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Evaluating the Safe Spaces Community-Led CVE Program

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2015, $936,571)

Goals and Objectives: This award responds to the need to identify and evaluate promising practices used in community-level programs designed to prevent radicalization to violence. This study conducts an evaluation of Safe Spaces, a community-led violence prevention program developed by the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). Safe Spaces aims to empower Muslim communities to protect themselves against misguided ideas and violent actions through community investment in social and religious programs and community adoption of multi-disciplinary "crisis inquiry teams" that intervene when an individual is at risk of engaging in violent behavior. The knowledge generated through this study will inform the development, implementation and effectiveness of community-led CVE programs.

Subjects: The subjects for this study include persons from community sites in 9 U.S. cities and their partners in law enforcement and other agencies (n=540).

Research Designs and Methods: This is a three-year, multi-site, mixed methods study. The study consists of three aims: Aim 1: Program Modification. To further refine and adapt Safe Spaces, the researchers will conduct 3 focus groups with participants from mosques, schools, and service organizations, and convene a program design lab to inform MPAC's further refining and adapting Safe Spaces. Aim 2: Examining Implementation. To assess implementation processes, facilitators and barriers to implementation, collaborators, and the sustainability planning of Safe Spaces using a mixed methods approach that includes process measures, a survey, focus groups, and observations of the local leadership and the crisis inquiry team in 9 community sites. Aim 3: Examining Impact. To examine the impact of Safe Spaces' implementation conducted by local communities, through documenting Prevention and Intervention activities and their intermediate outcomes in the 9 community sites. Aim 4: Improving Evaluation Methods. To convene a joint community, policymaker, and academic workshop, so as to collaboratively develop practical and usable educational materials and evaluation tools that will facilitate community-led prevention. Analysis: The overall mixed methods analysis incorporates multiple data types (process measures, surveys, focus groups and observations), both quantitative and qualitative analysis, and a participatory research approach. Products, Reports, and Data Archiving: The project will generate educational materials and evaluation tools and
procedures that will help community-based organizations, law enforcement, and other government agencies to initiate and/or strengthen community-level CVE programs. It will also produce reports, presentations, and articles on community-level CVE programs and their evaluation. By also involving MPAC and START, findings from this study will be transitioned to local, state, and federal practitioners.

This project contains a research and/or development component, as defined in applicable law.


Date Created: September 29, 2015