Transitional Demobilization and Reintegration Program
South-South Knowledge and Experience Exchange
on DDR: Lessons from Rwanda for Somalia
November 21st, 2014
South-South Knowledge and Experience Exchange  on DDR: Lessons from Rwanda for Somalia

From November 3 to November 7, 2014, TDRP, in partnership with World Bank South-South Experience Exchange Trust Fund (SSETF) implemented a “Knowledge and Experience Study Tour” between Rwanda and Somalia in close collaboration with Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) in Kigali, Rwanda. The objective was to provide immediate practical and capacity support to Somali officials from the National Programme of Disengaged Combatants by facilitating the exchange of Rwanda’s experience in Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR). The SSETF is a multi-donor trust fund that sets out to provide accessible, just-in-time funding for developing countries to share their knowledge and expertise to further the Bank’s knowledge sharing agenda by drawing directly upon the accumulated expertise of our partner countries. The study tour delegation from Somalia included four officials from the Federal Government of Somalia Ministry of National Security, and two participants from United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM). The event was financed by the SSETF, and TDRP sponsored the participation of AMISOM and Bank staff.

The Study Tour consisted of a dynamic five-day workshop coupled with visits to a number of DDR sites. The workshop included joint presentations by RDRC and TDRP on a number of thematic topics covering DDR and post-conflict recovery. Every day, a series of roundtable discussions took place that allowed the participants to exchange ideas and share experiences. The participants discussed all the key elements of a DDR process, showcased the various processes as part of national DDR programs, and provided a space for detailed exchange of ideas and thoughts. Some of the issues discussed included pre-DDR activities and planning for national DDR programs; stakeholders, financing mechanisms; communications, sensitization, and public information in DDR; and reintegration, with a particular focus on psycho-social issues and vulnerable groups including the disabled.

South-South Knowledge and Experience Exchange  on DDR: Lessons from Rwanda for Somalia

The study tour delegation visited a number of RDRC DDR project sites. During a visit to the Demobilization Center in Musanze, Northern Province, the participants had the chance to meet and interact with recently demobilized ex-combatants and exchange questions with the RDRC staff. Following discussions on reintegration on the third day of the study tour, the participants visited an RDRC project for disabled ex-combatants in Kigali, ex-combatant and community cooperatives, and the Amizero Training Centre in Kayonza, Eastern Province. Other site visits included housing project for vulnerable people, cooperatives formed by ex-combatants and community members, and finally, the RDRC headquarters. At the headquarters, the RDRC staff gave a presentation on the management information system and the DDR database. The site visits helped the participants consolidate the learnings from theoretical discussions and exchanges during the workshop.

The last day of the tour included a roundtable discussion with the objective of identifying specific lessons and experiences from Rwanda that could be applied to the Somalia context. The RDRC highlighted that the Rwanda DDR Commission would welcome further requests to exchange its knowledge and experience with their counterparts from Somalia. The delegation from Somalia as well as the participants from UNSOM and AMISOM expressed their appreciation for being part of this study tour, and the support and the warm welcome provided by their Rwandan counterparts.

The TDRP will prepare a results story that will provide a summary of the study tour, and the outcomes of the event, as well as a number of recommendations in knowledge exchange design and implementation.







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