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Evaluation of the Peer to Peer (P2P): Challenging Extremism Initiative

Award Information

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

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2016, $750,000)

The Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in a consortium agreement with the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University pursue to conduct a project entitled “Evaluation of the Peer to Peer (P2P) Challenging Extremism Initiative." Our proposal convenes experts and practitioners in the areas of program evaluation, radicalization to violent extremism, and social media analytics, in order to generate and integrate scientifically derived knowledge into strategies for effective prevention and intervention against domestic radicalization and violent extremism in the United States (US). More specifically, we seek to generate substantive evaluation data, which can be used by practitioners and policy makers to enhance the creation and dissemination of effective counter-narratives for reducing the threat of ideologically-motivated violence in the US. We propose using a mixed-methods approach, design a cohort study (n=320) and a randomized controlled trial (n=210) to evaluate an existing nationwide initiative which aims at engaging youth in countering violent extremism in the on-line arena. The P2P initiative provides an opportunity for students, across fifty universities in the United States, to create and activate their own social media campaigns in order to challenge violent extremist propaganda. Data analysis will consist in the application of social media analytics to assess the impact of the P2P social media products in the on-line arena, comparison of outcomes such as ability to discredit extremist propaganda between youth exposed and not exposed to the initiative and to the social media products. Statistical technique will include multivariate models and adjustments for confounders related to subjects’ characteristics and behaviors. Dissemination activities will include the creation of a report, manuscripts for publication in scientific journals and webinars and presentations at conferences and meetings as needed. ca/ncf

Date Created: September 14, 2016