Reintegrating Combatants into Civilian Life

Cyrus Samii, New York University

Rigorous evaluations of reintegration programs
• • • • • • Humphreys & Weinstein (2007, Sierra Leone) Annan, Blattman, Carlson & Mazurana (2007, Uganda) Barron, Humphreys, Paler & Weinstein (2009, Aceh) Gilligan, Mvukiyehe & Samii (2012, Burundi) Blattman & Annan (2012, Liberia) Studies involved university, IGO, and NGO partnerships. Study costs varied from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands.

Typical program concept: first generation

inputs

economic integration

political integration

Typical program concept: critiques

inputs
context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration

Typical program concept: second generation

inputs
context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Studies in Burundi, Liberia, and Sierra Leone.

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Positive impact with poverty reduction, quality of livelihood (Burundi, Liberia).

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Positive impact with poverty reduction, quality of livelihood (Burundi, Liberia). • No “downstream” effect in Burundi, and Sierra Leone, economic & political outcomes uncorrelated. But in Liberia, some evidence that jobs deters participate in violence.

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Positive impact with poverty reduction, quality of livelihood (Burundi, Liberia). • No “downstream” effect in Burundi, and Sierra Leone, economic & political outcomes uncorrelated. But in Liberia, some evidence that jobs deters participate in violence.

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Studies in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Abusiveness of faction predicted social acceptance (Sierra Leone), but not economic or political outcomes. • Social uncorrelated with economic or political (Sierra Leone). • Emphasis on psych. factors seems misplaced (Uganda).

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Studies in Aceh and auxiliary evidence from Burundi.

Evaluating the program concept

inputs

context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration
• Community perceptions of ex-combatants were actually worsened by CDD programming. • In Burundi, coordination of community-based and individual based programming failed (major time gaps).

Evaluating the program concept

inputs
context: social economic psychological

economic integration

political integration

Implications
• For policy:
– We are pretty good at livelihood enhancement, but it’s not clear that how much this contributes to political integration. We need more study of the latter. – We have failed to understand or find ways to contribute to producing social contexts more conducive to integration.

• In building knowledge capacity:
– Despite the sensitive contexts, rigorous research can be done to study program concepts for combatant reintegration. – The results so far indicate that much more study is indeed needed to ensure limited programming resources are applied efficiently.