared interests, as well as civil society, referred to as a diverse body of civil actors, communities, and formal or informal associations with a wide range of roles who engage in public life, seeking to advance shared values and objectives.

      Supporting the development of resilient and socially cohesive communities can be the best defense against violent extremism from taking root. In working together, communities can counter the corrosive appeal of violent extremism by promoting tolerance, mutual respect, pluralism, inclusion, and cohesion. Ultimately, all efforts should center on the wellbeing and safety of communities and individuals.

      As summarized by Grip and Kotajoki in a study on deradicalization, disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration of violent extremists: “Several studies from diverse geographical areas alluded to the importance of the role of the community, especially after disengagement, to facilitate reintegration and prevent re-engagement. Aspects of the community theme highlighted both the potential conflicts with community members upon return and the transformative process former extremists may engage in after their return to the community. Former extremists may have important roles in the community and social networks that remain politically active after disengagement.”

      The process of reintegration and disengagement from extremism into a community and society is a long-term process and requires interaction between the individual and the community at various moments throughout the process. Successful support is based on individuals needs and timely support for positive life changes. Different actors can contribute with different skills, and resources, support services and roles and responsibilities to reintegration.

      However, how this looks in practice in each local or national context varies according to the legislation, operational environment, and existing actors in each country or local context. Many times, people are supported by multi-agency collaboration locally including law-enforcement and security sector actors, social and health services according to mandate and legislation. 

      Watch this video to learn more about why a multi-sectorial - or ‘whole of society’ approach is needed to counter violent extremism:  .  

      Source: Hedayah. ‘A Multisectoral Approach for Countering Violent Extremism: Opportunities for Collaboration Between Government and Civil Society.’ 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rvEDGXJh24Y.  

    • The Role of Policymakers Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

      Hear from Dr. Rubina Abu Zeinab, National Coordinator for Preventing Violent Extremism in Lebanon, on the role of policymakers within deradicalization and disengagement efforts and how to promote community community harmonization and social cohesion within these efforts.


      Source: PAVE Project. Dr. Rubina Abu Zeinab: Policymakers, Deradicalization and Community Harmonization. 2023. https://youtu.be/OIXmGByO-5k   

      Government institutions are strategically placed to address security related aspects of radicalization and deradicalization, especially as terrorism and violent extremism are often a matter of state security. Ultimately, governments and its policymakers are responsible for public safety, thus serving as a duty bearer and provider for basic services. Additionally, government actions to prevent and combat radicalization help define for the community what constitutes radicalization and provide credibility for the work of community leaders that promote resilience. One important role that policymakers play is addressing disengagement and deradicalization efforts through legislation. For example, creating policies and other support mechanisms to address grievances that drive people to join extremist groups, including economic, education and political opportunities and work to implement reforms and programs to address these gaps. 

      Legislation can be created to address internal issues among the state or local community and can also be made to guide the interactions between countries, as cross-border engagement is needed to repatriate citizens from foreign nations. Managing the return of the many individuals who have traveled to conflict zones and the growing number defecting from terrorist groups is a priority for many countries. Effective and sustainable disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration programs are essential to addressing this challenge and preventing violent extremism. But such programs require attention and action at the state, community, public discourse, family, and individual levels. These are individual, psycho-social processes that require the sustained engagement and involvement of local communities, families, and other supportive social networks. Not only does the repatriation of individuals help mitigate humanitarian crises in conflict zones, it allows for citizens to return to their country of origin and engage in deradicalization efforts.  

      While many countries have adopted such policies and frameworks related to disengagement and deradicalization, they have largely been developed by state and security actors, within the prevention of terrorism framework, with little to no involvement of civil society, including faith actors. Limiting the number of collaborators narrows the focus of how deradicalization efforts can be conducted and by whom. For instance, by not including faith actors these documents and policies means that they lack religious insights, interfaith sensibilities and a holistic understanding of vulnerability and resilience factors of a faith community in relation to joining an extremist organization motivated by religious extremism. The lack of engagement with civil society will also make it harder for the government to receive buy-in, ownership and implementation support from the local communities. 

      Therefore, good practices within all government actions on disengagement and reintegration must utilize a multi-stakeholder approach. For example, the Government of Kosovo established a special unit in the Ministry of Internal Affairs to lead and coordinate deradicalization efforts in the correctional service system, as well as reintegration into the society of radicalized individuals. The Division for Prevention and Reintegration of Radicalized Persons (DPRRI) focuses on the deradicalization and reintegration of radicalized individuals and foreign fighters into the society and making them a useful part of it. Civil society or non-government organizations are essential in deradicalization and reintegration efforts. In Kosovo, civil society often complements the government services, such as providing support to returnees from Syria and Iraq to treat trauma. 

    • The Role of Faith Actors and Institutions Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

      Faith actors and institutions help shape the public and political discourse around a wide range of issues, including deradicalization and disengagement efforts, and should have a place in public consultations, program design, and project implementation around broad, nonreligious domains of activities in which impact societal welfare. One important role that faith actors and institutions play within communities in addressing disengagement and deradicalization is through the usage of their connections and networks. Faith-based leaders and organizations often have necessary networks for outreach to support persons looking to reintegrate into society. This could take place in the form of identifying employment or educational opportunities, providing accommodation or transportation, psycho-social support and even finding a warm meal. 

      Faith leaders and communities are also well placed within the community to play a key role in building community support and acceptance to mitigate the community members fear and stigma for returnees. Messages from religious leaders can shift personal attitudes, intended behaviors, and perceived social norms of those seeking to deradicalize. Faith communities also have linguistic and cultural competence and theological expertise that can likewise be of assistance to the authorities in the deradicalization process. Not only can theology serve as a guide to deradicalize, it can also support in countering religious narratives in which may have propelled an individual to join a terrorist group from the onset. 

      Many disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration programs also focus on ideological change. While prevention policymakers are averse to intervening in people’s beliefs, due to valid concerns over freedom of conscience and expression, when it comes to deradicalization there is an understanding of the need for initiatives that strengthen critical thinking, dialogue and acceptance of diversity and that challenge the legitimacy of violence as a means of pursuing ideological or political objectives.  Without holistic, individualized, and gendered assessment of returnees, and a holistic understanding of religious attributes, deradicalization and disengagement programs may be ineffective as they may overestimate the role of ideological motivations and neglect structural, material and other psychological drivers. Therefore, any effort made towards disengagement and deradicalization should involve faith actors and communities in driving the process because of the important roles they play in society as well as their ability to appeal to the hearts, minds, and conscience of individuals and groups in the society. 

      Hear from Peacemakers Network Executive Director, Dr. Mohamed Elsanousi, on the role of religious actors in preventing violent extremism:  

      Source: The Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. “Role of Religious Actors in Preventing Violent Extremism.” 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JVuXEN40iGo.

      • The Role of Broader Civil Society Within Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

        Even if civil society does not have experience in dealing with radicalization and violent extremism, their expertise in related fields, such as serving as educators, working with marginalized youth, trauma healing and psycho-social support, and advocacy on social welfare, to name a few, is an invaluable asset for developing more specialized knowledge that has positive implications for rehabilitation and reintegration. In the context of rehabilitation and reintegration specifically, civil society can provide services that are beyond the scope of policymakers. For example, they can offer counseling, vocational training, arrange for legal aid, or facilitate access to and involvement of family members while individuals are detained. 

        A number of international frameworks have recognized the important role that civil society organizations can and do play and have called on governments to provide space for civil society engagement. For example, UN Security Council Resolution 2396 calls on member states to develop and implement comprehensive, collaborative and tailored rehabilitation and reintegration strategies in response to returning and relocating foreign terrorist fighters, including their spouses and children. 

        Local level implementation is key for preventative action! When we speak about prevention of violent extremism and radicalization and concrete ways of preventing vulnerable individuals from joining or being recruited into extremist groups or supporting disengagement from these groups or activities, the local level is key, hence, that is where people are, and the interaction takes place within communities.

        Here are some examples:

        Educators: Countering radicalization in educational curricula is becoming a major security policy in many countries. Educators of all types (teachers, religious educators, sport coaches, etc.) are identified as another important factor of community resilience and support mechanisms to deradicalization and disengagement. The education system has certain attributes that make it ideally suited to building individual, community and systemic resilience. In ethnically divided countries in particular, education retains high public value because it reaches both populations, serving as a vital hub for information-sharing and critical thinking. The role of schools in deradicalization is highly expected, because in addition to being able to open the horizons of students' thinking, they help to develop in accepting diverse information and ideology. 

        Psycho-social Support Professionals: A positive trend in recent years has been the emergence of trauma-informed frameworks in P/CVE work. Research exploring the link between trauma and radicalization has helped shape and further our understanding of how issues like adverse childhood experiences and intergenerational and collective trauma may impact exit and rehabilitation work. Work in P/CVE can benefit significantly by learning from the trauma-informed care principles of safety, trust, peer support, collaboration and empowerment, and sensitivity to cultural, historical and gender issues. 

        Psychotherapy, and mental health treatment more broadly, should therefore play an active role in shaping holistic P/CVE programs, as both practice and research have shown it has a positive impact. In terms of exit work and the rehabilitation process, psychotherapy can help radicalized individuals address underlying mental health problems. For some individuals, severe mental health issues may limit the potential of rehabilitation efforts, or even block it entirely. In these instances, psychotherapy may be a prerequisite before P/CVE-focused rehabilitation work can begin.

        Photo Source: Manisera, S. ‘After ISIS.’ The New Internationalist. 2020. https://newint.org/features/2020/03/04/after-isis.

        There are good practice examples of returnees and their families benefiting from psychotherapy after their arrival in Kosovo, where mothers were offered acute and short-term therapy in the first few months of their arrival. This treatment helped families deal with unresolved family tensions and understand how to deal and cope with these specific stressful circumstances. It was shown to have a beneficial effect on the relationship between mother and child, as well as their social environment, which is a crucial step in the deradicalization process. 

        Kosovo launched a unique rehabilitation project involving psychiatrists, family psychotherapists, imams and female preachers, called “Mualime”. Sanie Gashi Mehmeti (pictured above) is a female Imam, “Mualime”, who supports the rehabilitation program with women and children repatriated from Syria to Kosovo. Although Kosovo is 90 percent Muslim, most of the population is deeply secular. Kosovar society, therefore, stigmatizes the families of those who went to Syria. For this reason, part of the rehabilitation project includes regular meetings with neighbors and villagers in their communities collaborating with coordinating doctors for mental health under the government's rehabilitation and reintegration program for women and children in their homes. 

        Families: Positive ties with non-radicalized family members may influence radicalized individuals to rethink their beliefs and leave a terrorist group to reconnect with their families. In emphasizing the influencing role, members of extremists’ groups may find it harder to leave radical groups if they have lost contact with their family. Family members may function as a valuable link between an official exit program and the potential exiter, and parents specifically play a key role in establishing parental or family-based community support networks that might assist persons wishing to leave an extremist milieu. Supportive family members also play important emotional, social, and material roles when an individual disengages from extremist rhetoric.

        Listen to a documentary video about a young woman who secretly left her home in Germany to marry an IS fighter., who was also from East Germany and how her father did everything he could to get her out of Syria and support her in a new life. After seven years, she returned to Germany and after a short time in prison, was eventually put on trial. .

        Source: DW Documentary. ‘’Leaving the Islamic State - Life back in Germany.’ September 22, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F1ma0rjK1hc.

        What about friends and peers? 

        Government agencies and policies seem to favor parents as potential partners in interventions, probably because they have formal responsibilities (when the target of interventions is under-aged), are perceived to be more reliable than young peers, and possibly are easier to motivate to take active part in state-initiated interventions. However, this is not to discredit the critical role friends can play, and sometimes in lieu of family members if such support does not exist. 

