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An Evaluation of a Community-Based Program to Counter Violent Extremism Leads to New Measures of Effectiveness That Could Aid Future Evaluations

NCJ Number
Date Published
January 2017
2 pages
This article reports on the evaluation of a Muslim-led project that aims, among other goals, to counter violent extremism.
The program was organized by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE). This is a Muslim-led organization that attempts to counter violent extremism by creating and maintaining networks of civically engaged individuals who are sensitized to issues of violent extremism and have proactive, cooperative relationships with local social services and law enforcement agencies. WORDE's efforts consist of the following interlocking set of programs: community education about the signs of radicalization to violent extremism; volunteerism; multicultural programming; Islamic training for law enforcement; and the development of cooperation among community, law enforcement, and social service organizations. WORDE's reach extends throughout the entire social networks of each program participant. The main conclusion of the evaluation is that WORDE's prevention and engagement programming is effective, since it produced the intended positive effects on 12 of 14 outcomes relevant to countering violent extremism. There were no discernable unintended effects. The researchers believe this evaluation can provide direction for how to tailor a curriculum related to countering violent extremism and protocols in ways that account for the dynamics of help-seeking individuals in countering contexts for violent extremism. WORDE's NIJ-funded training manual and associated curriculum offer guidance in replicating the model described in this report.