STUTTGART, Germany -- Representatives from U.S. European Commander and U.S. Agency for International Development recently partnered in support of the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) Act of 2017, to provide a two-day, interactive training for staff from USAID, implementing partners, and the Government of Albania’s National Countering Violent Extremism Center.
The training focused on the ways that USAID, implementing partners, and DoD could support the Government of Albania’s prevention of violent extremism (PVE) efforts using a deliberate integration of a gender perspective in their planning efforts and grassroots community building and support.
Ms. Samantha Turner, a WPS program head from USEUCOM, led participants in the seminar, focusing on practical exercises to help build solutions for the government of Albania’s PVE challenges.
“Considering the different intersecting needs of men, women, girls and boys helps utilize human-centered design principles that make plans better--and outcomes more inclusive and effective,” Turner said, “Especially when you are aiming at preventing violent extremism, our community solutions need to be inclusive of everyone. Strong communities that embrace women and youth are one of the best tools to prevent community members straying towards violent extremism.”
Andrew Plitt, USAID’s Senior Development Advisor to EUCOM, said, “This coordination effort is unique in that it recognizes the variety of tools and expertise across the USG which can be applied to U.S. strategic priorities abroad. Coordination of the interagency helps to ensure that major contributors like USAID, Department of State, and the Department of Defense can appropriately balance their roles and resources as they undertake activities to amplify the critical role women can play in conflict prevention and mitigation by bridging across divided communities.”
The WPS Act of 2017 mandates interagency collaboration when working in WPS equities, necessitating analysis of the different roles that men, women, girls and boys play in the prevention of violent extremism, countering terrorism, resolving disputes through negotiation and stabilizing societies.
Turner said she looks forward to more training opportunties like this.
“This is the future: highly collaborative, dependent on information and talent sharing between agencies in order to ensure we as a whole US Government do everything we can to satisfy the intent of WPS. This command can’t do it alone. We need our interagency partners to go further, together.”