Socio-Economic Profiling and Opportunity Mapping Manual

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The challenges posed to DDR programmes are complex, particularly because each DDR programme is implemented in a different context, and requires responses that are sometimes so different from context to context as to have little in common with previous programmes. Recognising this stresses the need to invest more time, energy and resources in assessments conducted, as outlined in this document. The Integrated DDR standards (IDDRS) advise to undertake 4 core assessments before designing a reintegration programme, namely:

  • Conflict and security analysis
  • Pre-registration beneficiary survey
  • Identification and assessment of areas of return or resettlement
  • Reintegration opportunities and services mapping

This manual is designed to guide the reintegration opportunities and services mapping and also provides, to a limited extent, some guidance on profiling of the combatants, which is part of the pre-registration beneficiary survey. In order to acquire the solid knowledge base needed to design an effective reintegration programme, all 4 assessments should be completed, and complemented with other specific assessments such as a solid gender analysis and more specialised studies on needs of special groups such as children and people with disabilities. While this manual is designed to guide reintegration processes of adult and child combatants, the data collected is also of great importance to organisations mandated to reintegrate refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons (IDPs), youth, etc. Therefore, joint assessments with partners that require the same information are very much encouraged..

The data collected from opportunities on the ground are not politically sensitive and, therefore, can and should become part of the public information of the country. The government, private sector and civil society of the country where DDR will be taking place, will need to own and have full access to the information, which might be different for the database on the profiles of the combatants.

The preparation of this manual responds to the pressing need in the field for a tool which can guide those conducting socio-economic assessments in preparation for DDR. A widely acknowledged weakness of past and current reintegration programmes is that the vocational training provided to demobilised combatants is not leading to sustainable employment. The options offered to ex-combatants are generally not formulated on the basis of the real opportunities on the ground but tend to be cut and pasted from former DDR programmes. Another issue is the enormous difference between possible opportunities which vary from one province or district to another, within the same country. Finally, every DDR programme faces the challenges of having to implement the programme in a very short timeframe, with a serious lack of service providers on the ground that are capable to deliver high quality and quantity services. In every DDR setting, an assessment is required to map the real opportunities and challenges for reintegration at the local levels.

Based upon the knowledge of the real opportunities on the ground, the programming and implementation of the reintegration assistance will be more clear, effective, efficient and sustainable. However, in most DDR settings the insecure environment prior to DDR does not allow for a solid labour market analysis, and neither is time available for this analysis to be conducted. This tool has been developed to rapidly asses the demand and supply of labour, the opportunities for small business and the capacity of the service providers. The information gathered through this tool must be stored in a database, preferably at the ownership of the relevant government structure responsible for data-collection on the labour market (e.g., the Ministry of Labour, Ministry of Commerce, Bureau of Statistics, etc.). In this manner, the information gathered will also contribute to the pressing need for governments in post-conflict settings to update and manage their Labour Market Information (LMI). At a later stage, this information will be helpful for the more solid labour market analysis that normally takes place two or three years after DDR. The tool prescribes that existing, pre-conflict labour market information should initially be studied and then complemented with the primary data collected using the tools in Annex A of this document.

This manual has been prepared upon the initial request of UNICEF Liberia, UNDP HAITI, UNDDR Sudan and the United Nations Department of Peace-Keeping Operations (DPKO) in New York. The Norwegian Defence International Centre (NODEFIC) in Oslo provided additional funding to Transition International to finalise and publish this manual. The tool was tested in Liberia, Haiti and Sudan and has been adapted based upon these experiences. The tool is also used in the NODEFIC DDR planning course.

This generic manual needs to be adapted to the specific context of the country facing DDR. Annex A of this manual contains the generic tools which need adaptation to reflect local realities, language and sensitivities.

My gratitude goes to Larry Attree and Harold Monger of Transition International for their valuable input, testing and editing.

Irma Specht

Director, Transition International

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