issue number 2 / 2023


In Focus:



The future of peace


DDR Innovators in Action


Field updates




IDDRS Updates


Recent publications


Upcoming events and trainings



Our Common Agenda is the Secretary-General’s vision for the future of the UN and global cooperation, and his response to current and future challenges. It’s a call for innovation across the UN. 

UN 2.0 is about strengthening our expertise and culture in data, digital, innovation, foresight, and behavioural science – to build a UN System that can better support Member States in the years to come.

António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General

Innovation isn’t just about new technology, each of these areas contribute to holistic innovation.

How can we use these in our daily DDR work?


Meaning- enhancing our capabilities to gather, process, and use data from diverse sources. It is about transforming raw data into valuable insights that drive smarter decisions and impact.

Learn more


Instilling a culture of foresight means equipping ourselves with the capacities to discern emerging trends, anticipate potential shifts, and respond proactively. It signifies a commitment to long-term thinking, strategic planning, and readiness for a spectrum of possible futures.

Learn more


Meaning- developing digital skills and culture, embracing technological advancements and integrating them seamlessly into our work processes. It is about leveraging digital tools and platforms to enhance efficiency, foster collaboration, and amplify results.

Learn more

Click to Explore the 5 Areas (Quintet) of Change to Reinvent Your Way of Working


Is about cultivating innovation skills and culture that foster environments that encourage creativity, risk-taking, and continuous learning. It goes beyond simple problem-solving – it’s about viewing challenges as opportunities for groundbreaking ideas and solutions.

Learn more

Behavioral Science

Nurturing behavioural science skills and promoting a culture of behavioural insight goes beyond understanding human actions. It is about applying knowledge of human behaviour to design evidence-based strategies and interventions that encourage positive change.

Learn more

Unlocking Innovation for Global Impact:


Since 2015, UN innovators from over 180 countries and across 70+ entities have been coming together to share expertise and support the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Today, YOU can join this community, and YOU can submit your own innovation project.


For more inspiration: Check out UNIN’s free resources library and projects page

The future of peace- innovation in peace & security



Here is a sneak peak into 3 of their projects:


In 2020, amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, DPPA Innovation embarked on an audacious project: to imagine what conflict prevention, peacemaking, and peacebuilding will look like 50 years from now.


Discover the introductory video to the project


This project uses speculative design: an approach to design that focuses on imagining future scenarios and possibilities.


It helps us explore new perspectives,  gives us tools and support to use our imagination to imagine and shape our future environment.

Below are imagined pictures from the project showing what the United Nations could look like in the future- both in headquarters and in the field.


Click images for full view

SF tends to be dystopian and peacemaking cannot portray a purely utopian atmosphere either. We have to be realistic: there will be wars and conflicts in the future, but we can still imagine better ways of responding to them through smarter diplomacy. The beauty of SF is that it is a world of possibilities. I like the idea that we can move away from the clichés of dark scenarios. This project with UN DPPA’s Innovation Cell was a chance to be a bit more original and different, both when it came to the SF genre and the context of peacemaking.

Ronan Le Fur, also known as Dofresh

The illustrator behind the artwork



As we dare to speculate and reimagine peace through design, can we do the same for the DDR process. Can we discuss each phase of DDR  and speculate what it could or should look like. And can we also ask ex combatants and communities to re-imagine this with us.


How do you think DDR operations will look like in the future?


In June 2020, DPPA Innovation used digital dialogues in a live peace negotiation process in Yemmen. Since then, DPPA Innovation has been using the tool to engage with the most affected people by conflict in other areas of the world.


Discover how AI-enabled peace dialogue works in this video


DPPA Innovation uses an AI platform Named Remesh.AI that enables a single person to have real-time ‘1-on-1’ conversations with groups of up to 1,000 individuals. Remsh.AI’s mission is to create a technology that could represent the will of the people and amplify their collective voice.


Remesh.AI and other AI tools help us stay connected. They don’t replace human interactions but they can complement them, help support more inclusive peace processes and amplify unheard voices. How would you use this tool to collect insights on your projects?

The most important thing in this consultation is that we hear from real Yemenis from the ground, who face this war. We have had more than five years of war now in Yemen, and we need peace. That’s why it was very important to discuss.

Ahmed Baider

Journalist and media producer in Sana’a



Could we use digital dialogue tools in DDR and CVR initiatives, to provide more voices and foster more effective communication among involved parties.


How do you think integrating digital dialogues in our work could expand the impact of DDR programs?


Since 2021, DPPA Innovation has produced a series of immersive Virtual Reality (VR) films. It is exploring this medium as a way for diplomats and stakeholders to see through the eyes of people living in conflict and post-conflict settings.


Here is an example from Colombia



“Pathways Colombia” has three episodes that will give you an impression of what it is like to be on the ground in Colombia and introduce you to the personal stories of former combatants as well as local communities and victims of the conflict.



Virtual Reality (VR) is a computer-generated environment with scenes and objects that appear to be real, making the user feel as though they are immersed in their surroundings. It has increasingly been used by many industries, including for humanitarian and military training purposes. It can also be used—as in this case—to tell stories.


This VR experience allows you to have access to information and experience testimonies as if you were on the ground yourself. It can help for example, DDR and other practitioners, learn from other context and extract best practices

Explore this Colombian virtual reality project that effectively brings the reintegration process to life from a remote standpoint, while also shedding light on the encountered challenges.

Episode 1 : "New Beginnings"

Over fifty years of armed conflict in Colombia ended with the 2016 Final Peace Agreement. Now former combatants are starting their lives again as civilians. Discover the reintegration projects bringing former combatants and victims together to build peace in Colombia.


Episode 1 : “New Beginnings”

Episode 2 : "security challenges"

Ongoing violence continues to disrupt the reconciliation process in Colombia. As former combatants relocate to new homes in reintegration zones, they must deal with the stigma that follows.

