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Viennese Network De-radicalisation and Prevention

  •  Österreich
  •  Start Date: January 2014

The Viennese Network Deradicalisation and Prevention (VNDP) deals intensively with the topics extremism, radicalization and disengagement from terrorist or extremist activity. The aim is to combat antidemocratic attitudes and ideologies that form within groups of (mainly) young people.
Furthermore, and on the other hand, the network aims to protect these young people from stigma and general suspicion.
The VNDP is highly practical-oriented initiative but its activity is based on theoretical understanding. The experts network takes its central mandate both from the Convention on the Rights of the Child as well as from the Child and Youth Services Act, representing a response to the rising extremism among vulnerable adolescents as a means of protecting them.
The VNDP was founded in September 2014 by the City of Vienna and is supervised by the municipal organisation Ombudsman’s Office for Children and Youths (Kinder-und Jugendanwaltschaft, Wien; KIJA).
KIJA in a nutshell: The Ombudsman’s Office for Children and Youths are legally established in each of the nine federal states of Austria. KIJA follows four core principles: 1) non-discrimination between children and the fight against institutional discrimination of certain children, 2) a devotion to the best interests of the child, 3) the right to life, survival and development of all children, 4) a respect for the views, values and needs of the child. The service of KIJA is free of charge, confidential, anonymous, direct and unbureaucratic and applied only with the consent of the minor.
More information on the KIJA can be found at - the common webpage of the nine branches.


The outlined objectives of the Viennese network against radicalization are:
- More effective and faster action through close cooperation and information exchange;
- Generation of knowledge;
- Information, continuous education and training.


The experts of the VNDP suggest and demand, among other things:
• enhanced social work in schools,
• adjusted exit programs for people in detention,
• further development of the religious education in schools.
These are strategies addressing or combating extremism at an early stage and on a low-threshold level.


Since the network focuses on all forms of violent extremism, regardless of religious, political, ethnic, or social affiliation it gains the potential of transferability to any region and country affected by extremism and antidemocratic ideologies.

Evidence and Evaluation

The VNDP was 2017 awarded with the Austrian Administration Prize (Verwaltungspreis 2017).
The Award in category 3 "Co-Creation and Cooperation – Enabling a framework for participation with sustainable impact through a high quality public service" goes 2017 to the project VNDP.
The Jury stated that the network represents a response to a major social challenge of our time. The wide-ranging cooperation between different stakeholders and institutions concentrates knowledge, experience and resources in order to sensitize people to the burning theme of the radicalization of youth.
The multitude of partners, and their learning from what works – and what doesn’t work – when trying to address prevention and de-radicalisation is reflected in the awards the initiative received.

Cooperation Partnerships

• Representatives of the Vienna Landtag
• The Municipal Council of Vienna, Business Units: Health, Social Affairs, Women, Education, Integration, Youth and Human Resources
• Ombudsoffice for Children and Youths
• Municipal department 10 Vienna Kindergarten
• Municipal department 11 Office for Youth and Family
• Municipal department 13 Education and after-school youth care
• Municipal department 17 Integration and Diversity
• Prevention Department of the Police
• Labor Office Youth, Vienna
• Probation Office Neustart
• Viennese workers' assistance fund (Wiener ArbeitnehmerInnen Förderungsfonds waff)
• BOJA Network Open Jouth Work (counseling center for extremism)
• Family Court Vienna
• The Juvenile Courts of Burgenland, Lower Austria and Vienna
• DERAD, the Centre for Deradicalisation and Interventions in Prisons
• Chechen network of women
• Islamic religious community Austria
• Universities, educational colleges

Cost description

VNPD is funded by the City of Vienna and the Ombudsoffice for Children and Youths.


• Network Deradicalisation and Prevention. Retrieved 2017 07 04
• Ombudsoffice for Children and Youths. Retrieved 2017 07 04
• Network won prize in the category of <<Co-creation and Cooperation>>: Retrieved 2017 07 05
• Vienna Network Deradicalisation and Prevention awarded with the Austrian Administration Prize 2017 Retrieved 2017 07 05
• 27 Recommentations for Deradicalisation Retrieved 2017 07 05
• Original paper concerning the 27 Recommentations: . Retrieved 2017 07 05

Nützliche Links

Kinder- und Jugendanwaltschaft Wien
Alserbachstraße 18
A-1090 Vienna
Homepage VNDP:

Intended Time Scale Long term; The long-term goal of the initiative is to teach young people with respect and appreciation of themselves and others in order to prevent or stop them from extreme ideologies respectively engaging in TN.
  • Local
  • Regional
  • National
  • Radikalisierung
  • Gewalttätiger Extremismus
  • Communication and Media
  • Education
  • Youth and Families
  • Public Authorities
  • Local Communities
  • Reintegration
  • Risk prevention
  • Primary prevention
  • Secondary prevention
  • Tertiary prevention
  • Deradicalisation
  • Early intervention
  • Participation and cooperation
  • Communication
Point of intervention
  • Prevention
  • Resilience Building
  • n/a
Evaluation Relevance
  • Very Relevant
Evaluation Impact
  • Very positive impact
Evaluation Effectiveness
  • Very effective
Evaluation Efficiency
  • Efficient
Evaluation Inclusiveness
  • Very inclusive
Evaluation Sustainability
  • Very or self-sustainable
Qualitative assessment Relevance

Terrorism and the occurrence of violent extremism are topics that do not lose actuality in our times.
The Vienna Network Deradicalisation and Prevention was initiated in the form of a response to the significant rising number of extremist activities among adolescents.
The fact that it has based its approach on the cooperation of actors, has aimed at reducing some of the conditions, drivers and mechanisms that lead to radicalisation as well as focussing primarily on youth, has meant that the initiative has stayed extremely relevant to current best practice.

