IDDRS Framework


Structures and Processes


Integrated DDR Planning


Successful international support of DDR processes demands considerable planning. Given the many different actors involved in the various stages of DDR processes and the complex links within DDR processes and with other conflict or post-conflict responses, integrated planning, effective coordination and coherent reporting arrangements are essential. Past experiences have highlighted the need for the various actors involved in planning and implementing DDR, and monitoring its impacts, to work together in a complementary way that avoids duplication of effort or competition for funds and other resources.

This module provides guidance for conducting the strategic planning of international support to DDR processes. Such planning is anchored in established DDR principles and aims to strengthen national leadership and ownership. It begins with an integrated assessment of context, needs, capacities and mandates that provides the basis for the identification of the most appropriate DDR processes, the formulation of strategic approaches with clear objectives, and the determination of clear roles and responsibilities.

Strategic planning shall be gender responsive and include a robust risk management element throughout the process, as well as a comprehensive outreach and communication dimension tailored to the relevant DDR audiences, in order to secure buyin and enable implementation. The process should result in a comprehensive strategic plan of support, a DDR strategy, to which individual entities (UN peace operations; UN agencies, funds and programmes; national authorities/stakeholders; other Member States/donors; and implementing partners) contribute through their respective programmatic instruments (e.g., mission plans, country and programme documents).


Integrated Assessments for DDR


This module provides DDR practitioners with guidance on leading and participating in integrated assessments in DDR. In the IDDRS, the term ‘integrated’ is used to indicate the cooperative implementation of policies, structures and processes that support effective disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes, recognizing common strategic aims.

Integrated assessments are any analytical process at the strategic, programmatic or operational level which carries implications for multiple UN entities and therefore requires participation by relevant UN entities. Like DDR processes themselves, integrated assessments are highly varied, have diverse stakeholders and often are implemented in complex and risky environments and in both mission and non-mission contexts). At the highest UN system level are Strategic Assessments, the analytical process used to undertake integrated assessment at the UN system-wide level. According to the Integrated Assessment and Planning (IAP) Policy, the purpose of integrated strategic assessments is:

to bring the UN political, security, development, humanitarian and human rights entities together to develop a shared understanding of a conflict or post-conflict situation, role of stakeholders and core peace consolidation priorities, and to propose options for UN engagement on the basis of an assessment of risks and opportunities. Ahead of Mission start-up planning or during the lifecycle of established integrated presences, the Strategic Assessment provides a basis for the development of recommendations on the nature and (re)configuration of UN engagement for the consideration of the Secretary-General and, when required, subsequently the Security Council.

While this level of integrated assessment is not discussed in detail in this module it is referenced in order to illustrate the success factors of Strategic Assessments that are relevant to inter-agency assessments conducted in preparation for and during  implementation of DDR (see Integrated Assessment and Planning Policy Handbook for guidance on Strategic Integrated Assessments). These DDR-related integrated assessments are categorised as:

  • Integrated Assessments for the DDR Strategic Planning Phase (such as Planning for Transition/Exit),
  • Key DDR Process-Informing Integrated Assessments (such as profiling Non-State Armed Groups), and
  • Linkage-Focused Integrated Assessments (intended to analyse linkages such as with SSR, Transitional Justice, Natural Resources, and Organised Crime

As with DDR processes, integrated assessments should be informed by and conducted with full awareness of DDR cross-cutting issues (See IDDRS level 5 on Cross-Cutting Issues). In UN policy broadly these three categories of DDR-related integrated assessments may be considered ‘technical assessments’ however DDR practitioners shall be aware that there are upstream, downstream and lateral linkages between integrated assessments. Upstream linkages indicate that the integrated assessment may inform higher level strategic planning including that conducted outside of DDR. Downstream linkages indicate that some integrated assessments link to further analysis of more narrow technical issues such as logistics and budgeting. Lateral linkages are often mutually informing connections with assessments conducted for other aspects of DDR processes as well as with assessments in non-DDR but relevant sectors, namely; SSR, Transitional Justice, Natural Resources and Organized Crime.