        It is important to acknowledge that relatives and friends can affect the outcomes of reintegration trajectories, both positively and negatively. Relatives and significant others can play a crucial role in either supporting or undermining the reintegration process. An ex-extremist may renounce violent extremism and be motivated to live a law-abiding life, but if their family members remain radicalized and encourage them to return to extremist networks and activities, deradicalization and reintegration efforts may be nullified.

        Watch this video to learn more about why community leaders and families need to be included in countering and preventing  violent extremism:

        Source: Hedayah. “Engaging Community Leaders and Families in Countering Violent Extremism.” 2020.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rZYLOdX_bnU. 

      • Applying An Inclusive Lens to Deradicalization and Disengagement Efforts

        The Gendered Lens to Disengagement and Deradicalization 

        To date, most deradicalization programs have been designed primarily for men, with few efforts to create programs specifically for women and young women returning from extremist groups and/or to deradicalize. In many countries, the legal system is ill-equipped to address returned female fighters. Oftentimes, women are viewed as the ‘victims’ and treated as such during deradicalization processes.  However, there is not a simple binary between victim and perpetrator in relation to gender. Women engage in extremist violence in complicated ways. Responses to women extremists tend to overlook this nuance, assuming instead that women have been coerced into extremist groups. 

        Gender influences the experience of extremism for men and women differently because groups place different values on activities based on whether the actors are men or women. Women have been subject to gender-based violence, forced marriage, trafficking, kidnapping and slavery. In some cases, women who were initially victims become perpetrators, whether to improve their everyday circumstances, through personal relationships or through indoctrination. Others may not be voluntarily seeking to leave, but are required to do so because of external pressures (e.g. a deteriorating security situation or influence from local authorities or legal systems), and still others may be disillusioned with the ideology and objectives of their violent extremist movement. Consideration of these roles in exit work is imperative, as some women may be exiting to be freed from gender-based violence, while others maybe be seeking to leave because of the extremist groups' failure to meet their expectations in terms of opportunities. For successful long-term prevention and to fulfill international obligations, deradicalization efforts must commit to challenging ideologies that curtail women's equality or jeopardize women and young women's security.

        Often, women seeking to disengage find government and civil society-led programs and policies that do not meet their needs. Women's disengagement is commonly fraught with additional risks and challenges. First, because women are less frequently charged with terrorism-related offences than men (more often, women's charges relate to kidnapping, child abuse or child neglect), they find it harder to qualify for the support and programs available. Second, because there are relatively few female exit practitioners, building trust and rapport is harder for women, where gender segregation is the norm. Third, for women, leaving these groups can often mean leaving marriages, financial security and sometimes their children. In contrast for men, exit models often view having a girlfriend or wife as a positive (such partners are presumed to be law abiding, anti-violent and offer familial stability). These must be taken into consideration by practitioners to effectively develop deradicalization strategies. 

        The expertise of women-led civil society organizations is essential for ensuring national legislation and policies are effective and address the unique needs of women and girls in disengagement, rehabilitation, and reintegration programs. The importance of their participation in rehabilitation and reintegration processes, and in preventing violent extremism more broadly, has been reiterated across global policy frameworks. For example, the UN Plan of Action on Preventing Violent Extremism and UN Security Council Resolution 2242 emphasizes the need for partnership with women-led civil society organizations in efforts to prevent violent extremism.

        Youth-Focused Disengagement and Deradicalization 

        When helping youth to deradicalize and disengage, it is important to remember that the ideology is often a secondary factor for joining these groups. While some are drawn to the violence because they are true believers in ideological thought, most are not. Therefore, programs must be developed in such a way to address the primary reasons that youth joined these groups, such as for employment opportunities or seeking belonging, not simply focused on combating the ideology.

        Pioneered by Bjørn Øvrum, a preventative police officer, the Empowerment Conversation is best understood as a type of behavioral therapy that seeks to show a young offender that the path they are on could have significant negative consequences for whatever they hope to accomplish in the future, as well as to help that offender better understand how their current behavior can be explained. One of the most important portions of the Empowerment Conversation involves examining the behaviors and/or needs that led that young person to join the extremist group and examining possible alternatives that could meet them outside of the group. 

        Photo Source: Daugherty, C. (2019). Radicalization and Disengagement: Exit Programs in Norway and Sweden and Addressing Neo-Nazi Extremism.’ Journal for Deradicalization. https://journals.sfu.ca/jd/index.php/jd/article/view/287. 

        In emphasizing the need for a multi-stakeholder approach for deradicalization, child and adolescent psychiatry has a role to play in countering violent extremism by: being involved in deradicalization programs; giving a meaning to radical engagement; and offering the adolescent mind a way out of the radical commitment. This should be done through a tailored and multidisciplinary intervention, collaborating with families, social services, justice and police.

        Do not forget about youth engagement! Make sure young people are part of program design and implementation, and are not just targets of programming.  

        An Intersectional Approach to Disengagement and Deradicalization 

        Utilizing an intersectional approach is crucial within deradicalization and reintegration work and strengthening social cohesion. Utilizing this approach recognizes that people’s lives are shaped by their identities, relationships and social factors. Considering an individual’s socio-economic status, ability, sexual orientation, age, gender, and ethnic or religious affiliation are all crucial identity factors.

        For example, ethnic and religious minority groups are important resources and ideal subjects for initiatives in deradicalization, reintegration and strengthening social cohesion; however, because of their minority status, they face additional barriers in seeking disengagement or deradicalization support. Whether due to language barriers, cultural differences, differing opinions of spiritual practices, as well as a sense of inferiority, many ethnic and religious minorities are likely to experience difficulty in accessing support networks that can help in their deradicalization rehabilitation, and to re-establish and sustain an identity as a law-abiding citizen. These barriers are further compounded by problems gaining support from their own ethnic communities. Many ethnic and religious minority former extremists have experienced isolation, stigmatization and discrimination following rejection from their own communities. This, in turn, further complicates their reintegration and can contribute to recidivism. 

        Another example are individuals who identify as LGBTQIA who may join a violent extremist organization to search for a sense of belonging, identity and as a way to disassociate from their sexual identity. Special attention should be placed on identifying specific support mechanisms to support those individuals. For instance, the Ibn Rushd-Goethe Mosque in Germany is one of only a handful of gay-friendly mosques around the world that offers psycho-social support and spiritual guidance, especially for those looking to deradicalize or reintegrate from extremist groups.

        Finally, those who fall within lower socio-economic communities, are often enticed to join extremist groups with promises of incomes for themselves and/or their families. This must be taken into consideration when working with these individuals on disengagement, through offering alternative pathways for jobs and income, including livelihood training opportunities.

        • Additional Resources

          • Session 2 Objectives and Expected Results

            Amount of Time Anticipated for Section 2: 2 hours

            Objective: Participants will be introduced to key concepts surrounding reintegration, community harmonization and social cohesion and how those concepts can be successfully supported by a multi-stakeholder approach, with a focus on the Western Balkans and MENA region.  

            Expected Results:
            Participants will be able to identify how reintegration, community harmonization and social cohesion can be supported by key stakeholders, including policymakers, faith actors and broader civil society. 

            Agenda for Session 2:

            • Key Concepts: Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

            • The Role of Policymakers Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

            • The Role of Faith Actors and Institutions Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

            • The Role of Broader Civil Society Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

            • Applying An Inclusive Lens to Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

          • Key Concepts: Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

            Reintegration is the process by which ex-combatants are accepted back into society by reconnecting them with practical services (employment, accommodation, education, family support, etc.) and to networks with prosocial opportunities. Reintegration is essentially a social and economic process with an open time-frame, primarily taking place in communities at the local level. It is part of the general development of a country and a national responsibility, and often necessitates long-term external assistance. Additionally, rehabilitation refers to the process of positive transformation and healing from association with violent extremism. Reintegration is not a single linear activity but a process that involves a series of interrelated activities. This process requires that the displaced elements in the society need to return back, resettled and reentered into socio-economic and political life with equal access to resources and opportunities.

            Alongside reintegration are the underpinning elements of community harmonization and social cohesion. Social cohesion refers to the strength of relationships and the sense of solidarity among members of a community. Social cohesion arguably builds relationships and practices, resulting in potential causes for violent extremism that can be addressed, lessened or diminished. Community harmonization refers to the cohesive strength of a community in its entirety. 

            While working on reintegration, it is imperative to consider how this may impact the broader community and what the needs are of a community in order to support the returnees. For instance, there may already be established social distrust and mutual suspicion of the returnees among members of the communities who have been living peaceful, prosperous and harmonious lives.  Nurturing social cohesion and community harmonization helps to mitigate the risks of recidivism and promote tolerance within the community, ultimately helping to create an environment for successful reintegration.

            Social cohesion has multiple dimensions – and they are not all correlated with each other. Because social cohesion is a composite of several distinct values, identities, attitudes and behaviors, policies and programs must be built on an awareness of what the most important underlying components are and how they affect conflict and violence. Mercy Corps’ approach to social cohesion programming, for example,  identifies six dimensions of social cohesion: trust, belonging, shared identity, attitudes towards other groups, collective action norms, and civic engagement. The relative strength or weakness of these different components can vary significantly within communities and societies.

            Photo Source: Mercy Corps. “Strengthening Social Cohesion for Violence Prevention.” March, 2022.  https://europe.mercycorps.org/sites/default/files/2022-06/10-Lessons-SC-Brief_V6_EU.pdf

            Not only is building trust essential to reduce violence within a community, but it is imperative to support successful reintegration. Identity-based grievances can fuel support for violence, but shared identity and belonging can help lay the groundwork for peace. Compared to other components of social cohesion, the relationship between civic engagement and violence is highly contingent.

          • The Role of Policymakers Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

            In low and middle-income countries, policymakers may be hesitant to invest in social reintegration programs for radicalized or deradicalized individuals, in particular when such assistance and services are not readily available even to the broader community. However, policymakers should remember that such programs are necessary not only for the sake of the radicalized, but also for public safety and ultimately for the socioeconomic development of countries.

            Security personnel, prison administrations, probation agencies and other governmental entities all have important roles to play in jointly addressing some of the challenges associated with the development, management and evaluation of social reintegration programs. Effective collaboration among these agencies and a shared vision and responsibility for the prevention of recidivism are crucial to enabling a holistic strategy on social reintegration to be successful and to result in tangible benefits for community safety.

            Often, government-led or supported reintegration programs are conducted after former extremists leave prison. Prisons offer an opportunity for disengagement from terrorism and extremism through the severing of links with extremist peers and networks and the opportunity to re-evaluate identity and direction and engagement with others (staff and prisoners), which can challenge ideas previously held about terrorism and violence, to name a few. In order to preserve community safety, governments need to play a pivotal role in developing effective post-release or aftercare interventions geared at helping former radicalized individuals to reintegrate into the community. Close monitoring and support by government actors may prove to be an effective way to bolster community trust and harmonization to accept a returnee. 

            Hear from Nadja Radkovska, Chair of the Council for Penological Cooperation in Bulgaria on considerations for multi stakeholder approaches for rehabilitation and reintegration within prison systems:

            Source: PAVE Project. ‘Nadja Radkovska: Multistakeholder Approaches within Prisons for Reintegration.’ 2023. https://youtu.be/pTfMWU-LdWQ.

            Social cohesion and community harmonization is also dependent upon how policymakers communicate deradicalization and reintegration efforts to the public, as policymakers often have to change minds among reticent populations and shift perceived community norms in order to pave the way for peaceful reintegration. How and to what extent will details about the intervention and its outcomes be communicated to the public? How will the intervention be presented in external communication and how may this influence the relevant communities? 

            Stigmatization may be a real concern for former extremists. Hence, it matters a great deal whether a reintegration policy is presented to the public as, for instance, a counter-terrorism policy, a regular criminal justice measure, or a civil society initiative. Different terminology has different connotations, with implications for how ex-offenders are perceived by the community

            For instance, in the Netherlands, the decision to officially introduce the high security prison for terrorism offenders as the ‘Terrorism Unit’ was publicly criticized for causing stigmatization and negative labeling of the inmates and ex-inmates alike. While prison systems play an important role, it is important to note that In many countries, de-radicalization and reintegration programs do not specifically target prisoners and ex-prisoners, but focus more generally on removing individuals from extremist environments. For instance, the EXIT programs, which have been introduced in Sweden, Germany, and Norway, provide support for individuals who want to leave (mostly rightwing) extremist movements. 

