Violent extremists and terrorist organisations are increasingly using disinformation achieve their aims, often targetting vulnerable populations in conflict-affected areas. However, the true speed, scale and multidimensional nature of these disinformation efforts are still poorly understood. This makes it difficult to detect and resist extremist disinformation narratives that drive radicalisation and recruitment.
In this ambitious project, ICCT will develop a global guidance document on countering terrorist disinformation, in support of EU delegations and implementing partners engaged in strategic communications, preventing and countering online radicalisation, and strengthening community resilience.
This document will combine desk research and fieldwork to map the threat posed by terrorist groups spreading disinformation in Iraq, the Western Balkans, South Caucauses, and the Sahel and Lake Chad region. Crucially, it will also identify successful interventions, strategies, and policies that could be used to counter the disinformation threat and bolster the resilience of at-risk populations. The project includes a robust M&E framework to measure the project's impact and improve future EU programming on disinformation.
The project is funded by the European Commission's Foreign Policy Instrument, with close support of the European External Action Service (EEAS).
About the project
ICCT will be responsible for organising a consultation process with key stakeholders and actors with whom draft guidance will be developed. This will involve carrying out interviews, engaging with EU entities and other relevant regional counterparts to, where possible, compile approaches and harmonize perspectives, then draft a guidance paper. There should be a mid-term alignment workshop to promote active interaction and exchange. ICCT will also organise an inter-service presentation to allow concerned desks, policy officers and project managers to familiarise themselves with the findings of the guidance and the use of the accompanying methodological tools.
ICCT has already conducted extensive research into strategic communications and disinformation in the Western Balkans and Southern Caucasus', around the Lake Chad Basin, in Iraq. Practices and areas for improvement will be compiled into a Global Guidance Document.