These technical assessments shall be conducted in a participatory and gender- responsive manner. DDR practitioners should involve relevant stakeholders in assessments where there are implications for the stakeholders and where value can be added through their participation including as way to nurture a shared vision of the key parameters of the DDR process. The combination of participating entities and communities will vary depending on the type of assessment and the particular focus of the analytical work. Some combination of national authorities, inclusive representation from civil society (i.e. youth groups or organizations, women’s groups, etc.), research institutions other local representatives, affected populations, key international partners including donors, regional and sub-regional organisations, and key member states should be consulted.

Assessments should follow four stages in their lifecycle. For the first stage DDR practitioners should establish the rationale, objectives, participants, context, deliverables, timelines and budget for the assessment. Essentially this is the why, when, what, where, who and how of the assessment. It includes establishing the authorising framework for the assessment. Those elements should be included in one single Terms of Reference agreed by and available to all partners.

The second stage is the implementation of the integrated assessment. DDR practitioners should approach the implementation of the integrated assessment with full recognition that an integrated assessment may follow varied paths depending upon the rationale, objectives, participants, context, deliverables, timelines and the focus of the assessment including cross-cutting issues and DDR linkages, whether or not the assessment includes and Technical Assessment Mission, and whether or not the integrated assessment is being implemented in a mission or non-mission setting. At a generic level this implementation stage of the integrated assessment involves a situational assessment, stakeholder mapping, data collection, verification and analysis, identifying decision and action points and identifying existing capacities and weaknesses relevant to these decision and action points.

The third stage requires DDR practitioners to ensure that the integrated assessment informs and influences decision making. Involving relevant stakeholders in the previous phases should increase the likelihood that decisions about DDR are based on evidence.

The fourth stage requires DDR practitioners to ensure the monitoring and evaluation of decisions made on the basis of the analysis in the integrated assessment. As with all other aspects of an integrated assessment this may include participatory feedback mechanisms and fora.


DDR Programme Design


The design of DDR processes flows from the DDR strategy. The DDR strategy establishes the parameters that should inform and guide DDR process design. As outlined below, the steps in designing DDR programmes are applicable in whole or in part to all DDR processes.

During the design phase, through collaborative engagement within UN agencies and with DDR stakeholders, practitioners distil the rationale of the DDR strategy into actionable DDR plans containing the following: (i) a narrative description of the content of the DDR programme; (ii) a strategic context and problem analysis; (iii) an examination of the goal and objectives of the DDR programme; (iv) a description of the DDR programme; (v) a logical framework; (vi) a description of DDR institutional and implementation arrangements; (vii) a description of operational, administrative and technical support necessary for the DDR programme; (viii) a detailed results framework (derived from the logical framework); (ix) a DDR risk management and operational risk assessment framework; and (x) a detailed transition strategy.

UN agencies, funds and programmes can support national Governments in translating their DDR strategies into viable, effective programmes. In these contexts, UN agencies, funds and programmes should work in partnership within the UN system and with other development partners at various levels of operation by acting as an impartial generator to disseminate and broker knowledge, policy advice and technical support in alignment with their DDR mandate, departmental goals and national priorities.

At a basic level, DDR programme design contains the why, what, how, where, who and cost of DDR in any given context. Design should be guided by a systems approach – that is, an understanding that all aspects of design are interrelated and interdependent, not just the activities, outputs and outcomes but also logistics, finance, budgeting, staffing and personnel. Like DDR strategic planning, designing programmes should be carried out with a full understanding of where DDR fits in the broad spectrum of peacebuilding and recovery programming and the links with other programmes, such as security sector reform.

DDR practitioners shall ensure a logical alignment across the DDR intervention from rationale to transition strategy. Throughout all stages of the design process, DDR practitioners shall include the participation of a broad range of DDR stakeholders and support national Governments and national DDR institutions to coordinate the design process.


DDR Process Stakeholders


As identified in guidance on strategic planning (see IDDRS 3.10 on Integrated DDR Planning: Processes and Structures), successful international support of disarmament, demobilization and reintegration processes demands considerable planning. As many different actors are involved in DDR processes and the complex links with other conflict or post-conflict responses, integrated planning, effective coordination and coherent reporting arrangements are essential including coordination with and across national, regional and international stakeholders.

National actors include male and female adult, youth and children (including those associated with armed forces and groups). Receiving communities, which may include those accepting returning internally displaced persons and refugees, are also central stakeholders. Other national actors who shape DDR processes include armed forces and groups, among them the military and militia and self-protection groups; the police; national and/or transitional Governments, political parties and leaders; provincial and local authorities; civil society actors, including women’s leaders and associations and youth groups; the private sector; and the media.

The third group that influences DDR includes international actors such as the UN system, bilateral and multilateral donors, and regional and other international organizations. The efforts of all these stakeholders should be coordinated to ensure that they work towards a common (shared) vision of peace and security, and channel their resources towards a common goal.

At any time, a stakeholder may constitute a participant or beneficiary in DDR processes. Participants are all persons who receive direct assistance through the DDR process, including ex-combatants, persons associated with armed forces and groups, and others identified during negotiations of the political framework and planning for a UN-supported DDR process. Beneficiaries are individuals and groups who receive indirect benefits through a UN-supported DDR process. These include but are not limited to communities in which DDR process participants resettle, and businesses where ex-combatants work as part of the DDR programme.

Participants and beneficiaries may be national/local, regional or international. For example, members of beneficiary communities may be national or transnational by virtue of being located in zones spanning multiple recognized international borders or by virtue of being migratory. Members of armed groups may be foreign combatants that entered a country and were directly involved in armed conflict. They may originate in a neutral country, or they may originate from a non-neutral country. DDR practitioners shall be aware of this complexity when planning DDR processes and shall understand the applicable international humanitarian, human rights and refugee laws that may apply to some participants, including the principle of non-refoulement and the obligations of host countries under international law. DDR practitioners shall be aware of the complexities posed by cross-border populations, including combatants who will be engaged in the DDR process, and should plan accordingly (see IDDRS 5.40 on Cross-Border Population Movements).


National Ownership and National Institutions in DDR


The UN recognizes that national ownership of DDR processes is important for successful implementation and to achieve the peacebuilding and sustaining peace goals of DDR. Wherever possible, the UN must nurture and support genuine, effective and broad national ownership of all DDR processes.

National ownership implies that DDR processes align with the national approach to prevention, peacebuilding and conflict recovery. It means that there is buy-in to DDR from a broad selection of domestic actors at the national, provincial and local levels. Wherever possible, the UN will provide front and centre support to national institutions to lead DDR. This approach is embedded in the integrated strategic planning as well as the design of DDR processes.

National DDR institutions are those institutions with responsibility for DDR processes in line with the roles and responsibilities designated by domestic provisional orders, decrees, laws or other policy instruments. The architecture of national DDR institutions will vary depending on the political, institutional and conflict context in which they are created. However, they can include national political bodies; national technical, planning and coordination bodies; national agencies with remit for one or more DDR processes; and line ministries. At times, there will be a combination of national DDR institutions in a given country. Where there are multiple national institutions, to ensure coherence DDR should be coordinated by a lead national body.

The mandates and legal frameworks of national institutions will vary according to the DDR process being implemented, the approach to implementation, the division of responsibilities with international partners and the administrative structures found in the country. In both mission and non-mission contexts, it is important to ensure that national and international frameworks and mandates for DDR are clear and coherent, and that a clear division of labour is established.

National DDR institutions should reflect the multifaceted nature of DDR and should ensure that the planning and implementation of DDR processes align with and are informed by other domestic peacebuilding interventions as well as other strategies and programming. This includes those peace-building interventions targeting stabilization, conflict transformation, poverty reduction, gender equality and post-conflict reconstruction. National DDR institutions should collaborate with other domestic conflict recovery, economic recovery, social protection, human security and security institutions.

The presence of a national DDR institution does not necessarily mean national ownership, community buy-in or political buy-in into DDR processes. The design and monitoring of UN support should be delivered in full recognition of the distinction between national institutions and national ownership and the complexities of fostering political buy-in to DDR.


