IMPACT Europe – Radicalisation Awareness Network Joint Practitioners Training Workshop

On 10 and 11 November, the IMPACT Europe team, in partnership with the Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN) Centre of Excellence (CoE), welcomed a group of counter-radicalisation and counter-violent extremism practitioners from prison and probation services to a two-day capacity-building workshop in Cambridge, UK. The workshop provided a unique opportunity to empower practitioners to evaluate their work, to exchange and learn from the experiences of and challenges faced by their peers, and to build a community of practice.

Workshop participants, who came from Belgium, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, Norway, Finland, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and the UK, represented different professional backgrounds and joined the event having gained a vast experience of work in different contexts. As such, participants were quick to embrace the opportunity provided by the workshop to share and learn about activities undertaken by colleagues operating in different national environments, and employing different PVE and CVE approaches, and evaluation techniques.

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On the first day, an initial roundtable discussion saw participants present their CVE/PVE interventions, as well as their plans and requirements for evaluation. Participating interventions employed a wide range of techniques, pursuing a variety of goals and focusing on different target groups. In this context, evaluation was discussed as a tool for enhancing accountability in the CVE/PVE world, and for facilitating wider learning.

Participants were then introduced to the IMPACT Europe project and to the work of the RAN CoE. Following this session, evaluation experts from the IMPACT Europe team gave an overview of evaluation theory and, in particular, of theories of change. Participants were then given an opportunity to explore the resources and interactive functionalities available on the IMPACT Europe Toolkit. Through this session, the group also provided valuable feedback on how the Toolkit could be further refined for enhanced utility by end-users.

Drawing upon the resources of the Toolkit, as well as on the IMPACT Europe evaluation team’s expertise, participants worked on identifying the theories of change underlying their programmes and interventions. Having outlined the theoretical underpinnings of their activities, participants then spent the rest of the two days of the event preparing draft evaluation plans for implementation in the following months.