- Target Audience
- First responders or practitionersLocal community organisations/NGOsLaw enforcement officers
- key themes association
- Community engagement/civil societyMulti-agency cooperation
- Peer Reviewed practice
Finn Church Aid
Finland’s community seminar method is one of the activities included in the Reach Out programme funded by the European Commission’s ISF Police Fund.
Finn Church Aid, the largest development actor and second largest provider of humanitarian aid in Finland, hosts the secretariat of the Network for Religious and Traditional Peacemakers.
The network was initiated in 2013 as a direct result of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s report 'Strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution' (UN GA Report A/66/811, 2012) and the supporting guidance document 'UN Guidance for Effective Mediation' (UN GA Resolution 65/283, 2012).
The Network is a faith-based organisation and it is financially supported, inter alia, by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland, Finn Church Aid, the KAICIID Dialogue Centre and the United States Institute of Peace. In addition, the network receives significant support in the form of in-kind contributions from several network members.
Type of Organisation: Other
Finland's community seminars tackle polarisation at local level by bringing together local actors from diverse public sector bodies (law enforcement, social services, etc.), NGOs with expertise in working with vulnerable groups and local prevention efforts, religious communities and community-based organisations with grass roots access, trusted by citizens.
The seminars function as a trust-building and co-creation platform for local preventive practices and initiatives. After the seminar, local authorities receive support in setting up a local multi-agency team and action plan.
The co-creation is designed to facilitate a transparent, inclusive and participatory process for all parties, and to prevent polarisation of, for example, Muslim communities, as recipients of these efforts.
This is also important in terms of strategic communication, as polarisation around the topic of radicalisation, violent extremism and foreign terrorist fighter (FTF) returnees can reflect a narrow and misleading image of the nature of violent extremism as a phenomenon.