Episode 2 : “Security Challenges”

Episode 3 : "Voice of Reconciliation"

Victims and their families are at the core of reconciliation. The Special Jurisdiction for Peace (SJP) makes sure that former combatants account for their war crimes. This focus on truth and justice is crucial to ensuring that Colombia never repeats the past.

Episode 3 : “Voice of Reconciliation”

VR technology allows decision-makers a unique opportunity for perspective-taking and Generative AI will help us to build VR applications most cost-efficiently in the future. We are actively testing VR experiences through the lens of behavioural science, incorporating principles of psychology, sociology, and ethics to mitigate potential risks and maximize the positive impact of emerging technologies. By embracing a responsible approach to VR and AI, we can harness its full potential for societal benefit and contribute to a future where technology is a force for positive change.

Martin Waehlisch

Policy and Mediation Division, Innovation Cell, Department of Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, United Nations



By humanizing the conflict and ex combatants, and fostering empathy, ‘Pathways  Colombia’ sets a compelling precedent for how VR can enrich DDR programmes, offering a more nuanced approach to story telling our work.


How can you use virtual reality to tell stories about your DDR or CVR work, and the people involved, that otherwise would not be told?

DDR Innovators in Action


The innovative essence of this approach extends beyond the mere provision of healthcare services. It becomes a vehicle for holistic community uplifting, fostering resilience in the face of conflict-induced challenges.

Aminatou Mahamadou Adamou




In response to healthcare needs in conflict-affected Sam Ouandja town (located in the Central African Republic’s Haute-Kotto prefecture near the border with Sudan), MINUSCA DDR Section and UNFPA (United Nations Population Fund) collaborated to establish the first vital medical facility in the area, complete with a maternity ward and psychological services. This joint effort showcases the power of the “One UN” approach, providing comprehensive healthcare that addresses physical and mental challenges. 

The medical facility serves a population of approximately 27,471 individuals, with a specific focus on women’s health. This includes 2,342 pregnant women who require specialized maternal care and 6,731 women of childbearing age who may benefit from reproductive health services.

Explore Our Full Interview with Aminatou, DDR Officer and One of the Project Coordinators in the Field

Can you describe the role you had in the realization of this project?

My role in the realization of this project was to coordinate and facilitate the collaborative efforts between the MINUSCA DDR section and UNFPA. This involved ensuring effective communication, resource allocation, and alignment of objectives. I played a key role in bridging the expertise of both entities to create a comprehensive medical planning. My responsibilities included overseeing the planning, coordination, and successful execution of the project. Overall, my role was instrumental in bridging the expertise of both entities to create a comprehensive healthcare solution that positively impacts our community.

Can you share a significant moment you experienced during the project implementation?

One significant moment I experienced during the project implementation was witnessing the inauguration of the medical facility. Seeing the maternity ward and psychological center fully operational and serving the community was a heartwarming moment. Observing pregnant women receiving specialized care and individuals accessing psychological support services underscored the tangible impact of our collaborative efforts. It validated the idea that a unified approach can bring comprehensive solutions to complex healthcare challenges.

The significance of this collaboration reverberates through its innovative nature, which is grounded in the strategic amalgamation of diverse expertise aimed at tackling multifaceted healthcare challenges. This union of strengths is striking, bringing together the specialized focus of the MINUSCA DDR section on demobilization and reintegration and the specialized prowess of UNFPA in the realm of reproductive health and population dynamics. The outcome was the establishment of a holistic medical facility that seamlessly converges these distinct areas of specialization. This groundbreaking approach transcends the confines of addressing solely physical health needs, reaching towards the broader realm of mental well-being.

What makes this collaboration an innovation?

By virtue of this collaboration, the project serves as an exemplar of comprehensive solutions that address the intricate needs of conflict-affected communities. The integration of both physical and mental health components within a single initiative holds testament to the profound potential harnessed when collaborations harness and leverage distinct strengths. This symbiotic alliance between the MINUSCA DDR section and UNFPA underscores how their combined efforts yield far-reaching results that ripple across the community, touching lives in profound ways.

The innovative essence of this approach extends beyond the mere provision of healthcare services. It becomes a vehicle for holistic community uplifting, fostering resilience in the face of conflict-induced challenges. The coalescence of diverse knowledge bases, resources, and strategic perspectives fortifies this initiative, rendering it a model for future endeavors. This “One UN” approach becomes a beacon, shedding light on the transformative power that shared insights, pooled resources, and collective effort can yield. It showcases the potential of collaboration to be a catalyst for sustainable development, propelling regions grappling with complexities towards a brighter and more prosperous future. In essence, this collaboration echoes the very essence of innovation — a fusion of visionary thought, strategic action, and a profound commitment to elevating lives within conflict-affected contexts.


Human Resource Limitations

The lack of trained human resources in the town.

Infrastructure Constraints

Sam Ouandja is an isolatd town with bad road conditions. This makes transportation and logistics challenging. Construction materials, medical equipment, and supplies may be difficult to transport, leading to delays and increased costs.


Expertise and Resources sharing

The DDR section specializes in the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants, while UNFPA has extensive experience in reproductive health and population issues. By collaborating, both entities brought their expertise and resources to the table, ensuring the medical center addresses the unique needs of the community, including ex-combatants and other vulnerable populations. UNFPA’s knowledge in maternal and reproductive health complement the DDR section’s understanding of the specific challenges faced by ex-combatants in accessing healthcare services.

Community Engagement

Engaging and involving the local community in the project was critical. Building trust and understanding the community’s healthcare needs and cultural sensitivities was essential for successful implementation. Conducting community consultations, establishing local advisory committees, and involving community members in decision-making processes ensured that the medical facility meets the specific needs and gains acceptance from the community.



The innovation lies in the symbiotic alliance between the MINUSCA DDR section and UNFPA and it shows how their joint efforts and innovative partnerships bring about significant results that affect the community deeply, positively impacting lives.