            Here are 10 steps that governments should take for effective R&R efforts: 

            Photo Source: Global Solutions Exchange. “10 Steps to Strengthening Rehabilitation and Reintegration Efforts for Terrorism Offenders, Returning  Foreign Terrorist Fighters, and Victims of Violent Extremism.” 2017.  https://icanpeacework.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/GSX-Ten-Steps-to-Strengthening-Rehabilitation-and-Reintegration-2017.pdf

            • The Role of Faith Actors and Institutions Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

              Hear from Darren Coventry-Howlett from Safe Haven shares why faith communities are important actors and allies to address hate speech, extremism and inter-community tensions.  

              Source: PAVE. ’Darren Coventry-Howlet: Faith Leaders and Addressing Hate Speech, Extremism and Inter-community Tensions.’ 2023. https://youtu.be/2JPXmrdIcYQ. 

              While faith actors are part of civil society, their needs to support successful reintegration are different than that of other actors. 

              Returning home is more than just a physical journey. It is a spiritual journey. For re-entry and reintegration to be successful over the long-term, the returning person needs spiritual support from family members, neighbors, and the wider community. Successful re-entry and reintegration require faith, not just on the part of the returning person, but on the part of the entire community. Spiritual resilience and faith enable a person not just to face the challenges and hardships of returning home, but to use such challenges and hardships as stepping stones to success.  When acting from their faith commitments, faith actors can help returning persons see possibilities that they might not have seen in themselves. One of the most essential contributions members of a faith community can communicate to someone coming home is that the worst moments in our lives ultimately define none of us. Returnees can be defined instead by who they are and whom they can become through such spiritual guidance. 

              Faith actors and leaders can also help to support community harmonization and social cohesion efforts. Research shows that messages from trusted authorities, such as faith actors, can be effective in creating attitude change and shifting perceptions of social norms. For example, a faith leader can utilize contextual theology to emphasize the importance of forgiveness and calling on followers to forgive the former actions of an extremist as a way of moving from conflict to peace.  In instances such as this, their trusted message can increase support for reintegration and willingness for the community to interact with the former extremist in social, political, and economic life.

              While faith actors are often integral parts in reintegration efforts, they may lack some needed skills. For instance, some religious actors requested physical safety training, noting their high-risk and vulnerability when they work to counter violent extremism in their communities. Others have noted that they want better training in technology and communications to help them expand their reach and counter messaging to younger and larger demographics. Some faith actors have expressed interest in expanding and formalizing their roles as mediators and counselors in their communities through skills-based training. Therefore, civil society actors and organizations can play a critical role in supporting faith actors and enhancing their skills in order for them to successfully support reintegration efforts. 

              • The Role of Broader Civil Society Within Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion Efforts

                In some instances, the focus on a highly securitized approach by governments has created higher feelings of marginalization and societal rejection given that returnees are constantly under surveillance. Therefore, civil society is often a trusted actor to effectively support reintegration, community harmonization and social cohesion efforts. 

                In the Balkans and MENA regions, building community resilience to prevent radicalization and support returnees is largely a civil society driven process, especially with respect to youth, who are considered a highly vulnerable group to radicalization in both regions. In North Macedonia, civil society was unanimously recognized as having played a role in P/CVE efforts, particularly in the context of promoting good inter-ethnic relations and social inclusion. Similarly, in Kosovo, civil society is perceived to have an important role in deradicalization and reintegration efforts. In particular, non-governmental organizations and other grassroots organizations have been able to facilitate contact and dialogue between community groups and enhance social cohesion by challenging discourses that are based on dehumanizing the other.

                Here are some examples:

                Vocational Trainers: Where traditional education is not available or appropriate, other forms of training or employment support may help older children and adults reintegrate into their community while addressing root causes of recruitment. In addition, it can provide an alternative sense of self or economic opportunity to engagement in conflict. Vocational training and alternative education must be gender-responsive and consultative, in particular meeting the needs and addressing safety, access and participation barriers identified by women and older girls for more equal opportunities for employment and income generation.

                Media: Media outlets are integral in the presentation of information to the public, and as such, the way they share information on minority and marginalized communities has the potential to shape public perception on any given issue. Therefore, they play an integral role in driving community acceptance and support of returnees. 

                Role of the Family: The active participation of family members and communities is key to effective reintegration for returnees. In many ways, family and community experience the reintegration process together with the returnee and require aftercare support and assistance as well. 

                Photo Source: Finn Church Aid. “Reach Out 3 Final Report.” 2021. https://www.peacemakersnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Reach-Out-3-Final-Report.pdf

                The “Reach Out” project implemented by Finn Church Aid across Finland from 2016–2021 sought to support family resources in situations where some family member has become radicalized. The objective of the project was to start building a family support model and a network of service providers. Relying on these, radicalized individuals could be reintegrated into society. According to the project, successful family support requires, first, that the support is provided as close to the family as possible. This, in turn, means building an efficient, understanding-based cooperation network between the authorities, faith communities and organizations.

                To succeed, all these efforts require long-term cooperation with local communities. An individual cannot reintegrate into mainstream society without the support of the family and the approval of the surrounding community.

                Below are further examples of potential roles and responsibilities for how actors in a community can support reintegration efforts. 

                Photo Source: The Commonwealth. “Managing the Reintegration of Violent Extremists and their Families: A Guide to Proactive Reintegration.” 2022. https://production-new-commonwealth-files.s3.eu-west-2.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/2022-06/Managing%20the%20Reintegration.pdf?VersionId=X8LVv.nxiyvR4_.yiioFB2Qm0PGmlLI7

              • Applying An Inclusive Lens to Reintegration, Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

                Hear from Erinda Bllaca of the Albanian institute for Activism and Social Change on existing approaches to reintegrating families, particularly women and children.  

                Source: PAVE. ‘Erinda Bllaca: Reintegrating Women and Youth.’ 2023. https://youtu.be/3NROTgknSic.

                Gender and Reintegration

                The absence of coherent, gender-sensitive and responsive policies may carry mortal implications, such as in Iraq, where the foreign widows of former Daesh fighters face the death penalty regardless of their role in the movements. Research has also demonstrated if women return to their communities, they may face the lack of opportunity alongside the stigma of being affiliated with violent extremists, which can increase the risk of re-radicalization and recruitment as extremist groups co-opt them with a ‘sense of belonging.’ 

                Women and young women's reintegration into communities can often be harder than men's, because of the additional stigma they face. Whereas communities may tacitly accept men's participation, women's participation challenges gender norms within communities. Women may also struggle with the reduction in power and status upon return to their communities. Family exit and reintegration are significant issues needing consideration. The international element of some women's participation can call into question their citizenship and that of their children. This factor can pose an additional challenge to reintegration (as families are often fractured), create barriers to resources for recovery and rehabilitation, and generate prolonged uncertainty.

                Areas which should inform reintegration programming for women and young women include:

                • Understand women’s motivations and expectations when joining extremist groups and how they might influence disengagement. Additionally, it is important to understand whether ideology and religion were initial drivers to join a radical group or mostly a retention mechanism. 

                • Understand that women demonstrate a higher tendency to join extremist groups via personal relationships. Research shows that the women who are most successfully rehabilitated are those who maintain close social ties with family and friends. 

                • Women can play a key role in determining whether and how communities accept back former extremists. Women faith leaders, psychologists, teachers, elected officials, civil society leaders, and others can serve as gatekeepers, influencing who is welcomed into—or back into—communities. Successful reintegration of returnees depends on buy-in from such women, and programs should consult with women community leaders to ensure they understand and support reintegration. 

                • Women may not have the same levels of transferable skills or experiences as men after leaving groups, because of their time spent in traditional, home-centered tasks. It is consequently harder for them to gain independence from the group without external financial support and (re)training (e.g. they may not have held jobs, despite doing well at school). 

                Reintegration of Youth 

                Young people are targeted both by recruitment and radicalization to violent extremist organizations and in terrorist attacks. They recognize prevention of violent extremism as a priority and many have already acted to reduce the impact of violent extremism, promote tolerance and value pluralism, and build resilience in their local communities and societies. Engaging and working together with youth as an effective and positive partner continues to be a key priority in P/CVE policies and supporting social cohesion and community harmonization. 

                Youth are generally much better positioned to promote a culture of tolerance and peace amongst their peers. They possess a talent for communication and mobilization. For the few young people who turn to extremist violence and commit acts of terrorism, there must be a comprehensive legal, political, and socio-economic approach in place, with a strong emphasis on the disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration process, wherever the conditions are right.

                Elements for a youth-focused reintegration plan may include:

                • Psycho-social interventions, which provide the basis for individuals to understand their involvement and offending and to cultivate skills and techniques to facilitate personal change (including emotional management, critical thinking, and coping mechanisms).

                • Mentors deemed to be credible, competent, and compassionate can help support youth by cultivating a positive relationship providing youth with a sense of meaning, purpose, structure, guidance and control over their future. External mentors, properly screened to work with juveniles, can prove especially helpful because they may be perceived as neutral professionals unaffiliated with the prison system or government. 

                • Educational programs and vocational training, which are common interventions offered to juveniles as part of rehabilitation programs in both open and closed custodial settings.

                • The arts, such as writing, the humanities, theater, or music, can provide a useful medium for youth to explore inner conceptions of self and to develop a greater conscientiousness of the world they live in. 

                Reintegration of Marginalized Groups & Fostering Social Cohesion

                Marginalized communities play an imperative role in reintegration efforts, as they have better relationships and skills in working with marginalized sections of the society, and have a genuine interest in directly promoting their community’s wellbeing and safety. For example, groups that work with individuals with disabilities will be more aware and trained to understand the various needs that returnees may be seeking, including for example, if a returnee is returning with a physical disability. Diaspora and marginalized communities are also well placed to advocate and speak out against intolerant and extremist ideas. To continue to foster trust and collaboration, they can work with authorities to counter terrorism and violence as translators and cultural experts, for example. 

                However, policy makers and community actors must make intentional space and efforts to mitigate minority marginalization. It is important to recognize ethnic or religious minority communities may see themselves as the sole target of counterterrorism programs and feel as though they are viewed by the state as potential terrorists due to the actions of a small minority within their communities. In turn, they perceive that overt, counter, or anti-radicalization programs are being used as a means to gather intelligence on their communities, including individuals who have not committed criminal offenses, resulting in distrust or hesitation to participate in such programs. Therefore, a conscious effort must be supported by all members of a community to build trust between each other to increase social cohesion and community harmonization in order to mitigate marginalization. For instance, in a Western context, this could include non-religious, historical and cultural education of Islam in public schools and other efforts to include Islam in mainstream public space and collective memory, as has been done for other religions to prevent the polarization of a minority religious community. 

                For example, Finland has taken steps to ensure its minority communities are integrated into various sectors of government and civil society to mitigate feelings of alienation, strengthen social cohesion and prevent radicalization. The growth of the Muslim population in Finland has led to several mutually reinforcing developments. First, Muslims now have an extensive and increasingly professional national network of Islamic societies and associations. Many of these Muslim organizations are increasingly considered in both local and national decision-making, which has changed the previously peripheral role minority religious organizations played. For example, Turku has created a committee that focuses on fostering relations with local Muslim associations. Interreligious relations are also seen as an important way to improve societal relations and prevent unwanted social phenomena such as radicalization. Although the authorities’ interest is largely based on countering terrorism and radicalization, the connections have broader repercussions, changing historic state–religion relations and bringing minority religious issues to the forefront. 

