First annual IMPACT Europe consortium took place in Paris

On 8-9 January 2015, IMPACT Europe consortium partners and advisory board members gathered in Paris for the 2015 IMPACT Europe consortium meeting. As the meeting took place in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shooting, participants were provided with a forceful reminder of the importance of activities geared at establishing what works best in tackling violent radicalisation and thus the crucial and very tangible contribution IMPACT Europe can make to increasing public safety.

Hosted by the Fondation pour la recherche stratégique, the consortium meeting provided participants with a timely opportunity to engage in a comprehensive stock taking of progress made with regard to meeting IMPACT Europe’s objectives since the project’s launch in January 2014 and to discuss strategies for ensuring the continued visibility and future sustainability of IMPACT Europe outputs.

With a view to taking stock of past achievements, TNO offered a presentation of the final version of the main deliverable of Work Package 2, namely a discussion of the state of the art in evaluating the effectiveness of counter violent radicalisation interventions, which had been released to the European Commission and published on . Consortium partners also engaged in a lively discussion of the different approaches to evaluation that had crystallised and informed IMPACT Europe research over the course of 2014. As the consortium partner leading on the development of the IMPACT Europe evaluation toolkit, RAND Europe  reported on the progress that had been made with regard to fleshing out the architecture for the evaluation toolkit software.

Looking into the future, the consortium partners engaged in an extensive exchange of views with the IMPACT Europe advisory board on a wide range of themes of strategic importance, including the implementation of the communication and dissemination strategy, further advances in effective end user engagement, and the sustainability of the IMPACT Europe evaluation toolkit beyond 2017 when IMPACT Europe formally comes to an end. In this respect, the exchange of views with the advisory board proved to be particularly fruitful, further raising the desirability to engage advisory board members in IMPACT Europe activities in an even more regular and structured manner in the future.

As part of the consortium’s endeavours to ensure the robustness of the design and the effectiveness of the piloting of the IMPACT Europe evaluation toolkit, Sorø Kommune was introduced as one of two potential additional end user organisations to be added to the consortium, pending confirmation by the European Commission. Throughout the process of designing the IMPACT Europe evaluation toolkit, Sorø Kommune is envisaged to contribute to the provision of information and input required to effectively use the toolkit, the design of a training course and manual in support of the evaluation toolkit, and the validation of the toolkit by piloting it and by giving feedback on its user friendliness, utility, and contribution to capacity building. Sorø Kommune joins Politie Nederland and Radical Middle Way as consortium partners with an end user profile. The fourth end user organisation to be added to the consortium will be determined during the first quarter of 2015.

The next IMPACT Europe consortium meeting will take place in February 2016 in Brussels, Belgium, and be hosted by RAND Europe.