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A Guide For Cities: Preventing Hate, Extremism & Polarisation

Last updated:
07/05/2024
Publication Date:
12/09/2023
Content Type:

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Strong Cities Network A Guide For Cities

Conclusion

Irrespective of context, most cities can play a role in prevention. 

This Guide was prompted by the requests of local government officials to enable them to better fulfill this role. It is designed to help them better understand what others are doing and provide a basic overview of what prevention entails for a city and how it can be applied in the context of diverse, often conflicting, priorities of daily service provision to communities. It is intended to be accessible to local government officials and practitioners in different parts of the world and from different professional backgrounds.

The intention of this Guide is not to provide a blueprint or expect every element to be of relevance to every city. Readers are encouraged to self-select what is important to their city, areas of support that speak to their most pressing needs, and examples that can translate or be adapted to their specific contexts. Importantly, developing effective city-led prevention on the issues of hate, extremism and polarisation should not involve a blanket obligation to set up new structures, develop new policies, and treat these issues in a way that removes us from the fact they are and have long been a part of public life in our communities, albeit with changing manifestations and particular challenges. As such, this Guide aims to demonstrate how, in several areas, prevention approaches can and should be integrated into existing services, mechanisms and approaches cities already have to address a range of social and public safety needs.

Effectively tackling these issues requires an inclusive and nuanced approach, given the sensitivity of the issues and their often complex historical, cultural, social and political dimensions. Inevitably, engaging in prevention involves navigating inter-communal tensions, government-community trust deficits and/or tensions between the national and local governments, among other challenges. This is why the guide recommends that the first step for any city wanting to engage in prevention is to conduct a comprehensive and inclusive mapping process at the outset and before anything else. This serves as the basis for understanding the particular challenges a city faces, how they affect specific parts of the community differently and the existing mechanisms and key stakeholders that need to be leveraged for prevention. 

Cities need to work together to implement prevention – with other cities, from one sector to another, with central and other levels of government, with civil society and other partners, and with communities. This Guide supports the role that local government officials and practitioners play in effecting this cooperation and in building common ground. It is complemented by a Mayoral Guide and a Response Toolkit as well as by the NLC Implementation Toolkit developed in collaboration with the GCTF, supporting other key components and stakeholders at local levels to address hate, extremism and polarisation. 

This Guide, as with all other Strong Cities tools, will be hosted on Strong Cities’ Resource Hub. The Guide be a living document, added to and updated based on Strong Cities engagement with cities, and a starting point for local officials on the myriad ways cities can and have developed and delivered prevention. The Guide also provides an outline of the types of support cities can look to Strong Cities and other partners for and how future training, capacity building and engagement might focus on the particular needs cities identify in relation to their prevention journey. As such, it continues to support Strong Cities’ ongoing effort to build a community of practice between cities that crosses national and regional boundaries and transcends differences in context and resourcing, with the basic aim of sharing experiences, good practices and key learnings, in order to unlock the prevention potential of cities.


Annex I: Recommended Resources

Companion Guides

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). (2023). A Toolkit for Actioning the Memorandum on GCTF Good Practices for Strengthening National-Local Cooperation for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism the Leads to Terrorism. https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resources/

Strong Cities Network. (2023). Preventing and Responding to Hate, Extremism and Polarisation: A Guide for Mayors. https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resources/

Strong Cities Network. (2023). City-led Response Guide. https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resources/

Chapter 1 – Mapping the Issues

CVE Reference Guide for Local Organisations. (n.d.). Assessment Process. Available at: https://www.cvereferenceguide.org/assess/assessment-process 

Resilient Cities Network. (2019). Social Cohesion: A Practitioner’s Guide to Measurement Challenges and Opportunities. Available at: https://resilientcitiesnetwork.org/downloadable_resources/UR/Social-Cohesion-Handbook.pdf 

Strong Cities Network. (2020). Community Resilience Study: Kumanovo, North Macedonia. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/community-resilience-study-kumanovo-north-macedonia/

Strong Cities Network. (2022). Addressing the Overlooked Role of African Cities in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism: A Mapping of Needs and Priorities. Available at https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/addressing-the-overlooked-role-of-african-cities-in-preventing-and-countering-violent-extremism/ 

