LOUD-When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance

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European Forum for Urban Security

LOUD - When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Published by the European Forum for Urban Security (Efus), this document is the result of the LOUD (Local Young Leaders for Inclusion) project, which ran from 2019 to 2021. It was written by Tatiana Morales (Programme Manager), Pilar De La Torre (Programme Manager) and Nathalie Bourgeois, and produced under the supervision of Elizabeth Johnston (Executive Director) and Carla Napolano (Deputy Executive Director), with contributions from the project partners. Use and reproduction are royalty free if the purpose is non-commercial and the source is acknowledged. Translation: Global Voices Ltd. Proofreading: Nickolas Woods Layout: Marie Aumont Printing: Technicom, Boulogne-Billancourt Printed in June 2021 ISBN: 9782913181885 Legal deposit: June 2021 European Forum for Urban Security 10, rue des Montiboeufs 75020 Paris - France Tel: + 33 (0)1 40 64 49 00 contact@efus.eu - www.efus.eu

This publication was co-funded by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. It reflects the views of the authors only; the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

European Forum for Urban Security

LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The LOUD project was completed successfully thanks to the mobilisation and commitment of the partner cities and experts who contributed to its various components and to the preparation of this publication. We would like to thank them for their commitment throughout the project and for generously sharing their knowledge, experience and expertise. They have thus contributed to achieving our common goals. We would also like to thank all those who contributed to the many face-to-face and online events, meetings, and general discussions organised as part of the project. Their efforts to promote the participation of young people in initiatives against discriminatory violence, and in the development of alternative narrative campaigns as a tool for social cohesion at the local level, were a source of inspiration for the whole project. They are the real driving forces behind the move towards more tolerant cities. Finally, we would like to thank the European Commission, and in particular the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, for its financial support through the Erasmus+ programme, without which this project and publication would not have been possible.

Project partners The LOUD project was carried out with the participation of project partners, experts and local authorities. We would like to thank the following for their commitment and enthusiasm: Diana Schubert, Adam Hosek (City of Augsburg, Germany), Tanja Schwarzer (City of Düsseldorf, Germany), Jans Willems, Anneleen Oyen (City of Leuven, Belgium), Gloria Herance Alvarez, Sarai Martinez Ruiz, José Antonio Garcia Calvillo, Laia Gonzales Pradanos (City of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat, Spain), Sophie Grehan, Sankou Diaby (City of Rosny-sous-Bois, France), Sophie Le Bihan, Jérôme Pillon (City of


Montreuil, France), Anna Bonnaillie (City of Lille, France), Amadou Dramé (Valenciennes Métropole, France), Anastasia Herkeletzi (City of Pella, Greece), Delphine Monrozies, Florian Zappa, Léa Lazic (Eurocircle), Nicoletta Manzini, Federica Trimarchi (Fondazione Mondinsieme), and Tarik Gürleyen (Streetwork@online).

Other contributors Agnès Pradet; Alfredo Cohen (El Parlante); Centre Kamper 17 Düsseldorf; Dalia Moretto (Local Student Association L’Hospitalet); Delphine Michel; Gifty Boachie; Hervé Denhaerynck (Association STAJ); Kelsey Bjornsgaard (Institute for Strategic Dialogue); Lisa Vanderhaeghen (Passerellevzw Association); Maria Lozano (Radicalisation Awareness Network); Markus Pausch; Myassa Djebara; Shani Benoualid; Service pénitentiaire d'insertion et de probation de la Seine-Saint-Denis (Penitentiary service for integration and probation at Seine-Saint-Denis, Marie-Rolande Martins); The Heilig Hart Kessel-lo School in Leuven; and The Joseph-Beuys-Gesamtschule Düsseldorf.

The young people of the LOUD project: Abdel-Jalil, Ahmad, Alexander, Alexandre, Alfidel, Alice, Amel, Ammar, Anastasia P., Anastasia V., Anatoli, Antonia, Azucena, Benoit, Bilal, Blandine, Browny, Charlotte, Clara, Clément, Coraline, Cüneyt, David, Despina, Despoina, Dimitra A., Dimitra P., Edu, Elisa, Elpida, Emilie, Emmanouil, Eniola, Erik, Esther, Evaggelia, Evgenia, Fatih, Fatima, Fatimeh, Fily, Georgia, Goundo, Guillaume, Hafsatou, Hannah, Hassan, Helena, Hibat-Allah, Ibrahim, Inès, Ioannis, Ioannis - Spyridon, Isabella, Jenebabe ‘Reina’, Jordan, Kaan, Kassandra, Katrin-Marie, Keîna, Kenza, Kévin, Laura, Léa B., Léa D., Léna, Lola, Lucy, Margot, Maria M., Maria P., Maria T., María, Maria – Ariadnh, Mateus, Melina, Michalis, Miriam, Mohamed Ab., Mohamed Ah., Mohamed L., Natalie, Nikolaos, Nils, Noah, Nora, Nour, Orhan, Özkan, Panagiota, Paula, Paul-Elian, Pol, Rabine, Rafailia, Ramadan, Rebeka, Robert, Sebastien, Selin, Sienna, Sofia, Souhaila, Soulaimane, Stavriani, Tariq, Theodora, Tiecoro, Vanessza, Vladimir, Walter, Yacine, Youssoufe, Zoi.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism


Table of contents >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Foreword.........................................................................p. 8 Efus and discriminatory violence, radicalisation and extremism ....................................p. 10 The LOUD project........................................................p. 16 Alternative narrative campaigns as a tool for local authorities ...................................................p. 20 Steps to implement a local campaign created by young people .................................................... p. 29 Evaluation of alternative narrative campaigns........p. 47 Annex ...........................................................................p. 51


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism



Manifestations of racism (religious, racial or ethnic), xenophobia and other forms of discrimination based on intolerance have increased at an alarming rate with the rise of the internet and social networks allowing frustration and anger to be expressed as never before. Furthermore, the spread of fake news and disinformation campaigns on social networks have the effect of fuelling hatred and intolerance, and represent a threat to the European values of democracy and freedom. In response, young people can play and already do play a leading role in promoting a society that is more tolerant and multicultural. Local authorities have thus an important asset in their local youth, who they can mobilise to locally counter discrimination and extremist speech. On the one hand, the aim is to increase the number of messages in the virtual space that promote fundamental rights and democratic values, and on the other hand, to strengthen the resilience of citizens, especially young people, to hate and/or extremist speech. However, local authorities do not always have the skills and means to efficiently mobilise civil society in the digital space. Efus developed and implemented the LOUD project, with the support of the European Union's Erasmus+ programme, to reinforce local authorities’ capacities to mobilise young people in preventing discriminatory violence in the digital space. The main objectives of the project were to give local authorities concrete tools to mobilise young citizens to produce alternative narrative campaigns that are both online, therefore accessible to all, and local, therefore rooted in practical reality. In this sense, this project illustrates a well-known adage that perfectly sums up Efus' positioning: think globally, act locally.


