Evaluation of a Multi-Faceted, U.S. Community-Based Muslim-Led CVE Program
This project represents the first ever evaluation of a CVE (Countering Violent Extremism) program in the United States. The evaluation will be conducted in Montgomery County, MD, in collaboration with the community-based, Muslim-led CVE program (The World Organization for Resource Development and Education), the Montgomery County Department of Police, and the Montgomery County Office of Community Partnerships. The first phase of the project will use a multi-method evaluation design to a) understand recruitment and retention practices of participants in a multi-faceted, U.S. community-based, Muslim-led CVE program, b) identify the outcomes of participation in that program, c) assess and explore community knowledge of risk factors associated with radicalization, and individuals’ natural inclinations in response to those factors, and d) identify barriers to individual help-seeking and community-law enforcement collaborations in a CVE context. What will emerge from this phase is a set of working theories that clarify the relationships among these four subcomponents and lead to enhanced CVE programming and implementation. The second phase will develop survey instruments designed to measure quantifiably each of the Phase I subcomponents. Additionally, formalized curricula (i.e., educational materials and a manual for law enforcement) will be developed regarding a) awareness of risk factors of radicalization and civic-minded responses to them, and b) training for law enforcement officers regarding ways to build effective collaborations with local Islamic communities. Additionally, the CVE program will adjust its recruitment practices, based on ‘lessons learned’ from Phase I. The final phase of the project will assess the effectiveness of the CVE programs’ adjusted (i.e., Phase II) recruitment practices. Additionally, the CVE programs’ outcomes will be tested by comparing participant involvement groups (i.e. those who have never participated vs. participated once vs. participated multiple times).