Within the broader context of the interagency Trans-Saharan Counter-Terrorism Partnership (TSCTP) between the U.S. departments of State and of Defense and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Peace through Development (PDEV) program aims to mitigate the potential for terrorism and extremism in the Sahel region of Africa. PDEV seeks to deter marginalized populations from ideologies that advocate violent means to resolve conflict.
FHI 360 experts working on PDEV in Chad and Niger focused on three areas:
- Improving the effectiveness of local governments and public confidence in local governance
- Youth empowerment and integration aimed at reducing economic marginalization and political radicalization
- Access to alternative messages of tolerance and peace through broader media outreach and support
PDEV combined tangible development outcomes — installation of wells and latrines, equipment support for schools and youth centers, job creation for at-risk youth, microcredit opportunities, and others — with inclusive, participatory decision-making processes that supported positive and peaceful choices in target communities. The Moderate Voices program targeted violent extremism through a radio program focused on religious issues, promotion of moderate voices, peace and tolerance messaging, and inter- and intra-faith dialogue.
PDEV also employed Community YouthMappingtm, a participatory approach in which youth “map” their community to better understand available opportunities and existing community needs. Based on findings from their mapping activities, youth designed programs focused on long-term, sustainable, economic-stimulus activities; cultural activities; education; sports; and information access and sharing.