Re-integrating former members of armed groups into communities is a growing global policy challenge. In places like northeastern Nigeria, where the extremist group Boko Haram is active, the combination of large-scale campaigns of violence against civilians and radicalization by insurgent groups leads to intense anger and increases mistrust and wariness that members have been irrevocably changed.
Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) is supporting research that examines if these barriers can be overcome to pave the way for reintegration. In a randomized evaluation, conducted with Mercy Corps in northeast Nigeria, researchers are asking: Can recordings of former extremist group members apologizing, or explaining how they have changed, reduce feelings of anger and fear? And if so, does this increase people’s willingness to accept former members back into their communities?
On Thursday, April 18, 2019, IPA hosted a discussion of this timely work. Research lead Dr. Rebecca Wolfe (Director of Evidence and Influence at Mercy Corps) and Radha Rajkotia (Chief Research & Policy Officer at IPA) provided an overview of the study, followed by a Q&A portion.
Materials from this Evidence Matters event will be available at a later date.