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Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration

The disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of former fighters is a well-established feature of the peace and security architecture. Dozens of DDR activities have taken place since the 1990s; their duration, resources, and ambitions have expanded over time. The UN alone has a wide range of agencies involved in DDR around the world, chief among them the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations and the UN Development Programme.

An important body of research has sought to better understand the environment in which DDR occurs, as well as the motivations and means of those who are to be disarmed, demobilized, and reintegrated. A more thorough understanding of the needs of ex-combatants and of the communities that receive them is critical to the effectiveness of DDR—as is the measurement of the impacts of DDR on individuals and communities.

The Small Arms Survey has been at the forefront of efforts to assess the outputs and outcomes of DDR around the world. Since 2001, in cooperation with multilateral, bilateral, and national stakeholders, it has undertaken DDR assessments in Afghanistan, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Haiti, Kosovo, Liberia, Macedonia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, South Sudan, Sudan, Timor-Leste, and elsewhere.

Small Arms Survey Publications

  • Checks and Balances: Securing Small Arms during Peace Operations, February 2016. Issue Brief No. 16.

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  • Secret Stockpiles: Arms Caches and Disarmament Efforts in Mozambique, by Gary Littlejohn, September 2015. Working Paper 21

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  • Development Deferred: Eastern Sudan after the ESPA, by the Small Arms Survey, May 2015. Working Paper No. 36 (also available in Arabic)

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  • Demobilization in the DRC: Armed Groups and the Role of Organizational Control, April 2013. Armed Actors Issue Brief No. 1.

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  • Failures and Opportunities: Rethinking DDR in South Sudan, May 2011. HSBA Issue Brief No. 17 (also available in Arabic)

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  • DDR in Sudan: Too Little? Too Late?, by Ryan Nichols, February 2011. Working Paper No. 24 (also available in Arabic)

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  • Primed and Purposeful: Armed Groups and Human Security Efforts in the Philippines, by Soliman M. Santos, Jr. and Paz Verdades M. Santos with Octavio A. Dinampo, Herman Joseph S. Kraft, Artha Kira R. Paredes, and Raymund Jose G. Quilop, edited by Diana Rodriguez,  published by the South-South Network for Non-State Armed Group Engagement and the Small Arms Survey, April 2010. 

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2010. Innovations in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: the Past Decade, NUPI Working Paper 774. Oslo, Geneva: NUPI, Small Arms Survey.

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  • 'Insecurity Is Also a War': An Assessment of Armed Violence in Burundi, by Stéphanie Pézard and Savannah de Tessières, October 2009 (also available in French)

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  • Shots in the Dark: The 2008 South Sudan Civilian Disarmament Campaign, by Adam O'Brien, January 2009. Working Paper No. 16 (also available in Arabic)

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  • Security and Post-Conflict Reconstruction: Dealing with fighters in the aftermath of war, edited by Robert Muggah, published by Routledge, January 2009.

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  • Crisis in Karamoja: Armed Violence and the Failure of Disarmament in Uganda’s Most Deprived Region, by James Bevan, June 2008. Occasional Paper No. 21 (Executive Summary also available)

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  • Violence and Victimization after Civilian Disarmament: The Case of Jonglei, by Richard Garfield, December 2007. Working Paper No. 11 (also available in Arabic)

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  • Small Arms in Burundi: Disarming the Civilian Population in Peacetime, by Stéphanie Pézard and Nicolas Florquin, a study by the Small Arms Survey and the Ligue Iteka with support from UNDP–Burundi and Oxfam–NOVIB, August 2007. Special Report No. 7 (also available in French)

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  • Avoiding Disarmament Failure: The Critical Link in DDR—An Operational Manual for Donors, Managers, and Practitioners, by Peter Swarbrick, February 2007. Working Paper No. 5

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  • The Militarization and Demilitarization of Refugee Camps and Settlements in Guinea, 1999-2004, by James Milner and Astrid Christoffersen-Deb, 2006. In Robert Muggah, ed. No Refuge, co-published with Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) by Zed Books.

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  • From Bad to Better: Reflections on Refugee and IDP Militarization in Africa, by Sue J. Nahm, 2006. In Robert Muggah, ed. No Refuge, co-published with Bonn International Center for Conversion (BICC) by Zed Books.

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  • The Three Ds: Disposal, Demilitarization, and Destruction of Ammunition, by Adrian Wilkinson, 2006. In Stéphanie Pézard and Holger Anders, eds. Targeting Ammunition: A Primer.

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  • Securing Haiti’s Transition: Reviewing Human Insecurity and the Prospects for Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration, by Robert Muggah, November 2005. Occasional Paper No. 14 (also available in French)

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  • Removing Small Arms from Society: A Review of Weapons Collection and Destruction Programmes, by Sami Faltas, Glenn McDonald, and Camilla Waszink, July 2001. Occasional Paper No. 2

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Other Publications

  • Bryden, Alan and Vincenza Scherrer, eds. 2012. Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration and Security Sector Reform. Geneva Centre for the
    Democratic Control of Armed Forces.

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  • Banholzer, Lilli. 2014. When Do Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Programmes Succeed? Discussion Paper 8/2014, German Development Institute.

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  • Ball, Nicole. 2006. Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Mapping Issues, Dilemmas and Guiding Principles. Conflict Research Unit, Netherlands Institute of International Relations.

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  • Muggah, Robert and Nat J. Colletta. 2009. Context matters: interim stabilisation and second generation approaches to security promotion, Journal of Conflict, Security and Development, Vol. 9, Issue 4, pp. 425 – 453. London: Routledge.

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2008. Comparing DDR and Durable Solutions: Some Lessons from Ethiopia's Demobilization and Reintegration Programme, Humanitarian Practice Exchange 41. London: ODI. (online)

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  • Humphreys, Macartan and Jeremy Weinstein. 2007. Demobilization and Reintegration. Journal of Conflict Resolution, Vol. 51, No. 4, pp 531 – 567.

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  • Hanson, Stephanie. 2007. Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) in Africa. New York: Council on Foreign Relations.

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  • Muggah, Robert. 2007. Great Expectations: (Dis)integrated DDR in Sudan and Haiti. Humanitarian Practice Exchange 40. London: ODI. (online)

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  • Theidon, Kimberley. 2007. Transitional Subjects: The Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration of Former Combatants in Colombia. The International Journal of Transitional Justice, Vol. 1, No. 1. Pp 66-90.

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  • Spear, Joanna. 2006. From political economies of war to political economies of peace: The contribution of DDR after wars of predation. Contemporary Security Policy, Vol. 27, No. 1. Pp 168 – 189.

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  • Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). 2003. Best Practice Guide on Small Arms and Light Weapons in Disarmament, Demobilization & Reintegration (DD&R) Processes. Handbook of Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons. 19 September. FSC GAL/79/03/Rev 1.

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  • Mufor Atanga, Lucien. 2003. Tackling Small Arms in Central Africa. Paper 29. Bonn: BICC.

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  • Mazurana, Dyan, et al. 2002. Girls in Fighting Forces and Groups: Their Recruitment, Disaramament, Demobilization, and Reintegration. Peace and Conflict: Journal of Peace Psychology, Vol. 8, No. 2. Pp. 97 – 123.

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