LOUD follows on from previous European projects developed and run by Efus to strengthen social cohesion and prevent discrimination, the most recent of which are MATCH-SPORT (Make Amateur Sport Tolerant by Eliminating Racism and Discrimination), BRIDGE (Building Resilience to Reduce Polarisation and Growing Extremism) JUST (Just and Safer Cities for All), and Local Voices (Local Communication Strategies to Prevent Extremism). We hope you will find this publication interesting and that it will inspire you to renew or expand your existing schemes, or start new ones. We encourage you to share your practices with Efus, as they can in turn inspire other local and regional European authorities.

Elizabeth Johnston Efus Executive Director


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Part 1


Efus and discriminatory violence, radicalisation and extremism



Since its foundation more than 30 years ago, Efus has been working on the issues of marginalisation and discrimination because they have a direct impact on the security of our cities and the peaceful coexistence of citizens. They affect not only the individuals targeted but also their surroundings and ultimately society as a whole.1 Experience shows that the erosion of social cohesion fuels insecurity. Thus, one of Efus’ founding principles is to consider that security is not exclusively the responsibility of the police or justice systems, and that it requires a holistic approach, i.e. one that takes into account all the factors that contribute to delinquency and the feeling of insecurity among citizens. This is why it is necessary to strengthen prevention in addition to legal and penal responses, and to mobilise all the actors who participate to one degree or another in the design and implementation of responses to insecurity as well as solutions to prevent it.

Growing intolerance and the rise of social networks

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Manifestations of racism (religious, racial or ethnic), xenophobia and other forms of intolerance are a daily reality in all EU member states.2 In recent years, this has increased at an alarming rate, especially among young people, with the rise of the internet and social networks allowing frustration and anger to be expressed as never before. Numerous studies3 have shown that online spaces represent a very effective platform for the dissemination of hateful content and extremist ideologies: extremist individuals or groups use the grievances of the population to promote violence as a legitimate means to achieve something 1- See in particular Efus (2017). Prévenir les violences discriminatoires au niveau local : pratiques et recommandations, publication résultant du projet européen Just and Safer Cities for All (JUST). 2- FRA (2013). Note d’information de la FRA : Les crimes motivés par la haine et les préjugés au sein de l’UE. 3- Von Behr, I., Reding, A., Edwards, C., & Gribbon, L. (2013). Radicalisation in the digital era: The use of the internet in 15 cases of terrorism and extremism. Rand Europe (2013). ww - a response from the EEA and Norway Grants, EEA Grants, Norway Grants.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

better (more power, money, respect, social recognition, religious discipline, etc.). For example, one such study, Explaining the Emergence of Echo Chambers on Social Media: The Role of Ideology and Extremism by Jonathan Bright4, shows that “political party groupings which are further apart in ideological terms interact less, and that individuals and parties which sit at the extreme ends of the ideological scale are particularly likely to form echo chambers”. Furthermore, the spread of fake news and disinformation campaigns on social networks has the effect of fuelling hatred and intolerance, and represents a threat to the European values of democracy and freedom.

Promoting citizen participation

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Faced with this protean and omnipresent threat to social cohesion, Efus believes that the necessary response is to mobilise citizens, and in particular young people, in the development and dissemination of positive messages based on the values of our democratic societies and which encourage reflection. It is important to both populate the virtual space with messages that promote fundamental rights and democratic values, and to develop citizens’ resilience to hate and/or extremist speech, particularly among young people, who can play a leading role in building a more tolerant and multicultural society. It is necessary to respond to this challenge by mobilising different actors, especially young people who are the main (but not the only) users of social networks and who may be victims or perpetrators of discriminatory or extremist behaviour, both online or offline, in order to work with them and/or encourage them to work towards a more respectful digital space.

4- Bright, J. (2016). Explaining the Emergence of Echo Chambers on Social Media: The Role of Ideology and Extremism, SSRN Electronic Journal.


Furthermore, Efus considers that local and regional authorities can play a key role in prevention and in raising awareness among local and regional authorities and civil society. Since hate speech and extremist discourse are likely to emerge and spread in a polarised society, local and regional authorities are well placed to reduce polarisation and foster social cohesion, resilience and democratic progress. They are the level of governance closest to the citizens and the one they trust most. Moreover, as they have extensive skills in preventing violence and promoting social cohesion, they are key stakeholders in combating the effects of polarisation that can fuel conflict and radicalisation within municipalities. They are familiar with the practical realities and needs of local residents, and they have the capacity to mobilise the relevant local actors, especially the associations that work with the groups targeted by hate and/or extremist propaganda. For several years, Efus has been working intensively on the prevention of radicalisation and extremism leading to violence at the request of its member cities. Since 2013, it has led or been a partner in 10 European projects on these themes, including LOUD.5 The unique characteristic of the Efus approach is that it considers the fight against discrimination and discriminatory violence at the local level to be an effective way to prevent radicalisation and violent extremism. Efus believes that such an approach should be targeted at young people in particular, as they are the population group most vulnerable to extremism in all its forms, but also the group best placed to spread alternative messages among peers.

5- > IcARUS (Innovate AppRoaches to Urban Security) (2020–2024), which promotes an integrated and multidisciplinary evidence-based approach to urban safety > PACTESUR (Protect Allied Cities against TErrorism in Securing Urban aReas) (2019–2021) > BRIDGE (Building resilience to reduce polarisation and growing extremism) (2019–2020) > PRoTECT (Public Resilience using TEchnology to Counter Terrorism) (2018–2020) > PRACTICIES (Partnership Against Violent Radicalisation in Cities) (2017–2020) > PREPARE (Preventing Radicalisation through Probation and Release) (2017–2019) > Local voices (Local communication strategies to prevent extremism) (2017–2018) > Just and Safer Cities for All (2015–2017) > LIAISE I et II (Local Institutions against Violent Extremism) (2014–2017) > Efus was a partner in the BOUNCE project on resilience tools (2013–2015), run by the Belgian federal ministry for public service (‘FPS Interior’)


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Youth groups supported by local and regional authorities develop local online campaigns

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The Local Voices project, developed and piloted by Efus between 2017 and 2018, was based on these principles. It has enabled eight local and regional authorities in Belgium, France, Germany and Spain to develop local online alternative narrative campaigns that can be supported by credible local voices. The project thus recognised the key role of local authorities in disseminating positive alternative narratives. In addition, it provided recommendations for the development of local communication strategies for all interested local authorities. In the same vein, the MATCH-SPORT project, developed by Efus between January 2019 and December 2020, aims to combat discrimination and intolerance in amateur sport at the local level, with the objective of eliminating violence. Its intention is to strengthen social cohesion, civic values and citizens’ sense of belonging to their local community, on the basis that these are essential common assets in preventing political extremism where radicalism takes root. Like Local Voices, MATCH-SPORT is aimed first and foremost at young people as a primary prevention measure; this is also because they are both the primary targets of those who seek to stir up hatred and the best defenders against it when they join forces and spread messages of tolerance in their online and offline networks. Another example of Efus’ approach is the BRIDGE project (January 2019–December 2020), which seeks to prevent and combat polarisation at the local level. Again, Efus sees the weakening of social cohesion as a key factor in facilitating polarisation and radicalisation leading to violent extremism. Indeed, numerous studies6 show that such a weakening is a breeding ground for the ‘us versus them’ thinking that un-