Avant, quand on parlait des ex-combattants, la communauté avait peur d’eux.

Hamadou SAÏDI

Président du COSADI de Meri



Meri, une ville apparemment calme qui n’avait pas connu les exactions de Boko Haram, a été choisie en juin 2020 pour abriter un centre de transit pour les ex-combattants qui se sont rendus d’eux-mêmes, dans le cadre du processus de DDR.

Peu de temps après leur installation, des accusations portant sur des exactions telles que des viols et des vols dans les champs ont sérieusement perturbé la cohésion sociale et la stabilité de la communauté de Meri. Ces accusations ont engendré une crise de confiance entre la communauté d’accueil et les ex-combattants. Afin d’identifier les solutions à apporter à ces communautés, une évaluation des besoins en santé mentale a été conduite par le consortium OMS-OIM. Cette évaluation, ciblant les ex-associés et les ex-combattants ainsi que les communautés d’accueil, a mis en évidence un certain nombre de facteurs de stress, tant sur le plan psychologique que socio-économique.



3306 participants

Dont 1,752 de femmes et jeunes-filles ; 628 ex-combattants et déplacés internes ont participé aux activités de dialogue communautaire inclusif sur les griefs et les priorités communes en matière de santé, de sensibilisation ou des réunions de plaidoyer autour des thématiques sur la santé et la cohésion sociale.

Dans cette logique, lors de la célébration de la journée internationale des droits des femmes le 08 mars 2023, les femmes ex-associées et les femmes des communautés d’accueil par le biais des COSA, ont menées conjointement des activités socio-récréatives telles que les concours de danse, les sketchs, les poèmes et le défilé.


Femmes et jeunes filles

Ces différentes activités et bien d’autres réalisées dans le cadre des cliniques mobiles, apportent une plus-value importante sur la santé mentale. En outre, elles permettent de rétablir la confiance et de renforcer la cohésion entre ex-associés et la communauté d’accueil.


Découvrez les témoignages des contributeurs à la réussite du projet ainsi que ceux des bénéficiaires



Meri: An apparently calm town that has not experienced the atrocities of Boko Haram was selected in June 2020 to host the transit center for self-surrendered former combatants as part of the DDR process. Shortly after their establishment, accusations of abuses such as rapes and thefts in the fields seriously disrupted social cohesion and stability in the Meri community. These accusations led to a crisis of trust between the host community and the former combatants. In order to identify solution(s) to address these communities’ challenges, a mental health needs assessment was conducted by the Consortium (WHO-IOM), targeting ex-associates/former combatants and host communities, revealing several stress factors on both psychological and socio-economic levels.



A total of 3306 participants, including 1752 women and young girls, and 628 ex-combatants and internally displaced persons, participated in inclusive community dialogue activities focused on grievances and common health priorities, as well as awareness-raising and advocacy meetings on health and social cohesion topics. In line with this approach, during the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2023, ex-associate women and women from host communities jointly organized socio-recreational activities such as dance contests, skits, poems, and parades through the Community Support Associations (COSA).

These various activities, along with others conducted through mobile clinics, provide significant value to mental health. Moreover, they help rebuild trust and strengthen cohesion between ex-associates and the host community.



Assessment of mental health needs and tension reduction through inclusive dialogue is the innovative approach that was favored in Meri to ensure effective reintegration.



Évaluation des besoins de santé mentale et apaisement des tensions à travers un dialogue inclusif, c’est l’approche novatrice qui a été privilégiée à Meri pour assurer une réintégration efficace.




In Mozambique, the proactive leadership of the Principals and collaborative work of a diverse group of stakeholders have led to more than 1,500 DDR beneficiaries already receiving tailored socioeconomic reintegration opportunities in communities of their choice in 50 out of the 154 districts in the country, and approximately 145 people have been integrated into Mozambique’s armed and police forces.

The Mozambican DDR process adopted a unique and innovative approach.


See below the elements of this approach: 



In a historic achievement, pensions were extended to former Mozambican National Resistance (RENAMO) combatants through the efforts of the Personal Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General for Mozambique, Mirko Manzoni. This innovative deal, born from continued dialogue between Mozambican President Filipe Jacinto Nyusi and RENAMO leader Ossufo Momade, solidifies peace in the region and addresses the long-standing issue of securing pensions for demobilized combatants. And, it has also made the reintegration part of the DDR process a multidimensional process to peace-building as it combines reintegration with social security. Through a concrete mechanism to guarantee the payment of pensions to former combatants, the DDR process supports the reconstruction of the social fabric at the same time it establishes a sustainable, long-term peace-building capacity that continues to function once the mission ends.

With the legal framework finalized, the Office of the Personal Envoy is now facilitating the attribution process for the 5,221 DDR beneficiaries, marking a significant step towards national reconciliation and honoring their service following their demobilisation.


Assembly Area Cycle of Services

“Over the course of a day, DDR beneficiaries become citizens of a new world with rights and provisions for full reintegration into society.”

DDR beneficiaries undergo innovative COVID-19-compliant Disarmament and Demobilization activities at specialized assembly areas, enabling seamless reintegration with comprehensive support and necessary documents. The strategic implementation, overseen by relevant commissions, ensures efficiency and a people-centered approach, facilitated by technological innovations.

Technological innovations have significantly enhanced the speed and efficiency of the DDR process in remote areas, despite challenges with internet connectivity. Integrating DDR beneficiaries into a global database, automatic banking system, and telecommunications network has improved identification, verification, and reintegration opportunities. While technology plays a crucial role, a people-centered approach ensures inclusivity and support for beneficiaries with varying digital literacy levels, fostering successful, long-term reintegration in the Mozambican peace process.

