VOX-Pol Participation in RAN C&N Meeting on Measuring the Impact of Online CVE Campaigns

On 13-14 February, VOX-Pol Programme Manager, Lisa McInerney, participated in the EU’s Radicalisation Awareness Network’s (RAN) Communication and Narratives Working Group’s latest meeting in Brussels.

The meeting focused on how to measure the impact of online counter or alternative narrative campaigns, with the aim of making it easier for campaigners to evaluate and measure impact in a proper way right from the inception of such campaigns.

After a welcome and introduction from RAN C&N working group leader Alexander Ritzmann, presentations were given to set the scene. Representatives from the College of Europe, RAN, and Zamir Creative presented on their experiences campaigning and on questions concerning impact measurement and evaluation.

The majority of those invited to participate were on-the-ground practitioners. These practitioners were invited to share the means, if any, used to evaluate the impact of their own campaigns. If they hadn’t evaluated the impact of their campaigns they were asked why they hadn’t and what would encourage evaluation in subsequent campaigns.

The Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD) then shared their methods for impact measurement with those participating in the meeting. The information presented was based on The Counter-Narrative Monitoring and Evaluation Handbook published by ISD in 2016 (available here).

A blog post drawing on ISD’s Handbook and addressing measurement and evaluation of the impact of online counter or alternative narrative campaigns is available on the VOX-Pol Blog here.

One of RAN’s primary concerns in 2017 is crafting a campaign addressing the problem of returnees to the EU from Iraq and Syria with the decline of Daesh. In line with this an extra brainstorm was organised in the meeting to look into questions such as the difference between returnees and other radicalised persons, and whether guiding principles for dealing with returnees exist. Input from this discussion will be fed into the RAN returnee manual to be presented in June 2017.