6- Brandsma, B. (2017). Polarisation: Understanding the Dynamics of Us Versus Them, RAN Polarisation Management Manual. Radicalisation Awareness Network.


derlies the polarisation of society. Such polarisation in turn provides a breeding ground for radicalisation. As with all the projects that Efus is developing and implementing, the three mentioned above are focused on the local level. They deal with transnational phenomena, which today are widely propagated at exponential speed via the internet. However, they are also very local: it is at the level of a town or a neighbourhood that citizens encounter discrimination, intolerance and the polarisation of opinions and attitudes. And it is local authorities that are on the front line of curbing extremist tendencies and promoting social cohesion and tolerance among all residents as best they can. This is why the LOUD project sought to give local authorities concrete tools for young citizens to produce alternative narrative campaigns that are both online, i.e. accessible to all, and local, i.e. rooted in the reality on the ground. In this sense, this project illustrates a well-known adage that perfectly sums up Efus' positioning: Think Globally, Act Locally.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Part 2


The LOUD project



Efus conceived the LOUD project based on a reality observed by many European local authorities: the rise of social networks and the rapid spread of online hate speech that certain population groups, especially young people, are or feel victimised by is a breeding ground for intolerance and even more severe outcomes, such as extremism and violence in both online and physical spaces. Close to the ground, local authorities play an important role in strengthening social cohesion and inclusiveness. The LOUD (Local Young Leaders for Inclusion) project aimed to give them tools to better, or more fully, play this role according to their specific needs and context. Submitted for funding to the European Commission/Erasmus+ programme in 2018, it started in January 2019 for a duration of 30 months (the project was extended by six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic).

The aims

>>>>>>>>>>>> The overall aim was to foster inclusive environments for young people in order to prevent them from turning towards intolerance and extremist behaviour. In parallel, the aim was to reinforce the capacity of local authorities and young people to produce alternative narratives to intolerance and extremism. The project had four specific objectives:

 counter any form of intolerance and extremist speech among young people

 build effective alternative narratives at the local level  empower young people to fight discrimination and extremist content  promote exchanges between young Europeans around alternative narratives.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

The activities

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> In order to meet these objectives, the project was structured around four types of activities: 1) local needs assessments; 2) training of young people; 3) design of alternative narrative campaigns, and finally 4) dissemination and evaluation of these campaigns. During the first stage of the diagnostic process in the nine project partner cities – Augsburg and Düsseldorf (Germany); Leuven (Belgium), L'Hospitalet de Llobregat (Spain), Rosny-sous-Bois, Montreuil, Lille and Valenciennes Métropole (France), and Pella (Greece) – Efus and the project experts worked with the cities to assess their needs and priorities, and to identify the local actors with whom they could work. This included finding out if there were issues concerning intolerance and discrimination locally and, if so, where and in what form, as well as identifying young local residents who could be involved in designing alternative narrative campaigns. The second step was to organise training sessions for young people on alternative narrative methodology and local campaign building. The original plan was to hold these courses in each of the nine project partner locations, but the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdowns and travel restrictions in various European countries led the project to reorganise these into online courses. Four webinars, which were open to the public in order to disseminate the LOUD methodologies to other interested actors beyond the project partners, were held between March and June 2020 on the following themes:

 Webinar 1 – How do alternative narratives play a role in preventing discrimination, polarisation and radicalisation at the local level? What do successful alternative narrative campaigns look like? Which actors should be involved and what are their roles?

 Webinar 2 – How do you design an alternative narrative campaign? How can we create messages that offer a positive alternative to discriminatory speeches?


 Webinar 3 – How do you make an effective campaign that reaches the target audience and 'sells' the message?

 Webinar 4 – How can an alternative narrative campaign be measured and evaluated? In the third stage, groups of young people selected by and in each of the nine partner local and regional authorities designed and implemented their alternative narrative campaigns with the help of Efus and the partner organisations. Finally, the fourth step was to disseminate these campaigns and evaluate their impact on three levels: 1. Evaluation of campaigns and their impact on the target audience 2. Evaluation of youth participation in initiatives against discrimination, polarisation and radicalisation 3. Evaluation of campaigns as tools to promote youth participation in prevention actions developed by local authorities.

The partners

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The project partners were, in addition to the local and regional authorities already mentioned, the European NGO Eurocircle, which works to “foster the emergence of an intercultural European citizenship” and is based in Marseille (France), the Fondazione Mondinsieme, which works for cultural diversity and is based in Reggio Emilia (Italy), and the association streetwork@online, which works to prevent the Islamist radicalisation of youths in Berlin (Germany).


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Part 3


Alternative narrative campaigns as a tool for local authorities



Promoting positive messages based on respect for fundamental rights

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> With the exponential growth of social networking on a global scale, the amount of information and speech we absorb and transmit has multiplied like never before. The development of communication and information technologies has an impact on the relationships between individuals, on delinquent practices and on the risk behaviour of young people. Tensions of all kinds can be amplified by these uses, while youth professionals, and more generally public action, struggle to occupy this new dematerialised public space. In addition to transmitting a dizzying array of information and opinions, social networks are fundamentally different from traditional media in that they are both global – covering almost the entire planet – and intimate. Everyone consults Twitter, Instagram, Facebook or TikTok in their personal space – their phone, tablet, etc. – where they receive information on an individual basis, as opposed to the abundance of televised news or political speeches addressed to a uniform mass. This makes each of us particularly permeable to the information we receive, because it comes from people like us, ordinary citizens, or from public figures we admire or respect and who, thanks to social networks, speak directly to us, ‘from me to you’. The internet and social networks therefore make it possible to communicate with an extremely large number of people easily and practically anonymously (one is hidden behind one's screen), and thus allow free speech. This is one of the great advantages of social networks, but it also makes them dangerous, since the information is neither verified nor filtered. In this context, hate speech provides an easy way for certain groups of people to vent their frustration and anger. It is based on stereotypes and prejudices that facilitate the spread of conspiracy theories and promote exclusion and polarisation (an ‘us and them’ worldview). It can also be used to justify and incite violence.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

What is an alternative narrative campaign?

