With the summer here, we take a look back at some of the work been done by RAN Practitioners and its members so far this year. While the COVID-19 pandemic might not yet be a thing of the past, the relaxation in measures has enabled practitioners to meet once again in person at various Working Group meetings and events. We have been out and about, meeting with some of these practitioners both at RAN events and at their places of work. In this issue of the RAN Practitioners Update, we travel to Athens, to meet with members of the RAN YOUNG platform and we travel to Vilnius to meet with an organisation on the frontline in tackling disinformation and conspiracy narratives.
The RAN YOUNG Platform is a network of young people working to prevent and counter violent extremism (P/CVE). The aim of the platform is to give young people a voice in P/CVE and empower them to take action in their communities or field of work. To do this, the RAN YOUNG Platform offers young actors a safe space to exchange views and formulate recommendations both for first-line practitioners and policymakers. You can read more about the RAN YOUNG Platform, including its events, activities and outputs, here.
For the first time in two years, members of the RAN YOUNG Platform had an opportunity to meet in person, to discuss the role of young people in P/CVE. We travelled to Athens to participate in this RAN YOUNG event and meet with some of its participants. In the margins of the meeting we brought some young people together to discuss issue and topics relevant to them, including the challenge posed by digital technology, the proliferation of disinformation, and why being part of RAN YOUNG is so beneficial to them.
In March of this year, the RAN YOUNG Platform organised its third ‘Review Panel’. Through an online workshop, 16 young people reviewed three projects from the RAN Practitioners’ Collection of Inspiring Practices. The purpose of the Review Panel was to provide a young person’s perspective that might inform and help in the future delivery of these projects. You can read the paper, including the recommendations made by the panel, in full here.
The latest episode of RAN Reporters visits Vilnius in Lithuania, to meet an organisation which is on the frontline in tackling disinformation and conspiracy narratives. Against the backdrop of the Ukraine war, our reporter meets with Viktoras Dauksas to learn about the work of his organisation DebunkEU. DebunkEU spends its time monitoring and analysing different forms of disinformation and how it contributes to the radicalisation of young people online. It then turns these insights into action, in the form of critical thinking campaigns and training for teachers.
In December of last year, we published a RAN Practitioners Spotlight on ‘Conspiracy narratives and disinformation’. This e-magazine, heard from a number of practitioners and experts about different aspects of the challenge, including: the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic; the nexus between disinformation and violent extremism; the role of conspiracy narratives in violent right wing extremism (VRWE); effective counter measures, and much more.
A paper, published by RAN Practitioners in January 2022, takes a look at the current state of, and future outlook for conspiracy narratives in the EU. This paper captures some of the insights gathered from a RAN Practitioners Communication & Narratives Working Group meeting. It makes a series of recommendations for practitioners in tackling the challenge and suggests a set of follow-ups for future RAN Practitioners activity.
We are delighted to announce that this year’s main event, the RAN Practitioners Plenary, will be held on Thursday, 13th and Friday, 14th October 2022. The event, which will be held offline in Brussels, will last from lunchtime on the Thursday to lunchtime on the Friday. Please keep an eye on the RAN website and your inbox for further updates, including how to register, the location and times of the meeting, a full programme, and much more.
For more information on all planned meetings over the coming months of 2022 please go to the RAN Practitioners website.
The role of civil society organisations in exit work
A recent paper by RAN Practitioners provides a comprehensive overview of the different functions and characteristics of CSO-led exit interventions in the EU. The paper reviews areas and forms of cooperation between CSOs and state agencies in exit work, and summarises the challenges, lessons learned and inspiring practices regarding cooperation with state actors.
Developing resilience as an approach to dealing with the influences of problematic informal and non-formal education in schools
A RAN Practitioners handbook provides information on how adolescents develop socially and how problematic education can influence them. The handbook presents requirements that must be met by cooperation partners and outlines three approaches which have been successfully used in schools throughout Europe. The methods included can also be used by teachers to address difficult topics within the classroom.
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