Countering Violent Extremism

cveViolent extremism is the use of violence to shape society according to a particular set of political or religious beliefs, and Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) strategies aim to dissuade individuals or groups from mobilizing towards violent extremism through nonviolent means.
AfP has three specific objectives concerning CVE:
  1. Influence policy with clear knowledge and evidence base of effective peacebuilding initiatives for mitigating extremism and creating practical guidance and strategies for USG departments and donor agencies;
  2. Increase dialogue and understanding among USG agencies and military branches around the importance and effectiveness of peacebuilding approaches to CVE; and
  3. Increase positive collaboration among key stakeholders globally in order to identify key issues and develop strategies around U.S. approaches to CVE.
AfP will accomplish these objectives through three central venues:
  • Research – AfP is part of a large research consortium, sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP), the Department of State, and USAID, to gain a more nuanced understanding of regional and local manifestations of extremism
  • Advocacy – AfP continues to hold dialogues with the USG and military, endorsing a peacebuilding and development approach to CVE. AfP has CVE working group of 15+ NGO partners to coordinate communication, advocacy and programming.
  • Networking and Dialogue – AfP is a global network of peacebuilding organizations, all of which are working with their own governments and regional bodies such as the European Union, the African Union, and the United Nations. AfP serves as a key member of the Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (CSPPS) which is linking CVE to issues of security and development in fragile states, and working with networks of local peacebuilders from Sierra Leon to Afghanistan.


Since the announcement of President Obama’s CVE strategy in February 2015, AfP has been mobilizing the peacebuilding community to engage with the USG at the highest levels. AfP organized a working group that drafted and released a field-wide joint statement, and we worked to influence the National Security Council’s framing of President Obama’s UN General Assembly speech. Additionally, a cohort of AfP members created an international network of peacebuilding organizations working on CVE advocacy around the world and has contributed to closed-door meetings with the Department of State and National Security Council.

CVE Digest

The digest is a compilation of recent statements, activities and commentaries on CVE policy. It also includes essential background readings to understand the U.S. CVE strategy as well as highlights of the work AfP members are doing on CVE.

Read the CVE Digest Subscribe to the CVE Digest

Joint Statement

AfP and 40 other leading U.S. humanitarian, development and peacebuilding organizations released a joint NGO statement on July 20, 2015 weighing in on the Obama Administration’s new CVE strategy. The statement was coordinated by AfP member Mercy Corps along with AfP with extensive input from other signatories. It outlines core concerns about the U.S. CVE strategy, including chronic underfunding of development and peacebuilding programs and the still-dominant role of military security operations that can undermine de-radicalization efforts. It also lays out six key policy recommendations.

Read the Joint Statement


AfP’s CVE Policy Brief – Read AfP’s recommendations for better CVE policy.
Islamophobia doesn’t defeat violent extremism; It helps grow it – Melanie Greenberg, The Hill
ISIS crimes against the Yazidi: It’s genocide – Liz Hume, The Hill

If you have any comments or questions regarding AfP’s work on CVE, please contact Liz Hume at

Photo Credit: Zoriah Miller