• Counterterrorism evaluation - Taking stock and looking ahead

      Bellasio, J.; Hofman, J.; Ward, A.; Nederveen, F.; Knack, A.; Meranto, A.S.; Hoorens, S. (RAND Europe, 2018)
      Recent years have seen an uptick in terrorist and violent extremist incidents occurring across Europe. European countries, including the Netherlands, face a wide threat spectrum and the volume of terrorism and violent extremism-related phenomena and crimes has also increased. In response, European countries have made significant investments in strategies, policies and programmes designed to prevent and counter terrorism, violent extremism and associated phenomena. Holistic policy responses, such as a national counterterrorism strategy, have been designed and implemented with a view to both respond to terrorist threats and attacks, and increase societal and individual resilience to the lure of extremist ideologies.Not least because of the dynamism and complexity of the phenomena involved, little is known as regards the effectiveness, relevance and impact of counterterrorism (CT) and preventing and countering violent extremism (PCVE) policies and programmes. Recent research suggests also that despite the volume of CT and PCVE initiatives established in recent years, the evidence base underpinning these remains limited and evaluation practice and investments are underdeveloped compared to the overall fields of CT and PCVE.In 2010, a study commissioned by the WODC aimed to assess evaluation practice and culture in the fields of CT and PCVE.3 The study found that evaluation of CT and PCVE strategies, policies and programmes was still in its infancy (see link at: More information).The current study investigates how evaluations of CT and PCVE policies in the Netherlands and abroad have been designed and conducted over the last five years. Furthermore, the study investigates what practical lessons can be drawn regarding such evaluations and what actions and measures could be taken in the short and medium terms to mitigate any existing shortcomings. CONTENT: 1. Introduction 2. Methodology 3. Understanding the study context and its key definitions 4. Building an analytical framework 5. Analysing CT and PCVE evaluations 6. Identifying issues and learning lessons from CT and PCVE evaluations 7. Overall conclusions and recommendations