Qualitative assessment Effectiveness

Some of the outcomes of the initiative have already proved to be effectively implemented and up-taken. One such outcome was the 27 recommendations it produced, based on its findings throughout its implementation, for the City of Vienna. They were presented on October 10, 2016 by the VNDP experts.
The main fields of recommended action concern religious extremism, right-wing extremism as well as the areas of education and resilience.
The experts from different professional and scientific disciplines developed a comprehensive, multifactorial recommendation catalogue, which is divided into seven fields of action:
• Policy and strategy:
o Create synergies and enhance cooperation between youth, integration, diversity and human rights work,
o Develop an inclusive, human rights-based diversity policy,
o Create forums for the transfer of knowledge among scientists practitioners,
o Increase the pluralism of expertise under involvement of people from vulnerable communities;
• Religious extremism and radicalization:
o Enhanced prevention work at schools,
o Develop family and parent work in a quantitative and qualitative manner,
o Monitoring of vulnerable milieus and peer groups at risk,
o Increase and carefully select the personnel engaged in prevention and deradicalisation work (role models, experts etc.),
o Increase resources for working with returnees, repatriates as well as for people in prison;
• Social inequality and vulnerable groups:
o Creating a fair environment/framework for the integration of refugees and asylum seekers,
o Empowerment and self-initiative in the integration of refugees,
o Special focus on communities with particular integration challenges,
o Focused support for young people in situations at risk;
• Right-wing extremism and nationalism:
o Develop structures and strategies against racism, anti-Islamism and anti-Semitism,
o Expanding knowledge and political education on the right-wing currents in migrant communities;
• Gender and sexism:
o Gender equality, knowledge for children on topics regarding sexuality and homosexuality
o Engage communities for gender and anti-sexism work
o Promote gender equality in German and orientation courses as well as present and demand gender equality in daily social practice;
• Education and resilience:
o Promoting social and ethno-cultural cohabitation between migrants and local population,
o Create an interdisciplinary commission of experts for the supervision and monitoring of private childcare facilities,
o Promoting political education and media competences,
o Supply religious courses with interreligious dimensions and knowledge about other religions,
o Review and further develop the quality standards of private schools with no public status,
o Close structural cooperation between schools and youth work;
• Community and Islam:
o Migrant communities as learning communities: create spaces for dialogue, learning and networking,
o Establish an institutional framework for local and transnational research on communities;
o Support a humanistic form of Islam.
The recommendations have now become a benchmark for Austria’s – and increasingly, Europe’s – prevention and de-radicalisation strategies. Models in Germany, especially, have benefitted from these recommendations.

Qualitative assessment Efficiency

The main pillars of VNDP are expertise, training, regular exchange and cooperation of all bodies, organizations and institutions.
Because of its low-cost nature, its sustainability and its focus improving certain drivers of extremism that are not only limited to preventing extremism itself (such as improving education and welfare for young people), it fundamentally remains a very cost-efficient initiative for the city of Vienna.

Qualitative assessment Impact

What the experts of VNDP and many other colleagues have achieved in the latest months since the network has been implemented is highly appreciated among stakeholders in the field. Since 2014, the involved actors have:
• provided a high-quality training for over 1,400 people concerned with the care of children, adolescents and young people;
• initiated the first general contact point for de-radicalisation in Austria, which has also inspired other projects, e.g. the Hotline Deradicalisation ;
• trained more than 6,000 participants in different professional groups;
• developed a comprehensive policy paper against extremism tendencies with respect to democracy (see Point 16 (b)) – Vienna is the only city in Europe holding a strategy in this form;
• advised and accompanied a high number of families and young people on the theme of radicalization.

Qualitative assessment Sustainability

See "Sustainability".
The sustainability of this work can be seen in the fact that the programmes develop young people’s capacities for long-term empathetic skills development, gaining the ability to think critically and self-critically, and introducing new positive role models to anchor their actions; all of which lead to a change in life paths, ambitions and behaviours.

Qualitative assessment Inclusiveness

The VNDP consists of a group of various magistrate-internal and external bodies and experts dealing with children and adolescents as well as with the issue of extremism. Through networking, exchange and willingness to cooperate, members can act more quickly and effectively. Please see the types of actors involved, and their specific names in Points 5 and 13.
The high number of partners, organisations, municipal authorities, practitioners and social workers – as well as the involvement of foreign expert-practitioners – means that this project demonstrates a very high level of cooperativity and collaboration. This allows for an overall excellent level of information and experience sharing, the ability to tackle the issues of young people with a multi-faceted approach, and for lessons and challenges to be identified and solved more easily.