Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) as a participatory process: involving communities and beneficiaries in post-conflict disarmament programmes
Kilroy, Walt (2008) Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) as a participatory process: involving communities and beneficiaries in post-conflict disarmament programmes. In: European Consortium for Political Research (ECPR) Second Graduate Conference, 25-27 August 2008, Universitat Autonòma Barcelona.
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Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) programmes are a structured approach to returning soldiers and militia members to civilian life. One of the aims is to support implementation of the peace process, by addressing their interests and reducing the chance of them becoming “spoilers”. Since the early 90s, DDR has been implemented in countries emerging from conflict, such as Sierra Leone, Liberia, Angola and Afghanistan. They are now underway in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan. The results have been mixed, and the agencies responsible for designing and implementing DDR are still developing best practice.
This study aims to identify the role of a participatory approach as a factor in ensuring success in a DDR programme. Ex-combatants, receiving communities, local implementing partners, and newlyestablished national structures can all be involved to a greater or lesser degree in the process. The argument for greater involvement – a participatory approach – includes better outcomes in terms of ownership of the process and political will, improved likelihood that real needs are addressed, greater relevance for female ex-combatants and children, sustainability in reintegration and economic initiatives, and capacity building.
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