DDR Hotline

The Office of the Personal Envoy has implemented a human-centered monitoring and evaluation system tailored to DDR beneficiaries’ needs, ensuring continuous improvement and relevance throughout the process. The DDR hotline offers beneficiaries a direct, cost-free contact to seek information about any aspect of the DDR process or report any issues or concerns to PPS following their return home. This hotline is managed by PPS (Peace Process Support) staff through a custom application for efficient follow-up and issue resolution.

Since September 2020, the DDR hotline has received around 550 phone calls (10.5% of all DDR beneficiaries) from beneficiaries reporting various issues, such as subsidies, community, family, and documents. Through data analysis and response, PPS has addressed concerns effectively, leading to improved satisfaction levels among DDR beneficiaries, including implementing a review process for reinsertion kits to ensure their satisfaction.

“Embracing Dialogue” : a virtual reality experience in mozambique

Immerse yourself in the Vunduzi Assembly Area, the former RENAMO headquarters in Sofala Province, central Mozambique, where the disarmament and demobilization phase of the DDR process, an essential part of the Maputo Accord for Peace and National Reconciliation, comes to an end on 15 June 2023. “Embracing Dialogue” is a virtual reality experience that follows the journey of Mr. Justino, a DDR beneficiary, as he embarks on the DDR process and begins a new chapter of his life. A total of 5,221 people have been demobilised since DDR began in 2019 and are now living at home with their families and communities.

Step into the world of Mr Justino and, along the way, gain deeper insight into the peace process in Mozambique.


Immerse yourself in the Vunduzi Assembly Area, the former RENAMO headquarters in Sofala Province, central Mozambique with this video


The Mozambique peace process, led by the Personal Envoy, prioritizes gender responsiveness within its DDR program, addressing the needs of women combatants and communities while considering gender dynamics in reintegration. Notably, an innovative strategy has been applied, establishing context-specific systems for long-term gender-responsive peacebuilding during social reintegration and reconciliation efforts.

Another innovative aspect is the partnership with ‘Peace Clubs’, an interfaith network of community and religious leaders advocating non-violence and peace education. These clubs play a crucial role in training local leaders as reconciliation agents, fostering dialogue, addressing gender-specific needs, and promoting lasting ties between DDR beneficiaries and host communities for a peaceful future.


A DDR beneficiary pictured with his family, including children and grandchildren. Family and community are two central pillars of the reintegration process in MozambiqueVunduzi, Sofala Province, June 2023.  



The entrance to the registration section of the Assembly Area in Vunduzi, Sofala province, where demobilisation activities takes place, June 2023. 


Leader of RENAMO, Ossufo Momade hands over the final weapon to the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, in a symbolic gesture marking the end of the disarmament and demobilisation stage of the Maputo Accord. Vunduzi, Sofala Province June 2023.  


A PPS staff member shares information with DDR beneficiaries on reintegration and the transition to civilian life. The beneficiaries engage with a video, receive a step-by-step guide and ask questions about details of the process. Vunduzi, Sofala Province June 2023.    


A DDR beneficiary tending to his crops following his reintegration into his family and community, Vunduzi, Sofala Province June 2023.  


A DDR beneficiary washes his hands before entering the Assembly Area in Vunduzi, as part of measures to mitigate against the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, Vunduzi, Sofala Province June 2023.   


DDR beneficiaries walk to the Assembly Area in Vunduzi, Sofala province, to participate in the D&D process in June 2023.  


An aerial view of a typical Assembly Area where service providers and the Joint Technical Groups prepare for the beginning of activities. Vunduzi, Sofala Province in June 2023.  


An aerial view of the Assembly Area in Vunduzi, Sofala Province, where a hybrid public -private sector team of service providers meets with the Joint Technical Groups before activities start in June 2023.  


A daughter of a DDR beneficiary participates in the Yopipila project, an innovative space dedicated to life skills training, employability, business management and green technologies, located in Pemba, Cabo Delgado. 


A DDR beneficiary receives the details of his first bank account and an ATM card at the Vunduzi Assembly Area, Sofala province in June 2023.  


Leader of Renamo, Ossufo Momade and the President of the Republic of Mozambique, Filipe Nyusi, attend the closing ceremony of D&D at the Vunduzi Assembly Area, Sofala province, June 2023. 


A PPS staff member shares information with DDR beneficiaries on reintegration and the transition to civilian life. The beneficiaries engage with a video, receive a step-by-step guide and ask questions about details of the process. Vunduzi, Sofala Province June 2023.  



In Mozambique, a groundbreaking approach to DDR combines multidimensional efforts, technology-enabled solutions, and context-specific strategies. This innovative framework  prioritizes gender-responsive and sustainable peacebuilding, thus ensuring impactful reintegration.

Field updates


Read the updates for each country

Click on the country name to learn more about updates from May to September 2023.


At the commencement of the month of May, despite the improved fuel situation, shortages of fuel within the Mission continue to hinder the DDR field teams’ essential mobility to undertake field missions in some remote locations (e.g. Ouanda-Djallé) where CVR projects re being implemented. Following the approval of the Peace Building Fund project proposal to support the reintegration of ex-combatants by the Peacebuilding Support Office PBSO coordinated Project Appraisal Committee at the UNHQ,  MINUSCA DDR facilitated a working session to finalize the review of the project document in respect to recommendations made by GoCAR entities with a DDR mandate. It was agreed that, in order to avoid delays in the disbursement of the project funds, the final version of the revised draft project proposal should be submitted for signature by the Minister of DDRR and APPR follow-up and subsequently redirected  to PBSO UNHQNY for final signature and finalization.  

At the end of June, the mobile team of UEPNDDR deployed to Yaloke and Bria to conduct disarmament and demobilization (DD) operations of anti-balaka and residual FPRC elements in the area. Recent insecurity in the area contributed to a lower than expected turnout of the combatants, namely on the FPRC side.   

