Linking DDR and SSR

The UN supports both DDR and SSR as part of its efforts to prevent the resurgence of armed conflict and create the conditions necessary for sustainable peace and longer term development. Understanding the relationship between these activities can help to identify synergies in policy and programming and ensure that short to medium term DDR activities are linked to longer term efforts to develop an effective, well-managed and accountable security sector.

Supporting National Capacities

An important point of departure is the inherently political nature of DDR and SSR. This reflects the sensitivity of issues that touch directly on internal power relations, sovereignty and national security as well as the fact that decisions in both areas create ‘winners’ and ‘losers.’ Strong emphasis on national ownership is critical to addressing challenges of legitimacy and sustainability that are common to DDR and SSR. Prioritizing support for the development of national capacities to develop effective, legitimate and sustainable security institutions is essential to meeting common DDR/SSR goals.

Building Synergies

Communication and coordination between DDR and SSR stakeholders is crucial. A number of points should be considered in assessments, programme design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation in order to build synergies between DDR and SSR programmes:

  • DDR shapes the terrain for SSR by influencing the size and nature of the security sector
  • Coordinated resource planning for DDR and SSR can contribute to sustainable programmes that are compatible with national budgets
  • A national vision of the security sector should provide the basis for decisions on force size and structure
  • SSR considerations – appropriate skills sets and past conduct – should help determine criteria for the integration of ex-combatants in the formal/informal security sector
  • DDR and SSR offer complementary approaches that can link reintegration of ex-combatants to enhancing community security
  • Capacity building for security management and oversight bodies provide a means to enhance the sustainability and legitimacy of both DDR and SSR