Before you begin your project, consider the following questions:
Are we aiming to prevent or counter violent extremism?
USAID and the US Department of State define efforts to prevent or counter violent extremism (P/CVE) as: “proactive actions to counter efforts by violent extremists to radicalize, recruit, and mobilize followers to violence and to address specific factors that facilitate violent extremist recruitment and radicalization to violence. This includes both disrupting the tactics used by violent extremists to attract new recruits to violence and building specific alternatives, narratives, capabilities, and resiliencies in targeted communities and populations to reduce the risk of radicalization and recruitment to violence.”
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Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) versus Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
The distinction between CVE and PVE may reflect how donors or development professionals categorize their work. Although CVE and PVE are often used interchangeably, these approaches are slightly different, particularly when moving from theory to practice. The graphic below, depicting the P/CVE spectrum according to different interventions, offers a useful way of thinking about how these approaches may differ. The types of populations you seek to engage in your project will ultimately impact the design of your program. The approaches, outcomes, and risks associated with these different intervention strategies will be very different.
There is also an important difference between countering terrorism (CT) and countering violent extremism (CVE). See the graphic below.
Countering terrorism (CT)
Efforts focused on controlling, repressing, and tracking terrorists and terrorist activities.
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
Efforts to deprive existing terrorist groups of new recruits and legitimacy and to address the enabling environment in which violent extremism flourishes and draws support.