At the end of July, the Chief of DDR Section met with the DSRSG Anderson as part of her inbriefing (remotely). The discussion circled around the progress and current challenges of DDR as well as applying some of her experiences from Mali. The DSRSG discussed some of the immediate challenges such as the gap in funding for reintegration (World bank is working on the follow-up project which is not likely to enter into force before 2024), operations by the Coalition des patriotes pour le changement (CPC) or other security personnel to the detriment of DDR. She expressed some interest in DDR-led initiatives such as on the political transformation of armed groups. 

At the end of August, CVR projects were implemented in seven field locations, covering 20 sub-prefectures in nine prefectures across the country. CVR projects have been used as an entry point to operationalize the HDPN, and have contributed to broader political stabilization and peacebuilding processes. 


In June, in support of the ongoing regional peace processes in the wake of the M23 resurgence, the MONSCO/DDRS conducted a technical reconnaissance of Rumangabo FARDC camp to identify a suitable site for the pre cantonment of M23 with the participation EACRF (East African Community Regional Force), AVM (Ad Hoc Verification Mechanism) and FARDC (Forces armées de la république démocratique du Congo). As a result, a suitable site was identified within the camp perimeter. MONUSCO technical team is now working on producing the scope of work and bill of quantities that will detail the resource requirement for the construction of a 250 pax tent based transit camp. During the reporting period, DDR HQ continued to consolidate the one time life support ( hygiene, and camping materials), in preparation for the Rumangabo pre-cantonment site in coordination with LSS and DDR Field Teams.


From 25 April to 12 May, the Operational Cell undertook another follow-up mission to South Kivu, eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The objective of this third field mission was to follow-up on contacts established with representatives of Burundian – Forces nationales de libération (FNL) and Résistance pour un état de droit au Burundi (RED Tabara) – and Rwandan – Conseil national pour le renouveau et la démocratie (CNRD) – armed groups, with the support of Congolese civil society organisations. More specifically, the aim was to obtain a list of combatants interested in a repatriation process through the Operational Cell. The Operational Cell confirmed the existence of combatants in South Kivu interested in a potential repatriation. To this end, the Cell obtained a list of 161 combatants from the FNL and RED Tabara, including indications of the weapons in their possession and the number of their dependents. The advance team also registered a dozen Burundian combatants within a Congolese armed group known as UCL.

In complement, an assessment team— composed of the United Nations (DPPA-DPO/CSAD, DPO/OROLSI/DDRS and O-SESG-GL) and the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA)  conducted the needs assessment mission from 23 March to 2 April 2023. The mission aimed to assess Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda’s readiness to receive and effectively reintegrate former combatants of foreign armed groups operating in Eastern DRC against the background of the engagement launched by the CCG Operational Cell and the East African Community (EAC) Regional Force’s deployment. This mission was also a follow-up to the consultations between the Special Envoy and some leaders of the region, notably the President of Burundi. During the assessment, the team met with national authorities, the Resident Coordinators of each country, UN partners in-country namely UNDP and IOM, civil society organizations, as well as ex-combatants and their dependents.

Lake Chad Basin

From 3-7 July, DDRS participated in the 4th Lake Chad Basin Governors’ Forum for Regional Cooperation on Stabilization, Peacebuilding and Sustainable Development. The event was held in N’djamena and included a series of side events organized by UN entities, research institutions and donors. In the final Communiqué, state authorities noted the need to address mass exits from terrorist groups (Boko Haram and ISWAP) and enhance community-based reintegration and transitional justice initiatives across the region. Moreover, states reiterated their commitment to enhance the peace, humanitarian and development nexus. The representatives also committed to the preparation and adoption of a Community-Based Reconciliation and Reintegration Policy serving as a foundation for national and/or sub-national reconciliation activities. State authorities also plan on analyzing the role of vigilante groups and other government-affiliated security actors in the region, through the adoption of operational guidelines and actions; and build on existing structures, processes and mechanisms to re-integrate vigilantes and government-affiliated security actors into civilian life (rather than creating new ones). Lastly, representatives emphasized the importance to accelerate efforts at preparing a regional transitional justice framework for the LCB.


In May, the Haitian government, with support from BINUH, completed a series of 11 departmental and community consultations on the security situation in Haiti, marking a step forward in the UN’s efforts to engage communities on critical issues related to violence reduction and weapons proliferation in the face of rising insecurity driven by gangs. These forums helped identify and assess localized root causes of violence in Haiti, while exploring suitable solutions to address recommendations in preparation for the National Action Plan for Disarmament, Dismantlement, Reintegration, and Community Violence Reduction (NAPDDR-CVR)

Since the end of June 2023, an apparent calm has prevailed in the Haitian capital and no confrontations between the protagonists have been reported. Indeed, on 28 June, the leaders of Port-au-Prince’s two main gang coalitions, the G-pèp (Ti Gabriel/Kempès) and the G-9 (Barbecue/Iska), announced a non-aggression truce for 28 June in Cité Soleil and 2 July in Bel-Air respectively, and called on the population to return home.


From 8 to 12 May, DDRS and SSRU jointly conducted a field visit to Bamako, Mali, to (i) facilitate a three-day workshop on the UN new approaches to DDR and SSR and (ii) meet with relevant MINUSMA components. DSRSG Noudehou opened the workshop. DDRS presented the draft module on Armed Groups Designated as Terrorist Organizations (AGDTOs) to sensitize participants on the need to ensure that DDR support remains fit for purpose in contemporary conflicts. Over 60 participants attended the workshop, including senior representatives from the National DDR, Integration, and SSR Committees, relevant line ministries and MINUSMA components.

World-Bank-funded project for the reintegration of 900 women associated with armed groups commenced registration on 29 May and ended on 2 June. The beneficiaries of the programme include women associated with the Mouvement de l’Inclusivité. MINUSMA provided logistical, operational, technical and security support for this activity. While the World Bank had extended this project until end of December 2023, the same has at the moment been halted. 

On 30 June 2023 and at the request of the Malian Transitional Government, the Security Council through Resolution 2690, unanimously decided to terminate the mandate of the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), ceasing its operations, effective 30 June 2023, transferring its tasks and fully withdrawing its personnel by 31 December 2023.