                Photo Source: Finnish National Agency for Education.  ‘Higher Education Institutes Supporting Immigrants.’ https://www.oph.fi/en/higher-education-institutions-supporting-immigrants

                • Additional Resources

                  • Session 3: Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization, Reintegration and Community Harmonization

                    Amount of Time Anticipated for Section 3: 1 hour  

                    Objective: This module will explore examples of multi-stakeholder collaboration to support deradicalization, reintegration and community harmonization within the Western Balkans and MENA region. 

                    Expected Results: Participants will be able to identify how religious actors, civil society and policymakers can influence - both positively and negatively - and collaborate on disengagement and reintegration efforts.  

                    Agenda for Session 3:

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization and Disengagement

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Rehabilitation and Reintegration

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

                    • Challenges to These Multi-Stakeholder Approaches

                    • Opportunities for Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization and Disengagement

                      Hear from Nadja Radkovska, Chair of the Council for Penological Cooperation in Bulgaria on why multi stakeholder approaches are important to deradicalization and reintegration and some of the key actors who should be included in approaches.  

                      Source: PAVE Project. ‘Natja Radkovksa: Multistakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization and Reintegration. 2023.  https://youtu.be/CbiF6bRBcFQ.

                      The number of deradicalization programs, which are geared toward peacefully moving individuals and groups away from violent extremism, have grown in the past five years. These programs vary widely, with differing subjects (e.g., prisoners, potential terrorists, convicted criminals, repentant extremists), aims (e.g., abandonment of extreme views, disengagement from terrorism, rehabilitation into society), sizes (from just a handful of participants to hundreds), and forms (from arranging jobs, marriages, and new lives for participants, to merely educating them on nonviolent alternatives to their methods). 

                      While these programs are critical, it is important to remember that when done poorly, deradicalization programs benefit no one—neither the participants, government, nor community—and can do more harm than good.  In addition, ignoring the context and focusing only on the mechanics of the program will compound the difficulty of judging its success. The country where the programs are taking place and the socio-political norms of that country are key contextual elements. For example, deradicalization programs in Muslim countries in which theologically contextualize philosophies, rationales, and approaches within the program may be difficult to replicate in a non-Muslim, Western country. 

                      Below are a few examples of offline and online deradicalization and disengagement programs that are currently being utilized by multi-stakeholder groups:

                      EXIT Programs

                      Over the past two decades, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the Scandinavian countries have developed and implemented a number of ‘exit’ or off-ramp’ programs. Originally focused on biker gangs, neo-Nazis, and quasi-criminal groups with strong identities and social bonds, some of these programs have been tailored in recent years to address violent religious extremist groups. They function both as preventative and disengagement efforts in that some who participate in the programs may have not engaged significantly in violent activity or crimes, and others have been incarcerated.

                      As explained by researchers at the United States Institute of Peace, programs such as ‘Slotevaart’ in Netherlands, the' Violence Prevention Network, Hayat, and EXIT Deutschland in Germany, the Aarhus model in Denmark, and Fryhuset Sweden have in common is that they were developed in countries with a strong popular and government commitment to the ideas of individual human rights and social welfare. Prisons and sentencing practices, especially in the Nordic countries, show a strong inclination toward rehabilitation and providing opportunities for former criminals to build new lives and become productive members of society. This rehabilitation ethos is enabled by a generously resourced social welfare apparatus, in which government-funded and directed psycho-social care can be harnessed for these objectives, as well as skills training and job placement programs. Exit programs are also, for the most part, voluntary. This is a significant feature of their success, because many of those that participate have already progressed a certain cognitive distance toward disengagement from the group and are actively seeking assistance.  

                      The EXIT programs rely on multi-stakeholder training and engagement to successfully deradicalize individuals and support their reintegration in society. Counseling and training sessions by psycho-social support specialists are developed for teachers, police officers, institutions and individuals on how to recognize radicalization and create de-radicalization and disengagement programs and strategies. Federal government and local municipalities are also engaged and trained in similar areas and are encouraged to create systems of regular information sharing.

                      Watch this video to learn how the German government is looking at new ways to work with what are essentially ISIS dropouts, and it is drawing from its previous work with right-wing extremists:

                      Photo Source: Temple-Raston, D. ‘Methods For Reforming Neo-Nazis Help Fight The Radicalization Of Muslims.”’ NPR. May 10, 2016. https://www.npr.org/sections/parallels/2016/05/10/477043520/methods-for-reforming-neo-nazis-help-fight-the-radicalization-of-muslims

                      Demobilization, Disarmament, and Reintegration (DDR) Programming 

                      Over the last twenty years, efforts to demobilize, disarm, and reintegrate combatants into society after the cessation of hostilities—a process referred to as DDR—have become integral components of peace processes. The United Nations in particular, through its peacekeeping operations, has launched numerous DDR programs in many post conflict states in Africa as well as Nepal, Kosovo, Timor Leste, and Colombia. These programs include efforts to collect and dispose of weapons, disassociate combatants from their military affiliations, and help them transition to civilian status by providing social and economic assistance.

                      DDR experts have long understood that reintegration must happen in parallel with social, economic, and political recovery, or the conditions that sparked violence/radicalization in the first place will not change. 

                      DDR practice often involves resettlement and at minimum assumes a post conflict environment in which ex-combatants can transition to a new life. Foreign fighters, however, are more often returning to the same environment and social network in which they were initially radicalized. Therefore, the same structural conditions, the influences, and the grievances that drive engagement are often still present, as well as active recruitment dynamics, all of which make efforts to rehabilitate and reintegrate particularly challenging. DDR practice has traditionally focused heavily on economic and employment assistance, and severance payments are often a feature. Valuations of DDR processes have also highlighted the need for specialized and tailored support for women and children, who—whether as former combatants, victims, or both—face unique barriers and challenges to reintegration.

                      The emphasis of P/CVE programming on strengthening community resilience, fostering constructive debate and dialogue, and promoting education and economic opportunity offers a number of potential synergies with conflict prevention, peace operations, peacebuilding, and particularly, DDR efforts. For DDR to be successful as it relates to deradicalization, clear and consistent political messaging must be followed up by operational coherence, which demonstrates that the international community is willing to help and also able to project its capabilities on multiple fronts, rather than relying on military action alone.

                      Photo Source: Department of Peace Operations. ‘Community Violence Reduction: Creating Space for Peace.’ United Nations. 2018. https://peacekeeping.un.org/sites/default/files/ddr-and-cvr-creating-space-for-peace.pdf.

                      The most prominent of the newer approaches to DDR has been Community Violence Reduction (CVR), which comprises a set of flexible tools aimed at preventing and reducing violence at the community level in both conflict and post-conflict environments. CVR programs help deliver conditions for political processes to progress and armed groups to disband in situations where it is too early or not possible to carry out a fully-fledged DDR program. CVR differs from DDR in that it works directly with target communities to find solutions to the causes of armed violence from within and explicitly uses a bottom-up approach to target ‘youth at risk of recruitment by armed groups’ in addition to ex-combatants. As part of CVR, increased programing through a multi-stakeholder approach engaging both government and community level actors has been developed to support ex-combatants/fighters and their dependents in their transition to civilian life through vocational, educational, business development and skills training, health and psycho-social support and administrative assistance. Simultaneously, through context specific, community-based efforts to rebuild social cohesion and provide for material recovery, initiatives seek to strengthen communities and create environments conducive to sustainable return, reintegration and reconciliation. 


                      In recognizing the role of faith communities in supporting deradicalization and reintegration efforts, Kosovo's Ministry of Justice and Islamic Community signed an agreement to engage imams to help radicalized Muslims who have been arrested or jailed for terrorism. The program design took into account proposals from the Islamic Community regarding ways in which they would like to help in deradicalization of those who have returned from the wars in Syria and Iraq. In complementary efforts, the United States government was implementing a multi-stakeholder program to support psychologists, sociologists, social workers and moderate imams from the Islamic Community of Kosovo to work with inmates jailed on terrorism charges. 

                      Photo Source: IEMed. “Cooperation with Religious Institutions as a European Policy Tool.” May 20, 2019. https://www.iemed.org/publication/cooperation-with-religious-institutions-as-a-european-policy-tool/.

                      Deradicalization Program Through a Gender Lens

                      Morocco practices and preaches the Maliki school of Sunni Islam and works to promote values of moderation and tolerance both at home and abroad through education programs, community building, and religious training. As such, they have taken perhaps the most comprehensive approach of all the Muslim countries, from actively reinforcing and promoting its own traditional Maliki form of Islamic law to producing a government-approved curriculum for Imams to use. It also takes active measures to promote Moroccan values in Moroccan communities living abroad. The king of Morocco plays a personal role in the lives of his subjects as the "Commander of the Faithful'' and hence is able to shape opinions in Morocco in a way that would be difficult or impossible even for other Muslim countries to achieve. However, this program has been effective to a degree as it relies heavily on a multi-stakeholder approach through collaborative actions with the government, religious scholars and broader civil society, including women-led civil society organizations.

                      In utilizing this inclusive multi-stakeholder approach to promoting religious values, Morocco’s deradicalization programs place a special emphasis on engaging and uplifting women as leaders within these efforts. The L’Institut Mohammed VI Pour La Formation Des Imams, Morchidines, et Morchidates turns young women into religious scholars and then sends them out into pockets of the country where radical Islamists are known to recruit disenfranchised youth—to provide spiritual guidance that contradicts the messages they might receive from violent extremists. Making school visits and home visits, each woman—called a morchidat, or spiritual guide—talks to young Muslims and contests interpretations of the Quran that terrorist groups use for recruitment. For women to be employed by the government to do this kind of work within Morocco’s Islamic communities, where spiritual leadership is generally the domain of men, is unusual. Men are also trained at the Rabat school, but it’s the hundreds of female graduates who are having the most impact.

                      Moroccan students studying Islamic theology in Rabat

                      Photo Source: Temple-Raston, D. “The Female Quran Experts Fighting Radical Islam in Morocco.” The Atlantic. February 12, 2018. https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/02/the-female-quran-experts-fighting-radical-islam-in-morocco/551996/

                      Online Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Deradicalization and Disengagement

                      Policymakers are working together with civil society organizations and private entities to support disengagement and reintegration efforts online. Through these partnerships, policymakers are building the capacity of non-governmental responses to disengagement and reintegration by bringing together experts from tech companies, civil society, and communities to discuss emerging trends, build relationships, and encourage information sharing. For example, the Pakistan government issued its first integrated National Internal Security Policy, which acknowledges the P/CVE role, both online and offline, of the civilian government, the military, civil society stakeholders (including religious leaders, educational institutions, and the media). 

                      Governments have sought collaboration with civil society to address online disengagement and deradicalization efforts. Sakinah, which is run by an independent civil society organization with support from the Ministry of Islamic Affairs of Saudi Arabia, supports Islamic scholars to ‘surf’ jihadi social networking sites and contact users they believe have been radicalized. The scholars then ask the site’s users to explain their religious interpretation of the Quran before entering into debates to try to change their beliefs. Translated from Arabic, al Sakina means tranquility. The program exists to disseminate ideas of peace, which are promoted among youth in particular. The project seeks to correct radical ideas and curb terrorist recruitment. The technology sector, in collaboration with civil society, has also been supporting online counter narrative efforts. 

                      In 2016, Jigsaw and Moonshot worked to develop counter messaging to ISIS recruitment and propaganda through the redirect method. The Redirect Method is an open-source methodology that uses targeted advertising to connect people searching online for harmful content with constructive alternative messages. Since its launch the developing organizations have expanded their partnership to include with tech companies, governments and grassroots organizations to strengthen the response of its programming in a contextually relevant manner. 


                      Photo Source: ‘Exploring Online Radicalization and How to Spot Extremist Content and What To Do About It: A British Case Study.’ European Eye on Radicalization. October, 2022. https://eeradicalization.com/exploring-online-radicalization-how-to-spot-extremist-content-and-what-to-do-about-it/.