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> How can we respond to these intolerant, discriminatory or extremist messages? There are two types of response that aim to reach different audiences: counter-narratives, which dismantle false information, or alternative narratives, which promote positive messages, universal values and models of behaviour that are respectful of fundamental rights and based on democratic values, freedom and equality. Counter-narratives are aimed at an audience that already sympathises with, or is at risk of sympathising with, extremism. They are intended to prevent these audiences from becoming more involved, or to help them change their views and behaviour. Alternative narratives aim to convey an inclusive, constructive and rights-based worldview in order to provoke reflection on the issues they address and to provide a different framework for discussion. The LOUD project opted for this second option in the belief that deconstructing and demystifying extremist narratives is often part of the initial work, but that things need to go further in order to build a genuine alternative narrative campaign.7 Also, by promoting the dissemination of positive ideas, they can reach a wider audience.

7- The following elements are taken from the webinars organised by the LOUD project in the spring/summer of 2020, with the contribution of Maria Lozano, an expert with the European Union’s Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN).


‘Counter-narrative’ and ‘alternative narrative’ explained Organisations and institutions/actors working in the field of combating discrimination, hate speech and violent extremism are confronted with these terms on a daily basis. There are several definitions, but all of them generally use the term 'counter-narrative', especially in the work against violent extremism and terrorism. This term emphasises the need to deconstruct and weaken violent narratives that may attract young people in particular. Counter-narratives are messages that aim to respond proactively to extremist propaganda. In the context of global campaigns both on and offline, these messages offer an alternative to extremist rhetoric.8 The use of the term 'alternative narrative' emphasises the importance of putting forward different narratives and alternatives that are not just the negative of the narratives they seek to counter. They also offer narratives based on human rights and democratic values, such as openness, respect for difference, freedom and equality.9 Alternative narrative campaigns focus on specific themes. These are grassroots campaigns tailored to a particular audience. They are mainly aimed at disseminating positive messages to build resilience.10 There are no hard and fast rules for creating an alternative narrative campaign.

8- Efus (2016). Preventing and fighting radicalisation at the local level, p.87. 9- De Latour, A., Perger, N., Salaj, R., Tocchi, C. & Viejo Otero, P. (2017). Alternatives - Les contre-récits pour combattre le discours de haine, Conseil de l’Europe. 10- Efus (2016). Preventing and fighting radicalisation at the local level, p.87.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Methodological recommendations for a successful campaign

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Based on the experience gained in the LOUD project, the following recommendations were identified to facilitate the implementation of an alternative narrative campaign by local authorities.

Think locally The first and most important quality of such a campaign is that it should be based on the local context, i.e. be as close as possible to each individual in the target audience. Why? Because extremists often use local issues in their propaganda. The campaign is most powerful when it addresses the concerns or grievances of the residents of a locality or neighbourhood. Local authorities wishing to promote alternative messages must therefore also take into account the particular situation, concerns and aspirations of local residents. A local audit will help to understand the real situation on the ground, as well as the repercussions of discrimination or extremism on the digital space and vice versa. Finally, the local audit will also help to identify and mobilise the local actors who will be best able to contribute to the campaign and disseminate it in a targeted and effective way. This will also make it easier to define the objective of the campaign and to fine-tune it.

Know your target audience It is essential to know your target audience well before, during and after a campaign, i.e. to determine whom you want to address. This applies to any communication campaign, regardless of its purpose, and it includes gathering information on the social, economic and cultural profile of the target audience. It is equally important to know the communication environment of this audience: not only the ideas and information around them but also their habits in terms of using social networks. For example, do they use Facebook for information or to


communicate with their parents? These elements will have an impact on the communication channels to be used in the dissemination of the campaign.

Use credible messengers Using credible messengers maximises the impact of the campaign. These are people with whom the target audience can identify, among other things because they have similar cultural references and speak the same language. Such messengers may include victims of hate crime or hate speech, former ‘haters’, public figures and influencers, local community leaders or members, or respected organisations/associations, etc.

Call to action A campaign should result in a call to action, which should be expressed in imperative verbs: Act now! Help us and donate! Please volunteer! The campaign should speak directly to the public with words that appeal to the emotions. It is about giving a strong and simple message that the audience can easily identify with. In addition, such calls to action give campaign promoters a very useful tool for measuring the campaign’s impact, as they can monitor whether these calls have been followed up in both digital and offline spaces.

Test and evaluate the campaign regularly It is recommended that the campaign be tested regularly at all stages, from the design stage to dissemination and post-evaluation. Beforehand, a representative sample of the target group (e.g. schoolchildren in a given locality or young people aged 14 to 20, etc.) should be presented with ideas for slogans, visuals or a film in order to test their reaction and refine the ideas accordingly. Secondly, once the campaign has been launched, it is important to evaluate its impact regularly. In this respect, social networks are interesting because they incorporate accurate and easy-to-use measurement tools.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Take your time It is better to spend more time preparing the campaign – by collecting data on the local context, identifying the target audience, contacting local civil society organisations and identifying appropriate media for dissemination – than to do things too quickly and risk ending up with a weak and ineffective campaign.

Communicate with young people through social networks Social networks are excellent tools for communicating with a younger audience, which is the core target of alternative narrative campaigns. Using these media notably requires:

 relevant and attractive content/deliverables  an original and distinct brand that the public can identify with and inspires confidence (think #BlackLivesMatter or #MeToo)

 an overall promotion strategy. You also need to make sure you use the right social networks, as each platform (be it Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok or others) has its own characteristics, audience types, strengths and weaknesses.

Alternative narrative campaigns: a real co-production work

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The importance of involving local communities Especially if it is a local authority, the best way for the campaign sender to have a real impact on the ground is to involve local communities from the outset, usually through associations or civil society organisations already rooted in the community, neighbourhood or town. Such an approach has multiple advantages.


Associations have detailed knowledge of the field, often more in-depth than the local authority, and also generally have more credibility with the public you wish to reach. They are involved in the area(s) to be reached by the campaign, which often relate to the problem of polarisation or extremism to be addressed. To give an example, these could be associations that intervene in ‘sensitive’ neighbourhoods with young people who are or feel that they are victims of racism and social exclusion, and are targeted by Islamist recruiters. It could also be a charity that works with young male football fans who are vulnerable to farright ideology. Through these associations, local authorities will be able to identify resource persons in the community who can be credible messengers, listened to and respected by their peers. Beyond this immediate benefit, such an approach demonstrates that the local authority is listening to all citizens and is ready to intervene to solve the difficulties encountered by a particular local community. Last but not least, it is important to support these associations/organisations both financially and organisationally, which can include offering them appropriate, professionally prepared training. This will ensure that the collaboration can continue in both the medium and long term.