On 13 July,  Permanent Mission of the Republic of Mali to the UN, during a meeting to exchange on potential support to Mali in light of MINUSMA’s withdrawal, highlighted the centrality of DDR for the successful implementation of the 2015 Algiers Peace Agreement and indicated the need for continued UN support. While current efforts are focused on MINUSMA’s withdrawal, the Malian delegation demonstrated overall openness to future discussions with the DDR section. 

The withdrawal of MINUSMA has negatively affected the EU’s outlook on Mali, as expressed during a meeting of the DDRS with the Integrated approach for Security and Peace Directorate of the External Action Service of the EU to provide an update on Mali. Concerns were voiced during the meeting about the spillover to the Sahel region overall, potential long-term effects on EU presence and security situation degradation in areas like border management, ministerial administration, and interior ministry support.   

On 24 July, DDRS met with MINUSMA DDR/SSR personnel to discuss navigating the uncertainty surrounding the Mission’s withdrawal and to identify support including future employment opportunities. It is expected that the majority of MINUSMA internationally recruited staff will no longer be working in the mission which will be closed on 31 December 2023. 

Between 2-4 August, a high-level Roundtable with the transitional authorities of Mali, MINUSMA the UNCT, took place in Bamako (including ECOWAS, UNOWAS and EUCAP) to assess whether and where UN support would be required in a post-MINUSMA context.

On 16 August, the DDRS chaired an extraordinary IAWG focusing on DDR efforts in a post-MINUSMA context, seeing the participation of member AFPs as well as EU-EEAS among other entities. The meeting updated the members on the situation in Mali and explored entry points as these relate to the potential absorption and capacity thereof of DDR/CVR programmatic activities by relevant AFPs in Mali.

The Secretary-General issued a letter to the UN Security Council on the articulated plan of MINUSMA’s withdrawal -particularly pertaining to the transfer of tasks, whereby, based on the request of the Malian government, DDRS could continue to provide support to the Malian people through the continuity of the disarmament, demobilization and reintegration process via AFPs in conjunction with whichever monitoring mechanism the Parties may settle on.




Since 2017, a great number of local non-governmental organizations and civil society organizations have been selected as implementing partners due to their favorable access to regions where the security situation is volatile. Additionally, to enhance the work of local partners and maximize the efficiency productivity and coherence of resources provided by MINUSMA as well as the sustainability of CVR projects, the Mission has prioritized a “consortium strategy” since 2020. This strategy brings together implementing partners, operating under a lead partner, and focusing on aligned areas of intervention. In 2023, the Mission’s CVR Standard Operating Procedures have been amended to reflect this new “consortium” paradigm.


Discover the Testimony of Ibrahim Traore, Coordinator of the Association for Environmental Management and Sustainable Development in Timbuktu



Explore the AAN Podcast with This Bitesize Episode: Risking Your Life For Peace (S5-Episode 3)

We asked Melissa Fleming, why do you believe ‘Awake at Night’ is an innovative communication approach to shed light on peace, humanitarian and development UN workers in some of the world’s most difficult and dangerous locations?

‘Awake at Night’ invites listeners to connect with the extraordinary people that make up the United Nations. The conversational format allows our guests’ personalities to shine through, shedding light on the compassion and personal sacrifice behind all lives devoted to the service of humanity. This innovative approach to communication not only humanizes UN workers, but it also raises awareness of the plight of those they serve and the daily challenges of life in the world’s most dangerous and challenging places. By telling these powerful individual stories, we can cut through numbing statistics and offer listeners the chance to relate to the world’s forgotten millions. When they relate, they care. When they care, they act. 

Melissa Fleming

Under-Secretary-General for Global Communications , United Nations

SYMPOSIUM : Operationalization of the HDP Nexus from a DDR angle


HIGH LEVEL EVENT : The Future of Integrated DDR


The Symposium began with the High-Level Event held at the German House which examined the role of DDR in sustaining peace and the implications of the United Nations’ new approach to DDR as detailed in the revised IDDRS (Integrated Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration Standards). Over 100 people attended the event. It was Co-hosted by the Permanent Missions of Germany and Sweden and the UNDP, the event featured opening remarks by the Permanent Representative of both countries, the UNDP Administrator and the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Peace Operations, followed by two panels: “The Role of DDR in Sustaining Peace,” and “DDR in Practice: The Centrality of Reintegration.” 

Discover the Instagram Reel of the High-Level Event Created by @germany_un




SESSION I : Welcome and Setting the Scene for Exploration of the HDP Nexus Through a DDR Lens

Following the high-level event, the symposium programme moved to four intensive half-day sessions that incrementally built towards a joint way forward. Sixty participants represented a diverse stakeholder group. Session I introduced the six key elements of the HDP nexus, particularly relevant to DDR: principles and working methods; shared analysis; joined planning; coordination; joint programming; and blended financing. Subsequent sessions explored potential for collaboration on DDR through these entry points. 

Participants reflected on their understanding of the HDPN and shared insights about how their professional experiences with DDR present limitations and opportunities for the HDPN. They mapped different actors in each of the pillars with whom they partner on DDR implementation, noting the risks and opportunities. Key “nexus points” emphasized the importance of breaking down silos, addressing challenges of turf and territoriality, engaging in meaningful discussions that directly support field operations, and prioritizing cooperation among actors to address DDR challenges. A key conclusion is that positive change and sustainable results in post-conflict situations and crisis settings can be enhanced. This enhancement would come through the active use of the HDPN, integrated approaches to coordination, and a nuanced understanding of actors’ mandates and perspectives.   