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Rehabilitation and Reintegration

                      Rehabilitation and reintegration efforts need to be considered long-term (before detention, during detention and after release) and should be embedded in the general P/CVE policy and practice structure. Rehabilitation and reintegration efforts need to be understood as a process of a diverse group of professionals who must work in tandem to support the unique deradicalization process for individuals. The collaborative state of deradicalization and reintegration efforts requires partner organizations to be involved in the process as soon as possible to help form stable relationships. The collaboration between all actors (state and non-state) is crucial in terms of sharing of information, increasing public and political support during the reintegration process, especially valid for returnees and FTFs. To design successful rehabilitation and reintegration programs, a multi-stakeholder process is needed. Rehabilitation and reintegration programs may take place within prisons, outside custodial settings, in communities, or as part of probation services. Programs may offer educational and vocational training, counseling, employment opportunities, and ideological re-education. 

                      Below are a few examples of rehabilitation and reintegration programs that are currently being utilized by multi-stakeholder groups:


                      Kosovo is currently the country with the highest concentration of returnees from Syria and Iraq, including those repatriated in Europe, relative to population size. The deradicalization and reintegration of radicalized persons is one of four strategic objectives of the Strategy on Prevention of Violent Extremism and Radicalization (2015-2020), drafted by the Kosovo government in 2015. Reintegration is broadly described as an inclusive process, implemented in close coordination between relevant line ministries in collaboration with local government authorities, expert practitioners, and representatives of religious communities, with support from international partners and donors. Key implementing institutions for deradicalization and reintegration efforts include the Ministry of Justice; the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare; the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport; and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology. Listed activities include provision of psychological and religious counseling for inmates, social support for families, and development of new employment programs for reentry. The corresponding action plan for the implementation of the strategy, which is revised annually, includes a list of planned activities under deradicalization and reintegration efforts.

                      Photo Source: PAVE Project. “Policy Brief for Kosovo.” December, 2022. https://www.pave-project.eu/publications/PAVE_Policybrief_Kosovo_eng.pdf

                      The Open Fun Football Schools (OFFS) in Kosovo are five-day sports programs organized in regions that have diverse ethnic communities. As sport programs can promote reintegration, rehabilitation, training and education, the program brings together young people of different ethnicities in order to create a ‘community’ from the shared interest of football. The programs also prioritize the inclusion of young girls and minorities, making a contribution to social inclusions of marginalized or minority groups. This program solicits the support of educators and sports coaches to lead the program and has received support from the government and multilateral institutions, including UNICEF.

                      Photo Source: Cross Cultures Project Association. ‘Open Fun Football Schools – uniting people through football.’ 2017. https://ccpa.eu/open-fun-football-schools-uniting-people-through-football/

                      Moussalaha Program, Morocco

                      Inmates convicted on terror charges attend a ceremony that is part of a reconciliation program to rehabilitate and de-radicalize them, in Sale, Morocco, April 28, 2022. Photo Credit: Associated Press. “Moroccan Prison Program Sets Out to Deradicalize IS Veterans. May 1, 2022. https://www.voanews.com/a/moroccan-prison-program-sets-out-to-de-radicalize-is-veterans/6552878.html#:~:text=Moroccan%20Prison%20Program%20Sets%20Out%20to%20De%2DRadicalize%20IS%20Veterans,-May%2001%2C%202022&text=Inmates%20convicted%20on%20terror%20charges,Morocco%2C%20April%2028%2C%202022

                      There are educational and rehabilitation initiatives in prisons which aim to prepare inmates for life post-release by introducing vocational training to support social inclusion or build job related skills. These programs can support disengagement from radical ideology by addressing personal challenges and ideally supporting the inmate’s re-definition of his/her/their identity towards nonviolence.

                      One example of this is the Moussalaha (reconciliation) program in Morocco, a shared initiative between government and faith actors, to work towards the participatory reintegration of individuals imprisoned for extremism-related offenses in prisons. In this program, ‘ordinary’ prisoners are trained to coach their fellow prisoners. The program revolves around the key term ‘reconciliation’, which involves several pillars: firstly, being reconciled with oneself; secondly being reconciled with the text of the Qur’an; and finally being reconciled with all of society. Religious leaders play a key role in offering spiritual guidance in each of the three pillars. Additionally, educators offer classes within the prison on religion, law and economics, and inmates also receive training on how to start a business. Since 2019, the training has also been offered to women convicted under Morocco’s Anti-Terrorism Act.

                      Listen to a former extremist participating in the Moussalaha Program: 


                      Photo Source: African News. “Deradicalization Offers Moroccan Prisoners a Route to Freedom.” October 19, 2021. https://www.africanews.com/2021/10/19/de-radicalization-offers-moroccan-prisoners-route-to-freedom/.

                      Rescue Me

                      In Lebanon, the organization “Rescue Me” works with detainees as well as engages with their families to prepare and smooth their return to civilian life. Rescue Me concludes that fractured family relationships are one of the primary root causes of motivation to join violent extremist groups. In the absence of strong, loving parental figures, and in most cases a male role model, other actors can step in to promulgate a different ideology. Many of the prisoners were neglected and even subject to sexual abuse as children. They feel their mothers didn’t defend them and while they may have been there physically, were not emotionally available. In many cases, they felt Rescue Me’s team were the first women who had ever really listened to them. Rescue Me found art an effective treatment because it addresses anger that functions to translate grievances into motivation to join ISIL.  Among adolescents taking part in Rescue Me’s community-based intervention, there was a statistically significant reduction in felony recidivism, improved social skills, and a reduction in problem behavior. Rescue Me supports crime prevention through social development and reform, as well as improving the quality of life for all by collaborating in a multi-stakeholder approach with civil society and government-run centers, such as prisons, to provide educational workshops and counseling in schools, community centers and prisons. It is open to everyone residing in Lebanon in need of its help.

                    • Multi-Stakeholder Approaches to Community Harmonization and Social Cohesion

                      Hear from Darren Coventry-Howlett from Safe Haven on how to support multi-stakeholder approaches to bolster community resilience to violent extremism and approaches to restorative practices for diverse communities.

                      Source: PAVE Project. ‘Darren Coventry-Howlett: Community Resilience and Restorative Practices.’ 2023. https://youtu.be/Qh57OkF84EE.

                      Whether it is realized or not, nearly everyone in a society can play a preventative role to address violent extremism. People are already positioned in an endless number of roles to respect and support shared norms and values, whether as a policy official, a religious actor, an educator, parent, to name a few. This is what is referred to as a ‘whole-of-society’ approach, meaning not one entity alone can meaningfully prevent or counter violent extremism but rather, all must work together to holistically engage all members of a society. 

                      As such, the PAVE project looked at vulnerability and resilience levels from a community level, rather than at an individual level, to understand the common threads that embed communities in both terms of resilience and radicalization. The PAVE project recognized this scenario in Tunisia, where citizens recognize the need for a center for reintegration of former violent extremists and terrorist offenders, bearing in mind the stigma and social rejection that they face when leaving prison, which increase their already high vulnerability to recidivism.

                      Below are a few examples of rehabilitation and reintegration programs that are currently being utilized by multi-stakeholder groups:

                      Dealing with the Past

                      Photo Source: “Handbook: Dealing with the Past Principles.” (2021). https://hlc-kosovo.org/storage/app/media/DwP%20Principles%202/DwP%20PrinciplesCase%20Study%20-%20Public%20Discourse%20should%20be%20evidence%20based%20-%20ENG.pdf?fbclid=IwAR3wKAzJP2FaMg5IRmM7nOmvM7_3_1FdJeiyScp3E1m53vI3NBFBjXKK_rw

                      In post-conflict societies, it also must be recognized that communities are still working to address past traumas and can create hesitancy when reintegrating former or foreign fighters. For example, the Principles on Dealing with the Past is a civic initiative in Kosovo promoted by a group of practitioners and civil society organizations, supported by the Swiss Embassy in Kosovo and the British Embassy in Pristina through the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Kosovo. The group embarked on a joint initiative to chart and endorse a set of principles that will inform and guide political and public actors on how to engage with victims, survivors, painful pasts and historical narratives.  

                      The field of Dealing with the Past includes the Government and non-government actors with clear mandates and specific roles in actions that address the Dealing with the Past pillars of: Right to Truth, Right to Justice, and Reparations and Guarantee of Non Recurrence in Kosovo and the wider region, as well as actors with broader responsibilities relating to the rights and well-being of war crimes civilian victims, family members of missing persons and war related sexually abused survivors.

                      Interventions in the field of Dealing with the Past can include: finding the missing persons, conducting war crimes trials, establishing Truth and Reconciliation Commissions, or providing remedies for the civilian victims of war, support a society’s efforts to come to terms with large-scale historical abuse and aim to serve justice and promote reconciliation. 

                      Each context is unique in its historical, cultural, religious, lingual and traditional composition, and this combination of elements determines how a society experiences and deals with its past. Dealing with the past is an ongoing and complicated process that cannot be controlled by just one group or sector, rather it must include all groups and consider the various needs within the specific society. 

                      Therefore, the involvement of civil society, governments, academia, the judiciary, and the media are essential. In the Kosovo context, civil society actors have a wealth of knowledge and expertise that Kosovo’s institutions can draw upon when reaching out to victims and survivors to meet their needs, while also carefully promoting reconciliation between divided communities. 

                      Similarly, faith-based organizations and faith leaders can play a reconciliatory role and be a significant source of resilience and healing for both individuals and communities in times of crisis. 

                      Media Initiatives

                      While reintegration mechanisms are most effective when there is a whole of society approach, we must recognize that reintegration of foreign fighters and terrorists can drive public attitudes, stigma and fear. In both domestic and international settings, return of women, girls, boys and men associated with violent extremist groups is frequently paired with heightened levels of fear, anger and mistrust from communities. This can result in complete rejection of former extremists into their community, resulting in a difficult scenario.   

                      As experienced in the Western Balkans and MENA region, an unregulated online media environment allows unverified content to be disseminated, including hate speech only enhances community vulnerability. Therefore, to reduce stigma, community exclusion, and the potential of violent backlash against returning men, women and children, and to enable their reintegration into their communities and the broader society, it is essential to engage national and local media as well as influential community leaders to deliver balanced messaging that enables dialogue and social cohesion as well as increase media literacy for youth and adults alike. 

                      Photo Source: ‘Learn to Discern Trainers Manual.’ IREX. https://www.irex.org/sites/default/files/Learn%20to%20Discern%20Trainers%20Manual%20%E2%80%93%20N.%20Macedonia%20YouThink.pdf

                      The ‘YouThink’ project carried out by IREX in cooperation with the Macedonian Institute for Media, the Institute of Communication Studies and the Youth Educational Forum, aims to equip young Macedonians with the critical thinking and information engagement skills and awareness that they need to build resilience to mis- and disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, extremist narratives and other forms of manipulation. YouThink also works with government partners to integrate media literacy and critical thinking skills into curricula and teacher resources. YouThink will work with primary, secondary, and higher education institutions, including pre- and in-service teacher training institutions. 

                      Headlines about returnees from major news outlets in four different countries. Photo Source:  Clockwise from top left: D’Agata, Charlie. “How ISIS-trained Child Soldiers Are a Ticking Time Bomb.” July 29, 2017. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/isis-trained-child-soldiers-cbsn-on-assignment/.

                      Cowburn, Ashley. “ISIS’s Unborn Army: Thousands of Women Being Used to Breed Next Generation of Terrorist.” March 7, 2016. https://www.independent.co.uk/news/ world/middle-east/over-31000-women-are-currently-pregnant-within-the-so-called-islamic-state-new-report-reveals-a6916756.html. 

                      The Local. “ISIS Terrorists Are In Among Us.” August 28, 2017. https://www. thelocal.de/20170828/isis-terrorists-are-in-among-us-syrian-journalist-warns.

                      Pancevski, Bojan. “Open Door to Migrants Makes Germany Terror Hub of Europe.” November 5, 2017. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/open-door-to-migrants-makesgermany-terror-hub-of-europe-2x02xl72f.

