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Young Cities Practical Guide to Youth Capacity Building for Countering Hate and Extremism

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— 2 minutes reading time

About the Practical Guide

Strong Cities’ youth pillar – Young Cities – has released a Practical Guide to Youth Capacity Building for Countering Hate and Extremism. The guide provides a comprehensive overview of Strong Cities’ approach to capacity-building and youth empowerment through four core models, which it has developed iteratively since 2015. Spanning different forms of delivery, online and offline, the guide offers a range of good practice, inspiration and recommendations for any practitioner who is committed to empowering young people as partners and leaders in countering hate, extremism and polarisation.

Four models are shared, offering good practice and inspiration and providing recommendations for any actor – whether in government, civil society or the private sector – who is committed to empowering young people as leaders, enhancing local governance and helping pave the way for more effective and sustainable P/CVE now and in the future. These models were developed iteratively, based on consistent evaluation and in response to the evidence-based needs of 16 cities and their youth. They were also shaped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the constraints it placed on practitioners globally in 2020 and 2021. As a result, these models offer a range of options to suit online and in-person delivery, and a combination of the two.

Empowering and Engaging Youth Matters

Young people are acutely affected by hate, extremism and polarisation, but they have proven time and again that they are not merely a vulnerable group that must be protected. Countless young people are playing a pivotal role in preserving peace, security and human rights in their communities around the world. They are passionate, committed and in-tune with local grievances and conflict dynamics, showing that when given the necessary support, young people can offer fresh perspectives on local challenges and act as authentic, credible messengers.

Meaningful youth inclusion in policymaking can help enhance communication and trust among a critical and increasingly disengaged demographic. It is, therefore, necessary both to include young people and build their capacities to act effectively and independently, not only as partners but as leaders. It is for these reasons that the Strong Cities Network has made young people a priority in its mission to enhance locally led efforts to counter hate, extremism and polarisation globally.

About Young Cities

Young Cities addresses a full range of capacities that young people need to succeed, going beyond knowledge, skills and understanding and providing a range of resources, entry points, networks, and opportunities to build credibility and experiences they need to meaningfully pursue their goals and establish themselves as peacebuilders. This combination of holistic capacity-building and hands-on learning has led Strong Cities to develop a series of models that it has deployed successfully in eight countries, training, supporting and empowering more than 400 young peacebuilders and enabling the delivery of 75 youth-led initiatives that have directly engaged 22,000 young people and over 14 million more.