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12 Nov

Towards a Unified Human Security and P/CVE Method in Jordan

A recent study by the West Asia – North Africa (WANA) Institute shows that more efforts are needed to unite human security and preventing/countering violent extremism (P/CVE) methods in Jordan.

The research argues that P/CVE should be understood as a pillar of human security, as opposed to as an isolated exercise. The study is part of a project funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Amman.

Programming Challenges in Jordan

How do the strengths and weaknesses in human security programming contribute to radicalisation drivers? The findings indicate that de-contextualised, short-term projects have contributed to a polarisation between groups, particularly between host communities and refugees. Low income Jordanians feel disenfranchised and discriminated against. Moreover, since local CBOs are perceived as enforcers of these policies, the strategic relationship between communities and community organisations for P/CVE has been eroded.

Another finding indicates that youth in Jordan are growing increasingly restless. There is a palpable programming gap for youth aged 10-15. This is particularly problematic as this age group is highly impressionable. Idleness can lead them to engage with social media for entertainment, a prime recruitment setting for violent extremist groups.

Lastly, while programmes supporting the economic and social empowerment of women have been prioritised in Jordan for several decades, traditional gender roles and internalised misogyny continue to affect their reach. The exclusion of women from public and economic life, means that their impact as agents of change in P/CVE is untapped.

In Need of a Shared Local Vision

The research concludes that P/CVE efforts should be funded as long-term development and human security goals. To enable this, donor and government perceptions of P/CVE programming must be realigned and placed within the human security paradigm.

Mechanisms must be developed to bring together government stakeholders with representatives of CBOs, UN agencies, INGOs, and the donor community, to develop a shared vision of what human security programming entails in the current context of the violent extremism threat. The government must also establish a cohesive procedural framework, which includes standardised approval processes, and making available better data to inform project design.

The report also argues that the humanitarian sector is plagued by a sequence of buzzwords into which donors direct their money. Donors need to better consider the local context in all stages of a project. To achieve this, the donor-CBO gap needs to be addressed and the capacity of CBOs needs to be built so that they can meet the requirements to avail of foreign donor funds.

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