                      Prevention Programs

                      The Dutch Embassy in Kosovo, supported through the Netherlands’ Fund for Regional Partnership – MATRA fund, has implemented a series of projects in Kosovo that aim to bolster community harmonization and resilience. The "Building Resilience: Communities against Violent Extremism" project is currently being implemented with the purpose of strengthening community resilience through inclusivity. This project aims to empower local communities in Kosovo, targeting women and youth to mobilize informal resilience networks against violent extremism. It seeks to provide local communities with a platform to address security-related concerns, along with information on how to facilitate the reintegration process of conflict-zone returnees. As a result of this project, one of the PAVE partners (KCSS) has established the Women’s Security Forum – which is the only platform in Kosovo to provide women from different municipalities with a venue to discuss issues related to security. These forums offer a chance for women to address their concerns related to security, including radicalization and violent extremism, and to discuss ways in which they can mobilize in their communities to address these issues.

                      Photo Source: KCSS. “Launch of the Women Security Forum.” December 11, 2019. https://qkss.org/en/lajmi/lansimi-forumit-te-gruas-per-siguri.

                      Many actors are aware that diaspora experiences and insights can help design adequate return and reintegration policies. Policymakers, therefore, engage with the diaspora and incorporate their input when designing return and reintegration policies. In some cases, the diaspora may also help to build trust and obtain access to migrants, in order to better address their concerns regarding possible voluntary return to their country or origin.  

                    • Challenges to These Multi-Stakeholder Approaches

                      Hear from Nadja Radkovska, Chair of the Council for Penological Cooperation in Bulgaria on challenges in relation to multistakeholder approaches:

                      Source: PAVE Project. ‘Nadja Radkovska: Challenges to Multistakeholder Approaches in Reintegration. 2023. https://youtu.be/V7xZHg6lJ1I.

                      There are a number of challenges that prevent a multi-stakeholder adoption of deradicalization, disengagement and reintegration programming: 
                      • A Lack of Multi-Stakeholder Evidence-Based Research: There is a  lack of multi-stakeholder evidence-based research on disengagement and deradicalization, as it is a relatively new component of counterterrorism studies. Multi-stakeholder research is any research process that involves a diverse group of people, governments, and other entities that have some interest in the process or outcome of the research or program. Although there is an increasing amount of attention by academics and others, the research has been directed to the process of radicalization and ways of preventing it instead of showcasing the added-value of multi-stakeholder partnerships and ways in which they can be fostered and strengthened to support deradicalization, reintegration and community harmonization efforts. Without this evidence-based research, it is likely that programs will forgo such collaboration due to a lack of awareness or evidence detailing successes of the approaches and how to support the approach. Alternatively, multi-stakeholder programs may be designed, but fail to holistically integrate all community stakeholders that could have an added value.  

                      • A Lack of Trust Between Stakeholders: A lack of trust will challenge the ability to forge multi-stakeholder partnerships and/or be able to effectively carry out multi-stakeholder programming. Multi-Stakeholder partnerships will only be successful if it is predicated upon trust. Without previous relationships with various stakeholders, or a solid foundation of trust, programs could face a lack of confidence, inefficient coordination delayed problem solving and decision-making.

                      • A Lack of Multi-Stakeholder Designed Programs: There is a lack of  balanced deradicalization and reintegration programs that takes into account the diversity of stakeholders in a community and their added-value to supporting such efforts. It is widely acknowledged that violent extremism and radicalization that leads to terrorism is a complex problem with transnational dimensions, yet its drivers and solutions are closely tied to the context in which it exists.  Therefore, not including stakeholders who can help address a multitude of vulnerability and driving factors will lead to insufficient programming to strengthen community resilience and further support deradicalization, reintegration and community harmonization. Further, key stakeholders from civil society, government and religious institutions may not be interested to participate in a deradicalization or reintegration program if they lack the capacity, knowledge and resources to meaningfully support. 

                      • A Lack of Agreement on How to Measure Success: Many programs are locally operated, loosely defined and lack sustained resources to conduct systematic evaluation measures. Almost all programs experienced some degree of failure. This is compounded by the fact that the metrics of success for a given disengagement or deradicalization program are difficult to define; success itself is often marred by a lack of agreement on desired outcomes or benchmarks against which impact may be measured. However, with the lack of agreement from different stakeholders on how to measure ‘success,’ programs will be unable to effectively identify areas that need improvement and whether or not the program is meeting its intended  goals and objectives. 

                      • A Lack of Jointly Pulled Resources: Disengagement and deradicalization programs require extensive financial resources and expertise. Limited capacity and funds—or even political will to continue investment in such programs—remain obstacles for program development and implementation in many smaller countries. Indeed, even some programs organized and financed by non-governmental organizations in wealthy, developed countries have had to scale back or shut down due to budgetary concerns. External actors and partners can enable groups to credibly commit to reform, distribute the financial burden, and incentivize human rights protections. However, a large number of external actors or the failure to coordinate may undermine long-term policy coherence and implementation. 

                      • A Lack of Unified Diaspora Support: Many programs lack a holistic understanding of how diaspora communities can support deradicalization and disengagement efforts and ways in which to engage. On the other hand, members of diaspora communities may be hesitant to participate in deradicalization and disengagement programming, especially if it is led by a stakeholder whom they do not trust, such as a government entity.  Furthermore, members of diaspora communities may lack the resources and capacity to engage or even be uninterested in efforts and seek to disengage from all related programming. 

                      • Difficulties in Implementing Effective Online Deradicalization Strategies: With the increased engagement of internet platforms for radicalization and recruitment, programs must consider how to effectively integrate online mechanisms for diversion and disengagement. With extremists being skilled in utilizing online platforms, it will be difficult for one entity alone to counter their efforts. Not only does counter messaging need to be effective, there needs to be a holistic understanding of ways in which the extremist is utilizing platforms to effectively disseminate counter messages and reach its intended audience. 

                    • Opportunities for Strengthening Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

                      • Multi-Stakeholder Evidence-Based Research: Stakeholders as participants in the development of research can co-produce knowledge that facilitates common understandings and engagement, and can provide local or specialized knowledge accessible only through some stakeholders, such as diaspora or minority communities. Supporting this level of engagement will strengthen the correlation between multi-stakeholder collaboration and successful deradicalization and reintegration programs. Understanding stakeholder beliefs, interests, and interactions will help to better understand the dynamics of their relationships and determine degrees of mutual trust and understanding between various stakeholder groups.  These aspects will help to strengthen the design and implementation of multi-stakeholder programming for deradicalization and disengagement. 

                      • Trust Between Stakeholders: Stakeholders need to recognize the added-value each can have in supporting multi-stakeholder deradicalization and disengagement programming. However, understanding this asset must be predicated upon trust. In situations where there are opposing sides and sensitive political dynamics - or even common misunderstanding, it can be helpful to first facilitate a low-key, bilateral dialogue, and then open up the process to a multi-stakeholder arena once a degree of trust has been built and there is a common agenda. 

                      • Agreement on How to Measure Success: Monitoring and evaluating success not only looks at the project's goals and outcomes, but also analyzes the collaborative efforts of the partnering stakeholders. During the program design phase, it is imperative for partners to agree upon key goals and outcomes, and evaluate based on the agreed upon areas of measurement. Program success also reflects on the well-being of the implementing staff.  Provide psycho-social support for actors within the multi-stakeholder partnership to mitigate burn-out. All involved parties must recognize that deradicalization and reintegration is a long-term process.

                      • Multi-Stakeholder Designed Programs: Multi-stakeholder practices, when combined with community-led efforts to prevent violent extremism, have the advantage of including expert knowledge and skills from psycho-social support specialists, faith leaders, educators, vocational trainers, to name a few, in holistic efforts to reduce violence in communities and support reintegration efforts. To increase willingness of other stakeholders to partner in the programming, provide capacity-building support to faith-based institutions and local community organizations to ensure capacity building in supporting these efforts as well as to advance the understanding and awareness of principles and approaches promoted by the central and local government through national strategies and local action plans. This will support in the reduction of systemic deficiency during coordination with their institutions, and can be used to identify the leading institution tasked in addressing cross cutting issues of P/CVE, disengagement and reintegration. As in the case of North Macedonia, representatives of municipalities and local institutions requested specialized training be provided by the central-level authorities and the National Committee for Countering Violent Extremism and Counter-terrorism (NCCVECT).

                      • Resourcing Multi-Stakeholder Programming: The stakeholders’ participation may be limited by their own barriers: some local actors may show resistance to join a multi-stakeholder program because of barriers linked to their own context. These can be time limitations, financial resources, geographical restrictions, technology access. If their engagement has been made simple and their barriers have been understood and addressed, stakeholders will be more willing to participate. For example, if monetary support is a barrier, stakeholders could support in-kind, through providing time, meeting/event space or connecting with related networks. 

                      • Engaging Diaspora Communities: Make sure to adopt the right strategy to encourage diaspora communities to join your program, considering the reasons of their unwillingness, hesitancy or inability to participate. Diaspora members who wish to engage in these efforts will greatly benefit from training programs and opportunities to support in the design and implementation of deradicalization and reintegration programs. 

                      • Implementing Multi-Stakeholder Online Deradicalization Strategies: Multi-Stakeholder approaches are needed to play a proactive role in reducing the demand for radicalization and violent extremist messages. Governments should be working with civil society to promote awareness and education of media literacy and creating counter narratives. Forming relationships with technology organizations and entities can serve as an asset to methodologically address the presence of violent extremists and their propaganda on the Internet and exploit their online communications to gain intelligence and gather evidence in the most comprehensive and systematic fashion possible.

                      • Additional Resources

                        • Session 4: How to Apply and/or Strengthen Multi-Stakeholder Approaches at the Local Level

                          Amount of Time Anticipated for Section 4: 2 hours  

                          Objective: Participants will learn the stages of creating multi-stakeholder programs to support deradicalization, reintegration and foster social cohesion and community harmonization. 

                          Expected Results: In building upon the previous sessions, participants will be able to identify how to create, apply and strengthen multi-stakeholder approaches for deradicalization, reintegration and community harmonization. 

                          Agenda for Session 4:

                          • Contextual Environment for Deradicalization and Reintegration Efforts in the Western Balkans and MENA Regions

                          • Building Trust and Starting Collaboration Locally

                          • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement, and Reintegration: Step 1 Situational Analysis

                          • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement, and Reintegration: Step 2 Planning and Designing the Multi-Stakeholder Response

                          • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement, and Reintegration: Step 3 Implementation and Monitoring

                          • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement, and Reintegration: Step 4 Evaluation

                          • Connecting Your Local Level Multi-Stakeholder Response to the National and Global Levels

                          • Fictional Case Study: Putting Learning into Practice

                          • Contextual Environment for Deradicalization and Reintegration Efforts in the Western Balkans and MENA Regions

                            Western Balkans

                            Statements by political and religious leaders contribute to the erosion of citizens’ trust in institutions, which ultimately leads to the belief that the state acts in a selective manner and does not offer equal treatment to everyone (institutional anomie). For example, ethnic Macedonians tend to believe that the system favors ethnic Albanians and vice versa. The feeling that there are “double standards'', discrimination and disrespect for the rule of law largely contributes to the radicalization of the ethnic Macedonian community. The erosion of trust will make it more difficult to form multi-stakeholder partnerships between government, religious institutions, and civil society. This can be especially true for diaspora and ethnic minority communities who have come to hold little to no trust in such institutions based on the issues noted.

                            Therefore, before stakeholders can effectively work together, there needs to be intentional efforts to foster trust between the stakeholders – this includes efforts between governments, religious institutions and civil society. The influence of social networks and strengthened trust at the community level is a significant factor to support resilience. Moreover, social networks have the potential to play a critical role in deradicalization, reintegration and community harmonization.

