Inclusive Mechanisms Targeting Youth for Countering Violent Extremism in the IGAD Region

The creation of an inclusive mechanism to mainstream youth and youth issues into interventions in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) poses substantive conceptual, methodological and policy challenges. For the most part, young men and women make up the majority of actors- and “foot soldiers”- that embrace and actively engage in acts of violent extremism (VE). As the threat posed by VE deepens in Africa, especially, inter-governmental state and non-state institutions are investing time and resources to contemplate and implement innovative and collaborative solutions. However, there is still a plethora of gaps in the conceptual understanding of youth engagements in VE and in the current approaches put in place by state and non-state actors to CVE.

A longitudinal design and mixed method is deployed in this study, with emphasis on scholarly and action-oriented policy outputs. Placing premium on gender-disaggregated data, the study emphasizes in-depth contextual analysis of the structural factors that underpin youth exclusion, injustice vis-à-vis violence, extremism and radicalization. Three organizations: OSSREA (academia), PeaceNet(CSOs) and IGAD (Inter-governmental) are collaborating to bringing critical synergies and comparative advantages to the successful implementation of the project. The network will jointly engage in the co-production of new knowledge and interventions on multi-stakeholders engagement with youth in CVE. The overall aim is to generate new and richer body of knowledge and perspectives to inform evidence based policy interventions on CVE in two member states of the Inter-Governmental Authority for Development (IGAD); (Kenya and Uganda), and across Africa.


Truphena E. Mukuna is the Executive Director of the Organisation for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa (OSSREA).  She holds a PhD in Education with specialization in curriculum and instructional technology. She is a Multi-disciplinary social science researcher with extensive, hands-on experience and technical expertise on issues in Education; Research and Capacity Building, leadership and governance, institutional strengthening and Mentoring early career researchers; Disaster Risk Reduction; Climate Change, Social Protection, Gender studies, Resilience analysis, Environmental Sustainable Development, Adolescents and Youth affairs. Dr. Mukuna has technical expertise in linking Research to Policy with experience of working in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.  She is also a Human Rights advocate with keen interest on social protection and gender issues of the marginalized vulnerable groups of people. Mukuna is presently the co-principal investigator of a 3 year project named Youth Inclusive Mechanisms in Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the IGAD Region funded by IDRC. She also sits on the steering committee of the Borderlands Dynamics Project, funded by NORHED. She is the OSSREA coordinator of the Informal Cross-Border Trade in the IGAD Region, funded by SIDA and a member of the project Quartet sitting at Life and Peace Institute. Truphena has conducted research, analyzed and published extensively (see LinkedIn:

Prof. Sunday Angoma Okello - Principal Investigator

Dr. Sunday Angoma OKELLO obtained his PhD in Public Policy majoring in Conflict, Security and Development from the International Development Department at the University of Birmingham, UK. He previously earned an MA in Peace and Reconciliation Studies from Coventry University, UK; Post Graduate Certificate in Conflict Resolution Skills from Lancaster University, UK; and two degrees in Manufacturing Engineering from Vaxjo University, Sweden. He is currently working as a conflict analyst for IGAD CEWARN and he also holds joint positions as Senior Research on the African Peace and Security Programme (APSP) and Assistant Professorship; both at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies, IPSS, Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia, He has been actively involved in the flagship research of the IPSS on African-led Solutions (AfSol) to Peace and Security. His recent work on South Sudan had been published as in a book by IPSS. With close to 30 years of experience in the areas of peace, security, development, governance, and more, Dr Okello has extensive knowledge of Africa; in particular, the Great Lakes Region and the Horn, Central. He has lived, worked and conducted field research in Uganda, South Sudan, Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, and in Eastern DRC following the activities of the Lord Resistance Army (LRA). He has also travelled extensively and lived in Serbia, UK, Sweden, Canada, Cambodia, Norway, Denmark, Tanzania, France, and Italy.

Alemu Tesfaye - Research Uptake and  Communication Officer

Manager for information and Knowledge Management at OSSREA since December 20008. Have several years of experience in research uptake, communication, online learning and knowledge management in the field of social sciences. Got considerable skills in various technologies suitable for research uptake and communication such as content management systems, knowledge management systems, e-learning systems, Infographic development systems, animated videos development systems and social networks. Interested in multi-disciplinary research and online learning. Currently working as research uptake officer for two projects namely, Youth-Inclusive Mechanisms for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism in the IGAD Region funded by the IDRC and Migrating out of Poverty Project funded by DIFD. Worked at different capacities for various organisations as a software solutions expert. A graduate in Information Technology with an MBA from Manipal University of India. 

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