series event

Can Aid Help Counter Violent Extremism and Terrorism?

LIDC has teamed up with The Guardian Development Network to host a series of panel debates on current key issues in international development. Four speakers, comprised of academics from our member colleges, development practitioners, activists and policy-makers will take questions from the audience and discussions will be guided by a moderator.

Between the 1st January and 9th November 2017, 1,038 terrorist attacks took place across the globe leading to 6,656 fatalities.

Increasingly in recent years, Western Governments have turned to aid as a way to prevent violent extremism and terrorism in low and middle-income countries, but can combatting poverty with aid really help counter violent extremism, or are our expectations of what aid can achieve unrealistic?

In 2016 the UN Secretary-General presented a Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism in which he called for an approach that combines security-based counter-terrorism measures with addressing the underlying drivers of radicalization and violent extremism.

The underlying drivers of radicalization include “push” factors such as a lack of socio-economic opportunities, marginalization and discrimination, poor governance and violations of human rights. The “pull” factors include personal backgrounds and identity, distortion of religious beliefs and political ideologies and ethnic difference.

Violent extremism and terrorism pose a significant threat to national and global security, affecting economic growth and civil stability; but can humanitarian and development aid be used to address of the drivers of violent extremism and terrorism? How can we measure and evaluate impact? And where should aid be directed?


  • (Imam Sheikh Dr) Usama Hasan, Head of Islamic Studies at Quilliam 
  • Dr. Sara Silvestri,  Senior Lecturer in International Politics at City, University of London
  • Dr Farid Panjwani, Director of the Centre for Research and Evaluation in Muslim Education (CREME) at UCL Institute of Education
  • Lucy Holdaway, Senior Peacebuilding Adviser at International Alert, a London based NGO focused on peacebuilding activities

Moderator: Bibi van der Zee, Editor of The Guardian Global Development Professionals Network

Followed by a drinks reception


Registration is required, please follow the link below for more information