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Understanding the DDR-SSR Nexus - Building Sustainable Peace in Africa

30 June, 2007



Table of Contents

1. Introduction

2. Linking DDR and SSR

3. DDR and SSR: Activities and Actors

4. DDR and SSR: the Evolving Policy Discourse

5. Key Challenges to Operationalising the DDR-SSR Nexus
5.1 Linking DDR and SSR
5.2 Peace Agreements
5.3 Sequencing
5.4 Local Ownership and Participation
5.5 Capacity and Coordination
5.6 Funding Arrangements

6. Conclusion & Recommendations

Boxes and Tables

Box 1. Why are DDR and SSR Linked?

Box 2. A Security Governance Approach to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

Box 3. Local Ownership

Box 4. Broad and Narrow Understandings of SSR

Box 5. Outsourcing SSR in Liberia

Box 6. Comparing Peace Agreements in Sierra Leone and Liberia

Box 7. (Mis)perceptions and DDR in DRC

Box 8. Human Security, Participation and the Transformation of the South African Security Sector

Table 1. Disarmament, Demobilization, Reinsertion and Reintegration

Table 2. The Security Sector


There is a growing awareness among policy-makers, analysts and practitioners of the strong interrelationships between different elements of post-conflict peacebuilding and the consequent need for conceptual clarity as a precondition for coordinated, coherent and comprehensive interventions. The close links between DDR and SSR have been acknowledged by experts in both fields. However, more work is needed to understand and operationalise these linkages.

This paper attempts to map some of the key linkages between DDR and SSR that should be taken into account in developing policy frameworks as well as approaches to supporting these activities in a given post-conflict context.

In particular, it argues that supporting security sector governance institutions provides an important, underacknowledged means to link DDR and SSR concerns. Some of the key challenges to achieving better synergies in practice between DDR and SSR are identified and related to post-conflict peacebuilding experience in Africa.

Finally, the paper proposes a number of policy recommendations while pointing to areas where further work is required – that must be grounded in the practical experience of how these issues play out on the ground – in order to more effectively operationalise the linkages between DDR and SSR.

This "Issue Paper" was developed for the United Nations Office of the Special Advisor for Africa as a contribution to the 2nd international Conference on DDR and Stability, Kinshasa, 12-14 June 2007.