An international project funded by the European Union that uses innovative technology to empower NGOs
R.A.G.E. is to respond to radicalisation among young people in their communities. It aims to promote tolerance, civic engagement, social inclusion and broader European values. The project is a partnership between TechSoup Europe, a leader in delivering technology to support civil society, and NGOs working with young people: L’association Artemis (France), Civis Polonus (Poland) and Impact Hub and Logou Paignion (Greece). RNW Media/RNTC (Netherlands) and ExploreIT (Poland) assist with development, training and research.
The project draws on best international practice to develop new educational resources and IT tools that can be used to support vulnerable young people and prevent radicalisation. Workshops and training with interdisciplinary teams will help NGOs to identify the key issues of concern among the target audience and develop effective counter-narratives. The capacity-building workshops will include co-creation facilitators, social media and IT specialists, and experts in the drivers and responses to radicalisation.
The campaign element of the project will consist of two interlinked strands.
• The partner NGOs will identify young people at risk of radicalisation in their communities. They will recruit and train Ambassadors of Change – young people who can relate and respond to the drivers of radicalisation among their peers. The Ambassadors of Change and partner NGOs will lead online campaigns to promote positive narratives among the target group using the IT tools and training resources developed in the first stage of the project.
• The project will develop a social city game that can be used by NGOs to address the anxieties and grievances of young people in their local communities. The project partners and Ambassadors of Change will run a series of city games with young people at risk of radicalisation in France, Greece and Poland. The game-based campaign will be replicable across countries and cultural contexts. Non-partner NGOs from across Europe will be able to adapt the game to reflect the issues relevant to young people in their local area.
The research and educational resources developed during the project will be discussed and disseminated with other community-based NGOs at a major three-day participatory event in Poland in Spring 2020. RNTC is responsible for research, designing the training materials in creating Alternative Narrative Campaigns, delivering trainings in three countries and providing support through follow up coaching.
Stage One – Collecting Best Practice and preparing training materials
TechSoup will commission a review of existing strategies to counter extremism and promote alternative narratives among vulnerable young people. This review will be used to develop a communication model to conduct online campaigns for young people at risk of radicalisation. A Training Handbook will be produced to assist partner NGOs in running online campaigns.
Stage Two – Participatory development of campaigns
The Partner NGOs will identify the broad range of problems facing young people in their community and recruit Ambassadors of Change. Through co-creation workshops, the Partner NGOs and Ambassadors of Change will identify the issues to be addressed during the campaign and strategies for promoting alternative narratives among the target audience.
Stage Three – Online campaign
The Partners and Ambassadors of Change will implement the social-media campaigns around the issues identified in Stage Two, using the communication model and training resources developed in Stage One.
Stage Four – City game campaign
A social city game will be developed that engages young people in local issues and addresses grievances that can lead to radicalisation. Project partners will help to develop scenarios and storylines that make the game relevant to their local context and their target audience.
Stage Five – Dissemination and replication
The tools developed during the project will be disseminated through a three-day participatory event involving partners and other NGOs that work with young people at risk of radicalisation.
Key Project Outcomes
• A State-of-the-Art analysis reviewing previous projects aimed at countering radicalisation and testing IT tools for running de-radicalisation campaigns.
• A training manual and other education resources for NGOs and youth organisations on how to run social media campaigns to counter radicalisation and promote alternative narratives.
• Ambassadors of Change recruited and trained in France, Greece and Poland. At least 16 social media campaigns conducted in these countries.
• An adaptable social city game that engages young people in issues affecting their local community.
• 12 campaigns involving 600 young people conducted by project partners using the social city game.
• Scaling-up of project through engagement of non-partner NGOs and youth groups. 15 campaigns implemented by non-partner NGOs and youth groups based on tools developed during the project, involving an additional 750 young people.