Strengthening Resilience to Violent Extremism (STRIVE) II Kenya

Following on from STRIVE Horn of Africa, this project was the second delivered by RUSI as part of the EU’s global STRIVE platform.

STRIVE II sought to build on achievements and lessons learned during STRIVE Horn of Africa. The programme, implemented by the RUSI Nairobi office, was designed in response to the rapidly evolving Violent Extremist (VE) threat in Kenya.

The aim of the programme was to contribute towards reducing radicalisation, recruitment and support for violent extremism by addressing structural factors, group-based dynamics, enabling factors and individual incentives in Kenya. While STRIVE II monitored and responded to the growth of Islamic State and other VE actors, the programme focused primarily on Al-Shabaab.

The project had four main components: research, law enforcement training, youth mentorship, and preventive communications. In addition to delivering a range of interventions to reduce radicalisation, recruitment and support for VE, STRIVE II contributed extensively to the evidence base for CVE programming.

STRIVE II focused not only on improving and developing the P/CVE response by state and non-state actors, but also iteratively adapted to the tactics of the VE organisations, which themselves were evolving to circumvent P/CVE initiatives.


Gender in violent extremism became a core part of the project following extensive initial research on women’s involvement in violent extremism in both Nairobi and Kenya’s coastal regions. This led to a compendium containing four articles based on primary research and one review of literature.

Resources on gender:

Gender and Violent Extremism
New Compendium of Research on Gender and Violent Extremism in Kenya
clock2 Minute Read
View onlinechevron-right
Gender in Countering Violent Extremism Program Design, Implementation and Evaluation: Beyond Instrumentalism - Dr Jessica White, 18 September 2020

This article argues that a gender-sensitive approach is needed for effective countering violent extremism programming and counterterrorism policy, therefore is needed to create a more secure world for all individuals.


The mentorship strand was aimed at reducing the susceptibility of young people to political and ideological violence. A concurrent dimension of this initiative increased the knowledge base of relevant stakeholders and built the capacity of mentors to identify and engage with at-risk individuals.

Resources on mentorship:

A Mentorship Manual for Countering Violent Extremism in Kenya
Experts Explain How Mentorship Helps Counter Violent Extremism in Kenya
clock4 Minute Watch
View onlinechevron-right
Youth Resilience to Violent Extremism
clock2 Minute Read
View onlinechevron-right
Lessons Learned from P/CVE Youth Mentorship


This strand focused on strengthening the voice of marginalised youth by improving their self-expression, sense of participation and representation in key media spaces.

Resources on communications:

Recording: What role is there for media development in preventing and countering violent extremism? Observations from the STRIVE programme in Kenya
clock60 Minute Watch
View onlinechevron-right

Monitoring and Evaluation

Focusing on improving CVE programming and enhancing the understanding of relationships between conflict dynamics and recruitment patterns was the principal aim of the STRIVE II’s Monitoring and Evaluation strand.

Resources on monitoring and evaluation:

STRIVE II: Lessons Learned
Evaluation of STRIVE II in Kenya
clock1 Minute Read
View onlinechevron-right
Recording: Strengthening Resilience to Violent Extremism (STRIVE II) Kenya: Project Closing Lessons Learned and Evaluation
clock210 Minute Watch
View onlinechevron-right
Recording: Mapping a Pandemic: Kenya and Covid-19
clock60 Minute Watch
View onlinechevron-right


  • Funded by the European Union

    STRIVE II Kenya was funded by the European Union.

Explore related projects


Networks and Social Norms in Kenya's VE and CVE Landscape


Strengthening Resilience to Violent Extremism (STRIVE) Horn of Africa

Strengthening Resilience to Violent Extremism (STRIVE) Afghanistan