Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program
Building up the Facility for Quality Enhancement
July 2010
Goma, DRC. An ex-combatant works as a carpenter thanks to training received for reintegration.
Goma, DRC. An ex-combatant works
as a carpenter thanks to training
received for reintegration.

Three months after launching the idea of a facility to support reintegration activities in the Great Lakes countries, the TDRP team has already identified a few common threads of work based on four scoping missions in the region. A few more visits will enable the team to bring all of the countries' needs to light and put together a comprehensive implementation plan to respond to them.

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Firmly rooted in TDRP's key goals (see box below), the facility for quality enhancement and innovation has three objectives:

TDRP Objectives
1. To support the successful implementation of existing D&R programs in the region through the provision of financial and technical support;
2. To expand D&R programming coverage by providing emergency response financing for new or ongoing D&R operations where funding gaps have been identified and the Government concerned has requested assistance;
3. To facilitate a platform for dialogue, information exchange and learning on D&R in the sub-region with a view to addressing the regional aspects of conflict, improving the quality of on-going D&R efforts, reducing duplication of efforts across the GLR, strengthening coordination on D&R policy and programming, and generating policy advice for future programs.
Source: TDRP Program Paper November 2009

- First, it will provide technical assistance, mentoring and capacity building to implementing agencies of DDR programs across countries. This support will take the form of an online facility to enable immediate response to monitoring and evaluation (M&E) staff in implementing agencies of DDR programs. The online help will be supplemented by onsite support when required. The TDRP will also organize regional workshops tailored to identified needs.

- Second, it will support monitoring, research and evaluation tasks led by staff of implementing agencies of DDR programs, and will initiate regional studies aimed at facilitating the work of both the implementing agencies and the TDRP at large. The work will include assisting to design research and evaluation methodologies, sampling and survey instruments, and identifying and managing expert consultants.

- Finally, to increase efficiencies, the facility will promote synergies and collaboration by partnering with academic institutions (national, regional & international), research agencies, think tanks, NGOs & civil society.

Four countries visited – Three to go

Over the past few weeks, a duo of experts (Aki Stavrou and Benjamin Burckhart) specializing in conflict and development, monitoring and evaluation, and management information systems (MIS) traveled to Rwanda, Uganda, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Republic of Congo. During each visit, they met with government officials, and staff of implementing agencies to discuss the status of DDR efforts in the country, with a particular emphasis on M&E and MIS, gaps, and demands related to quality enhancement. Starting in September, the team is planning to travel to Angola, Burundi, and the Central African Republic to complete the process.

Benjamin Burckhart, MIS Specialist in the TDRP team
Benjamin Burckhart, MIS Specialist
in the TDRP team

These meetings were very helpful in identifying areas where the TDRP can lend immediate technical assistance” says Benjamin Burckhart, MIS Specialist. “We can help the local DDR teams with MIS databases and beneficiary and community dynamic assessments currently in progress. We can also assist with the planning of new studies that will strengthen their programming.” During the visits, the two experts started discussing potential regional trainings and meetings around specific themes, as well as possible themes for regional studies and pilot projects.

Emerging Themes

A few recurring themes are already emerging. For example, there is a need to learn more on young ex-combatants, on mainstreaming the reintegration of vulnerable groups into other programs, and on economic associations of ex-combatants. On the latter in particular, this could include the production of a toolkit providing clear guidance on incorporation, design and delivery of training, and support to community focal persons to assist the reintegration process, among others.

Aki Stavrou, Senior Conflict and Development Specialist in the TDRP team
Aki Stavrou, Senior Conflict
and Development Specialist in
the TDRP team

Aki Stavrou, Senior Conflict and Development Specialist, observes: “A request has been put to the TDRP team by all the countries visited thus far: it is that we look beyond DDR programs to identify the determining factors of successful social and economic reintegration. A better understanding of these factors would be extremely helpful in the design of future reintegration programs”.

Widening the Circle of Collaboration

In addition to the country visits, the TDRP team has started conversations with a number of academic institutions, regional think-tanks and international NGOs on possible collaborative work. There are knowledge gaps in certain areas related to DDR, such as understanding the impact of reintegration into areas where hostilities resume post demobilization, understanding the mobility of ex-combatants and their relocation and integration into societies removed from the conflict, and a greater awareness of the reintegration experiences of ex-combatants who have been demobilized as adults but who were children during most of their time as combatants.

Stavrou notes: “Working with specialized professionals in academia, civil society and the private sector, we could start to bridge these deficits.”

A closure strategy for TDRP

The TDRP has a short time horizon: launched after the closure of the MDRP in the summer 2009, it is set to close in October 2012. This brief lifespan reflects the fact that most countries in the GLR are in the last cycles of their DDR efforts. It also means that the knowledge, experience and expertise collected over seven years of MDRP and three years of TDRP work will need to be gathered and transferred to a different institution after 2012. In this regard, the linkages created through the facility for quality enhancement with regional bodies will prepare the ground for transferring the vast amount of accumulated knowledge and data. Discussions on this have already been initiated with Institutes and Universities in Africa and will be furthered over the coming months.

“The long-term legacies of both the MDRP and TDRP will be to ensure that the accumulated knowledge and experience of the programs serve future generations. It is therefore crucial that a repository is created that is easily accessible to whomever needs it” concludes Stavrou.

 

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