Chapter 2 – Strategy

Challgren, J., et al. (2016). Countering Violent Extremism: Applying the Public Health Model. Washington, DC: Center for Security Studies. Georgetown University. Available at: https://georgetownsecuritystudiesreview.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/NSCITF-Report-on-Countering-Violent-Extremism.pdf 

EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). (2018). Ex Post Paper – How to Get Sustainable Political Support for Your Local P/CVE Strategy. Available at: https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files_en?file=2018-11/ran_local_how_get_sustainable_political_support_27_09_2018_en.pdf

Ranstorp, M. et al. (2016). Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. An Initial Rapid Evidence Assessment and Analysis Plan Examining Local Authority Action Plans and Programming Elements. Stockholm, SE: Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies, Swedish Defence University. Available at: https://cradpdf.drdc-rddc.gc.ca/PDFS/unc274/p805336_A1b.pdf

United Nations General Assembly. (2015). Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism: Report of the Secretary-General (A/A/70/674). Available at: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/plan-of-action-to-prevent-violent-extremism

United Nations Office of Counterterrorism (UNOCT). (2018). Reference Guide – Developing National and Regional Action Plans to Prevent Violent Extremism. New York, NY: UNOCT. Available at: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/sites/www.un.org.counterterrorism/files/unoct_pvereferenceguide_final.pdf

Weine, S., and Eisenman, D. P. (2016, April 5). How Public Health Can Improve Initiatives to Counter Violent Extremism. University of Maryland National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. Available at: https://www.start.umd.edu/news/how-public-health-can-improve-initiatives-counter-violent-extremism

Chapter 3 – Implementation

Buchanan, C. (2021). Gender-inclusive peacemaking: strategies for mediation practitioners. Mediation Practice Series. Geneva: Centre for Humanitarian. Available at: https://www.hdcentre.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/MPS9_Gender-inclusive-peacemaking.pdf 

Dialogue.EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). (2018). RAN Issue Paper – Multi-agency working and preventing violent extremism I. Available at: https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/sites/homeaffairs/files/what-we-do/networks/radicalisation_awareness_network/ran-papers/docs/multi-agency-working-preventing-violent-extremism-042018_en.pdf 

EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). (2019). Multi-agency working and preventing violent extremism: Paper 2. Available at: https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files/2019-04/ran_hsc_policy_mawr_report_sarma_26032019_en.pdf 

EU Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN). (2020). RAN Manual – Responses to returnees: foreign terrorist fighters and their families. Available at: https://home-affairs.ec.europa.eu/system/files_en?file=2020-09/ran_br_a4_m10_en.pdf

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). (2018). Initiative to Address the Life Cycle of Radicalization to Violence: Neuchâtel Memorandum on Good Practices for Juvenile Justice in a Counterterrorism Context. Available at: https://www.theiij.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/English-Neucha-tel-Memorandum-on-Juvenile-Justice.pdf

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). (2022). Gender and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Toolkit. Available at: https://www.thegctf.org/Portals/1/Documents/Links/Meetings/2022/CC20/Documents/Gender%20PCVE%20Toolkit/GCTFGenderPCVEToolkit_EN.pdf?ver=gJQcxR6Q5HEd1A_Yko2MVA%3d%3d 

Holmer, G., Bauman, P. and Aryaeinejad, K. (2018). Measuring Up: Monitoring and Evaluating P/CVE Programs. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace. Available at: https://www.usip.org/publications/2018/09/taking-stock-analytic-tools-understanding-and-designing-pcve-programs

International Institute for Justice and the Rule of Law (IIJ). (2021). IIJ Training Curriculum: Developing Multi-Actor P/CVE Intervention programmes: Implementing a ‘Whole of Society’, ‘Do No Harm’ Approach. Available at: https://www.theiij.org/multi-actor-p-cve-interventions-workstream/#Spotlight-New-Curriculum 

INTRACT for Civil Society. (n.d.). The M&E Universe. Available at: http://www.pvetoolkit.org/indicator-bank

Kusek, J. Z. and Rist, R. C. (2004). Ten Steps to a Results-Based Monitoring and Evaluation System: A Handbook for Development Practitioners. Washington, DC: The World Bank. Available at: https://www.oecd.org/dac/peer-reviews/World%20bank%202004%2010_Steps_to_a_Results_Based_ME_System.pdf 

