Our work

What we do

Strengthening whole-of-society partnerships

Building processes where different actors can pool their unique assets is key to make the prevention and countering of violent extremism work. With over 20 years of experience, we support international, national and local stakeholders in developing effective multi-stakeholder collaboration – bringing together state and non-state actors. For cooperation to be effective, the actors involved require specific skills, knowledge and capacities. Including women-led practitioner organisations and building on a comprehensive understanding of the gendered dynamics of violent extremism is key to advance whole-of-society engagement. We provide tailored advice, process support and trainings for first-line practitioners from civil society, law enforcement, prison and probation authorities, municipal institutions, health and social service providers to build partnerships that respond to needs on the ground:

  • Designing and supporting local programmes to prevent violent right-wing, Islamist extremism and misogynist extremism as well as emerging forms of ideologically-motivated violence
  • Supporting sustainable approaches for disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration work, including Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their families
  • Building social diagnostic toolkits for multi-stakeholder assessment of needs, risks, biographies and social situations of individuals

Bridging capacity gaps

Effective prevention and intervention work requires a wide range of actors to join their skills, capacities and resources. Violence Prevention Network developed a toolbox for prevention and intervention that has been externally evaluated and proven effective. With this experience, we support local practitioners worldwide to develop their capacities for locally owned responses to violent extremism. In partnerships, projects and networks across Europe, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and in North Africa, we provide tailored support in:

  • Reintegration and rehabilitation programmes with violent extremist offenders, including Foreign Terrorist Fighters and their family members
  • Targeted trainings and support for civil society organisations and practitioners working in P/CVE to engage effectively in P/CVE programmes
  • Prevention, intervention, and deradicalisation work within and outside of prison
  • Trainings on gender-sensitive programme design, anti-violence work and Education of Responsibility®
  • Online interventions and prevention campaigns

Providing policy advice informed by practice

Strategies, policies and programmes to prevent and tackle violent extremism are effective when they are informed by realities on the ground. Likewise, policy frameworks are key to provide space for developing and designing effective practices. Combining practitioner and research expertise, our team delivers tailored advice to policy makers like the European Commission, the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe as well as with global think tanks, such as Hedayah and the Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism. With this work, we contribute to make P/CVE efforts more targeted to the needs of beneficiaries and to overcome implementation gaps. Our guidebooks, blue prints, training modules, and research and policy documents are designed to boost:

  • Whole-of-society partnerships and local engagement
  • Effective multi-stakeholder work, needs-assessment and case management
  • Comprehensive analysis on how to identify and address dynamics of misogyny and gender-based violence of violent extremist groups
  • Evaluation designs for process, progress and impact measurement

Gender, misogyny & extremism

Violent extremism builds on deeply rooted notions of inequality and group-based enmity. Misogynist treatment, gender-based violence and sexist attitudes are an integral part of extremist ideologies and mindsets. Identifying, understanding and addressing the gendered dynamics in recruitment, mobilisation and identity building by violent extremist groups is a key focus of our work. In this regard, we work towards more gender-responsive programming of practical casework and policies to boost the positive impact of approaches towards prevention, disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration.

Our topics

Violence Prevention Network promotes transformative action in preventing and countering violent extremism. Learn more about what we do in our projects and how we support our partners across a range of topical areas.

Civil society engagement

Civil society needs to play a key role to bring about positive impact in preventing and tackling violent extremism. The voices and expertise of social workers, mental health professionals, teachers, community and family support workers and many others is needed to make programmes for prevention, disengagement rehabilitation and reintegration succeed. Yet, access of civil society practitioners to government-owned processes is often limited, which risks undermining the effectiveness and sustainability of these programmes. Building on our experience of working with government actors, we empower civil society practitioners to play an active role in programmes to prevent and counter violent extremism through:

  • Providing process advice and bridging capacity gaps of civil society practitioners in cooperating with state actors on P/CVE programmes, policy and action plans
  • Providing learning and tailored tools to support the case work of practitioner on needs and risk assessment, reviewing and streamlining support plans and monitoring and evaluation (Social Diagnostic Toolkit)

Misogyny, gender & extremism

More information is coming soon.

