Sasha Jesperson, Director of our Transnational Challenges Practice, reflects on the evolving nature of conflict Read more
Aktis’ Counter Extremism team designs and delivers projects to tackle the underlying drivers of extremism. In doing so, we build the capacities of our partners to deliver robust and sustainable counter-extremism and de-radicalisation outcomes.
Our remit covers the full spectrum of counter-extremism programming. As such, Aktis’ work in the field has ranged from supporting community-oriented policing programmes to ensuring early detection of vulnerable individuals, and designing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) frameworks underpinning national counter-extremism strategies. Our programming is underpinned by robust research to understand the nature of the challenge; we apply both academic insight and practical lessons learned from the field to design and deliver counter-extremism projects.
Our in-house specialists are highly experienced in designing and implementing holistic responses to terrorism and extremism. Our approach is grounded in a strong understanding of pragmatic responses to countering extremism, based on both time-tested best practices and innovative, iterative solutions. We utilise structured, analytical approaches to understand motivating drivers and enablers, and implement robust M&E frameworks to ensure clear and measurable outcomes. We employ in-house M&E tools to help us develop and test hypotheses about problems on a rolling basis, continuously strengthening links between knowledge and practice. What this means for our clients is that our Countering Extremism team is based on tangible evidence of impact – be it positive, negative, expected or unexpected – and not on untested assumptions.
Our approach to countering extremism
Examples of work
Understanding drivers and journeys to extremism
- We have developed immersive frameworks for counter-extremism research, called COHERE and ICOHERE, that allow researchers and practitioners to test hypotheses around factors affecting radicalisation and identify typologies of at-risk individuals. We have applied these frameworks in Syria, Lebanon, Tunisia and Somalia to inform the design of CVE programmes.
Strengthening counter-terrorism and counter-extremism institutions
- We have designed M&E reform programmes for Iraqi, Kenyan, Australian and Somali CVE and government bodies, strengthening their ability to effectively respond to terrorism and insurgency. Our work with these agencies incorporated strong mentoring and skill-building components to improve institutional resilience.
- In Tunisia, we have provided training and coaching across national security structures on how to implement, administer and measure CT and CVE strategies, improving the institutional capacity of the national security establishment to respond to pressing security threats.
Engaging communities and grassroots preventive networks
- We implement community-based approaches to foster confidence between communities and security actors, allowing stakeholders to work together to identify individuals at risk of radicalisation. In Tunisia, our experts work with local organisations and municipalities, building mutual trust between civilian populations and local authorities. At the policy level, we promote the adoption of strategies that highlight the importance of community oriented policing for countering extremist sentiment and behaviour.
De-radicalisation, reintegration and rehabilitation
- In collaboration with IC Thinking® and Dr Sara Savage (University of Cambridge), we have developed an innovative de-radicalisation methodology based on cutting-edge neuroscience, intended to benefit radicalised youth or prisoners in fragile contexts.