Meet Me at the Maskani: Mapping of Influencers, Networks, and Communication Channels in Kenya and Tanzania
Search for Common Ground
Radicalization across East Africa has increased in recent years. Affecting both Kenya and Tanzania, both countries have focused national and regional efforts to prevent and counter violent extremism. To inform these efforts, extensive research has been conducted in the region, especially on push and pull factors of violent extremism (VE). While knowledge of overarching push and pull factors, such as unemployment, corruption, drug trafficking, etc., is critical to understand drivers of violent extremism, an in-depth understanding of stakeholders and community members who have the power to influence others’ decisions to participate in violent extremism groups is needed to inform more effective programming addressing this issue. In response to this need, Search for Common Ground (Search) conducted research that aimed to map key influencers, networks and communication channels that drive and prevent violent extremism in at-risk areas of Kenya and Tanzania. Key questions revolved around the specific role of certain influencers (family, peers, teachers, etc.), and the communication tools and narratives used to communicate with and by at-risk populations. The research also sought to gain insight into the nexus between radicalization, mobilization and action, using the information gathered to identify key opportunities for civil society engagement to leverage influencers to prevent violent extremism. Search developed a participatory mapping methodology based on social network analysis (SNA), in order gain insight into these issues. The research targeted at-risk populations in Tanzania (Arusha, Dar es Salaam, Tanga and Zanzibar) as well as Kenya (Nairobi, Mandera, Kwale and Mombasa). It took place in April, and was validated in a civil society workshop in May 2017.