ARMOUR targets a diverse range of potential influencers: common people in the middle ground and first line practitioners in state institutions and CSO’s working with young individuals in the EU that are susceptible and vulnerable to radicalizing and terrorist content online. It does so by providing individuals in the community and practitioners the know-how, as well as a toolkit consisting of an experimental creative lab architecture in which to create, test, and promote psychological and community behavioural and communication strategies aimed at correcting reactions to perceived or real grievances and thus promote resilience to push and pull factors involved in advancing radicalization and violent extremism.

In the previous phases, we confirmed through the conducted research interviews and focus groups the need to work not only at the individual level but also at the community level. In addition, some skills appeared as necessary and significant in the prevention of radicalisation like the critical thinking capacity, the skills to get properly integrated into sound groups and dynamics, the capacity to solve daily problems, and several emotional skills.

With respect to the above, the ARMOUR Team is now ready with the methodology for the upcoming Experimental Labs – a key ARMOUR tool towards achieving its goals. The labs will represent a safe chamber where participants can experience alternative ways of responding to push and pull factors of social polarisation and extremism. The focus shall be placed on internalising and further facilitating learning by others of practical, hand-on strategies and personal skills of conflict resolution, peace building, critical thinking, anger management, proportionate response, etc.

Each lab will accommodate 14-21 participants, each category of participants (vulnerable community members, civil society, teachers, social assistants, psychologists, law enforcement and security experts) being represented in a proportionate ratio. Each lab will have a duration of 8 hours. Each lab session is followed by individual practice and active feedback collection transmitted to the facilitators (2/lab). Furthermore, labs will be cascaded in 6 countries - Italy, Malta, Greece, Spain, Romania and the Netherlands – therefore giving project team the opportunity to improve the model according to findings.

ARMOUR is aimed at designing, pre-testing and implementing a set of 7 experimental labs based on (1) the cognitive-behavioural instructional model and (2) the learning by doing model. The main aim is to provide trainees with an essential set of skills and behaviours easily usable and adaptable in their daily professional activities.

The labs are planned to start in the beginning of 2020. If you are interested to take part, drop us a line via the Contact form and stay tuned for more details!

All project deliverables are to be published in the ARMOUR Website’s Deliverables Section.