High-Impact Practices: How to Design Social and Behavior Change Communications for Countering Violent Extremism: A briefing paper authored by Debora B. Freitas Lopez, Stacia George, Katy Gorentz, and Jenna Karp

A briefing paper authored by Debora B. Freitas Lopez, Stacia George, Katy Gorentz, and Jenna Karp

Violent extremism’s threat to democracy and the security of citizens is growing and changing ahead of domestic and international constituencies ability to contain it. Countering violent extremism (CVE) experts are urgently searching for the means to prevent new violent extremists from arising or encourage current violent extremists to abandon their current efforts. Although counter-narrative and -messaging through mass media channels are frequently used to address CVE, there is a growing acceptance that a more comprehensive approach – that includes more than just mass media – to support long-term social and behavior changes is needed. However, there is not much evidence demonstrating what works empirically to address behavioral and systemic changes needed for CVE.

This document is meant to serve as a primer on the limited existing data related to social and behavior change communications (SBCC) interventions and CVE and provide insight on how SBCC could be designed to address violent extremism based off CVE-related data and data from other disciplines (e.g. health, education, neuroscience, and youth programming).

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