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The Strengthening Resilience to Violence and Extremism (STRIVE) Horn of Africa (HoA) programme represents the first dedicated effort by the European Commission to implement a project outside of the EU with the specific objective of countering violent extremism. In line with the EU’s Counter-Terrorism Strategy, the project sought to prevent terrorism and counter violent extremism while continuing to respect human rights and international law. Launching in January 2014, STRIVE HoA had a 36-month timeframe that integrated a research assessment phase, pilot programme implementation phase and a wrap up and evaluation phase.
As part of the evaluation phase for STRIVE HoA, a one-day ‘Lessons Learned’ conference was organised in Brussels on 24 November 2016. The event was designed to introduce the findings of the STRIVE HoA project to senior EU, UN and EU member state officials, as well as representatives from civil society. The conference was focused on the challenges, lessons learned and recommendations that arose from STRIVE, in an effort to strengthen the knowledge base for future counter violent extremism (CVE) programming.
This report introduces the lessons learned from the STRIVE HoA project based on the presentations, discussions and key recommendations outlined during each of the seven conference panel sessions: Background; Result Area 1; Result Area 2; Result Area 3; Result Area 4; Preventive Communications; and a presentation of the findings of the Independent Evaluation of STRIVE HoA, which was carried out at the end of the project. While the broader findings and recommendations of the independent evaluation will follow at the end of this report, those referring to specific result areas are covered under the relevant result areas.