[ Posted on 17 January 2020; updated 10 February 2020]


The Institute for Autonomy and Governance (IAG) will begin implementing in March 2020 a project designed to empower vulnerable youth and communities against violent extremism in the southern Philippines.


IAG joins four other consortia under the Global Community Engagement and Resilience Fund (GCERF), a multi-stakeholder global fund that works with local partners to strengthen community resilience to violent extremism.


GCERF said it “focuses on local communities because they suffer the most from violent extremism, and because they are optimally placed to understand and act upon the drivers of violent extremism.”


IAG welcomed to its consortium during a Preventing/Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) workshop organized by GCERF in Manila on 13-14 January 2020 four sub-recipient partners which will directly implement the project in accordance with detailed work plans pursuant to its agreement with GCERF. IAG finalized the consortium work plan with its four partners during a workshop in Cotabato on 7-8 February 2020. 


Consortium members are the Research Association for Islamic Social Sciences Inc. (RAIS), a training, research and advisory institution of Muslim academics and Islamic institutes in public and private universities in the Philippines; United Mothers of Marawi Initiatives (UMMI), an association of around 200 Maranaw mothers who experienced first-hand the horrors of violent extremism in the Marawi siege and actively participated in crafting the P/CVE plan of Lanao del Sur Provincial Government and developed modules for gender and family-based approaches to address violent extremism; Kapatut Bangsa Sug Inc. or Tausug’s Rights, a Sulu-based organization active in civil society work, providing leadership trainings, promoting unity across different civil society organizations and discussions on political reforms; and THUMA ko Kapaingud Service Organization Inc. whose peacebuilding work is primarily focused on making the “socially excluded” youth and families become valuable development stakeholders.


The overall objective of the project is to empower communities in addressing drivers that nurture sympathy and support of vulnerable communities to violent extremist ideology and tactics. Capacity-building activities will be conducted for traditional madaris teachers, families, youth and local government units. The focus areas are Marawi City, four municipalities in Lanao del Sur and eight municipalities in Sulu.


IAG has conducted pioneering researches on youth vulnerability, traditional madaris and baseline studies on violent extremism that are driving P/CVE policies and programs in the country and guarantees that the planning and implementation of its VE programs are data and evidence-based. Through its madaris research, IAG has established working relations with the traditional madaris in the proposed target areas. IAG also provided technical assistance in crafting the community-based P/CVE program of Lanao del Sur, a first in the country.


IAG maintains a network of more than 100 civil society organizations in Mindanao with assistance focused on capacity building in peacebuilding, governance and politics.