NAPs for Preventing or Countering Violent Extremism (P/CVE) is a growing subject discussed between CSOs and state apparatus in Southeast Asia. NAPs’ agenda has been promoted since 2015 by the UN. An NAP is a document containing a set of coordination and operational clauses for stakeholders to address a specific issue. In the context of P/CVE, NAPs would help navigate and unify public policy to CVE nationally, which separate government departments previously did. Furthermore, NAPs could also help track and evaluate stakeholders’ work in PCVE (Abdul Aziz et al., 2021). Should Southeast Asian countries have NAPs? The answer depends on the country’s needs itself. If the country has an urgency in P/CVE and there has not been any national coordination involving stakeholders, then it should create NAPs.
In its inception, NAPs in the region can be inexplicable as different countries use different terms referring to their levels of urgency. For example, Australia uses the national strategy for CVE and Singapore uses its existing law called Internal Security Act. According to our previous webinar speaker Shashi Jayakumar, Singapore does not want to create an NAP because they already have a working system that lays its foundation on the willingness of upstream elements, including a concerted push to instill tolerance, pluralism, and understanding. Furthermore, changes are constant in violent extremism, which means NAPs need to be a living document that can adapt to new forms of extremism. Based on Singapore’s experience, it is essential to consider contextual factors, political will, and the changing nature of extremism itself.
In addition, the direction of NAPs for P/CVE is debatable on whether it should focus solely on governmental effort or include a whole-of-society approach. The debate exists because the P/CVE topic is integral to national security, a sensitive issue often limited to government work only. On the other hand, whole-of-society NAPs would rely on a good working relationship between governments and CSOs, which is still a challenge in the region as trust issues persist (Goodhardt et al., 2021). Currently, only two countries in Southeast Asia have created NAPs for P/CVE. They are Indonesia through Presidential Act No.7 (2021) and the Philippines through Anti Terrorism Council Resolution No. 38 (2019). Both of these plans are backed by different urgency.
The leading backgrounds were also different to one another. For example, based on the event of the Surabaya church bombings in 2018, Indonesian governments and CSOs aim to have a comprehensive mechanism to prevent violent extremism. At the same time, the Philippines aim to have comprehensive programs related to the reintegration of former combatants to have better living inside communities. However, both need better coordination between departments and collaboration with CSOs in CVE programs such as tracking and evaluation. This means that the answer to why the society itself should answer the need for NAPs accounts for the local background, values, and shared goals of P/CVE.
- Abdul Aziz, W. A. D., Abdullah, K., Aziz, J., & Zahari, A. I. (2021). National Action Plan for Countering Violent Extremism: An Overview of Context, Status, and Way Forward. Journal of Public Security and Safety, 11(1). Retrieved November 21, 2022, from https://www.moha.gov.my/images/maklumat_bahagian/ipsom/jurnal/volume11/1_v11.pdf.
- Goodhardt, D., Vergani, M., Barton, G., & Kruber, S. (2021). Capacity Gap Analysis of civil society organisations working against violent extremism in Indonesia and South East Asia. New Security Challenges, 279–294. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-16-2032-4_13
- Harris-Hogan, S., Barrelle, K., & Zammit, A. (2015). What is countering violent extremism? Exploring CVE policy and practice in Australia. Behavioral Sciences of Terrorism and Political Aggression, 8(1), 6–24. doi:10.1080/19434472.2015.1104710
- Hedayah UAE. (2016). Guidelines and Good Practice | Developing National P/Cve Strategies and Action Plans. Hedayah. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://hedayah.com/app/uploads/2021/09/File-1792016192156.pdf.
- Husin, S. (2018). Preventing and countering violent extremism: the Singapore Approach. Combatting Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Asia and Europe. Retrieved November 22, 2022, from https://www.kas.de/documents/288143/288192/Terrorism_Hussin.pdf/6011defa-efb0-b368-87cf-baefa815a87b.
- Dja’far , A. (2021). Panduan Umum Kemitraan Tingkat Nasional Pemerintah dengan Pemangku Kepentingan di Masyarakat dalam Implementasi Rencana Aksi Nasional Pencegahan dan Penanggulangan Ekstremisme Berbasis Kekerasan yang Mengarah pada Terorisme Tahun 2020-2024. (A. Septerina, Ed.). Wahid Foundation.
- OSCE. (2020). A Whole-of-Society Approach to Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism and Radicalization That Lead to Terrorism A Guidebook for Central Asia.
- PERATURAN PRESIDEN REPUBLIK INDONESIA NOMOR 7 TAHUN 2O2I TENTANG RENCANA AKSI NASIONAL PENCEGAHAN DAN PENANGGULANGAN EKSTREMISME BERBASIS KEKERASAN YANG MENGARAH PADA TERORISME TAHUN 2O2O-2O24
- Philippines Anti-Terrorism Council Resolution No. 38 (2019): Adoption of the National Action Plan on Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism (NAP P/CVE) and its Organizational Structure
- Wulandari, D. D. (2019). “Analysis of The Indonesian Government Initiative of The National Action Plan on Counter Violent Extremism that Leads to Terrorism,” Journal of Strategic and Global Studies: Vol. 2: No. 1, Article 6. DOI: 10.7454/jsgs.v2i1.1017