Reducing Violence is Not Impossible, and Cities Are Proving This

Today, 83% of deadly violence occurs outside of conflict zones, with the majority of this violence concentrated in cities. Nation states have dominated the global political arena for centuries, but with more than half of the world’s population today residing in cities, it may be time to rethink who should be at the table when it comes to decisions on how we can reduce violence.

How Cities Can Take the Leap from Policy to Action

Polarisation and extremism have historically been critical security threats to communities in the Balkans. North Macedonia is no exception. SCN Manager Simeon Dukic describes how one city has implemented its new Local Action Plan to help address these threats and outlines how other cities can take a similar leap.

Look to cities, not nation-states, to solve our biggest challenges

Robert Muggah is a specialist in cities, security, migration and new technologies. In this article, originally published on the World Economic Forum website, he argues that cities are taking an increasingly vocal and visible role in stepping up to some of the biggest challenges our world faces today where nation states are floundering.

The Mayor of London, the Strong Cities Network and Google.org Launch New Fund to Counter Hate in London

With £400,000 from City Hall generously match-funded by Google.org, the new fund is part of Mayor Khan’s £1 million investment to support London’s first ever Countering Violent Extremism programme, which launched in December 2017. Grassroots organisations from across London will have the opportunity to bid for grants up to £50,000, providing them with the vital…
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Young Cities 2019 Perspective: Connecting Kenyan Youth to County Officials

Above: Teams develop their campaigns at our Youth Innovation Labs, like this one in Mombasa, with guidance provided by the Young Cities team.  It started with a simple invitation – a request for applications from youth interested in attending an innovation lab and solving a key local challenge.  We shortlisted the brightest ideas and invited…
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Practice Spotlight: Interviews with Kenya P/CVE Practitioners

Mandera County Chief Officer for Prevention and Countering Violent Extremism, Mr. Mohamed Adan Osman (left), in discussion with Mr. Saleh Maalim Alio (right) of Mandera Municipality Board member at the SCN Isiolo Inter-County Exchange Conference, 20-22 November 2019.  In order to understand the many and varied challenges and realities facing P/CVE efforts across Kenya, we…
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Opinion: P/CVE Initiatives Should Include the Families of Terror Suspects As Well

Photo by Monica Melton on Unsplash Preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) conducive to spread of terrorism continues to be a leading political and security priority in Kenya. The Global Terrorism Index for 2019 ranked Kenya at 21 in its list of countries in the world most affected by terrorism, and has consistently remained in the top 25…
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Practice Spotlight: Launch of United for All Coalition

On Friday, November 15, 2019, a group of 24 organisations announced the formation of a local coalition called United for All. Led by the City of Ottawa, United Way East Ontario, Ottawa Police Services, and joined by many other organisations, the group will coordinate local efforts to overcome hate and violence in the city. As its first milestone, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and the City of Ottawa’s leadership signed the Strong Cities Network (SCN) agreement as the largest coalition of organisations to join the network.

Breaking Down Barriers: City Exchanges as Tools for Building Collaboration

One of the most significant challenges in preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) is the sharing of information, resources, expertise and strategies. The lack of proper channels of communication, shared goals and informal spaces to discuss exchanges of ideas can breed mistrust and isolationism. 

To encourage the breaking down of these barriers, the Strong Cities Network (SCN) has conducted a series of city exchanges between its members. In this article, Local Prevention Coordinator Veton Latifi outlines their purpose and describes the latest (and first) city exchange to take place in the Western Balkans. 

Young Cities: How Youth Can Be Positive Agents of Change

Continuing on from our previous article on the importance of engaging and involving youth in municipal decision-making, as well as the mission of the SCN’s Young Cities programme, we are pleased to provide an update on the projects and work that youth are undertaking in Kenya, Lebanon and Senegal. We hope this can provide inspiration for our members for ideas on how cities can work with and empower youth, the range of issues that can be addressed, as well as the benefits of collaboration.