SESSION II : Stock-taking and Supporting DDR Field Operations – Building on Session I HDPN insights

Session II began with participants sharing ‘nexus moments’ from their specific contexts. They focused on concrete areas where the HDPN can be implemented in DDR contexts, highlighting both challenges and opportunities. Experts shared in-depth insights on the HDPN from the DDR perspective with significant contributions from IOM, the Peace and Development Advisor (PDA) in Niger, and UNDP. Key insights included the necessity of adapting work to local contexts and national partners’ priorities, and increasing capacity to coordinate more effectively across UN system efforts in fragile, conflict and post-conflict contexts.

BICC (Bonn International Centre for Conversion) presented the online database for the revised IDDRS, supporting operationalization of the contemporized standards, generating interest in available tools.  Panelists in the closing part of the session included representatives from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), United Nations Office for Disarmament Affairs (UNODA), and United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL). The concrete cases illustrated where DDR-related tools such as mediation, pre-DDR, Weapons and Ammunition Management (WAM), and disengagement programs were successfully employed within the HDPN. Session II deepened participants’ understanding of the HDPN and made “nexus moments” more immediate and relevant to DDR practitioners.  Key themes included the importance – the necessity – of stronger coordination and collaboration, and long-term planning for successful HDPN and DDR implementation as part of sustainable peace efforts.

SESSION III : Complexities and Continuous Change of Landscape – Context for HDPN and DDR

Session III further deepened understanding of ways the HDPN can help address challenges and capitalize on opportunities in the complex and changing landscapes that constitute DDR reality, seizing nexus moments to reduce siloed pillar-specific approaches.

DDR specific complexities included the increasing fragmentation of armed groups, transnational/ regional/ local interfaces of national conflicts, unaddressed grievances of communities enabling armed groups’ activities, and the need for multi-faceted mediation. Benefits of the nexus from the perspectives of each pillar reinforced the emerging consensus that harnessing the potential of a stronger complementary relationship between the triple nexus and DDR processes requires integrated planning, design and implementation, in turn reinforcing the key role of DDRS in convening and coordinating. 

Conclusions included that the humanitarian pillar perceives and presents itself as distinct, mainly focusing on challenges and conditionalities impacting humanitarian objectives. The development pillar sees the political/security pillar as a precondition for creating a conducive environment for longer-term DDR benefits. All three pillars stressed the importance of complementarity, synergy, and early, continuous engagement throughout a process. These are only possible with strengthened knowledge about the work of partners and potential partners across pillars. 

Complementing the interactive work, the Folke Bernadotte Academy (FBA) presented a contemporary snapshot of the changing landscape of conflict globally that showcased that the world is experiencing more intrastate conflicts today than at any time since 1945. Trends show significant increases in ‘internationalized’ intra-state armed conflicts and of armed conflicts involving ‘Islamist armed groups’.

SESSION IV : Open Session and Wrap-up: Shared Analysis, Coordination and Joint Programming

The focus for session IV was distilled from deliberations in the previous three sessions. Participants dissected particularly complex topics including obstacles to DDR processes such as misperceptions of women and children associated with armed actors, the labelling of non-state armed groups and the limiting impact of labelling on the type and scope of engagement by HDPN actors. Typologies of armed actors inevitably reflect interests of those who generate them, across the nexus. National ownership of processes is a constant priority and challenge. Thematic working groups focused on shared analysis, coordination, and joint planning as priority themes among the six relevant to DDR introduced in session I.

Shared analysis was recognized as a means to foster coordination based on a common view and complementarity among actors despite their distinct mandates. Competition for funding was acknowledged as a potential hindrance to collaboration. A key recommendation that reflects the emerging recognition of the primacy of politics in peacekeeping is that joint analysis be linked to political processes, with common outcomes defined for interventions. 

Effective coordination was identified as vital, requiring incentives such as resource mobilization, problem-solving, and improved access to donors. Involvement of national authorities and establishment of effective and flexible coordination mechanisms, with shared clarity on roles and responsibilities, were noted as essential to prevent fragmented and consequently weak interventions. Experts recommended ensuring that coordination efforts be led by the government and regional actors.

Joint programming was emphasized as a means of addressing common beneficiaries and promoting synergies and complementarities based on clear shared analysis and assessments of local needs and as well as recognized comparative advantages. 

Deliberations brought into sharp focus that the three priority themes – shared analysis, coordination and joint programming – are interconnected and require continuous engagement across key partner groups. 


IDDRS Modules Status


One module has been validated by the IAWG members since May 2023

5.70 Health and DDR

Five modules remain to be finalized

1.10 Introduction

1.20 Glossary

5.10 Women, Gender and DDR

6.20 Transitional Justice and DDR

6.50 Armed Groups Designated as Terrorist Organizations


Pending finalization



level 1


General IDDRS


Introduction to the IDDRS


Glossary: Terms and Definitions

level 2


Concepts, Policy and Strategy of the IDDRS


The UN Approach to DDR


The Legal Framework for UN DDR


The Politics of DDR


Community Violence Reduction


Reintegration as Part of Sustaining Peace

level 3


Structures and Processes


Integrated DDR Planning: Processes and Structures


Integrated Assessments


DDR Programme Design


Participants, Beneficiaries, and Partners


National Institutions for DDR


Mission and Programme Support for DDR


Finance and Budgeting


Personnel and Staffing


Monitoring and Evaluation

level 4


Operations, Programmes and Support




Transitional Weapons and Ammunition Management






UN Military Roles and Responsibilities


UN Police Roles and Responsibilities


Public Information and Strategic Communication in Support of DDR

level 5


Cross-cutting Issues


Women, Gender and DDR


Children and DDR


Youth and DDR


Cross-border Population Movements


Food Assistance in DDR




Health and DDR


Disabilities and DDR

level 6






DDR and Transitional Justice


DDR and Natural Resources


DDR and Organized Crime


DDR and Armed Groups Designated as Terrorist Organisations

Recent publications

Journey to Extremism

Child Exits from Armed Groups in the Lake Chad Basin

This report aims to contribute evidence to enable a better understanding of the dynamics of child exits from armed groups in the Lake Chad Basin. It is based on data collected in multiple qualitative and quantitative studies across the Lake Chad Region conducted from May 2021 through June 2022.


