Jennifer Bates

Thesis title:

Gender-sensitive disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR): an evaluation of the ARN programme to reintegrate female ex-combatants from the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) into civilian life

Abstract:

Jennifer’s research project focuses on gender-sensitive disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) in Colombia. Following the 2016 landmark peace deal between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the Colombian Agency for Reincorporation and Normalisation (ARN) has renewed its efforts to implement gender-sensitive policies to facilitate the transition of female ex-combatants into civilian life. Previous research has shown that reintegration is frequently the ‘weakest link’ in the DDR chain, despite being crucial in creating sustainable peace. In addition, female ex-combatants tend to drop out of reintegration programmes in higher numbers compared to males. Given the important economic, security and psychological implications of the failure of reintegration programmes, there is a pressing need to develop deeper understandings of the factors affecting the reintegration of female ex-combatants. Her proposed research approach is a multiple-case study (Yin 2003) designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the ARN reintegration programme in three diverse communities in different geographical areas: rural, urban, and ‘cosmopolitan’ (Bogota). Research participants will include: former female ex-combatants; members of the communities that host ex-combatants; civil society organisations involved in the reintegration process and, if access is possible, policymakers and ARN officials at the national level. In order to gather rich empirical data on the effectiveness of the ARN programme in these diverse locations, this project will utilise semi-structured interviews, observation and documentary review. This project will seek to contribute deeper understandings of gender-sensitive reintegration, particularly in relation to the implementation of the ARN gender strategy in diverse contexts.

First supervisor:

Vivienne Jabri

Pathway:

10 – International Development, Conflict & Human Security

Cohort:

2018-19