The SCN works to prevent the challenges of hate, polarisation and extremism by identifying and addressing the local drivers behind these global threats. Whether through intensive capacity-building projects or standalone research and analysis, we work on a diverse set of members’ needs to build evidence-based policy and globally informed local practice.
Policy & Strategy: Defining a local role in responding to hate, polarisation and extremism often presents unique challenges. Working closely with our members, the SCN helps establish a local mandate, identifying the practical infrastructure and policy frameworks they need. To develop effective prevention strategies, we connect local officials to their counterparts in other cities, translating what has worked elsewhere to their own context.
- Local Action Planning: Delivered training workshops to local policymakers and practitioners in 62 cities across more than 20 countries in Africa, Central Asia, South Asia, the Middle East and the Western Balkans to date.
- City Consultations: Conducted city consultations to provide cities with a local needs assessment, with 11 cities across Bangladesh, Kenya, Kosovo, North Macedonia and Pakistan.
- International Policy Work: Driven localisation and city leadership as a key tenet of global prevention efforts, shaping international policy agendas at all levels including collaborations with the Global Counterterrorism Forum, the Radicalisation Awareness Network and the Counter Terrorism Preparedness Network, among others.
“…We started to do training for police officers and community policing, other law enforcement agencies, in terms of best practice. And our model that we generated has now been used by seven other municipalities throughout Trinidad and Tobago.” Former Mayor of Chaguanas, Gopaul Boodhan (Trinidad and Tobago)
Local Prevention Infrastructure: The SCN builds and trains local coordination networks, uniting city leaders, local public services and grassroots communities to build a coordinated response to risk. Our programmes target existing limitations many cities face in accessing the resources, skills and practical coordination mechanisms they need.
- Local Prevention Networks: Seven formal local prevention networks comprising more than 100 frontline practitioners across Lebanon, Jordan and North Macedonia have driven over 40 community engagements.
- Local Innovation Grants: More than 14 local innovation grants awarded to connect promising and vibrant local organisations with financial and technical support and resources.
- Community Resilience Surveys: In-depth population surveys designed to measure our impact on resilience and cohesion. Delivered in cities across North Macedonia, Senegal, Lebanon and Kenya to establish an evidence base for programme evaluation.
“Today, everyone is in need of prevention. As a city we went through some challenges that pushed us towards a preventative approach. As a result, the mayor considered the Local Prevention Networks to be a priority for youth and for schools especially. Engagement with SCN has had a very positive impact on the city’s practitioners and municipal officials… To be honest, we didn’t expect this result. It has exceeded our expectations.” Saida Municipality Focal Point (Lebanon)
Training & Capacity-Building: SCN training and capacity-building programmes are designed to equip cities to address a complex array of threats. Informed by leading experts, they help to build meaningful links between city leaders and local organisations that combine community credibility with decades of local understanding.
- Established a Local Council for Public Safety comprised of local government bodies, religious leaders and local media to support the Albanian Ministry of Interior in developing a National Strategy Against Radicalisation.
- Developed multi-agency cooperation between national and county government officials, civil society, academics and private sector companies.
- Launched regional models for local cooperation, creating practitioner platforms to address shared challenges and join up prevention responses across 62 cities in Africa, Central Asia, the Balkans and South Asia.
- Strengthened individual intervention and community engagement methods through bespoke training for more than 100 public sector actors across the United States and Canada.
“Our project, supported by SCN, has brought together more than 200 women from different counties who are now peace ambassadors. We have also trained them to be community counsellors.” Salma Ebrahimi, Mombasa (Kenya)
Data & Tools: We help members access the latest research and best practice from across the network through our SCN Online Hub, which features stories, interviews, guides and training modules for teachers, city officials and civil society. Our SCN Hate and Extremism Mapper provides members with data, building digital observatories that correlate online risks with offline behaviour.
- SCN Resource Hub is a freely available digital resource on our website featuring city profiles, training modules on topics such as interventions and youth engagement, as well as a library of hundreds of resources including national and local action plans, strategies and the latest research.
- Responding to a Terror Attack: A Strong Cities Toolkit provides guidance to local governments and practitioners to support city officials in responding to a terrorist attack or suspected incident at moments when information can be scarce, divisions and recriminations can spike, and communication is critical.
- Online Hate and Extremism Mapper brings cities an unprecedented understanding of the nature, extent and dissemination of online extremist content in their area, combining natural language processing with ethnographic research and mapping variance at a neighbourhood level.
- Women, Girls and Islamist Extremism Toolkit is designed to highlight effective practices and processes for intervention provision with women and girls returning from former ISIS territories. It also lays out existing policy frameworks and practical tools available for those involved in responding to these cases.
Global & Local Partnerships: We act as a bridge, creating stronger working relationships between local and national governments. We also provide civil society with the knowledge, skills and resources to foster meaningful partnerships with officials in city halls.
- SCN global summits have reached over 1,200 practitioners, 450 city officials and over 100 mayors, inspiring changes in policy and programming across our network.
- We have forged bilateral partnerships between cities, translating violence prevention approaches by bringing together over 60 participants from 27 cities.
- Convened the SCN Mayoral Task Force on Public Private Partnerships against Hate in partnership with the US Conference of Mayors and the mayors of Chattanooga and Los Angeles (USA).
- Launched the Partnerships for Strong Cities initiative with the World Economic Forum and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Committee Executive Directorate to develop initiatives that promote safe, skilled and supportive cities.
- Launched the Mayor’s Shared Endeavour Fund in London (UK), uniting City Hall and Google.org to make £800,000 available for small grants for the capital’s civil society groups to push back against hate and violent extremism.
“I have to say that the conferences and meetings organised by the SCN really prepared us in a way that we now really have prevention in mind. Upon our return from the different conferences, we organised our people more than in the past and increased awareness-raising activities.” Mayors of Kousseri, Mokolo, Kolofata and Méri (Cameroon.)