                            From a community level, Multikultura, the Community Development Institute (CDI) and the Center for Balkan Cooperation LOJA, all Tetovo-based NGOs, are working on youth activism and inter-ethnic relations, promoting tolerance and cooperation as two key pre-conditions for building any kind of community resilience and community cohesion. LOJA organizes activities to equip future teachers with the skills needed to implement intercultural activities in schools. The Educate2Prevent program carried out by the Nexus Civil Concept also seeks to strengthen the capacities of teaching staff, parents and representatives of the municipal administration to recognize the early signs of radicalization. 

                            The role of education is viewed as a strong community resilience factor and is recognized by all stakeholders. For example, Albania’s education policies are currently seeking to collaborate with educators to work towards closing all existing gaps and deficiencies, including more initiatives for integrated education. One outstanding example, are the Kumanovo municipality’s plans to create a new generation of young Albanians and Macedonians educated at the same kindergartens in the hope that this step will open the way for joint schools, ultimately supporting trust and community cohesion.  

                            Once there is a foundation of trust, multi-stakeholder approaches to deradicalization and reintegration can become more efficient and successful. The Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Serbia (Administration for Cooperation with Churches and Religious Communities) has prepared deradicalization programs in cooperation with the representatives of religious communities in Serbia. These programs are implemented at the local, national and regional levels. Salafis in Serbia have been deradicalized and moderated through their integration into community networks.

                            Despite efforts to support multi-stakeholder collaboration, the Western Balkans still has room for improvement to strengthen trust between stakeholders and the capacity of stakeholders to meaningfully engage in such programs. Governments must continue to implement outreach campaigns to diaspora and ethnic communities as well as improve platforms and mechanisms to work with civil society.  Similarly, all entities need to ensure P/CVE actions are integrated within community and relationship-building. Community-building programs can strengthen community resilience, capacity and leadership. The creation of deradicalization and reintegration training for social service providers, school counselors, teachers and psychologists, law enforcement agencies and clergy on how to support such efforts could contribute to the effectiveness of these programs. Religious institutions also need to be proactive in enhancing their cooperation with the government and civil society, and strive to prevent or address the misinterpretation of religion as it relates to extremism. 


                            As is similar to the Western Balkans, PAVE project research found that many community members in the MENA region have unequal opportunities in terms of schooling, access to wealth, social services, and healthcare; thus, resulting in the lack of confidence in political leaders and the resulting tendency for civil society to refrain from political participation. In the eyes of PAVE interviewees, this position is justified by the spread of nepotism and favoritism - sometimes synonymous with ‘racism’ – as well as by corruption, the presence of a biased judiciary, etc. In turn, this has transformed to violence.

                            Not only is there a lack of trust between civil society and the government, but there is also lack of coordination between ministries within government. The lack of coordination between government entities makes it difficult to identify clear roles and responsibilities, sometimes with overlapping efforts by various agencies. One recommendation to mitigate this issue as it relates to supporting religious actors is to only have institutes affiliated with the Ministry of Religious Affairs be the only party empowered to train imams and to formulate the official faith-related discourse.

                            Despite the lack of trust between the government and civil society, governments have recognized the need to collaborate with civil society to support deradicalization efforts. For example, government ministries in Tunisia have joined forces with various university research centers and structures to counter the unprecedented scourge of violence. The aim is not only to understand the motives behind the radicalization of young people and the reasons for their vulnerability to extremist speeches and calls for violence, but also to bring together the synergies of all stakeholders responsible for the education and socialization of children and youth. In Lebanon, the reputation of religious figures and mukhtars (local mayors) in Majdal Anjar has enabled communication, and later dialogue, between the radicalized youth and the central government.

                            However, these examples of collaboration to support youth are not implemented across the region. There is still an absence of public initiatives to provide young people with spaces for cultural exchange and artistic expression that can promote resilience in the field sites, it is up to individuals and civil society who are aware of this void to take on this task. These work hard to raise awareness on radicalization to guide the youth in the surveyed areas, either through sports or cultural activities, or through the medical, legal and financial aid they provide.

                            For example, the association Joussour Al-Mouâtana (Bridges for Citizenship), though lacking financial resources, frequently offers young people in poor neighborhoods in El Kef meetings for debates and round tables that aim primarily to raise awareness of the harmful effects of radicalization. The main goal of these meetings is to make young people realize what they could lose because of radicalization. In other words, the meetings help them grasp the seriousness of the impasse they would face at the end of such a path and, in particular, the consequences and harm it could have for their future.

                            The Children’s Rights Code is one of the advances at the level of human rights and acknowledgement of the impact of children from violent extremism in Tunisia. Thanks to this Code, the Delegate for Children under the Ministry of Women, Family and Seniors has gained considerable power to intervene at any time when these rights are violated. Its work is done through a multi-stakeholder approach in collaborating with the media, the Ministry of Justice and broader civil society.

                            From a gender lens, female vulnerability has common characteristics emanating from a conservative and traditional mentality. This includes women being generally absent (or made absent) from prevention and mitigation efforts and activities related to violent extremism.  It is worth noting that some interviewees of the PAVE research did not acknowledge or even recognize the gender dimension when it comes to violent extremism and de-radicalization. To that end, it is critical to further this research to better understand, not only the role of women in violent extremism and deradicalization, but the overall impact of perceived masculinities and femininities.

                            • Building Trust and Starting Collaboration Locally

                              Watch this video to understand how to build trust: The key to prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration: .

                              Source: Hedayah. “How to build trust: The key to prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration.” 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZ0qYMjv-ro. 

                              At the heart of deradicalization, disengagement, reintegration and community harmonization is collaboration through a ‘whole of society’ approach. Collaboration will take many different forms depending on the context, needs, and requirements of individual countries. For example, certain collaboration mechanisms may already be addressed through existing cooperation between government agencies alone. In other countries, greater cooperation could be required where there are resource gaps, a common problem faced by many government and justice systems that tend to be underfunded and understated. Yet, some countries may lack a vibrant civil society sector with which to cooperate. 

                              However, a trust deficit between actors may require engaging and building collaboration with confidence-building measures prior to effective reintegration. The role and importance of trust in all your engagement efforts cannot be under-estimated or under-valued. Without a purposeful and consistent effort to foster trust and build strong relationships at every step of the way, even the best-designed and thoughtful engagement processes will almost certainly either fail or fall far short of the success you seek to achieve.

                              • Effective communication. This includes before, throughout, and following your formal engagement efforts. If pursued effectively, the more citizens and communities understand the process, your goals and intended outcomes, the information they need to make an informed decision, the perspectives of each other, and their role(s) and stake in the process and issue, the more trust your engagement efforts will engender and be able to build from in the long-run.

                              • Respect. While this sounds obvious, it is absolutely essential that the tone, content, and facilitation of your engagement efforts genuinely respects the input of all participants or members - even if it's sometimes difficult.

                              • Transparency of processes. Your entire engagement efforts should be clear and well-understood by all stakeholders, devoid of 'hidden' or alternative agendas (personal, political, or informational), and honest about the role and influence citizens will have in either the decision-making or implementation of solutions. Many community engagement efforts have failed in this regard.

                              • Sharing information widely. Effective engagement and trust requires that everyone involved is working from a common understanding of the issue and each other's perspectives as possible. If participants or residents feel that information is only shared with some members or does not do justice to all perspectives on an issue, you are very unlikely to be able to create the trust you need for effective or sustainable engagement.

                              • Engaging stakeholders in meaningful ways. Although closely related to respect, stakeholders will show greater trust in the engagement efforts that account for their perspectives, view their contributions, and employ their skills in a manner that they feel is consistent with their perspectives of these attributes.

                              Once trust is fostered, it is critical to build on existing resources, map networks, actors and identify skills. Collaboration is essentially about sharing knowledge and information and coordinating responses together. This requires resources such as a mechanism for collaboration and coordination on a local level. 

                              For example, the ‘When a Family Member Becomes Radicalized’ study discusses the importance of identifying the roles of communities and families to understand factors that are protective against radicalization or consider the best ways to support separation from extremist movements and thinking. The project study supports the building of a factual basis to support the follow-up work of the authorities, organizations and communities and offers experiences and best practices to strengthen these measures. The study highlights some points of view on how in the area of prevention and support measures we should consider the wider communal and social context.

                              Photo Source: Juntunen, M.  “When a Family Member Becomes Radicalized.” Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers. 2021. https://www.peacemakersnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/When-A-Family-Member-Becomes-Radicalised.pdf.  

                            • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement and Reintegration: Step 1 Situational Analysis

                              Understanding Needs and Challenges in the Community

                              Before undertaking community-level reintegration assistance, it is necessary to undertake a comprehensive community assessment, also called a community profile. A community profile identifies the needs and resources of a community and the impact of returnees may have on these. It pinpoints the drivers of extremism, barriers to sustainable reintegration and sources of community resilience. The community assessment can then be used as a guide to understand where that assistance would be most effective and the different project approaches that can be taken. These assessments and program development processes should be participatory and include both returnees and members from the community.

                              Watch this video on how to conduct a community needs assessment:

                              Source: Waters, A. “How to Create a Community Needs Assessment.” Galaxy Digital. January 12, 2023. https://www.galaxydigital.com/blog/community-needs-assessment.  

                              Stakeholder mapping 

                              The involvement of national and local authorities and other private and non-public stakeholders is instrumental to the success of reintegration programs. In order to engage with actors who are or should be relevant to the reintegration of returnees, it is essential to conduct a mapping of actors. Stakeholder mapping provides a comprehensive assessment of the capacity, needs, willingness and potential for partnerships of different stakeholders at the national and local level. A comprehensive stakeholder mapping is required for establishing the scope of a reintegration program. 

                              When planning a program, it is crucial to know what services are available to the local population in the country of origin that returnees can access during their deradicalization and reintegration process. Service mapping is the identification and recording of providers and services in a systematic way. It details what local services are available to local populations and returnees, the criteria for accessing those services, who offers those services, the quality of the services and any risks associated with accessing the services. 

                              • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement and Reintegration: Step 2 Planning and Designing the Multi-Stakeholder Response

                                Watch this video to understand how to get started in planning and designing multi-stakeholder partnerships:

                                Source: Wageningen Centre for Development Innovation. “Creating Multi-Stakeholder Partnerships.” 2020. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S3VZM4RA0FM&t=5s

                                Following the stakeholder mapping carried out during the design stage and based on the reintegration program’s strategic objectives and the selection of relevant stakeholders, the lead reintegration organization needs to define an engagement and communications strategy for the various groups of mapped stakeholders. Engagement strategies are descriptions of how a given stakeholder is approached and how relationships are managed over time. The strategy needs to be tailored to stakeholders’ specific profiles as well as to their expected role in the program. In particular, engaging with local authorities at an early stage is crucial, considering their in-depth knowledge of local services and their direct link to returnees and their communities.

                                In the implementation phase, the components all come together. The needs and resources assessment process drives the planning process, which consists of the development of goals and objectives and the mobilization of resources, and in turn determines the focus and structure of program design.

                                In addition, a program framework must be developed. The program framework agreement specifies the implementation process and operations that should be carried out for a successful reintegration program. It generally specifies the roles, mandates and responsibilities of the lead reintegration organization and implementing partners; sets the available financial resources; and directs reporting and coordination processes. Because it defines the organization’s role, responsibilities and external resources (including those of implementing partners), the program framework has a decisive impact on the staff make-up required for the program.

                                Engaging Stakeholders & Coordination Mechanisms

                                An effective mechanism is required to coordinate activities of government actors and service providers, such as public and private employment services, technical and vocational education and training institutes, business development support centers, education institutions, health-care providers, civil society organizations. Strong coordination supports efficient and sustainable reintegration programming. Depending on the context and the scope of the reintegration program, coordination mechanisms can be international, national or local.

                                Working with a broadly representative group of stakeholders on implementation is a sound strategy. They can bring important resources to the project that include tangibles such as space, staff, knowledge, and funds and also essential intangibles such as influence, good will, and community connections.

