What works and what doesn’t: Behavioural change to prevent violent extremism

It can be difficult for women in more conservative cultures or communities to access services or even be heard. But UNDP is working to change that. Photo: UN/Mark Garten

Men were very suspicious; they did not understand the reason of my presence in their neighbourhood. Some of them even took their mothers and sisters out of the first information sessions,” she said.

The behavioural insights programme helped UNDP to better understand and strengthen responses in communities or situations skeptical to outside intervention or the involvement of women. Photo: Shutterstock
In Pakistan, behavioural insights gave women in rural areas access to a service desk, where gender-related issues and grievances could be filed. Photos: UNDP Pakistan

“Thanks to the behavioral intervention, our gender desk officer was able to build trust with women from marginalized communities that are difficult to access. Putting them in touch with services providers, helped repair and strengthen the state-society link which, left unaddressed, leads to the accumulation of grievances. And these grievances lead to conflict — they are also known drivers of violent extremism,” said Dr Simbal Khan, project coordinator.

Ten participants in the Youth For Social Justice programme have been awarded small grants to kick-start their commercial start-up projects. Photo: UNDP Uzbekistan
In Tajikistan, UNDP focused on increasing young women and girl’s participation in employability workshops, targeting men and women in an effort to overcome cultural barriers that prevent women and girls from engaging in activities outside of the home. Photo: Shutterstock

“For a long time, I had a plan to enhance my teaching capacity by applying new methods and techniques to educate more rural children in my community. After a while, when it became possible to participate in the entrepreneurial training — where my ideas could be supported — I realized that I would soon reach my goal,she said.

After teacher Anora Boymurodova introduced new teaching methods, such as showing documentaries and playing interactive games, attendance almost doubled. Photo: UNDP Tajikistan

Now, I have two groups of additional English language education for children under the age of 15. Thanks to the experiment, I was able to participate in the training, successfully develop my business plan, find a well-paid job in a private school, and provide free English classes for the most vulnerable families in my community.

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