Work Package 3 ‘Experimental Labs’ (WP3) seeks effective design, testing and implementation of a set of seven experimental labs based on (1) the cognitive-behavioural instructional model and (2) the learning by doing model. The main aim of WP3 is to provide trainees with an essential set of skills and behaviours easily usable and adaptable in their daily professional activities. The labs will be created as a safe chamber where participants can experience alternative ways of responding to push and pull factors of social polarisation and extremism as well as various strategies and techniques of replicating skills within the community.

Furthermore, the experimental las aim:

To give a voice to all potential partners and make participants listen to the messages transmitted from across the spectrum of practitioners and individuals involved inpreventing social polarisation and violent extremism;

To provide practitioners with a better understanding of risk factors in the community, family, school, as well as in peer-to-peer communication;

To teach them how to respond in concrete situations and equip them with a first aid emergency toolkit containing smart solutions – e.g. resolving conflicts in principled ways, thus fostering relationships and facilitating bonding between potentially adverse individuals, teaching youth how to control behaviour by making choices which satisfy their needs, offering opportunities to resolve conflicts peacefully, etc.

WP3 is divided in four sub-tasks, as follows:

T.3.1 Design guidelines and methodology for experimental labs

T.3.2 Design curricula and content of experimenal labs: the hands on strategies and skills taught within labs will address both risk factors for violent and antisocial behaviour, as well as protective factors in the sphere of: social competence (responsiveness to other, conceptual and intellectual flexibility,caring for others, good communication skills, sense of humour); problem solving (ability to apply abstract thinking, ability to engage in reflective thought, critical reasoning skills, ability to develop alternative solutions in frustrating situations); emotional competence and autonomy building (positive sense of independence, emerging feelings of efficacy, high self-esteem, impulse control, planning and goalsetting, belief in the future); and mediation and negotiation (group problem solving and consensus, base groups, stopand think before acting to bullying).

T.3.3 Pre-testing and validation of pilot version of experimental labs

T.3.4 Experimenal labs’ implementation: the experimental labs will have each a duration of 1 day and will be organised in sets of 3+3+1, each session being dedicated to one set of core competences:

Set of core competences 'Individual capacity building' (Session 1), 3 labs in 3 days

Set of core competences 'Community capacity building' (Session 2), 3 labs in 3 days

Set of core competences 'Proportionate response lab' (Session 3), 1 lab in 1 day

Each experimental lab will be attended by a number of 14-21 trainees, on a proportionality ratio, with 2 or 3 participants from each of the 7 targeted categories – social assistants, psychologists, teachers, CSOs, first line practitioners, security and law enforcement experts, vulnerable community members.

Each session will be followed by at least 2 months of individual practice and feedback collection. Furthermore, labs will be cascaded throughout six of the ARMOUR partner countries giving the project team the opportunity to improve the model and recalibrate it according to findings in each country.

All deliverables under WP3 are public and will be published in due time upon delivery in the Deliverables Section. All results and findings that are available to the public can be found in the Experimental labs' Documents Section.

Information about each experimenal lab under the project can be found in the Experimenal labs' Events Section.

The ARMOUR Consortium will regularly publish news on the WP3 development under the News Section. Meanwhile, in case of questions or comments please get let us know via the Contact Section.