Kwa Pamoja Tuzuie Balaa: Preventing Radicalisation and Terrorist Recruitment (PREACT)

RUSI partnered with Search for Common Ground to work on a project seeking to strengthen community-led P/CVE responses and build trust between communities and government to address radicalisation and recruitment in the Kenyan counties of Garissa and Lamu. The work was conducted in collaboration with Kenya’s National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC).

In partnership with Search for Common Ground (SFCG) and community-based organisations Ijara Women for Peace (IWP) and the Kiyunga Youth Bunge Initiative (KYBI), RUSI completed a 24-month project with the goal of empowering community leaders and relevant government counterparts to jointly address issues of violent extremist organisation radicalisation and recruitment in at-risk areas of Lamu and Garissa counties.

As part of this project, RUSI led research on the locus of trust and reporting norms in target communities. The team also conducted regular monitoring and analysis of trends in the project areas to inform community-led multi-stakeholder dialogues on security issues. Select community forums were facilitated by RUSI and P/CVE capacity building training was provided for community members.

Aims and objectives

Ranked 21st out of 138 countries in the 2019 Global Terrorism Index, Kenya has continued to experience VE attacks in recent years, perpetrated by the Al-Qaeda-affiliated, Somalia-based extremist group al-Shabaab as well as affiliates and local actors working on behalf of the group. Many of the attacks have been carried out in Lamu and Garissa Counties. In response to the dynamic between communities and government actors (including security forces), momentum around community-led peace and security solutions is growing, supported by research and practice.

RUSI and project partners aimed to strengthen community-led, CVE-relevant support and response structures in at-risk communities and work to increase trust and collaboration between community members and relevant local government and security actors in at-risk areas.

In an effort to anchor the project in evidence rather than assumptions, RUSI led the research component of the project. This included a study on research on the obstacles for reporting suspicious and suspected violent extremism-related activities to relevant local authorities. The research paper was used to inform the project’s multi-stakeholder dialogues and contributed to the evidence base preventing and countering violent extremism (P/CVE) policy and programming.

RUSI also led on providing bi-annual reporting on violence monitoring in each county to include threat context analysis. This reporting informed project activities aimed at increasing trust between communities and local authorities.

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