USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies

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The USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies project is identifying and testing new methods for the prevention of violent extremism (PVE) in Central Asia. The project conducted field and digital research to identify risk and prevention factors for violent extremism. Based on the research results, the project is working closely with civil society organizations (CSOs) in Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan to design and test violent extremism risk reduction pilot programming.

PROJECT ACHIEVEMENTS 

Research implementation

The USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies project conducted a mixed-methods research design with field components and online research components. The project completed data collection in December 2019 and reported all research results by May 2020. Based on these results, the project developed a Central Asian Violent Extremism Risk Framework to guide programming. The research results have been shared with a variety of U.S. government audiences, with regional governments, and with CSOs during the process of risk reduction program design.

Pilot Programming

The project team is working closely with CSOs in at-risk communities to co-design risk reduction activities based on the project’s research. Through project year two, the USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies project has initiated 18 grant-based pilot activities, six of which have been completed.

  • In Kazakhstan, the project is partnering with Kazakh CSO IDEA Foundation to develop and test a PVE curriculum for technical and vocational education and training (TVET) colleges. During the design phase, IDEA solicited national and international experts to help guide the development of the curriculum’s components. The curriculum is currently being remotely delivered to a pilot group of students from TVET colleges in Zhazkazgan.
  • In Tajikistan, the project partnered with CSO Mohi Munir to develop a door-to-door outreach campaign to reach women in at-risk families in Kabadiyan, an extremism hotspot in Khatlon. The project engaged with 200 families and shared information about extremism risks. In a follow-on grant, Mohi Munir is developing community-based resource groups to connect at-risk families to resources to help them address family crises and reduce extremism risks.
  • In the Kyrgyz Republic, the project has partnered with CSOs Women’s Peace Bank and Foundation for Tolerance International to design a mentorship program for at-risk youth in hotspot communities across the country. Drawing on successful models, the project has recruited and trained 50 mentors who are currently engaging with over 100 mentees selected through a cooperative process between mentors and local communities.
  • In Uzbekistan, the project partnered with CSO Istiqbolli Avlod to train their staff on facilitating discussions on violent extremism risk and prevention with at-risk youth and potential migrants. The grantee has incorporated extremism risk awareness raising into their extensive outreach to migrants in Uzbekistan, a key risk group.

Program Learning

Program learning is a central component of the USAID Central Asia Support for Stable Societies project. The project’s research has done much to advance understandings and challenge assumptions about causal factors for violent extremism in Central Asia. Pilot programming is developing and testing a variety of approaches that can be used by communities to address extremism risks. Capacity building of CSOs is helping the project institutionalize programming lessons learned so that civil society can continue to improve their methods for addressing extremism risks in their communities.

Last updated: November 18, 2020

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