DDR in Peace Operations: A Retrospective

The United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations published a report on disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR). The report gives a general overview of DDR and incorporates specific anecdotes in order to illustrate what DDR looks like on the ground. Their programs and challenges vary from region to region. Therefore, the reintegration components of their programs must be specifically tailored to a situation and flexible as the situation changes. The report’s reader-friendly format and inclusion of quotes and captioned photos makes the information accessible to a broad audience.

United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations. “DDR in Peace Operations: A Retrospective.” United Nations. New York, 2010. Web. November 2013. <>.


Post-war Demobilization and the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life

Kees Kingma presented this report at a USAID (U.S. Agency for International Development) conference focused on post-conflict societies. Kingma currently works as an independent consultant to international organizations, non-governmental organizations, and governments. Although published in 1997, this report is still relevant in terms of the definitions it uses and the referenced issues involved in reintegration. While the paper focuses on demobilization in general, this section of the WorldLink Reader focuses on reintegration as a result of a peace accord or settlement. It is important for the reader to focus on the general concepts of demobilization and reintegration and remain aware that these processes vary from situation to situation. Kingma addresses the issue of whether it is unfair to specifically focus aid on ex-combatants, arguing that targeted aid is justifiable because of the subsequent benefits to society.  All in all, Kingma lays out the steps of demobilization and reintegration that help a society transition from a place of armed conflict to a place of peace and stability.

Kingma, Kees. “Post-war Demobilization and the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants into Civilian Life.” United States Agency for International Development. October 1997. Web. October 2013. <>.


The reintegration of child ex-combatants in Sierra Leone with particular focus on the needs of females

Considerable attention in reintegration programs is directed to male combatants. Consequently, female ex-combatants and their children face an even more difficult task of reintegrating back into society. Many women are sexually violated while on the battlefield, often leading to unwanted pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, and little to no support for their children.  Furthermore, traditional societies in countries like Sierra Leone shun those who have sex outside of marriage. The need to care for their children combined with the “shame” of their past has led some women to resort to prostitution. Subsequently, their children are also subject to stigmatization. In a male-dominated society where the father’s identity plays a huge role in social status, these fatherless children, many of whom were fathered by rebel soldiers, face less opportunities for education and community support. Reintegration must address the needs of these vulnerable populations. Ultimately, women and children can be stabilizing forces for the future. This article argues that current reintegration programs are not doing enough to make this a reality.

Bennet, Allison. “The reintegration of child ex-combatants in Sierra Leone with particular focus on the needs of females.” September 2002. Web. October 2013. <…%5b1%5d.pdf>.


Socio-Economic Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

This report was produced by the International Labour Organization, a United Nations specialized agency which focuses on labor issues. Socioeconomic reintegration is a key component that aims to provide financial stability for ex-combatants and the communities they are entering. Chapter 1 provides an excellent overview of the reintegration process. Box 1.1 defines disarmament, demobilization, reinsertion, and reintegration (DDRR), and Box 1.4 expands on how economic reintegration fits into the peacebuilding process. It is important to note that the different tracks are concurrent; one does not start where the other ends. Rather, different programs are emphasized at different times in the process. Furthermore, there are two methods of reintegration: (1) downstream, which supports the ex-combatants themselves, and (2) upstream, which supports the economic environment they are entering. Economic stability is essential for long-lasting peace as it strengthens the community while diffusing tension between the ex-combatants and communities. It is another step in bringing lasting peace to a society.

“Socio-Economic Reintegration of Ex-Combatants.” International Labour Organization. 2009. Web. November 2013. <—ed_emp/documents/instructionalmaterial/wcms_141276.pdf>.


Peace & Reintegration: An Introduction

Zyck’s report was published by the Civil-Military Fusion Centre, which aims to “facilitate the sharing of open-source unclassified information” between civilians and the military working in conflict areas. This report was written by Steven Zyck, the team leader for Afghanistan research. His report begins with a general overview of reintegration and the mixed success of past reintegration efforts in Afghanistan. He identifies the specific challenges the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program (APRP) has faced, including security for ex-combatants, lack of government support, and weak monitoring and evaluation. Zyck’s writings shed light on why the reintegration process is so important. Successful reintegration inspires trust and confidence in the government and peace organizations. However, failed or inadequate reintegration can cause one to lose faith in the system, potentially resulting in a relapse back into conflict.

Zyck, Steven. “Peace & Reintegration: An Introduction.” Civil-Military Fusion Centre. April 2012. Web. November 2013. <>.

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