Promote youth participation at the local level The issues that provoke hate speech are usually those on which civil society, including young people, has a lot to say. The discourse of young people on these issues is different from what institutions can produce and this is an asset for local and regional authorities, as it enables them to design prevention and anti-discrimination policies more in tune with this public and which include their voice on both these issues and on the alternatives that may be available to keep them in check. Involving young people at the local level on these issues, beyond building trust to address sensitive issues, also allows them to be involved as actors and multipliers in a human rights-based culture.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Thus, through the campaigns developed within the framework of the LOUD project, young people from nine European local and regional authorities had the opportunity to:

develop critical thinking skills become more aware of the impact of online and offline hate messages be drivers of change at the local level. Investing in the digital space allows local actors to adopt the ‘outreach’ approach and to reach young people who are usually remote from prevention measures because they do not frequent municipal and community structures. In contrast, almost all young people are online. It is therefore necessary that local and regional authorities are trained to use the digital space for their prevention activities.




Part 4


Steps to implement a local campaign created by young people



LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

A successful local alternative narrative campaign, i.e. one that has reached its target audience, delivers a message that resonates with that audience and results in an improved situation, is above all a wellprepared campaign. The first step is essential: understanding the real situation on the ground in your community. This will allow you to fine-tune your campaign. The second step is to mobilise local actors who are best able to contribute to the campaign and disseminate it in a targeted and effective way. These local actors are also essential in identifying and mobilising the groups of young people who will design the campaign messages through specific training on alternative narrative methodologies. Secondly, as with any communication campaign, your alternative narrative campaign should be carefully prepared and use existing communication knowledge, such as targeting, designing powerful messages for the target audience, and the most appropriate delivery channels. The campaign should also be rigorously evaluated throughout its duration, and especially while it is being broadcast, in order to measure its impact and identify its strengths and weaknesses. This will allow you to adjust your approach during the campaign and decide how to capitalise on it afterwards.

The local audit

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The first and most important step is to find out what the situation is in your area and what the local needs are in terms of preventing and combating discrimination. Thus, a local audit of your territory's needs should:

 give you an initial overview of the discrimination, the profile of victims and their perpetrators


 enable you to identify the main problems related to the discrimination faced by victims in your area, in all aspects of their lives

 enable you to identify existing measures to prevent discrimination: resources (human, financial, infrastructure), successes and failures in social cohesion, integration and interculturality or assimilation. In short, this audit should enable you to identify the shortcomings to be remedied and the priority areas to be worked on. It is important to note that, for Efus and its member cities, working on the prevention of discrimination provides a clearer route for tackling the issues of radicalisation leading to violent extremism.

Agree on the terms To get a good picture of a situation on the ground, it is obviously essential to be clear about what you are trying to learn. In the field of prevention and the fight against discrimination (in the broadest sense, we will come back to this in a few moments), it is a question of measuring concrete situations in your territory with regard to concepts that are not necessarily precise and clear for everyone. Indeed, what exactly is meant by ‘discrimination’, ‘hate crimes’, ‘hate speech’, ‘discriminatory violence’ or ‘radicalisation leading to violence’? It is important to present these concepts and work on them with the team carrying out the diagnosis, but also subsequently with the young people who will be collaborating in your alternative narrative campaign. In the Annex, you can find a series of definitions that summarise the general consensus, which are also those on which Efus bases its work. Thus, we understand the phenomenon of discriminatory violence in terms of this definition: “An act of discriminatory violence is a violent incident which the victim, a witness or any other person perceives as being motivated by prejudice, intolerance, bias or hate, and which may or may not constitute a criminal offence under the valid penal code.” (Efus, 2017:13)11

11- Efus (2017). Preventing Discriminatory Violence at the Local Level: Practices and Recommendations.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Define the framework of your audit Once you have clarified these definitions, you need to frame your audit. Determine the geographical area in which you intend to target your survey: for example, a neighbourhood, a few specific streets, or your entire municipality. Finally, you need to identify the audiences you are seeking to protect against discrimination: women, young people, ethnic communities, the elderly, etc.

Set goals and objectives using the SMART method Goals are general guidelines that define what you want to achieve. They are usually set in the long term and represent global visions such as ‘the security of residents’. Objectives define strategies or implementation steps to achieve the goals. Objectives are specific, measurable and have a defined completion date. They are more specific and define the who, what, when, where and how. The SMART method is commonly used to define objectives that are achievable, i.e.:

Specific (simple, clear and understandable) Measurable (quantifiable and qualified) Acceptable (shared and achievable) Realistic (reasonable) Temporally defined (timeframe, deadline, limited time/cost).

Collect quantitative data... The audit should enable you to collect quantitative data on the geographical area you have chosen to examine:

 demographic and social aspects (population density, age, gender and ethnic distribution, residents, employment and unemployment rates, average income, etc.)


 geographical and residential conditions (proportion of urban and peri-urban areas, homeowner/renter rates, etc.)

 police and judicial statistics, incivilities and disorders linked to discrimination (facts observed in schools, transport, companies, etc.)

 delinquency and incivilities that generate a feeling of insecurity (domestic violence, homophobia, racism, restrictions on access to employment or housing, drug offences, prostitution, etc.)

 information on the means used in relation to security and discrimination (police action, the judicial system, private security, prevention in transport, the rental sector, public spaces, schools, etc.)

 information on feelings of insecurity and discrimination (from separate surveys, either prior to or for the audit)

 information from social networks, especially those with a local dimension relevant to the issue (e.g. sites promoting discrimination or hate)

 information on the processes of radicalisation, whether religious, political or of any other nature (are there individuals in your community identified as being at risk of radicalisation, or already on file as such?). The partner cities in the LOUD project used different methodologies. As an example, the City of L'Hospitalet de Llobregat used the following tools and information sources: 1. Collection of existing information (secondary data) from surveys conducted by other institutions, available data from statistical sources, city council reports and planning documents. 2. Research in local media and social networks to identify hate speech and/or intolerance related to local dynamics. 3. Design and dissemination of an online consultation with staff of the municipality and a number of public institutions and civil society organisations on the state of discrimination and hate speech. This consultation was the main tool for identifying priorities in the territory. It is intended to become a working tool in several departments and projects of the city.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

4. Focus groups with the main project actors in the territory, such as: representatives of social organisations working mainly in the city, teenagers (15–16 years old), and municipal agents working in different fields. The focus groups allow the information gathered in the online consultation to be processed in depth and bring a more qualitative narrative to the study.

... and qualitative data Qualitative data complements quantitative data and allows us to ‘check the pulse’ of the local population. Thus, this part of the audit will include, for example:

 local surveys carried out in specific locations and on specific discrimination Within the framework of the LOUD project, Valenciennes Métropole developed a questionnaire for diagnosing manifestations of discrimination and radicalisation (social, political, religious) in order to compensate the lack of territorialised data. It is intended for professionals in the fields of education, professional integration and social work, mainly working with young people under 30.

 interviews with elected representatives, associations, educators and religious representatives

 a working group with residents, especially young people. The City of Rosny-sous-Bois organised two working sessions: one gathered, besides the municipal department for youth, professionals and practitioners from the education sector, social services and youth centres, the other gathered young local residents.


