In March 2021, the IIJ, together with the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Mission to Skopje, convened an online workshop for 30 national and municipal government and civil society representatives from North Macedonia. Just like the event organised in January 2021, the workshop focussed on the design and operationalisation of multi-disciplinary intervention programmes for preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) that take into account the relevant local context and needs, including through the use of referral mechanisms.
Multi-sector and multi-level collaboration within countries has increasingly been recognised by policymakers and practitioners as an important tool to identify, intervene, redirect and support individuals who are assessed to be ‘vulnerable to’, ‘at risk of’ or already on the path to radicalisation to violent extremism and/or have expressed interest in engaging in terrorist activity, but have not committed crimes.
Acknowledging the effectiveness of these collaborative platforms, the IIJ, with support from the European Union, has been working on a project for the design of a first-of-its-kind training curriculum to support the development and implementation of multi-actor intervention programmes for P/CVE around the world. The goals of the workshop were therefore twofold:
- firstly, drawing on the number of nascent efforts underway at both national and municipal levels in North Macedonia to operationalise multi-actor approaches to P/CVE, to provide participating practitioners with additional skills on how to design and implement P/CVE interventions underpinned by key principles such as being part of a wider, comprehensive, 'whole of society', rule of law-based approach to violent extremism; and
- secondly, to adjust and perfect the curriculum based on the feedback provided by participants as a means of ensuring it can better achieve the former during future course iterations.
The first two days of the workshop revolved around collaboration and partnership-building, the need to ensure that the diversity of actors involved in multi-actor intervention programmes share a common understanding of the relevant terminology and concepts, identifying the common features of these programmes while recognising there can be no 'one-size-fits-all' and assessing available capacities and resources.
During the final two days, practitioners learned how to develop a system for receiving information on individuals who might benefit from the programme; how to assess vulnerabilities, needs, and strengths; how to design and implement tailor-made interventions; and important considerations for monitoring and evaluating both the wider programme and the individual interventions it delivers or facilitates.
The workshop blended the presentation of knowledge and tools with the opportunity to practice integrating these into scenarios and working on case studies. It concluded with a capstone exercise during which practitioners had the opportunity to apply and share back what they learned as they developed a model multi-actor programme suited to the local context.
With the feedback gathered, the IIJ is now refining the training curriculum, which will be published and disseminated among relevant stakeholders in the next months.
For more information on this workshop or the IIJ Multi-Actor P/CVE Interventions Workstream, please contact Programme Manager Adrián Carbajo.