Prevention of Violent Extremism: 2022 Annual Report

The rise of violent extremism profoundly threatens human security, adding to the multidimensional uncertainty arising from disruptions created by digitalisation, economic insecurity, discrimination and the climate crisis. This report presents the work and achievements of UNDP over the year 2022 on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE), as well as on innovative approaches in addressing hate speech and integrating mental health and psycho-social support into peacebuilding.
IOM publication Chad

Technical Note | Livelihood Interventions for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups

Children associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) are often recruited and used due to economic risk factors. Providing livelihood interventions to CAAFAG and vulnerable children can be used to prevent children from being recruited and used by armed forces and armed groups and may encourage children’s exit from armed groups and armed forces and promote their reintegration.

Collaboration between the food security and child protection sectors is essential to foster quality and holistic programmes for CAAFAG. However, the differences between the child protection and food security sectors in terms of focus (child and household), framework (socio-ecological framework and sustainable livelihood framework) and outcomes have historically hindered such collaboration.

IOMpublication Niger

Technical Note | Education Interventions for Children Associated with Armed Forces and Armed Groups

The ‘Education interventions for CAAFAG’ Technical Note is based upon an extensive desk study, key informant inter- views with 23 practitioners from a range of roles, including in Child Protection and Education, as well as technical in- put from the CAAFAG Task Force and CAAFAG Education technical note reference group. The members of the reference group work with children associated with armed forces and armed groups (CAAFAG) globally. It complements the CAAFAG Programme Development Toolkit, which provides detailed, step-by-step guidance on setting up programmes, alongside the INEE Minimum Standards for Education in Emergencies and the Minimum Standards for Child Protection in Humanitarian Action.


What is Innovation? What does it mean for me? My team? My unit? Whose responsibility is it? How do we make it real? Where do I start? These are common queries we often encounterInnovation can seem complex, overwhelming and remote. 


The Secretary General has clarified this for us:

We can do things differently, and we can do different things… innovation is not only the most sophisticated technologies, sometimes it’s the simplest of things. Be bold, be revolutionary… and disrupt… because without innovation, there is no way we can overcome the challenges of our time.

António Guterres

United Nations Secretary-General



The UN Innovation Toolkit Diagnostic : Berin McKenzie is a Learning Portfolio Manager at the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) and in this video, he introduces the primary initial step for effectively using the Toolkit

United Nations Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (UN DDR) is thrilled to collaborate with the United Nations System Staff College (UNSSC) to provide you with a range of free-of-cost resources to scope, scale, and facilitate your innovation journey: 




The UN Innovation Toolkit: a public good, freely available to all, that includes twenty-one tools, step-by-step directions, worksheets, case studies, references as well as a 27-question assessment which provides a diagnosis on all user’s strengths and areas for improvement.

UN Innovation Toolkit Webinar: a real-time, interactive, 90-minute general session delivered by UNSSC for a minimum of twenty UN Personnel, as a service to the UN System, on the offerings of the UN Innovation Toolkit along with how UN Personnel could apply the tools in their context. For more information, contact

The Innovation for Impact E-Learning Path: a self-paced, certified e-learning path, being made freely available by the UNSSC to UN Personnel across the UN System.  



Partnership building sits at the core of peace building and everything we do with DDR. Our work can not be done alone and it is accomplished through increasingly collaborative and diverse partnerships- be they with local organizations, national governments, international institutions or private sector- to name a few. Focusing our attention on nurturing these relationships (and not only the projects they produce)- allows us to build stronger more sustainable partnerships- through which we can do better and more interesting activities and projects. So partnerships are the structure, frame, or sandbox that enables us to do our work.

Gabriella Fletcher

DDR Officer and Co-Author of the Guide

Upcoming events and trainings



Launch event of the partnership framework between the African Union Commission, the United Nations and the World Bank

Launch event of the partnership framework between the African Union Commission-United Nations-World Bank, on the implementation of the joint Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration activities in Africa.

Venue: Addis Ababa
Date: 19 October 2023

Training Opportunities

Effective Weapons and Ammunition Management in a changing DDR context 
Training provider: DPO, ODA, UNITAR 
Format: in person in Accra, Ghana
Date: 02 – 06 Octobre 2023 
DDR and Youth: a practitioner’s guide on how to include youth in DDR and other Security Transitions in a meaningful way
Training provider: FBA and CCCPA
Format: in person in Cairo, Egypt
Date: 09 – 12 October 2023
Cost : USD 1,300
Course on Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration within the EU Integrated Approach
Training provider: FBA and ESDC
Format: in person in Stockholm, Sweden
Date: 10 – 13 October 2023
Cost : USD 1,300
Training course on DDR processes
Training provider: FBA and DPO
Format: in person in Entebbe, Uganda
Date: 04 – 08 December 2023 
Désarmement Démobilisation et Réintégration (DRR) 1-24 / 2-24 / 3-24
Training provider: École de maintien de la paix Alioune Blondin Beye
Format: in person in Bamako, Mali.
DDR 1-24 : 29 January – 09 February 2024 (TBC).
DDR 2-24 : 01 July – 10 July 2024 (TBC).
DDR 3-24 : 26 August – 06 September 2024 (TBC).
Link: Descriptif-cours-Desarmement- Demobilisation-Reintegration-DDR.pdf

Online Training Opportunities


Revised IDDRS
Training provider: UNITAR
Description: This online course targets individuals that already have operational and/or policy experience in DDR and want to develop a more comprehensive understanding of the new and revised Integrated DDR Standards (IDDRS).
UN approach to DDR
Training provider: UNITAR 
Description:  The goal of the course is to provide learners with key knowledge on the UN approach to DDR guiding them through an interactive, practical and engaging overview of the Integrated DDR Standards.