In November 2021, BICC hosted an international online conference titled “Between concepts and reality: How to deal with armed groups in transition phases of violent conflict?”. BICC Knowledge Note1\2022 provides the key insights from the event.
During BICC’s two-day conference, around 100 international academics from peace and conflict studies, policymakers, practitioners and diplomats investigated the guiding question of how the international community can best support national, regional and local actors in encouraging combatants to lay down their weapons and return to civilian life. Dr Mark Speich, State Secretary for Federal and European Affairs and International Affairs of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, opened the conference with a welcome speech. He agreed with the participants that to develop fresh thinking when engaging with (former) combatants from different conflicts around the world, all actors need to think „out of the box“.
BICC Knowledge Note 1\2022 wraps up the key insights gained and discussed at the conference. In the publication, the authors Milena Berks, Claudia Breitung, Selina Engelberth and Joanne Richards highlight the following points:
⁄ While DDR concepts are informed by situations on the ground, they are also shaped by the structures and mandates of international implementing organisations.
⁄ Although DDR has evolved over time, overall innovation is lacking. This is partially due to international organisations’ risk aversion and their tendency to stick to the same approaches.
⁄ Despite the prevalence of lessons learned, many are not applied.
⁄ Research should play a more prominent role at different levels of DDR processes, in particular at the practical level, with targeted support for practitioners.
You will find BICC Knowledge Note 1\2022 ““Between concepts and reality: How to deal with armed groups in transition phases of violent conflict?” at
<BICC Publications/Between concepts and reality: How to deal with armed groups in transition…>
A video documentation of the conference with inputs of the panellists is available on BICC’s video channel on YouTube: