Regional Solutions for Regional Conflicts: Assessing the Impact of the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) in the Great Lakes Region Open Access
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The World Bank-facilitated Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP) was an ambitious attempt to channel decades worth of disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) research and practice into a solution for the horrific and intertwined conflicts in Africa's Great Lakes Region. From 2002 to 2009, the World Bank, international organizations, national governments, and other partners worked to apply a regional DDR solution to the cross-border violence plaguing the region. However, notwithstanding its multi-million dollar budget and multinational support, the MDRP failed to prevent a return to conflict in the majority of the seven states it covered, calling into question both the efficacy of the model, and the utility of DDR programs in general. Using both MDRP benchmarks and original analysis, this paper evaluates the program's highlights and pitfalls, and finds that although progress on many indicators was mixed, it may be beneficial to apply the regional DDR model in other areas plagued by cross-border conflict.