Logistical Support for DDR


A foundation of DDR is the strength of its logistical, financial and administrative performance. Weak logistics can severely impact the effectiveness of DDR processes. Delays in delivering material supports to former members of armed forces and groups and beneficiary communities can directly undermine confidence in DDR and increase the risk of destabilization and violence. The three central components of DDR logistical requirements are equipment, materials and services; finance and budgeting; and personnel.

In mission contexts, normally logistical support is available for civilian staffing, finances and a range of elements such as transportation, medical services, engineering, weapons and ammunition management, and information technology. In a multidimensional operation, DDR is just one of the components with specific logistics needs. Other components may include military and civilian headquarters staff and their functions and military observers and their activities. Logistics may already be planned and financed through the mission and therefore can only be accessed for the DDR process with the agreement of the mission.

In non-mission contexts, logistics may already be planned and financed through Government or through other associated projects. However, even if logistics are in place in an associated project, they may be pre-allocated for that project and so non-transferable to support DDR processes. The context in which activities will be implemented may be one of the most important factors for planners to consider when conducting a mission or situational analysis, drafting logistics and support plans, assessing budget requirements and planning contingencies. Likewise, in non-mission contexts logistical support is dependent on the context, type and scope of activities implemented, the nature of the support available (such as direct financial or material support), the extent to which the role of the UN is advisory (as in providing DDR mediation support) and whether the UN is involved in direct execution (as in implementing reintegration).

In both mission and non-mission contexts, the delivery of the supplies/services requested depends on the timeliness and quality of information provided to logistical planners by DDR practitioners. Important information DDR practitioners need to provide to logistical planners includes the estimated total number of beneficiaries, broken down by indicators including sex, age, disability or illness, parties/groups and locations/sectors. Also, a timeline for the planning, implementation and completion of DDR processes is required. All should be provided promptly.

DDR practitioners should be aware of long lead times for acquiring services and materials. Procurement policy and procedure tend to slow down acquisitions. A list of priority equipment and services, which can be funded by voluntary contributions, should be made. Each category of logistical resources (civilian, commercial, military) has distinct advantages and disadvantages, which are largely dependent upon how hostile the operating environment is, the quality of national infrastructure and the cost.


DDR Budgeting and Financing


DDR is a complex endeavour, with political, military, security, humanitarian and socioeconomic dimensions. Planning any DDR intervention is also a complex process, at the heart of which is budgeting.

When budgeting for a DDR process, DDR practitioners should be aware of demands of and approaches to budgeting in challenging operational contexts. The following generic considerations apply to planning the financing and budgeting of DDR:

  1. Harmonization with other post-conflict planning mechanisms;
  2. Minimizing duplications;
  3. Ensuring flexibility;
  4. Managing risk;
  5. Incorporating accountability; and
  6. Planning support for all anticipated aspects of the DDR process in question.

Several sources of funding may be brought together to support DDR. Funds may include contributions from the peacekeeping assessed budget, core funding from the budgets of UN agencies, voluntary contributions from donors to a UN-managed trust fund, bilateral support from a Member State, contributions from other agencies and donors, and the host Government’s own budget.

A good understanding of the policies and procedures governing the deployment and management of financial support from these various sources is vital to the success of the DDR process. In accordance with Gender Responsive UN Peacekeeping Operations Policy, when DDR takes place within a peacekeeping operation, budgeting processes must allocate adequate technical, human and financial resources for gender equality, as mandated in the Security Council’s resolutions on women, peace and security.

DDR practitioners should adhere to current financial management good practice, particularly results-based budgeting (RBB). RBB entails aligning resources clearly and transparently behind results. When budgeting for DDR, practitioners should justify resource allocations based on a logical model of predefined objectives, expected results, outputs, inputs and performance indicators that together constitute a logical framework. Results-based budgeting is intended to be a dynamic process, providing feedback throughout the full process cycle: planning, programming, budgeting, and monitoring and evaluation.

