The East Africa Civil Society Organizations Hub (CSO Hub) is a network of nearly 160 civil society organizations engaging in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) efforts in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda. Its objectives are to support and deepen regional civil society relationships and collaboration, strengthen programming capacities, identify and map new and grassroots P/CVE actors, and develop a representative voice for civil society to engage with governments, regional bodies, and international actors on the development of P/CVE policies and programs.

With initial support from the governments of the Netherlands and Norway, the CSO Hub was established and operationalized in 2017-2018 by the Global Center in collaboration with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Center of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE). As a regional coordinating body on P/CVE, ICEPCVE’s mandate includes facilitating partnerships between governments, non-governmental organizations, and sub-national actors as well as capturing numerous locally-led efforts to build community resilience against violent extremism in the region.

Local civil society organizations (CSOs) were integral partners in every step of the formation and launch of the CSO Hub. Following regional stakeholder workshops, two organizations per country were nominated by their peers to serve as interim conveners for the CSO Hub at a May 2017 meeting co-hosted by ICEPCVE and the Global Center in Djibouti:

Djibouti: Djibouti Rural Action, United Religious Initiative – Horn of Africa

Ethiopia: Ethiopia Muslim Relief and Development Association, Ethiopia Interfaith Forum for Development, Dialogue and Action

Kenya: BRAVE-CSCR, and Youth Arts Development & Entrepreneurship Network (YADEN)

Somalia: Somali Youth Development Network (SOYDEN), and Community Center Network

South Sudan: South Sudan Women Empowerment Network, and Organization for Peace, Relief and Development

Sudan: Sudanese Development Initiative (SUDIA), and Al-Khatim Adlan Center for Enlightenment & Human Development (KACE)

Tanzania: Center for Youth Dialogue, and Tanzania Youth Coalition

Uganda: International Alert, Uganda Office, and Uganda Muslim Youth Development Forum

Over the course of six months, the interim conveners worked with ICEPCVE and the Global Center to identify and map CSOs working on P/CVE within their respective communities. Interim conveners also conducted extensive consultations with identified CSOs to learn their perspectives, needs, priorities, and challenges relative to their activities in the P/CVE field. The feedback from these discussions was integral to the formation of the CSO Hub and to aligning its strategic vision with the operational contexts and lived CSO experiences in each country. To validate country findings and launch the CSO Hub, two-day meetings were held in Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, and Uganda. Meetings were organized and facilitated by the interim conveners and cohosted by ICEPCVE with support from the Global Center. The first day of the meeting invited CSO Hub members and others consulted during the formation process to review and validate the findings of the national consultations and identify priorities. In most countries, the CSOs were joined by national government officials on the second day to share their perspectives and expertise on P/CVE, reflect on the findings of the interim conveners, and discuss how to strengthen collaboration between government and CSOs on P/CVE policies and programs.

This report includes summary of the CSO Hub formulation process and outcomes of the national meetings. For more information, please contract Tracey Durner, Senior Analyst, at tdurner@globalcenter.org.

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