Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program
Learning from DDR to strengthen women's
livelihoods in Uganda
May 2012

Two women return from the market

On Tuesday May 2, 2012, a group of 45 gathered at the Protea Hotel in Kampala to discuss the achievements of the Amnesty Commission’s Demobilization and Reintegration project (UgDRP), as well as the results of several studies conducted by the TDRP at the close of the project. The participants included representatives from the Uganda Amnesty Commission, the donor community, the United Nations, and civil society/NGOs.

The event marked the closure of the project in 2011 and the launch of planned follow-on work to address remaining challenges to reintegration and consolidate the achievements of the UgDRP.

A participant adds a suggestion for a recommendation
on the board.
Un participant ajoute une suggestion de recommandation sur le panneau.

Overall, four reports were produced from an extensive survey of partners and beneficiaries by a team of consultants:

  1. The UgDRP Beneficiary Assessment (with two in-depth annexes on the reintegration of reporters* and community dynamics)
  2. The Drivers of Reporter Reintegration in Northern Uganda
  3. The UgDRP Final Independent Evaluation
  4. A report on the Amnesty Commission’s implementing agents.

The May 2nd event also served to introduce two new TDRP activities: a program to strengthen women’s economic associations in Northern Uganda and a social reintegration event using sports: the Great Lakes Football Peace cup.

Elizabeth Kissam chairs a session during the workshop
Presentations and discussions on May 2 in Kampala

The proposed program to support women work in associations stems directly from the findings of the TDRP studies and UgDRP evaluation. They showed that while general levels of reintegration are positive, female reporters and female community member fare worse than their male peers.  While both groups perform similarly, there are vulnerable sub-groups of reporters who face more extreme hardships in providing for themselves and their families, particularly widows and female-headed households.  

A participant adds a suggestion for a recommendation on the board. Un participant ajoute une suggestion de recommandation sur le panneau.
UgDRP Partners take turns in sharing
their experiences

These results, alongside lessons learnt on the success of economic associations in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo and Republic of Congo, have informed the development of a new initiative to promote sustainable livelihood options and social cohesion in Northern Uganda. The new activity will provide training to help women create and manage economic associations. It will help them officially register these associations and ensure that their activities are relevant to their specific environments.

At the May 2 event, partners discussed the changing context of Northern Uganda since the establishment of the Amnesty Act and since the start of the UgDRP in 2008. They highlighted the need to adapt assistance provided to reporters within the framework of longer term development processes.

Participants highlighted the vulnerability of at-risk women - both community members and reporters– in particular the difficulty of accessing existing economic opportunities. Female reporters also suffers from continued stigmatization. The new TDRP initiative will address these issues and will include a strong research component to identify good practice models for possible scale-up in Uganda and in other countries.

The UgDRP ran from 2008 to 2011 and was supported by a multi-donor trust fund to which Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom contributed nearly USD$ 5million.

The program provided an immediate response mechanism to reporters able to escape or who were released from the LRA and ADF.

It established an Information, Counseling and Referral System (ICRS) and facilitated access to direct reintegration opportunities for over 6,000 reporters.

Abderrahim Fraiji, TDRP Manager, said: “Through the various learning activities we have carried out, we are even more convinced than before that support cannot stop after reintegration. The support to women’s associations builds upon the good results of the UgDRP and ensures that some of the gaps identified in the evaluations are addressed.”

The Great Lakes Peace Cup, a football tournament in which Uganda, DRC, Burundi and Rwanda participate, will start in May in Uganda. It will end with a regional final among the best team from each country. The players on the various teams will be both ex-combatants and community members. The Cup promotes reconciliation, peace and a positive image of youth in the region.

 

* Ex-combatants and their dependents are called reporters in Uganda

 

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