The IGAD Centre of Excellence for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (ICEPCVE) is pleased to announce the call for submission of research papers in on the relationship between COVID-19 and violent extremism in the Horn and East Africa region.
The World Health Organization declared the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic in March 2020. Even before the pandemic, the threat of violent extremism in the IGAD Member States was growing steadily. Violent extremist organizations (VEOs) such as Al-Shabaab have been radicalizing and recruiting and radicalizing people into violent extremism. However, countering violent extremism in the context of a global pandemic presents a different dynamic.
Propaganda, fake news and misinformation by VEOs about the origin, spread and management of the virus; a deteriorating relationship between law enforcement officers and the community in managing curfews and lock-downs; the potential of self-isolation to fuel extremism and online radicalization into violent extremism; and a growing economic crisis are some of the emerging issues to be considered in VE during this pandemic.
The first emerging security challenge related to COVID-19 stems from the lack of clarity on the mechanisms for enforcing response measures such as curfews and lockdowns. Some of these limit/or suspend civil liberties and at times criminalize ‘normal’ activities. . Such disjointed measures have already led to the use of excessive force and violence by those tasked with enforcing response measures in Kenya and Uganda. On the other hand, lockdowns, restrictions on mobility, and border closures have caused an economic downturn, price spikes of basic goods and a lack of work in the informal sector, which supports many in the region who rely on everyday income to secure basic needs of food, water, medicines, and basic services. The loss of livelihoods due to job losses and lockdowns act as a pull factor and exposes people to temptation to join VEOs that promise stability and recognition and some form of compensation for their families by if they commit to participate in acts of terror.
SCOPE OF ASSIGNMENT
Given this context, we welcome insights from independent research institutions in the fields of violent extremism and peace and security or related themes to investigate the link between the COVID-19 pandemic and safety and security in the context of violent extremism in the IGAD Member States – Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda, plus Tanzania. Where possible, the papers should also identify vulnerable individuals and groups and the reasons why they would be receptive to radicalization and recruitment by extremists post the pandemic. The focus for this research will be:
- Countering violent extremism in the context of a pandemic,
- The potential of violent extremist organizations to ‘weaponized’ the pandemic and;
- The potential of self-isolation to fuel extremism and radicalization.
Specifically, the research should answer the following questions:
- At a regional-level how effective was the IGAD COVID-19 strategy in taking into account these VE risks?
- Is there a direct correlation between the respective government’s approach to the pandemic and increased radicalization towards violent extremism/recruitment/attacks? Could we quantify the evidence base in this regard?
- How should IGAD Member States plus Tanzania develop/implement P/CVE-strategies/activities in consideration of the correlation between Covid-19 and violent extremism?
This call is open to independent research institutions/firms (“think tanks”), based in any of the IGAD Member States whose research is centered on violent extremism, conflict and/or peace and security.
The research institution/think tank should have experience in violent extremism and have a track record of quality research and analysis in the region.
The Expressions of Interest will include:
- The organizational profile
- Summary of previous research in violent extremism conducted by the firm
- CVs of up to three principal researchers (including a list of their publications), not more than 3 pages each
- Proposed work plan for the assignment
Please note that at this stage no PROPOSALS whether TECHNICAL or FINANCIAL are requested.
HOW TO APPLY
Administration and Finance
Avenue Georges Clemenceau
P.O. Box 2653,
Djibouti, Republic of Djibouti