Inventory of radicalisation






Finally, the audit should enable you to identify the activities that already exist in your territory in the field of preventing discrimination and radicalisation. It is a question of establishing a state of affairs:

legal provisions to combat discrimination and/or radicalisation  the institutional environment: who has jurisdiction over what, particularly between the public and non-profit sectors?

 available surveys and research (institutional sources, universities, associations) on perceived and experienced discrimination (e.g. in access to employment, or the representativeness of different population groups within the police force, etc.)

 existing prevention strategies that can be a source of inspiration the human and financial resources available to you online and offline training tools  tools, particularly online, to detect discrimination, and alert and support victims.

Map the actors to be mobilised All local authorities work with a network of local partners, including associations and civil society organisations, and will be able to mobilise these actors for their alternative narrative campaigns. Their contribution will be particularly valuable in involving young local residents in the campaign. However, it is also important to determine whether it is possible to work with other organisations/institutions that are present in the territory, that the community is not usually in regular contact with but which could bring real added value in this particular context. This mapping should be carried out at the beginning of the needs identification phase, in order to identify actors and see how far they can be involved in the project. Indeed, these actors can have either a central or


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

a ‘peripheral’ role – depending on their availability – in the objective of mobilising young people. They can therefore have an awarenessraising role (more remote), a targeted impact, or be credible messengers and influencers (central role). Effective prevention and intervention against racism can only be achieved if all participants act together in close coordination. Prevention is a crosscutting social task that requires good interaction between all the relevant areas, and relies in particular on partnerships between civil society and institutional actors. The City of Düsseldorf already had an institutionalised structure of projects and measures for the prevention of discrimination; within the framework of the LOUD project, local actors have been collaborating actively through the management of the city's Crime Prevention Council (CPC). These actors include the school network, the CPC specialist group ‘Violence Prevention in Schools’, the Youth Welfare Office, the Youth Council of the City Municipal Integration Centre, and other local stakeholders, such as the Jewish community and Muslim associations.

Training young people who will conduct the campaign

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> As mentioned above, cities wishing to undertake an alternative narrative campaign initiative involving young people, as a measure to prevent discrimination at the local level, need to partner with local organisations, schools, community groups and other actors with experience in working with young people. Even within a local authority, there is a need for cross-sectoral and coordinated work with the different departments that may be involved in the fight against discrimination, e.g. the violence prevention department, the anti-discrimination department for young people and the communication department.


Organising training sessions with young people helps to raise their awareness of the discrimination issues identified in the territory during the audit phase, and to strengthen open-mindedness, tolerance and the capacity of young people to act in favour of a plural and diverse society. The training also teaches them how to develop an alternative narrative campaign in all its stages, from the design stage to evaluation. In order to integrate participants effectively into the project, it is necessary to assimilate the co-production dimension of the project, to adopt a facilitating rather than a supervisory role, and to create the conditions for the group to take ownership of the project. The advantage of involving young people in this type of approach is that it allows campaigns to potentially reach a wider audience. Because the campaigns are developed and promoted by local ‘ambassadors’, i.e. young people who have some influence on, and credibility with, their surroundings, they can also become a prevention tool for a wider audience. Training methods that promote interaction and dynamism should be favoured. As part of the youth-training initiative by the City of Montreuil, which decided to focus its campaign on the problem of fake news, the Maison de l'Europe de Paris organised an Escape Fake News game12 to give young people the necessary tools to fight against fake news, strengthen their critical thinking and raise their awareness of European news. The young people, who did not know each other, played the game and created a team spirit by motivating those who seemed less interested. Provide training sessions for young people on the different stages of the campaigns Within the framework of the LOUD project, young people from the project's partner cities received four training modules on the impacts of discrimination; the deepening and understanding of the concepts of culture; cultural identity and social cohesion; and the implementation (by them) of alternative campaigns.

12- https://paris-europe.eu/escape-fake-news/


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Day 1: Understanding discriminatory mechanisms Module 1: Key concepts and prerequisites

 Objective: Deepening of the concepts of culture, identity, interculturality, discrimination, equal opportunities and inclusive society

 Content to be addressed:  What does culture consist of ? (Activity: the cultural iceberg)  Difference between innate and acquired / personal and universal / belonging to a group and cultural diversity (activity: ‘I am’)

 Cultural matrix and values (activity: self-fulfilling prophecies) Module 2: Discourse dynamics

 Objective: Understanding what is discriminatory, oppressive or demagogic versus ‘alternative narrative’

 Content to be addressed:  Exploring mechanisms of discrimination and exclusion (activity: hate-speech tree)

 Analysing an oppressive discourse (activity: analysing a political discourse)

 Identifying communicative and cognitive biases (activity: syllogism study)

Day 2: Designing an alternative campaign Module 3: The alternative narrative method

 Objective: Exploring narrative mechanisms based on alternative campaigns

 Content to be addressed:  Making a narrative positive  Analysing alternative campaigns 38

Module 4: Design workshop for an alternative campaign

 Objective: Thinking about the structure of the campaign  Content to be addressed:  Objective of the campaign  Target audience of the campaign  Form of the campaign

Plan and create an alternative narrative campaign by young people

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> There are several resources for developing an alternative narrative campaign. Examples include the GAMMMA+ model13 by the European Union's Radicalisation Awareness Network (RAN); the Counter-Narrative Monitoring and Evaluation Handbook by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue (ISD)14, a London-based NGO “dedicated to safeguarding human rights and reversing the rising tide of polarisation, extremism and disinformation worldwide”, and with whom Efus has worked for many years; and the Council of Europe's manual We CAN! Taking action against hate speech through counter and alternative narratives15. Within the framework of the LOUD project, we have drawn on these different resources to propose a working methodology to cities. Based on the experience of the project, we propose the following methodology, which can be adopted and used in another local context.

13- See RAN (2017). RAN guidelines for effective alternative and counter-narrative campaigns (GAMMMA+), RAN Issue Paper. 14- https://www.isdglobal.org/ 15- De Latour, A., Perger, N., Salaj, R., Tocchi, C. & Viejo Otero, P. (2017). Alternatives Les contre-récits pour combattre le discours de haine, Conseil de l’Europe.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

As mentioned above, the audit and training stages are essential for identifying the issue to be addressed and for mobilising an association or a local partner who can identify and monitor groups of young people who will be working on the campaign. Once these elements have been gathered, the local partners will need to follow the steps below:

Share the results of the audit with young people The audit provides an overview of the discrimination phenomenon at the local level, or at the neighbourhood or even school level. Several priorities may emerge. When starting the process of creating an alternative narrative campaign, it is necessary to share the results of the audit with young people and discuss their perception of the different discrimination issues with them. For the development of the campaign, it is suggested that you focus on a single issue. Within the framework of LOUD, the audit carried out by the City of Lille identified the following four issues: gender inequality, gender and sexual orientation, community intolerance and equal opportunities. After talking with young people and discussing their feelings and experiences, the group decided to focus the campaign on the theme of equal opportunities.

