Assessing the Impact of DDR Programmes: Possibilities and Challenges

Seethaler, Franziska (2016). Assessing the Impact of DDR Programmes: Possibilities and Challenges. United Nations University.

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  • Sub-type Policy brief
    Author Seethaler, Franziska
    Title Assessing the Impact of DDR Programmes: Possibilities and Challenges
    Publication Date 2016-03
    Place of Publication New York
    Publisher United Nations University
    Pages 19
    Language eng
    Abstract Though monitoring and evaluation (M&E) exercises are increasingly incorporated into the design of disarmament, demobi- lization, and reintegration (DDR) programmes, thorough assessments of DDR programmes often are not systematically and effectively conducted. Ill-conceived assessments, however, can yield wildly inaccurate impressions of the effectiveness of these programmes, waste scarce donor resources, and prevent the necessary modification of DDR programmes — to the detriment of programme beneficiaries and donors alike. This policy brief provides an overview of the state of impact assessment in the DDR community and offers practical recommendations to improve it. Drawing on 28 interviews with DDR scholars and practitioners from various organizations and an academic and programmatic literature review, this policy brief first provides an overview of current trends and types of assessments. It highlights knowledge gaps and limitations that, despite a growing critical awareness of the importance of assessments, continue to exist. Next, the policy brief discusses challenges faced in conducting rigorous impact assessment of DDR programmes. These include the lack of an early integration and prioritization of impact assessment, short-term budget cycles in DDR programming environments, and weaknesses in measurement approaches. The policy brief concludes by providing recommendations on practical steps that the various actors in the DDR community can take to enhance the rigour and cost-effectiveness of DDR assessments. First, it recommends that donors and Member States invest in strengthening the M&E expertise of the DDR human resource pool, through training and other measures. This would allow for more high-quality assessments, more standardization of evaluations across programmes, and improve- ment of the cost-efficiency of M&E efforts. Second, the paper considers how new technologies may facilitate effective M&E in non-conducive environments. Finally, the paper stresses the need for longitudinal assessment — for example, through cooperation with universities and research institutes. The paper closes with a reminder that improving the effectiveness of DDR programming will depend on there being latitude to report failure. Incorporating these recommendations into DDR programming will significantly enhance the quality, cost-effectiveness, and utility of impact assessments of DDR programmes.
    Copyright Holder United Nations University
    Copyright Year 2016
    Copyright type All rights reserved
    ISBN 9789280890297
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    Created: Wed, 23 Mar 2016, 05:25:16 JST by Julia Blocker on behalf of UNU Centre