McCain Institute & Institute for Strategic Dialogue. (2022). Prevention Practitioners Network – Preventing Targeted Violence and Terrorism: A Guide for Practitioners. Available at: https://www.mccaininstitute.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/11/PPN-TVTP-Framework-Nov-2022.pdf 

Noble, J. (2019). Theory of change in ten steps. London, UK: National Philanthropy Capital (NPC). Available at https://www.thinknpc.org/resource-hub/ten-steps/#content 

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). (2019). Non-custodial Rehabilitation and Reintegration in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization That Lead to Terrorism: A Guidebook for Policymakers and Practitioners in South-Eastern Europe. Available at: https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/d/7/444838.pdf 

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). (2019). Understanding Referral Mechanisms in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization That Lead to Terrorism: Navigating Challenges and Protecting Human Rights – A Guidebook for South-Eastern Europe. Available at: https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/7/4/418274.pdf 

Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). (2020). A Whole-of-Society Approach to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization That Lead to Terrorism: A Guidebook for Central Asia. Available at: https://www.osce.org/files/f/documents/a/7/444340_0.pdf 

Royal United Services Institute. (2021). The Prevention Project: A Comprehensive Research Project on the Effectiveness of Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) Projects. Available at: https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/projects/prevention-project 

Strong Cities Network. (2023). A 10-Step Roadmap for Enhancing City-Led Support for Community-Based Programmes to Address Hate and Extremism. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/06/A-10-Step-Roadmap-for-Enhancing-City-Led-Support-for-Community-Based-Programmes-to-Address-Hate-and-Extremism-1.pdf 

Strong Cities Network. (2022). Developing and Implementing Local Action Plans for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in East Africa. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/developing-and-implementing-local-action-plans-for-preventing-and-countering-violent-extremism-in-east-africa/ 

Strong Cities Network. (2023). Strong Cities Policy Paper – Responding to Today’s Refugee Crisis While Maintaining Social Cohesion: Lessons from Cities. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/responding-to-todays-refugee-crisis-while-maintaining-social-cohesion-lessons-from-cities/ 

Strong Cities Network. (2023). Strong Cities Policy Paper – Rehabilitation and Reintegration: Lessons from German Cities. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/news/rehabilitation-and-reintegration-of-returnees-from-syria-and-iraq-ten-lessons-from-the-berlin-experience-for-local-governments/

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Alert. (2018). Improving the impact of preventing violent extremism programming. A toolkit for design, monitoring and evaluation. Oslo, NO: Oslo Governance Centre, UNDP. Available at: https://www.undp.org/publications/improving-impact-preventing-violent-extremism-programming-toolkit 

United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and International Alert. (n.d.) PVE Indicator Bank. Available at: http://www.pvetoolkit.org/indicator-bank 

United Nations Office of Counterterrorism. (2023). Guide for Policymakers for the Use of Sport for the Prevention of Violent Extremism. Available at: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/sites/www.un.org.counterterrorism/files/2211314_e_oct_sports_policymakers_web_12jun23_1_final.pdf 

UN Women: Women, Peace and Security Section. (2022). Guidance Note – Gender-Responsive Conflict Analysis. Available at: https://www.unwomen.org/sites/default/files/2022-03/ap-UN-Women-AFG_Gender-responsive-conflict-analysis-en.pdf 

Winterbotham, E. and Pearson, E. (2016). Different Cities, Shared Stories: A Five-Country Study Challenging Assumptions Around Muslim Women and CVE Intervention. London, UK: Royal United Services Institute (RUSI). Available at: https://rusi.org/explore-our-research/publications/rusi-journal/different-cities-shared-stories-five-country-study-challenging-assumptions-around-muslim-women

Chapter 4 – Coordination 

European Union and United Nations. (2023). The Compendium of Good Practices for Measuring Results in Counterterrorism and Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism. Available at: https://www.un.org/counterterrorism/sites/www.un.org.counterterrorism/files/eu_un_compendium_good_practice_web.pdf

Global Counterterrorism Forum (GCTF). (2020). Memorandum on Good Practices on Strengthening National-Local Cooperation in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism Conducive to Terrorism. Available at: https://www.thegctf.org/Portals/1/Documents/Framework%20Documents/2020/GCTF%20Memorandum%20on%20Good%20Practices%20on%20Strengthening%20NLC%20in%20PCVE.pdf?ver=2020-09-29-100315-357 

