Preventing Violent Extremism Through Education: Effective Activities and Impact - Guidance NoteSince 2015, the importance of education has been increasingly recognized in international efforts to prevent violent extremism. However, there is a lack of evidence regarding the effectiveness of educational activities that would help prevent violent extremism. As Lynn Davies points out, “although prevention initiatives are very frequent and popular (for example cognitive-behavioral initiatives or sponsorship initiatives), there is no evidence indicating that they are really effective and successful. of results ”.

This lack of evidence is linked to many factors, including the difficulty in evaluating preventive actions, the complexity of radicalization processes and the lack of data and longitudinal studies. Although these challenges cannot be easily resolved, UNESCO considers it essential to seek evidence of the effectiveness of educational activities aimed at preventing violent extremism (PVE-E) for three reasons:
  • because all the actors working in the field seek to undertake programs which have a positive impact;
  • because governments and national and international funding agencies seek to make informed decisions on spending priorities and;
  • because all relevant actors need to be aware of the potential risks associated with actions that may do more harm than good to learners, the education system and communities affected by violent extremism.
With this in mind, this guidance note attempts to answer two questions:
  • what types of EPI-E activities appear to be more effective?
  • what is the proven impact of PEV-E activities?

To this end, UNESCO commissioned a comparative study of 32 EPI-E case studies, representing a selection of activities, involving different age groups, covering formal, informal and non-formal education across the world. . This study has certain limitations in terms of scope, types of activities and availability of monitoring and evaluation data. It is therefore a question of interpreting the results as preliminary considerations which allow clearing the field. However, the analysis shows that EPI-E interventions work, with perceptible impacts at different levels, depending on the specific types of activities. Read more 

source: UNESCO