In 2017 the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the British Council presented the report “Building Young People’s Resilience to Violent Extremism in the Middle East and North Africa”. The report recommended that “witnesses, experts and organisations that informed the enquiry form a community of practice to develop a stronger evidence base, share knowledge about the plethora of small scale programmes in operation from a wide range of organisations and support each other in their programmes and collaborate on their strategies in the region” (Recommendation 187). Recommendation 188 goes on to reflect findings from the UN Action plan,1 which observes that “primary data is particularly lacking” … [and] has “limited explanatory power”.
Following the recommendation by the APPG, between 2018 and 2019, the British Council has convened the Community of Practice (COP) on Preventing Violent Extremism. The COP was formed by a range of experts in the sector – including practitioners, academics and officials from the UK government – and it aimed to gather information on best practices and lessons learned about the role of cultural, educational, and civil society programmes in increasing trust between citizens and the state and building the resilience of young people to violent extremism.
David Cotterrell from Empathy & Risk was invited to join the community of practice.
The community of Practice Members: BBC Media Action; British Council; Centre for Mediterranean Integration; Chatham House; Chemonics; Commonwealth Secretariat; Prof David Cotterrell; Department for International Development; Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Home Office; IARS International Institute; Institute for Strategic Dialogue; International Alert; Dr Jill Flint-Taylor; Prof Mark Sedgwick; M&C Saatchi; Mercy Corps; Oxfam; The Oxford Process; Peace Direct; Royal United Services Institute; Saferworld; Search for Common Ground; Tony Blair Institute for Global Change; Prof Tony Gallagher.
Lead author and Chair of the COP: Sheelagh Stewart (Conflict and Security Lead, British Council); Co-author: Manoela Baltar (PVE Community of Practice Consultant).
With the support of: Mansoor Jalal (Senior Research Consultant); Alison Baily (Senior Policy Analyst); Dan Shah (Research Director); Martin Hope (Society Director); Hugh Moffatt (Justice, Security and Stability Lead).