                                Ensure Capacity Building for Involved Stakeholders 

                                Capacity-building for reintegration programs involves strengthening the skills, structures, processes or resources of key stakeholders so they can facilitate the sustainable reintegration of returnees. Capacity-building can be targeted at any stakeholder (international, national or local) that plays a role supporting reintegration. 

                                Elements of Effective Programming

                                Though different types of programs—be they individual or collective, state or non-governmental run—are suited to different cases, it is worth noting that many programs aimed at rehabilitating terrorists and other violent extremists share several common elements:

                                • Motivation: Reasons for disengaging from terrorism and violent extremism can be common even across geographically disparate groups and can include economic and social motivators. 

                                • Family Involvement in Disengagement and Deradicalization Processes: Partners, spouses, and family obligations can sometimes be the driving force behind disengagement from violent activism.

                                • Financial Incentives and Support: Programs in which support members’ families either through stipends, education assistance, or employment, were able to help ensure participants had an income source other than that from their illicit connections. Something as simple as paying members and their families proved highly effective in facilitating social reintegration and preventing recidivism into old patterns of behavior.

                                The following principles must, at the very minimum, be considered when organizing long-term support for returnees:  

                                • Work with a multi-professional team. Do not get stuck thinking about difficult issues on your own. 

                                • Returnees must themselves accept the goals for change for the collaboration and changes to be successful. Therefore, you must aim to achieve mutual trust. Peer support can help in the process.  

                                • Identify the ideological background of each returnee and keep it in mind throughout the process: your work must be informed by their identity and ideology as you actively seek to foster new social relationships and to employ positive role models.  

                                • Acquire sufficient information on the returnee and on the current circumstances, based on factual evidence. Returnees themselves are the best source of information. Creating a safe environment makes it easier to talk about difficult things.  

                                • Be gender-sensitive and consider the influence of religion and other cultural factors in the everyday life of the child and the parents.  Use a trauma-informed approach.  

                                • Engage the family, friends and other social networks of the returning child and parent throughout the process.

                                • If children are included, make sure to involve the child and the parents actively in the decision-making concerning them and, in the design, and delivery of actions. Having actual potential to influence their own lives will increase their trust in the authorities and in other actors and will empower the child, the parents, and the community to which they belong.  Take a child-oriented approach when planning your work. It is in the interests of the child to highlight the individual needs of the child.  

                                Remember - every case is different and must be addressed as such!

                                Creating Information Sharing Protocol

                                Reintegration efforts require intense collaboration and a willingness to share information among stakeholders involved. To facilitate and coordinate this process, it will be useful to formalize stakeholder responsibilities and identify which actors assume primary responsibility and coordination for the intervention. Partners throughout the process should be able to count on a shared and effective information management system that offers due protection of confidential information and protects individuals against the possible misuse of such information. This also helps to clarify the roles of each actor. 

                                Clarifying the roles and responsibilities of the various actors is very important in well-coordinated systemic networking When everyone is on the same page, incorrect assumptions and expectations concerning the work of other actors in the network can be minimized. In systemic network working, all actors (children, families, partners) are informed of the principles and practices guiding the work. 

                                Reintegration programs may encounter information-related challenges for both the returnees and those actors supporting reintegration efforts. Information sharing is essential to improve decisions, accountability and efficiency of services. From a returnee perspective, this could include misconceptions for what returnees expect life to be like after return and the situation they encounter on arrival.

                                Designing an Information Sharing Protocol 

                                1. Define the reason why information needs to be shared.

                                2. Define which type of information needs to be shared.

                                3. Describe per partner their tasks and their responsibilities, the type of information they have and can share as well as the type of information they need from whom.

                                4. Describe when and how relevant information will be shared and who will coordinate the sharing. 

                                5. Sign the protocol, along with all partners.

                                6. Use it, evaluate it every three months, adjust the process and if needed the protocol, and keep using it.

                                Remember! To be able to cooperate and share information, you need a functioning relationship predicated on trust.

                                • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement and Reintegration: Step 3 Implementation and Monitoring

                                  Monitoring is the systematic process of collecting, analyzing, and applying information as a prevention program proceeds. We often think of monitoring as a mechanism to ensure that a program has achieved what it set out to do. However, program monitoring should also focus on learning, including how to improve processes and activities as they are being implemented and catching early problems or gaps. It is important to create learning and feedback loops within a monitoring system to ensure that monitoring data informs program adjustments if needed.

                                  Programs should identify corresponding risks (including unequal gender norms), consider how these risks might interact with the program, develop mitigation strategies, and monitor for unintended consequences.  

                                  Unintended Consequences 

                                  Most program evaluations and monitoring systems focus only on the intended outcomes of programs, as specified in the logical framework, theory of change. It is critical to document, respond to, and learn from these unintended impacts to ensure that programs do no harm. Ideally, deradicalization and reintegration programs should be designed for adaptation from the start. Implementing organizations should expect to revise interventions in response to changing circumstances on the ground. 

                                  The need for adequate training and mentoring of multi-stakeholder partners, staff and community volunteers is sometimes overlooked. People cannot be expected to foster change in others unless they have been through a thorough process of training and transformation themselves. Ongoing training and mentoring are required for multi-stakeholder partners to monitor their progress, identify and address challenges, and detect unintended consequences. Dealing with deradicalization and reintegration is a very sensitive topic - your multi-stakeholder partners need to ensure they are able to approach the work without doing further harm. 

                                  Ensuring Personal Safety

                                  Actors working in the field of P/CVE efforts face numerous challenges including threats to personal safety. By engaging with individuals who are on the path to terrorist radicalization, and may have already committed terrorism-related criminal offenses, or looking to deradicalize or disengage, all stakeholders and community leaders may expose themselves to great personal risks. It is important to recognize that the space where they engage is rarely neutral and often polarized and volatile. Violent extremist networks responsible for recruitment and mobilization into terrorist organizations often operate in particularly vulnerable communities or prisons. Whether by challenging their narratives or attempting to draw individuals away from their gravitational pull, civil society activists and community leaders directly antagonize and undermine particularly dangerous organizations that embrace violence as an acceptable tool even in the civilian context. 

                                  Calculating the appropriateness, timing, level, and extent of multi-stakeholder engagement in P/CVE interventions and taking active measures to mitigate safety risks in coordination with law enforcement entities is critical. In particular cases, it may even be best not to label P/CVE efforts as such, since this can be not only counterproductive, but also unsafe.

                                  • Developing a Multi-Stakeholder Approach and Plan on Deradicalization, Disengagement and Reintegration: Step 4 Evaluation

                                    Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) is used to assess how a reintegration program is performing, and whether it is meeting its intended objectives. Monitoring is concerned with the short and medium term and can feed into program changes. Evaluation takes this a step further and looks at the ultimate impact of a program on the changes it seeks to make.

                                    Questions to Consider when Designing an M&E Framework

                                    • To understand and monitor the intended results of reintegration programs, it is important to ask: What does success in the context of this reintegration program look like? 

                                    • What are the results the implementing team should aim for in order to achieve such success? 

                                    • How will the program be monitored and evaluated to better understand what results the team has achieved? 

                                    • How can this improve ongoing as well as future performance? 

                                    • What is the best approach to monitor and evaluate a program’s performance? 

                                    • What indicators will be used to measure progress towards achieving predetermined results?

                                    • How will risks be accounted for? 

                                    • How will the team’s performance and the overall program be evaluated? 

                                    • How will the lessons learned be generated and used in the future?

                                    Watch this video on fundamental tools that comprise an M&E framework and how to create a results framework:

                                    Source: Datallab.Africa. “How to Design a Results Framework.” April 30, 2022. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASMrZ-pfV0o. 

                                    Types of Monitoring:

                                    • Program Monitoring: tracks progress and performance throughout the entire reintegration program (covering project activities, results, budget and expenditure, and risk).

                                    • Beneficiary Monitoring: tracks individuals’, communities’, governments’ and other relevant stakeholders’ perceptions of an ongoing or completed intervention. Beneficiary monitoring is a way to include beneficiaries in monitoring. It assesses beneficiary satisfaction or dissatisfaction, the level of participation and inclusion, access to resources, how they were treated and their overall experience of change. This type of monitoring is recommended (and particularly useful) for generating qualitative data (narratives of reintegration) from beneficiaries or even any stakeholder. This gives realistic feedback for reintegration interventions and can be used as a tool for program visibility. 

                                    • Reintegration Governance Assessment: assesses at national and regional levels the reintegration ecosystem. This includes the level of engagement of various stakeholders (including deradicalized individuals, diaspora groups, local authorities and relevant organizations), potential livelihoods’ possibilities and mechanisms for durable solutions. At this level, collaboration of multiple stakeholders is required to assess whether implemented reintegration interventions have made any impact. This should happen over a longer term, at least 16–18 months after the reintegration intervention begins. As with all programming, it is important to set up clear financial monitoring procedures, as well as risk monitoring. 

                                    • Connecting Your Local Level Multi-Stakeholder Response to the National and Global Levels

                                      Successful deradicalization and reintegration programming requires international frameworks that promote effective cooperation between the various reintegration stakeholders. These stakeholders are first and foremost the governments of the host and origin countries, at their national and local levels, but also include international organizations, civil society organizations, private actors and diaspora associations in host, origin and third countries. Developing the proper agreements and cooperation frameworks is important for establishing and maintaining international systems to support sustainable deradicalization and reintegration. 

                                      While the operational implementation of deradicalization and reintegration programs can be led by an external organization, it can also be directly implemented by a government agency of either the host or origin country. Although host country governments only rarely implement reintegration programs themselves, they generally have an important role in the program in the form of providing funding, and sharing information and statistics on migration dynamics. As civil society and religious actors will have a holistic understanding of community needs, they can play a critical role in shaping public policy, supporting government accountability, and defending human rights throughout the disengagement and reintegration process.  

                                      Although physically separated from their home countries, diaspora members often retain their links with and concern for their countries of origin. They may be strongly engaged in supporting families and communities at home before, during and after conflicts and have a strong understanding of vulnerability and resilience factors in both contexts. The value-added from the leveraging of such ties in support of deradicalization and reintegration processes has become recognized by the international community, governments and civil society alike. Their knowledge of the language, culture and other particularities of the area can be of invaluable assistance and support in the context of deradicalization and disengagement efforts and in connecting with the individual/family in support. 

                                      In general, the wider and richer the international network of cooperation, the more effective, efficient and sustainable the implementation of the reintegration program becomes, as resources and information are pooled together and different actors in the network bring their specific expertise and capacity. However, it is important to note that a higher complexity of networks of cooperation also requires proportionately greater resources to facilitate effective coordination among all actors. It is essential to check that an evolving web of deradicalization and reintegration related partnerships at different levels (international, national, subnational and local) does not overstretch the capacities of the cooperation. 

                                      • Fictional Case Study: Putting Learning into Practice

                                        Ten years ago, a married man and woman traveled from Bosnia and Herzegovina to Iraq to join ISIS for guaranteed employment.  While they lived in Iraq, they had two children.  After 10 years, they decided they wanted to leave ISIS and return to Bosnia and Herzegovina for their children to go to school and for the parents to obtain employment. They were nervous about returning home as they had limited contact with their families while they were gone.

                                        It is time to reflect on what support they will need when they return and what stakeholders could play a key role in reintegration efforts. 

                                        Grab a pencil and a piece of paper and let's get started!

                                        1. What support will the father need for successful reintegration? 
                                        2. What support will the mother need for successful reintegration? 
                                        3. What support will the children need for successful reintegration? 
                                        4. Are there any additional resources needed to support reintegration efforts?
                                        5. List out all community stakeholders who can support reintegration efforts for each family member.
                                        6. Based on the roles of each stakeholder, what are the opportunities for collaboration? 
                                        7. A local newspaper published an article that contains negative sentiments towards the returnees. It has a quote from a local government official expressing his anger at the reintegration efforts. It created a sense of hesitancy amongst many community members. What stakeholder would you turn to to help quell the hesitancy?  What would you ask them to do? 

                                        • Additional Resources

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