WORDE is pleased to announce the publication of several timely resources on our Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) initiatives to guide other communities in the development of similar initiatives: a National Institute of Justice (NIJ)-funded evaluation of our programing, a manual for guiding the development of community-led CVE initiatives, and a Strategic Plan for institutionalizing and replicating WORDE’s CVE efforts, which were piloted in Montgomery County, MD.
Evaluation of WORDE’s CVE Programing
In 2014, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) launched a two-year study of community-based Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) programing led by the World Organization for Resource Development and Education (WORDE) and its effectiveness in promoting positive social integration and encouraging public safety.
By the time of publication, our CVE programing, known as the “Montgomery County Model” has been renamed for more general applicability to the Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) model.
The formative evaluation, conducted by Dr. John Horgan, Dr. Michael Williams, and Dr. William Evans, assessed community-based participation in CVE programs, community awareness of risk factors of radicalization to violent extremism, and the community’s natural inclinations in response to these factors. The evaluation utilized surveys and focus group discussions with a wide array of respondents, including Montgomery County Police Officers, gang/violence prevention specialists, local representatives of faith-based organizations, participants of WORDE programming and other community members who had not been previously involved with WORDE’s model. The findings of that evaluation are presented in the report, “Evaluation of a Multi-Faceted U.S. Community – Based, Muslim-Led CVE Program.” As a result of this rigorous evaluation by some of the most premier academics in the field of counter terrorism, at risk youth development and scientific evaluations, WORDE’s programing is the first evidence-based, CVE relevant program in the U.S.
Download the Report > “Evaluation of a Multi-Faceted U.S. Community – Based, Muslim-Led CVE Program.”
An Instructor’s Manual for Developing a Community-Led Approach to Countering Violent Extremism (CVE)
Illustrating lessons learned and best practices from two years of programming and evaluation, WORDE produced an accompanying Instructor’s Manual to supplement the evaluation and guide communities and CVE practitioners in:
- Building positive and collaborative relationships with diverse Muslim communities
- Understanding the potential risk factors of radicalization and mobilization to violent extremism
- Creating a community-led engagement model to counter violent extremism
The curriculum is divided into three, interactive modules that can be taught separately as ‘stand-alone’ units of instruction. If taught consecutively, the curriculum is designed to be a multi-day training, with each module requiring several hours of instruction depending on time dedicated to all the activities and discussion questions.
Download the Instructor’s Manual > “Developing a Community-Led Approach to Countering Violent Extremism”
Download each module’s PowerPoint [Coming Soon]:
- Module 1: Engaging Muslim Communities
- Module 2: Potential Risk Factors of Radicalization
- Module 3: WORDE’s Community-led Model to Counter Violent Extremism
A Strategic Plan for WORDE’s BRAVE Model
Through its organic development in Montgomery County, the BRAVE model has evolved into a “collective impact initiative” with a core focus on building resilience against violent extremism through engagement, education, and specialized interventions. The model has undergone an independent, scientific evaluation and is an evidence-based good practice for countering violent extremism and community policing. Adaptable to the needs of each locality, the four-part program can also address a wide range of issues including promoting social cohesion, encouraging disaster preparedness, multicultural community collaboration, and responding to acts of hate or identity based violence.
This strategic plan aims to answer two main questions:
- How can the BRAVE model be enhanced to better serve Montgomery County residents in the short and long term?
- How can the BRAVE model be successfully replicated by other interested jurisdictions in the National Capital Region?
Download the Strategic Plan > “The Building Resilience Against Violent Extremism (BRAVE) Model: A Collective Impact Initiative that Increases Public Safety and Social Cohesion”
Three recommendations in particular stand out:
First, a BRAVE Advisory Council should be established in Montgomery County to provide consistent, programmatic guidance and policy recommendations, as well as for coordinating resources for interventions.
Second, the Montgomery County BRAVE program should develop a robust referral protocol, broaden its community alliance, and explore developing a diversion or deflection program in lieu of incarceration or prosecution.
Third, the BRAVE initiative in each jurisdiction should have a financial plan that ensures adequate resources are available for its programming beyond the initial investment.