Funding Project Descriptions
Projects funded from 2017-2018 call for proposals
Projects with funding amounts over $25,000 are available under Proactive Disclosure. Outcomes from these projects will be available in the Research Catalogue.
Pushing Back Against Hate in Online Communities
This project will examine the attitudes and experiences of young Canadians toward online hate speech and violent radicalization. It will also determine the factors that influence whether or not to speak out against what they see online. The study will be conducted in the form of a national survey of up to 1000 youth in grades 9 and 10.
Findings will be used to establish data on young Canadians' understandings and experiences with online hate speech in their everyday lives. This data will help to inform policy and develop programs by governments and Internet service providers that will promote a norm of speaking out against hate speech which can protect against violent extremism.
Pushing Back Against Hate in Online Communities supports MediaSmarts' efforts to increase critical thinking skills among youth by preparing them to recognize, resist and respond to hate material online.
Projects funded from 2016-2017 call for proposals
Projects with funding amounts over $25,000 are available under Proactive Disclosure. Outcomes from these projects will be available in the Research Catalogue.
Toronto Police Service
Countering Violent Extremism (CVE) Toronto is an initiative led by Toronto Police Service to counter radicalization to violence in the city. CVE Toronto will expand to layer countering violent extremism-related training into an existing program, called FOCUS Toronto. FOCUS Toronto is led by the Toronto Police Service, the City of Toronto, the United Way, and partnered with local community organizations, and is a collaborative prevention and intervention program that aims to reduce crime and improve community resiliency in the city.
Funding to CVE Toronto will help FOCUS Toronto multi-agency situation tables to expand their reach and capabilities, including for addressing cases of radicalization leading to violence. Funding will also support FOCUS Toronto in receiving, assessing, and processing information on persons at risk of being radicalized to violent extremism and will contribute to better training for those who work directly with such individuals.
Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism: Assessing Canada's Domestic & International Strategies
Centre for International and Defence Policy, Queen's University
The Centre for International and Defence Policy (CIDP) at Queen's University undertook a study of national and international strategies for countering radicalization to violence and counter-terrorism.
As part of their study, CIDP held a workshop in early 2017 for experts from academia, government, the private sector, and non-government organizations to develop recommendations for government policy and program design. The recommendations from this workshop emphasized the importance of (1) addressing a wide range of violent extremist activities from hate crimes to terrorist attacks; (2) developing communications that counter myths about radicalization and terrorism; (3) disseminating best practices for communicating after terrorist events; and (4) measuring progress as well as evaluating the success of programs aimed at countering violent extremism. These recommendations will help the Canada Centre design a National Strategy for countering radicalization to violence.
Foreign Fighter Radicalization: Advanced Primary Data Acquisition, Analysis and Modeling
University of Waterloo
For this study, researchers are collecting information about the background, experiences and perspectives of Western foreign fighters, their families, friends and online supporters along with the role of social media in their recruitment. In particular, this project seeks to increase our understanding of why Canadians and other Westerners became involved in the conflict in Syria and Iraq. The goal is to build a model showing the various pathways along which an individual may radicalize to violence. Findings from this project will help guide the development of Canadian programs to prevent violent extremism as well as the creation of training materials for law enforcement and government officials.
Public Perceptions on Radicalization and Resilience to Violence in Canada
Association for Canadian Studies
The Association for Canadian Studies (ACS) conducted a public opinion survey with Canadians on topics such as identity, immigration, religion, integration, and the experience of hate incidents. Respondents were also asked about their views on terrorism, radicalization to violence, and the government initiatives to counter-terrorism and counter radicalization to violence. This survey provides updated data about Canadians' points of view that can be compared to other surveys conducted by the ACS on similar topics since 2012.
Findings from this survey, including comparisons with data from previous years, can help inform government programming on these issues as well as public messaging and outreach campaigns. Results can also help community leaders, frontline workers and practitioners in this area to better understand and respond to the incidents of radicalization to violence. These survey findings are public, and include results such as: 1) Canadians generally think that Canada's efforts to fight terrorism are more effective than international efforts; and 2) Canadians worry more about terrorist activities abroad than at home.
Needs Assessment: Digital Shepherds Canada – Building the capacity of civil society & CRV practitioners to assess and engage with vulnerability online
Moonshot CVE carried out an assessment from January to March 2017 to understand the gaps and opportunities in using the Internet and social media to counter radicalization to violence in Canada. The project included a literature review to better understand the nature of the online challenge as it relates to individuals' vulnerability to recruitment; a questionnaire to consider the digital literacy of practitioners; interviews with over 75 experts and practitioners on current online capabilities and online efforts for countering radicalization; and workshops with practitioners to examine local needs and opportunities.
A condensed version of the project report (PDF) outlines the scope of the online challenge, the local offline and online CVE processes in major cities, and opportunities and recommendations for better using the Internet to counter radicalization to violence in Canada. Some of the recommendations include: (a) using online advertising to nudge at-risk individuals towards resources that offer help; and (b) conducting personalized interventions through the Internet.
Canada Evidence-based Practitioners Network (CEPN): Mapping assets, assessing scientific knowledge, and developing shared national resources for the prevention of violent radicalization
Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM)
This project aims to increase Canada's capacity to assess, prevent and intervene with individuals at risk of radicalizing to violence. The project has three objectives: (1) examining the level of collaboration among existing programs across Canada for countering radicalization to violence; (2) strengthening partnerships across sectors and regions and developing networks to support interventions; and (3) producing and distributing information, resources, training, and tools for prevention, assessment, and intervention against radicalization to violence.
Training materials produced from this project will support the growing community of professional practitioners in the health and social services, as well as non-governmental organizations in Canada involved in the assessment, prevention and intervention with individuals at risk of radicalizing to violence.
