What role do NGOs play in DDR?

There is a multitude of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that operate in the sphere of DDR and post-conflict reconstruction. Many NGOs are already engaged in humanitarian and development activities in regions where DDR programmes are established and are thus well-suited to become strategic partners in the DDR process.

NGOs often provide expertise in specific areas and can be significant actors in ensuring that the needs of the community are met. NGOs may assist UN operations in a variety of ways, such as in camp management, running child care centres for demobilized children, carrying out small arms surveys and/or the implementation of reintegration projects. DDR planning assessments should include mapping exercises of the capacity of local and national NGOs, often key partners in the implementation of DDR programs, reintegration initiatives in particular.

How do DDR Components interact with the Police and Military Components of Missions?

The DDR components of peacekeeping missions work very closely with military and police components. Early DDR requirements are factored into both military and police planning processes, such as force generation and security assessments.

Although the military component of a peacekeeping operation is most often requested to provide security for a DDR programme, there are other areas in which it can be helpful, such as: information gathering and reporting, information distribution and sensitization, programme monitoring and reporting and specialized weapons and ammunition expertise. Additionally, military capabilities may be used to provide various aspects of logistic support, including camp construction, communications, transport and health, if spare capacity is available.

In conjunction with the military component, UN Police (UNPOL) can provide valuable assistance to DDR. Working closely with national police, UNPOL can help increase security at the community level, which assists the return, resettlement and social reintegration of ex-combatants and their dependents. Within a DDR programme, UNPOL may provide coordination, advice and monitoring; may encourage and build up public confidence; and/or, may reform or restructure the national police service. UNPOL may also provide security within disarmament camps, as they are well trained to deal with civil disturbances.

What are the major financing mechanisms for DDR activities?

In general, five funding sources are used to finance DDR activities. These are:

  • The assessed budget for peacekeeping operations of the UN;
  • Rapid response (emergency) funds;
  • Voluntary contributions from donors;
  • Government grants, government loans and credits;
  • Agency cost-sharing

Within a single DDR programme, a diverse range of financing mechanisms is generally utilized, usually involving a mix of peacekeeping assessed contributions and multilateral (e.g. trust funds) as well as bilateral funding. Where disarmament and demobilization (including reinsertion) are paid for from the UN assessed budget in UN Peacekeeping mission environments, or by voluntary funding in non- mission context, reintegration is always covered by voluntary contributions from member states and bilateral donors.

The largest and most common funding mechanisms utilized for DDR are trust funds, generally managed by either UNDP or the World Bank. Other funding modalities include rapid funding mechanisms or emergency funds from either multilateral or bilateral sources, which may provide access to resources before or immediately upon the launch of a DDR process. Such resources are generally smaller in quantity and are intended primarily for the start-up of the programme, rather than for continued operational expenses.

Assessed contributions play an important role in meeting the short-term requirements of the programme not well-covered by voluntary contributions, providing a bridging mechanism until voluntary contributions can be secured (particularly for the longer-term and more costly reintegration phase). Assessed funds also have the advantage of being able to cover military-related expenditures (such as disarmament), which voluntary funds cannot. Assessed funds can also be used to cover reinsertion (for up to one year), as it is part of the demobilization phase, and can serve as a bridge to the reintegration phase.

What is the difference between reinsertion and reintegration?

Reinsertion is the assistance offered to ex-combatants during demobilization, but prior to the longer-term process of reintegration. Reinsertion is a form of transitional assistance utilized to help cover the basic needs of ex-combatants and their families. It may include transitional safety allowances, food, clothes, shelter, medical services short-term education, training, employment and tools. While reintegration is a long-term continuous social and economic process of development, reinsertion is short-term material and/or financial assistance used to meet immediate needs, often to buy time to prepare the reintegration programmes, and can last up to one year.

Reintegration is the process by which ex-combatants acquire civilian status and gain sustainable employment and income. Reintegration is essentially a social and economic process with an open time-frame, primarily taking place in communities at the local level. It is part of the general development of a country and a national responsibility, and often necessitates long-term external assistance.

What is the difference between a participant and a beneficiary?

Participants are all persons who will receive direct assistance through the DDR process, including male and female combatants; those associated with armed forces and groups, including women and children, persons living with disabilities, chronically ill persons and dependents; and others identified during negotiations of the political framework and planning for a UN-supported DDR process.

Beneficiaries are both individuals and groups who receive indirect benefits from a UN-supported DDR operation or programme. This may include communities in which DDR programme participants resettle, or where there are civil society organizations that are empowered and capacitated, businesses where ex-combatants work as part of the DDR programme, or other similar, indirect beneficiaries.