Define the objective of the campaign It is important to define the objective you want to achieve with your campaign as well as the problem you want to address with an alternative message. In this phase, it is important to ask questions such as:

 What do we want to see happen?  What is the preferred alternative situation?  What change in behaviour or perception do we want to promote?


The City of Leuven identified as a problem the lack of exchange and interaction in some schools between native and foreign pupils, some of whom have been victims of racism and discrimination. The aim of the campaign was to make all pupils aware of the existence of polarisation and discrimination, and to encourage them to be more open-minded and to interact more in and out of school.

Define the target audience Identifying the audience the campaign is trying to reach is very important, in order to build the message you want to get across and choose the techniques and media best suited to your audience. In this phase, it is important to ask questions such as:

 What are the characteristics of your audience?  What do they think and how do they behave?  Interests (e.g. what kind of media do they use? Which places do they frequent the most?)

 Who has the power to bring about the desired change, i.e. which individuals, groups, entities and organisations does the campaign target? When it comes to an alternative narrative campaign, it is best to identify specific groups of people (e.g. young people aged 15–20), to avoid diluting the message. The young people of the City of Montreuil identified the fight against fake news as a priority and focused their campaign on raising awareness of this phenomenon. In studying its target audience, the municipality identified that people with a low level of education are more likely to share information knowing that “the source is not perfectly reliable” than those with a high level of education. (According to a BVA Group study, 72% of internet users who do not have a high-school diploma as well as 64% of employees and workers have already shared unreliable information, compared to a general average of 59%.)


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Define the campaign message The message depends very much on the campaign’s target audience, so at this stage it is important to think about the stories that are most likely to resonate with it. The most effective messages don't lecture people but talk to them. The message should also include elements that call the recipients to action. In this phase, it is important to ask questions such as:

 What is the core message of your campaign?  How will this message, once defined, be delivered? What tone, language, symbols and images will be used? To disseminate their fake-news awareness message, the young people of Montreuil adopted the Chinese symbolism of the three monkeys of wisdom who have their hands over their eyes, ears and mouth. The message read: “Against fake news, have the right reflexes, be aware of appearances, check your sources, don’t spread rumours.”

Choose the right medium and messenger(s)/spokesperson(s) The medium is the support that will be used to relay the message: it can be a video, a photo, an audio clip, a poster, or written material, such as brochures or leaflets, etc. It is important to choose the medium that is best suited to the target audience, namely the one with which they are most likely to engage and interact. Of course, it is also a question of making a choice based on the human and financial resources available. Knowing the online habits of your target audience will also make it easier to choose online media, such as social networks (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, etc.), websites, blogs and vlogs (video blogs), online radio and podcasts, and the online press. If you decide to use the ‘sponsored posts’ option, remember that different platforms have different advertising capabilities available for campaigns to reach their audiences.


For effective dissemination and resonance with the target audience, it is advisable to involve a credible messenger or messengers who can help deliver the message. The messenger(s) must be perceived as a credible referent by the target audience and have a positive influence on it. They could be a local YouTuber, a sportsperson, an artist, etc. The young people of the Valenciennes Métropole focused their campaign on the fight against violence against women, particularly among young people aged 16–25. They used a music video as a medium and wrote the script and lyrics themselves. Supported by the Métropole and the STAJ association, the youth group involved the Authentik Crew dance and music school, which is well known to the Métropole, and the latter contributed sound and voices to the clip and also acted as a messenger for the campaign.


>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Meet your audience where they are The aim of dissemination is to deliver your message to your target audience using the appropriate channels, in order to evoke the thoughts and feelings that will provoke the actions sought by the campaign. In other words, dissemination means meeting your audience where they are and adapting your content to the channels you use.

Choose and combine the right channels The communication channel is the place where you publish/present/ disseminate the content of the campaign (videos, posters, articles, etc.). Most campaigns use both offline and online channels, each offering different tools to measure their impact, although this is easier to do with online channels because they incorporate measurement features. 16- The following is taken from the webinars organised by the LOUD project in the Spring/Summer of 2020, with contributions from Gifty Boachie, Data Strategist.


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

When choosing your communication channels, you need to take different aspects into account. The first is the public’s presence and reactions: “Is your audience present on this channel, and why do they use it?” Another aspect is cost: some channels are more expensive than others because ‘you pay for attention’. A third aspect is the ‘degree of ownership’, i.e. the difference between, for example, your Facebook page, which you own, and an article published in a local newspaper following your press release (thus a free advertisement you have ‘earned’), or an advertisement in a magazine (which you have paid for).

Offline dissemination Depending on the nature and theme of your campaign and the characteristics of your audience, it is also advisable to use offline channels, for example by identifying and targeting ‘brand ambassadors’ who will relay the campaign on their social and real networks. Indeed, the digital space should be seen as an additional space, which, integrated into a global/crosscutting strategy, can strengthen the prevention of discrimination and extremism. Maintaining the link with offline actions is, therefore, essential. Another method of offline dissemination is to organise awareness-raising meetings or workshops that can be facilitated by a local journalist. In this case, the evaluation will include the number of participants in the event, the number of mentions in the media and the recall rate, i.e. the number of people who remember the campaign after it has been broadcast. Points to consider:

 Duration: when deciding how long to run your campaign, think about how you can have the greatest impact on your audience. If your campaign is about raising public awareness, you may want to create ‘buzz’ quickly to capitalise on media coverage or events. Other campaigns may try to engage with a more specific audience over a longer period of time.1

 Best times to post on social networks: think about the times when your target audience is most present on social networks.


For example, young people aged 15–20 are more likely to use social networks outside of school and at weekends. If your target audience is institutions or other local stakeholders, expect your publications to have the least impact when published in the late afternoon on weekdays and on Saturdays (lower reach).

 Post regularly: if you post several times a day, space your posts every few hours.

 Trolling or strong negative reactions: do not delete or ignore comments on your posts. Take time to analyse what happened, why there was negative feedback, and if you consider it necessary respond to this content. If the comment is really offensive and likely to upset and discourage other users, you can delete it.