Design and Performance: Developing Canadian Partnerships for Countering Violent Extremism
Ryerson University will examine and evaluate the performance of multi-agency approaches to counter radicalization to violence in Canada. Multi-agency approaches involve collaboration among a range of sectors, such as social and health services, law enforcement, education, and community-based organizations. Representatives of these sectors analyze complex cases of individuals potentially at a high risk of criminality or harm, and design interventions tailored to the individuals and their local contexts.
This project will draw on national and international best practices to develop an evaluation approach for measuring the progress of multi-agency efforts in Canada. Ryerson will in turn use this tool to engage with networks of stakeholders involved in these programs, assess how they are working together, and evaluate the operation and performance of multi-agency programs currently operating in Canada. These findings will help inform and improve current practice in Canada, and will also guide the Canada Centre's national strategy to counter radicalization to violence.
Implementing Social Pedagogical Practices via the SOMEONE (Social Media Education Every Day) Multimedia Portal
Project SOMEONE aims to improve the way educators, media, government and the general public address hate speech and radicalization to violence through a focus on the roles of public communication and the Internet. The Project SOMEONE team has analyzed patterns of online hate speech and developed a total of 11 projects and associated educational materials that can be used in elementary, secondary and post-secondary classroom settings. Their objective is to build resilience against hate speech and radicalization leading to violence among students. These materials are hosted on the Project SOMEONE website and are available for use by educators.
Project SOMEONE's current work aims to widen the availability of these resources to national and international audiences, and to evaluate their impact for future improvement. This work also engages with partners in the media to provide the public an opportunity to contribute towards creating alternative narratives to the messages of hate and radicalization.
CVE e-Learning Project and Situation Tables – E-Learn and Manual Translation (Two Projects)
Ontario Provincial Police
Wilfrid Laurier University partnered with the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) to support the creation and application of training programs for law enforcement officers and community partners in countering radicalization to violence across the province.
The first project is a bilingual online digital tool that will help increase awareness about radicalization to violence. The tool gathers and presents current knowledge on processes of radicalization to violence, describes approaches to countering radicalization to violence that have proven effective, and incorporates case-studies relevant to the Canadian context.
The second project is the French translation of an online training manual on developing multi-agency approaches to counter radicalization to violence. The translated manual discusses how to create guidelines, training programs and structures for multi-agency initiatives capable of addressing high risk cases and incorporates perspectives from the Franco-Ontario community.
Bridging the Gap: An Evidence-based Approach and Multi-Stakeholder Engagement in the Application of the Public Health Model for Monitoring Online Risk Factors in Support of Community Based Preventing Violent Extremism in Canada
The SecDev Foundation examined the current state of online violent extremist content and activity, and discussed its results at an event held March 6-7, 2017. Entitled “Women, Technology, Partnerships: Countering Terrorist Use of the Internet,” the event brought together international and non-governmental organization representatives, officials, academic experts, and social media companies to discuss international efforts and public-private partnership approaches for preventing radicalization to violence, with a special focus on the role of women.
Conversations at the workshop focused on the importance of linking offline and online prevention efforts; learning from other fields of prevention; and incorporating a gender-specific focus. Information collected from these activities will inform the Canada Centre's policy, research, and practice on extremist and terrorist use of the Internet.
Calgary Police Service
ReDirect aims to increase and improve collaboration among local partners including the City of Calgary, Calgary Community & Neighborhood Services, Calgary Police Service and community actors and organizations in early prevention and intervention for youth who are vulnerable to radicalization to violence. The program also supports the sharing of best practices with other prevention and intervention efforts across Canada.
Funding for ReDirect will help expand the program's capability to identify youth who are at a high-risk of becoming radicalized to violence, and provide individually-tailored support plans to redirect them away from potentially dangerous activity. This funding will also support partners and communities to address broader issues that lead to radicalization to violence.
The Resiliency Project
Edmonton Police Service
For this project, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) has partnered with the City of Edmonton and the Organization for the Prevention of Violence (supported through a separate Community Resilience Fund award) to create a number of programs to bolster community resilience to radicalization to violence both offline and online.
The overall goal is to proactively build trust and mutual understanding with communities and micro-communities (e.g., youth, women, youth-at-risk). This project will focus on education and awareness raising, creating counter-narratives and training modules that will increase the capacity of EPS and community stakeholders to support individuals at high-risk of radicalizing to violence.
Organization for the Prevention of Violence
CVE in Alberta – Assessing and Addressing the Problem of Radicalization to Violence
The Organization for the Prevention of Violence (OPV) will bring together subject matter experts, frontline practitioners, and community activists to assess potential sources of violent extremism in Alberta.
This project will assess the local context and current trends in the following domains: 1) identification of the level of radicalization to violence for different forms of extremism; 2) identification of risk and protective factors for violent extremism; and 3) identification of important capabilities of government and non-government organizations to counter violent extremism in Alberta.
The project activities will include conducting workshops, focus groups, and designing educational materials and intervention procedures. Findings from the OPV's work will be provided to practitioners, community members and other stakeholders to guide their work in countering radicalization to violence.
Ottawa MERIT (Multiagency Early Risk Intervention Tables)
Ottawa Police Service
Ottawa Police Service will expand Ottawa MERIT, a collaborative intervention program involving multiple local agencies. This program focuses on community development, education, prevention, and risk mitigation through early intervention. The goal is to better help individuals in need by creating an efficient system that can increase the delivery of social services. The expansion will broaden the prevention work in Ottawa, including by building in resources to address cases of radicalization to violence. Funding will be used to assess local needs, train frontline officers and practitioners, measure program performance, and build awareness by engaging with the public through public relations campaigns.
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