Above: Samarkand, Uzbekistan, joined the Strong Cities Network in April 2021.
Dear Friends and Partners,
Welcome to our May newsletter.
In light of the ongoing pandemic and the spread of mis- and disinformation associated with it, we are pleased to officially launch our COVID-19 Resource Hub, a collection of practical, trusted resources for city leaders and practitioners. As an introduction to the effect COVID-19 has had on extremism and polarisation, we encourage you to watch our latest video, featuring expertise from the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and across our network.
Two SCN publications have launched today. The first is our Post-Incident Response Toolkit, which is now available in Arabicas well as English and French. The second is our East Africa Local Action Planning Toolkit, designed for local governments and civil society organisations in East Africa who are interested in developing a local action plan.
Staying in Sub-Saharan Africa, we have a guest article from Olusegun Akinfenwa, a correspondent for Immigration News, who writes on local efforts in tackling small arms proliferation in Africa.
We are also highlighting an article by Eric Rosand, President of PVE Solutions and a Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, reflecting on US strategy for preventing and countering violent extremism 20 years after 9/11.
Finally, we are extremely pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the SCN: Surabaya, the first member from Indonesia to join the network, and Samarkand, the first from Uzbekistan.
If your city or organisation is working on a new initiative, or if you are interested in authoring a guest article, we would love to hear from you. Please do get in touch via email@example.com
The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it unprecedented challenges to city leaders, civil society and communities alike, and has been accompanied by a global wave of related conspiracy theories and disinformation. These challenges will not disappear with the rollout of a vaccine. The Strong Cities team has therefore compiled a COVID-19 Resource Hub, a collection of practical, trusted resources for city leaders and practitioners to help build resilience against all types of extremism. If you have a resource you would like to feature, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
What Effect has COVID-19 Had on Hate, Polarisation, Extremism, our Cities and Local Leaders?
We spoke to experts from across our network and the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD), which leads the SCN. Watch our video below, featuring contributions from ISD CEO and Co-Founder Sasha Havlicek, Magnus Ranstorp, Research Director at Swedish Defence University, and Milo Comerford, Head of Policy & Research on Counter-Extremism at ISD.
NEW Publication: Responding to a Terror Attack: A Strong Cities Toolkit (Arabic)
Originally launched in English in January 2021, this Strong Cities Network (SCN) toolkit offers a guide for local governments in formulating a sensitive and effective response in the wake of a terror attack. The Arabic version is now available to read, alongside the English and French publications.
NEW Publication: East Africa Local Action Planning Toolkit
PATRICIA CROSBY & DOMINIC PKALYA
This toolkit has been designed by the SCN as a resource for local governments and civil society organisations across East Africa who are interested in developing a local action plan (LAP). LAPs seek to build a multi-sector approach to strengthening community resilience and addressing the root causes of violent extremism, polarisation and hate.
Guest Article: Local Efforts in Tackling Arms Proliferation and Armed Conflicts in Africa
An estimated 100 million small arms and light weapons are thought to be in circulation in Africa. The uncontrolled sale and distribution of these arms have wrought untold human and economic costs on the continent, adding to growing threats of insecurity and terror attacks. Olusegun Akinfenwa examines what local leaders in Africa are doing to tackle the issue, and what more needs to be done.
Guest Article: Twenty Years After 9/11, the US Needs a Better Strategy to Prevent and Counter Violent Extremism
Eric Rosand, President of PVE Solutions and Senior Associate Fellow at RUSI, reflects on two decades of US counterterrorism strategy and the need for change to reflect not only an evolving global security threat, but also a growing need for multilateral dialogue and solutions.