1- THE COUNTER-NARRATIVE HANDBOOK, ISD, available at: https://www. isdglobal.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/Counter-narrative-Handbook_1.pdf

The pros and cons of social networks Social networks make content attractive to young people, as they are omnipresent in their daily lives. According to studies, young people spend an average of four-and-a-half hours a day on social networks. In addition, videos or photos always have a higher reach than written messages. It is therefore worth investing time in a good video or poster for dissemination purposes. Each social network has its pros and cons when it comes to disseminating campaign content. Facebook is very powerful with an audience of 2.2 billion monthly active users, but advertising on this platform is expensive. Instagram is the second most-followed social network in the world, with one billion monthly active users and a younger audience than Facebook, but its focus on visual communication alone can turn off some advertisers and is not suitable for some campaigns. The TikTok video platform only dates back to 2016 but already has an audience of 500 million monthly active users, mostly teenagers aged 14 to 19. Twitter (330 million monthly active users), LinkedIn (660


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

million members) and Snapchat (210 million daily active users) are also powerful social networks, each with their own qualities and flaws. On Twitter and Instagram in particular, hashtags are an effective way to convey a message and to measure, in real time, whether the public is picking it up and spreading it. It is recommended to create short, punchy and assertive hashtags without overusing them.




Part 5


Evaluation of the alternative narrative campaigns



LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Why is it important to evaluate a campaign? Evaluation is a process that examines a project or an activity to ensure it meets its objectives and targets. It checks reality against plans and helps to draw conclusions about perceptions and satisfaction with results, efficiency, impact and sustainability. Its purpose is to improve projects, activities or campaigns so that they are as close as possible to their pre-defined goals. An evaluation not only serves to assess whether the objectives have been achieved, but also to design better projects or campaigns in the future. Stakeholders and partners can adapt their activities accordingly and can benefit from critical perspectives and self-reflection.

Who should be involved in the evaluation process of a campaign? Evaluation should be more a dialogue between the persons involved than a control instrument. It should be conceived as a contribution to the overall success of the project or activity and should therefore associate all those who have been involved in one way or another to the project. A distinction should be made between those who commission and organise a project or campaign, those who design and implement the campaign and those who compose the target audience. All these groups should have the opportunity to express their perceptions and to make suggestions for improvement.

Why should local and regional authorities evaluate campaigns? Municipalities can invest in evaluation to better understand the efficacy of alternative narratives campaigns and can use the results according to their operational needs (e.g. foster youth engagement, or design prevention strategies against discrimination, extremism or intolerance).


Measuring the effectiveness of your campaign One very important aspect is, of course, how to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Two main criteria are used: reach, i.e. the extent to which your campaign reached the desired audience and how many people saw it; and conversion, i.e. the extent to which your audience carried out the desired action (e.g. signing your petition or introducing new procedures to eliminate racial prejudice). You can do this throughout the campaign: before it is created by determining your ‘landscape’ (the context in which you operate); during the campaign through optimisation and testing, which is often easier to do online; and after the campaign, as part of a wider evaluation and to learn from it. Based on the experience of the LOUD project, we recommend evaluating this type of campaign according to three criteria: 1. Evaluation of campaigns and their impact on the target audience (product, result and impact) Has the campaign contributed to self-reflection and critical thinking? Did they realize the damage they can do to others with hate speech? Are they strengthened in their competences to identify hate speech and to react? 2. Evaluation of youth participation in initiatives against discrimination, polarisation and radicalisation The second part of the evaluation deals with those young people who participated in the design and implementation of the campaign. Taking into account that the participation in anti-discrimination/extremism/ polarisation initiatives is a special challenge for local authorities, the results and lessons learnt from LOUD could give them insights for their future projects/initiatives in these areas. 3. Evaluation of campaigns as tools to promote youth participation in prevention actions developed by local authorities The third part consists in observing wether this kind of project based on promoting alternative narrative campagins and involving youth is an efficient tool for local authorities to act against discrimination, marginalisation and extremism, and whether it can be replicated by other local authorities. Can they use the campaign for other purposes? How


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

satisfied are they with the involvement of local stakeholders? What do they think is necessary to improve these campaigns? How does the action influence their prevention strategy? As we have seen, the evaluation can be used by local authorities as yet another occasion to communicate with and mobilise all those who have participated in the campaign. First of all because it is a good opportunity to share the results in terms of reach and impact with those who have worked hard to make the campaign happen. It is a way of showing your appreciation and valuing what has been accomplished. But beyond that, it is an occasion to reflect collectively on how to further the campaign and keep working together to counter hate and discrimination and promote tolerance and inclusivity.





Annex – Glossary



LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism

Discrimination Direct discrimination Direct discrimination is defined as the situation where a person is treated less favourably on a ground prohibited by law (e.g. skin colour, gender or religion). Indirect discrimination Indirect discrimination occurs when an apparently neutral rule disadvantages a person or a group sharing the same characteristics. Multiple and intersectional discrimination Multiple discrimination occurs when discrimination is based on several prohibited grounds operating separately. Intersectional discrimination describes a situation where several grounds operate and interact with each other simultaneously in such a way that they are inseparable and produce specific types of discrimination.

Hate crime Hate crimes are “criminal acts motivated by bias or prejudice towards particular groups of people. A hate crime therefore comprises two distinct elements: it is an act that constitutes an offence under criminal law; and in committing the crime, the perpetrator acts on the basis of prejudice or bias” (ODIHR 2009b:15)17. The other characteristic of hate crimes is that the impact of the offence exceeds the actual victims. They concern the whole group with which this victim identifies and can cause a social division between the victim group and society in general. Therefore, they present a particular danger to society.

17- Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (2009). Les crimes de haine : Prévention et Réponses Guide de référence pour les ONG de la zone OSCE.


Hate speech Hate speech is the advocacy of hatred based on one of the prohibited grounds. Hate speech includes all public expressions that propagate, incite, promote or justify hatred, discrimination or hostility towards a specific group. Discriminatory violence Discriminatory violence includes not only incidents perpetrated by offenders belonging to radical groups or with clear extremist motivations. On the contrary, the most widespread and therefore probably most threatening forms of discriminatory violence can pass for very ordinary, everyday events. Nevertheless, these ‘minor’ acts can create a profound sense of insecurity, mistrust and fear among other members of the affected communities, with serious adverse effects on social cohesion and public health. Discriminatory violence is directly linked to other major urban security challenges, such as radicalisation, polarisation and violent extremism.

Radicalisation leading to violence Radicalisation leading to violence is a process whereby people adopt extremist belief systems, including the willingness to use, encourage or facilitate violence, designed to promote an ideology, political project or cause as a means of social transformation.18

18- For more information, see Efus (2016). Preventing and Fighting Radicalisation at the Local Level


LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism



LOUD – When local authorities and young people from nine European cities mobilise against intolerance and extremism Manifestations of discriminatory violence, polarisation and hate speech are on the rise across Europe in both the online and offline spheres and pose a real threat to citizen safety, social cohesion and integration. Local authorities are well placed to tackle these worrying trends as they are close to the ground and can mobilise citizens, in particular the young, to promote tolerance and peaceful coexistence as part of their integrated local crime prevention and security strategies. This publication outlines the importance of mobilising young people in local initiatives and strategies to fight against discrimination based on the experience of the LOUD project and gives local authorities practical tools and recommendations to use alternative narrative campaigns as a means to foster young local citizens’ participation and partnerships with relevant local stakeholders.


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