Early Warning Systems and Response Mechanisms for Countering Violent Extremism in Tanzania

William John Walwa


This paper analyzed the early warning and response mechanisms developed and deployed at the local levels to respond to episodes and threats related to violent extremism. Qualitative methods – namely key informant interviews and documentary review were employed to gather findings from local community members and leaders, government official and police in Mwanza and Mtwara regions. The paper discovered that, first, growing incidents of violence in Tanzania ensued from the weakening of early warning and response mechanisms, and secondly, recent interventions to reinforce and deploy early warning and response mechanisms have helped to increase the capacity of communities to prevent incidents of violence. However, the paper found that, that even though the usefulness of early warning and response mechanisms to prevent VE - related security threats is acknowledged by all actors, success in the operationalization of these mechanisms is politically negotiated. Findings point to the need to invest in early warning mechanisms allowing communities to engage in developing context – specific solutions to address growing cases of violence.   

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