There is increasing global recognition that both security and development approaches are required to address violent extremism effectively. The UN Secretary General has issued a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism, setting out the case for holistic approaches grounded in human rights. To ensure aid is fit for purpose to address contemporary development challenges, the OECD has recognised activities preventing violent extremism as ODA-eligible. Australia's aid policy recognises that well-targeted Australian aid can complement diplomatic, trade and security efforts to promote stability.
Violent extremism disproportionately affects developing countries and undermines basic development goals. It produces serious economic consequences, compromising economic growth, reducing investment, tourism and trade. Violent extremism can create ungoverned spaces, which facilitate the organised movement of money, drugs, arms and people, as well as exacerbate conflict and destabilise neighbouring regions. In responding to violent extremism, states may divert resources away from basic services to security, which in turn can further alienate populations and exacerbate violence. Violent extremism can constrain the operational ability of development and humanitarian donors and their delivery partners.
On 1 March 2017, the Minister for Foreign Affairs announced a new framework, Development Approaches to Countering Violent Extremism: Policy Framework and Guidance Note, to guide the delivery of development assistance to counter violent extremism in developing countries, bolstering existing Australian Government efforts.
The framework recognises that the drivers of violent extremism vary across contexts. It ensures CVE investments will be based on robust analysis, locally appropriate methods and measures to ensure they do no harm.