National Action Plans to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism

01 January 2021    |    MULTIPLE REGIONS

The National Action Plans (NAPs) to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism (PCVE) program has assisted 19 different countries. Technical assistance provided under this program includes supporting the design, review, implementation, and evaluation of national strategies and NAPs to respond comprehensively and effectively to violent extremism in the national and local contexts. Such action plans and strategies are important tools to support governments, international organizations and civil society organizations (CSOs) in the coordination and implementation of efforts to address violent extremism at the national and local levels.

With support from multiple donors, the NAP program provides capacity building, technical support, advisory services, awareness-raising, and review and revision services. The program highlights the importance of a holistic and inclusive process, with input from relevant cross-government, local government and civil society actors, to achieve a NAP that effectively reduces the threat of violent extremism.

In 2015, the United Nations Secretary-General launched the Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, which recommended; “each Member State should consider developing a national plan of action to prevent violent extremism which sets national priorities for addressing the local drivers”. This gave further impetus to Hedayah’s work.

To support governments in developing a comprehensive, tailored, evidence-based, and action-oriented approach to countering violent extremism.
  • Sensitize governments on the importance of –and enhance their capacity to– accurately identify the current factors contributing towards violent extremism in their country;
  • Raise the awareness of governments on the importance of adopting comprehensive PCVE approaches that address those factors;
  • Support the development, review, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of a nationally tailored strategy, mechanism, or NAP for PCVE; and
  • Ensure the final NAP product incorporates a range of specific PCVE activities which, inter alia, guide and support donor coordination to implement thematic priorities in priority countries.

Hedayah draws upon international experiences to identify good practices that may be relevant and appropriate for other countries. Hedayah also utilizes its in-house expertise as well as its extensive network of experts and consultants to develop programs that are nationally tailored and contextualized to the needs, possibilities and conditions of the recipient country. In recent years, there have been a number of guiding documents and proposed structures for the development and drafting of a NAP. While many of these documents provide excellent insights and recommendations for consideration, Hedayah opts to take a more customized approach to the NAP program in each country. Hedayah prioritizes the importance of developing a document that not only aligns with international expectations, but also addresses the current factors contributing towards violent extremism in-country, in a manner that is realistic, implementable, measurable, and aligned with national objectives.

In this regard, Hedayah emphasizes the importance of a holistic and inclusive process, with input from relevant stakeholders across the whole of government and whole of society, to include civil society representatives, in order to achieve an overarching strategic framework that effectively reduces the threat of violent extremism.

The types of activities Hedayah is able to implement in support of a NAP include:

  • Technical capacity building workshops targeting any stage of the NAP cycle (see example topics below)
  • Nationally, locally or regionally targeted research
  • Regional awareness-raising workshops
  • National awareness-raising workshops
  • Ad hoc or formalized advisory services
  • Document review and revision support

Hedayah has significant experience in supporting governments and national stakeholders to develop PCVE NAPs, and is now widely recognized as a world-leader on this theme.  To date, Hedayah’s activities have supported the NAP publication in several countries and supported the process in approximately 15 other countries. Much of Hedayah’s engagement with countries has been facilitated by its status as a non-political, non-ideological, and neutral organization. In fact, Hedayah has been directly approached to provide support to countries that traditionally refused inputs by external parties. Hedayah continues to provide such support to countries globally, with each activity tailored and contextualized to the local conditions. We also collaborated with several other international organizations to expand the reach of our programs, including training experts from the United Nations Development Program. The coordinated materials and approaches that this produced ensures consistency of quality across all recipient countries and expands the pool of available expertise.