Where there is an overall DDR strategic plan, the funding strategy of the UN also should be integrated. The integrated DDR plan shall also define process and resource management arrangements, and the roles and responsibilities of key national and international stakeholders, as well as the expected impact.

Budgeting for DDR in non-mission settings will involve funding for specific but potentially wide-ranging aspects of DDR. Budgeting should be tailored to the scope of the intervention and context. DDR programme budgets, including those of agencies, funds and programmes, should include an allotment of a minimum of 20 per cent of the budget to gender-related activities and female-specific interventions, including expertise and programmes to address sexual and gender-based violence.

As with the operational aspects of DDR, budgeting should include considerations around exiting and handover, where relevant. Budgeting for transitions should align with operational and strategic considerations and may include phasing down, phasing out and/or phasing over.


DDR Personnel and Staffing Capacities


DDR is a complex process implemented in highly varied and security-sensitive contexts, requiring a broad palette of skills and competencies. The nature of DDR demands diverse capacities in DDR teams and in the staff of local counterparts and implementing partners. In this module, it is not feasible to outline all capacities that may be required in any given DDR context, but it is possible to indicate the core competencies of which DDR policymakers and practitioners should be aware when identifying the personnel and staffing required for any particular DDR process. The security, logistical and administrative capacities that may or may not be required during DDR are not addressed in this module. Depending on the context, these capacities might sit in the UN, in national institutions, with civil society organizations or with private companies.


Monitoring and Evaluation of DDR


This module provides DDR practitioners with guidance on the principles and approaches to designing and implementing monitoring and evaluation (M&E) for DDR processes.

Like DDR itself, monitoring of DDR processes may be conducted in complex and potentially risky environments. Consequently, M&E must be planned in a manner that takes due consideration of the complex, fluid and unstable aspects of the environment in which DDR is implemented and the potentially diverse needs of DDR stakeholders.

DDR M&E is integral to successful planning, implementation and learning. Since DDR constitutes a multidimensional process that involves numerous national and international actors, having clear M&E frameworks facilitates coordination as well as complementarity across interventions. By effectively tracking progress, DDR practitioners are able to properly transition between DDR activities. M&E is central to ensuring the effectiveness and efficiency of DDR and providing accountability for all stakeholders. Appropriate investment in M&E from the planning stage onward will contribute to effective and efficient implementation, reassurance of national stakeholders and donors, among others, and the capture of evidenced-based learning to improve the design of future DDR processes.

Gender-responsive M&E is necessary to assess if DDR programmes are meeting the needs of men and women and to examine the gendered impact of DDR. Often the gender dimensions of DDR are not monitored and evaluated effectively, partly because of poorly allocated resources, and partly because there is a shortage of evaluators who are aware of gender issues and have the skills to include gender in their evaluation practices. Additionally, given the high disability prevalence among DDR beneficiaries, DDR M&E must consider their specific vulnerabilities and the ability of the DDR program to harness their capacities and support their successful reintegration.

DDR monitoring is an ongoing process within the project or programme cycle that utilizes the systematic collection and analysis of data on indicators that are mostly pre-defined in the relevant results framework. It aims to provide DDR practitioners and stakeholders with data and analysis on the interventions delivered by a variety of stakeholders, including Government and implementing partners.

DDR evaluation is the systematic and objective assessment of DDR processes at specific points in time with the aim of determining the relevance and achievement of results as well as efficiency, effectiveness, impact, coordination, coherence and sustainability. The objective of any evaluation should be agreed among stakeholders in advance of commissioning or designing terms of reference to conduct the evaluation. Evaluations of DDR processes shall have a clear purpose, a strategic value and a learning function, and shall be utilized.

DDR M&E can be any of a variety of approaches or combination of methods. However, fundamentally, M&E shall be both planned and budgeted for in the design phase of the DDR process. This is important to ensure that there are sufficient financial and other resources allocated to all aspects of M&E, including the design and collection of baseline data and dissemination of results and analysis.

level 1

General IDDRS

level 2

Concepts, Policy and Strategy of the IDDRS

level 3

Structures and Processes

level 4

Operations, Programmes and Support

level 5

Cross-cutting Issues

level 6