Transnational violent right-wing extremism

Preventing and countering violent right-wing extremism has ever since been a cornerstone of our work. Since 2001, we have developed a wide range of externally evaluated programmes to support partners in their work with right-wing extremist violent offenders in prevention, rehabilitation and reintegration as well as disengagement work. Worldwide, right wing extremist attacks have grown over 250 % in the last five years and recruitment, mobilisation and (financial) support ties have become more transnational. This is why we focus on:

  • Fostering networks and mutual learning among practitioners to monitor transnational right-wing extremism
  • Building capacities and providing practical support in advancing transnational and multi-disciplinary approaches against right-wing extremism

Online and gaming

Online, social media and gaming platforms play an increasingly important role in understanding pathways and dynamics of radicalisation in modern societies. From hate crimes and violent extremist mobilisation (or recruitment) to the planning and preparation of violent extremist attacks: online and offline spheres of radicalisation cannot be separated from each other. As a hub of first-line practitioners and professionals, our goal is to advance hybrid approaches that identify and address needs, risks and social situations relevant for effective prevention. Over the past years, we have developed methods to translate our methodology – proven in daily casework – to interventions online and offline:

  • Supporting platform and host service providers in deplatforming and re-direction
  • Conducting hybrid interventions with at-risk individuals combining face-to-face communication and content creation online
  • Building a comprehensive monitoring toolbox to better identify radicalisation pathways
  • Providing policy support, research and advice, including as active members of the GIFCT Working Groups

Multi-stakeholder collaboration

Violence Prevention Network has worked with over 1,800 radicalised individuals in prison – and many more outside prison. Pathways to violent extremist radicalisation are multifaceted and vary strongly from one case to another. Prevention and intervention programmes – within or outside prison – are more likely to be effective if they are driven by multi-disciplinary teams. Combining the assets and insights from different actors and professions in structured casework is the key for sustainability and continuity. In engagements such as the Evaluation and Mentoring of Multi-Agency Approaches (EMMA) and the iCoMMiT project, we:

  • Deliver process support for stakeholders to design, implement and evaluate their cooperation in preventing and countering violent extremism
  • Provide tailored advice, mentoring and training for prison & probation staff, law enforcement officials, municipal stakeholders and civil society practitioners for multi-stakeholder case work

Rehabilitation and reintegration of returnees

The reintegration and rehabilitation of Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) and their families from Syria and Iraq remains one of the most complex and unresolved challenges. The majority of returnees, including minors, remain in detention camps under concerning security, human rights and humanitarian conditions. Consequently, the challenges for working with returnees are many and risk putting the capacities of practitioners in social and youth work, prison and probation, psychosocial support as well as law enforcement under heavy stress. As an organization working with returnees both, within and outside custodial settings, we support first-line practitioners in strengthening their preparedness across the field of P/CVE approaches:

  • Training, capacity building and mentoring for first-line practitioners in disengagement, reintegration and rehabilitation work
  • Developing mapping and needs assessment tools for multi-stakeholder casework with returnees
  • Research and advice to inform targeted policy planning and programming in returnee management
  • Strengthening psychosocial support for trauma-informed reintegration and rehabilitation work

Prison-exit continuum

Rising numbers of violent extremist and terrorists offenders (VETO) in prison, including Foreign Terrorist Fighters, have underlined the need to improve the continuity of disengagement, rehabilitation and reintegration efforts in the transition from prison to post-release phases. With over 20 years of experience, we have developed unique tools to facilitate interdisciplinary casework on security relevant cases of VETOs. Our team supports practitioners from government and civil society across a range of relevant issues:

  • Supporting and facilitating joint case conferences, assessment of rehabilitation needs and evaluating risks of recidivism among VETOs along the prison-exit continuum
  • Training for prison and probation staff and other first-line practitioners on issues of good prison management, including human rights and rule of law evaluation
  • Process support and capacity building for the prevention of radicalisation in prison
  • As Co-Chair of the Prison & Probation Working Group EU – MENA Information Sharing and Analysis Network (EMISA)

Monitoring & evaluation

Monitoring and evaluation are crucial parts to ensure quality management of efforts to prevent and tackle violent extremism. Programmes constantly need to respond to emerging challenges. Therefore, the role of support tools to systematically review intervention methods, practices and outputs has grown. Building on our expertise in evaluating programmes for primary, secondary and tertiary prevention, we have developed quality management systems that are designed to support practitioners in structuring and improving their project performance. Violence Prevention Network supports partners around the world to make their approaches more responsive to emerging challenges as well as compliant with good standards, human rights and the rule of law through:

  • Supporting a do-no-harm approach through a critical assessment of intervention methods and their impact
  • Providing human rights and rule of law monitoring and evaluation for disengagement, prevention and rehabilitation programmes
  • Providing tailor-made training for improving review and evaluation of case management processes
  • Ongoing supervision, intervision and monitoring

Are you interested to get in touch, cooperate or get hands-on support?

As one of Europe’s leading expert hubs in preventing violent extremism, we work with a global network of partner organisations. As first contributor and implementation partner to the Radicalisation Awareness Network, we support the European Commission in bringing together over 6,000 practitioners in a broad range of activities to share their lessons learned and best practices in preventing and countering violent extremism.