The ARMOUR (Radical Resilience Model for Young Minds) project, co-financed by the European Commission, in which the Euro-Arab Foundation works together with partners from eight European Union countries, has held a discussion group on the evaluation of projects for the prevention of violent extremism.
Experts and professionals from different areas participated in this discussion group. From the academic field, where they have been studying the processes of radicalization for years, to front-line professionals who carry out their activities in fields as different as the legal and educational or civil service.
During the interesting discussion that took place in this session, issues related to the capabilities that certain professionals have when implementing and evaluating a program of this type were assessed; the different problems surrounding evaluation, such as the difficulty of defining certain objectives or the indicators used for evaluation, among others; the need to create specific evaluations, moving away from generalizations; the ethical dilemmas involved in evaluation as well as the most relevant methods, the costs involved in evaluation or the problems of moving from design to implementation. The discussion left instructive phrases such as “we must see what we did before and do not do now, and what was not done before and is done now” or categorical phrases such as “monitoring is as important as evaluation”.
The results of this focus group, in conjunction with another group to be held in the Netherlands, are intended to improve the evaluation proposal for a prevention program created within the framework of this project. This proposal consists of different modules offering keys and tools aimed to help frontline professionals in their task of educating and strengthening the resilience of young people in the face of radicalization. These modules will soon be available in course format from the First-line-practitioner (www.firstlinepractitioners.com) and Hermes (www.traininghermes.eu) platforms in different languages.