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Youth engagement in addressing violent extremism and gender violence through early warning systems in Kenya and Tanzania

This project will investigate how a community security mechanism known as Nyumba Kumi (which comprises ten households per cell) used in Kenya and Tanzania might foster safer spaces for youth and women to participate in efforts to counter violent extremism and gender violence.

Through a comparative analysis of the operationalization of Nyumba Kumi in these two countries, this study will establish how different contexts influence implementation and explore best practices that could be applied in other parts of Africa. The methodology includes case study approaches to examine the opportunities for strengthening youth engagement in the linkages between informal mechanisms, early warning systems, and prevention of violent extremism. It will examine how a community-led security mechanism can provide a platform for promoting the interface between youth, communities, policymakers and law enforcers, and it will promote the leadership role of youth and women in addressing governance challenges facing their communities.

The project aims to transform the attitudes and behaviours of communities, policymakers and law enforcers so that they embrace and promote community security mechanisms as tools and platforms for strengthening youth engagement in the prevention of violent extremism and creation of safer spaces. Ultimately, the project will inform the development of evidence-based policies and will influence practices by security actors and other stakeholders on the importance of active youth engagement and participation of youths in community security, policing, and early warning processes.

The University of Dar-Es-Salaam will lead this project in Tanzania, and will collaborate with researchers from Catholic University in East Africa for the Kenya component. Using a participatory approach, researchers will target youths (male and female), government officials, religious leaders, political elites and non-state actors involved in community policing and promotion of security.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Martha Mutisi
Total Funding
CA$ 509,600.00
Democratic and Inclusive Governance
Governance and Justice
Institution Country
Project Leader
Bernadeta Killian
University of Dar es Salaam