Managing Exits from Armed Conflict

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    Siobhan O'Neil

    How can programmatic interventions help ensure sustainable exits of individuals from contemporary conflict – especially from those armed groups deemed “terrorist” or “violent extremist”? Despite decades of demobilization and reintegration programming for individuals formerly associated with armed groups, there is a significant knowledge gap as to what approaches work effectively and under which conditions. The following project aims to fill that knowledge gap and as a result, improve the UN’s capacity for effective and cross-agency reintegration support.

    Building off its work on Children and Extreme Violence, and in partnership with DPKO, UNDP, UNICEF, and the World Bank, the UNU Centre for Policy Research (UNU- CPR) proposes to lead the development of a unified approach to assessing programmes for managing the exit of children, youth, and adults from armed groups. By creating a unified approach and understanding of reintegration assessment across the primary agencies leading reintegration efforts in the international community, this project will create a knowledge base that will allow for feedback to decision-makers and facilitate strategic learning.

    This proposal outlines the key deliverables for this project, including (1) a common framework for assessing the sustainability of exits from armed conflict and armed groups and (2) an agreed design for a joint data hub to house assessment data that can promote cross learning and a common understanding of what interventions work.

    This will be a multi-partner project. UNU-CPR is currently seeking funding partners to contribute to phase I, which would deliver two standalone deliverables – a common framework and a data hub design within nine months of the start of the project. As detailed in this proposal, the initial phase would cost approximately $402,000. In the event that full funding for the initial phase of the project is not forthcoming, UNU-CPR has created a contingency proposal wherein the initial phase would focus on the creation of an agreed framework for reintegration assessment and move the data hub into phase II.

    Phase II will be initiated after successful completion of phase I, at a cost of approximately $550,000 USD per year with projected completion in June 2022.