Strong Cities Network. (2022). Multi-stakeholder Models for Local Prevention: A Technical Evaluation from Kumanovo, North Macedonia. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/multi-stakeholder-models-for-local-prevention-technical-evaluation-and-learnings-from-kumanovo-north-macedonia/ 

Strong Cities Network. (2023). The GCTF’s Good Practices on Strengthening National-Local Cooperation in P/CVE: Mapping the Implementation, Progress, Gaps, Needs and Priorities in Uganda. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/the-gctfs-good-practices-on-strengthening-national-local-cooperation-in-p-cve-mapping-the-implementation-progress-gaps-needs-and-priorities-in-uganda/ 

Strong Cities Network. (2023). Why Local Networks Are Key to Preventing Extremism and Hate. Available at: https://strongcitiesnetwork.org/resource/why-local-networks-are-key-to-preventing-extremism-and-hate/ 


Annex II: City Practices

LocationPractice 
East and Southern Africa 
Cape Town, South AfricaSafer and Healthier Places of Worship
Isiolo County, KenyaCommunity Engagement Forum
Koboko, UgandaAddressing Local Tensions
Maputo, MozambiqueCouncillor for Youth and Citizenship
Masaka, UgandaConstituency Development Funds (CDFs)
Western Cape, South AfricaCommunity Safety Forums (CSFs)
Multiple counties, KenyaCounty Engagement Forums (CEFs)

Community Teams
South African Local Government AssociationViolence Prevention through Urban Upgrading

Europe
Aalborg, DenmarkOnline Democratic Conversations Mapping
Berlin, GermanyRehabilitation and Reintegration Strategy
Bilbao, SpainThird Intercultural City Plan
Bratislava, SlovakiaUkrainian Refugee Crisis Centreary
Cardiff, United KingdomCardiff Model for Violence Prevention
Greater Manchester, United KingdomGreater Manchester Voluntary, Community and Social Enterprise Accord

Greater Manchester Strategy
Helsinki, FinlandHome Town Helsinki
London, United KingdomLondon’s Comprehensive Listening Exercise 

Shared Endeavour Fund
Malmö, SwedenSafe Digital Cities
The Hague, the NetherlandsReturnee Manual
Wroclaw, PolandIntegration Centre
 
Centre for Social Development
Žilina, SlovakiaIntegration of Minority Groups
Middle East and North Africa
Rabat, MoroccoPartnership with Jossour Forum des Femmes Marocaines – Gender Responsive Urban Planning 
Sousse, TunisiaIOM Partnership 

Service Provision for Migrants Cheat Sheet
North America
Aurora, CO, USAAurora Key Community Response Team (AKCRT)
Columbus, OH, USANew American Initiative
Edmonton, CanadaAnti-Racism Strategy
New York City, NY, USANew York Supports its Communities – Office for the Prevention of Hate Crimes
Stamford, CT, USAStamford Stands Against Racism
Seattle, WA, USAPlan to Prevent Hate and Polarisation in the Workplace
Toronto, CanadaYouth Engagement Strategy
Oceania
Christchurch, New ZealandTe Haumako Te Whitingia Strengthening Communities Together Strategy
State of New South Wales, AustraliaCOMPACT (Community Partnership Action Programme)
State of Victoria, AustraliaUrban Design and Crime Prevention Platform
South America
Rio de Janeiro, BrazilSafe School App
South Asia
Mardan, PakistanLocal Peace Committee
Sindh Province, PakistanApex Committee
Multiple cities, BangladeshTown-Level Coordination Committees (TLCC)
West Africa
Monrovia, LiberiaInterfaith Council of Monrovia
Western Balkans
Brčko District, Bosnia and HerzegovinaAction Plan for the Implementation of the National Prevention and Fight Against Terrorism Strategy
Čair, North MacedoniaYouth and Community Centree Trainer – Youth Development through Sports
Cërrik, AlbaniaR&R programme
Gostivar, North MacedoniaTrain-the Trainer – Youth Development through Sports
Kumanovo, North MacedoniaCommunity Resilience Study

Community Action Teams
Novi Pazar, SerbiaPrevention programmes through education
Prishtina, Kosovo and elsewhereMotherSchools

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Strong Cities Network A Guide For Cities

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