Description: As the threat from terrorism becomes more diffuse and transnational, with newly emerging self-radicalized or homegrown individuals or groups, so too have the tools of counterterrorism continued to evolve. Policymakers and practitioners are focusing more on preventing radicalization and recruitment and improving the resilience of individuals and communities against the appeal of violent extremism. Reflective of these trends, efforts on countering violent extremism (CVE) have emerged in a relatively short period as an increasingly important instrument in the counterterrorism tool kit for both states and multilateral actors, such as the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) and the United Nations.
To draw on the lessons and good practices that have emerged from activities related to countering violent extremism and similar fields, the Government of Canada, as part of the Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF) Working Group on Countering Violent Extremism, hosted a two-day international symposium on measuring the effectiveness of CVE programming. Held 27–28 March 2013 in Ottawa and organized by Public Safety Canada and the Center on Global Counterterrorism Cooperation (CGCC), the symposium focused on evaluating CVE programming specifically and on sharing good practices to inform the design and further development of projects and programming undertaken by practitioners in government and civil society.
Evaluating Countering Violent Extremism Programming: Practice and Progress draws on the symposium discussions and related literature, emphasizing the ways in which the field has advanced since the publication of CGCC’s earlier report, “From Input to Impact: Evaluating Terrorism Prevention Programs.” It captures the main conceptual and operational challenges in evaluating CVE programs, as reflected in recent practice, and offers four case studies demonstrating experiences and lessons learned from evaluating CVE programming and progress in the field. This report analyzes the current state of play on that basis and suggests opportunities for further developing the field of evaluation and its application to CVE programming.