Rwanda, The Republic of

Rwanda, The Republic of

Case Studies

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study


The Economic Links Between Security Sector Reform and Development

Interview with Gabriel Negatu, Regional Director at the East Africa Resource Centre at the African Development Bank (AfDB). Mr Negatu looks at the overlap between economic development good security and the need for economic prospects for effective reintegration of former combatants or returning refugees.

"DDR is easier said than done... "The two D's are much easier than the last R."


This is My Land: Rwanda

Visit a village in Rwanda and hear from landowners telling their story. This video documents how their lives have changed since they received a title to their own plot of land a few years ago.


Buying Time For Peace

Buying Time for Peace" is a documentary that will take you on a journey into the heart of the Great Lakes region to show you the unique role of an international partnership that is trying to break the conflict cycle and create the conditions for peace in central Africa. You will meet and hear from adult ex-combatants and children formerly associated with armed forces as they try to reclaim their lives after conflict. They are participating in the largest program of its kind in the world: the Multi-Country Demobilization and Reintegration Program (MDRP), a multi-agency effort funded by the World Bank and 13 donor governments, that supports the demobilization and reintegration of ex-combatants in Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda. You will also meet MDRP specialists living and working in the region, such as Dinga, a former Colonel from Chad now in Burundi, Gromo in Rwanda, who has spent most of his life working on humanitarian issues in Africa and who witnessed the Rwandan genocide in 1994 first hand, and Harald, who spends much of his time in the more unstable parts of eastern Congo.

This film was directed by Philip Carr and produced by Bruno Donat.

The film is not available for embedding on our site but you can watch it on Youtube here:


Policy and Research Papers

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) for Development in Peace-Precarious Situations

Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) supports evidence-based decision-making in program management through rigorous approaches to collecting and using quality data on program performance, results, and impact. The application of appropriate analytical tools in order to assess the efficiency and effectiveness of interventions in well-defined contexts over time contributes to our knowledge of the kinds of interventions that work best, and under which conditions. This paper focuses on the value of utilizing M&E information systems to improve both program impact and our understanding of how best to assist peaceful development in situations prone to violent conflict. Project M&E examples illustrate M&E strategies and tactics in peace-precarious situations, framing discussion of the utility of key M&E practices and approaches where stability and security are lacking. The final section suggests initial criteria for enhancing effective and cost-effective M&E that contributes more meaningfully to the success of development interventions in peace-precarious situations; the most critical of these is building flexible M&E systems that can respond appropriately to continue providing useful information under extreme uncertainty.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Traditional Justice and Reconciliation after Violent Conflict Learning from African Experiences

The report is intended to serve both as a general knowledge resource and as a practitioner’s guide for national bodies seeking to employ traditional justice mechanisms as well as external agencies aiming to support such processes. It suggests that in some circumstances traditional mechanisms can effectively complement conventional judicial systems and represent a real potential for promoting justice, reconciliation and a culture of democracy.
In addition, even in situations where communities are more inclined to demand straightforward retribution against the perpetrators, traditional justice mechanisms may
still offer a way both of restoring a sense of accountability and of linking justice to democratic development.


A Hybrid Peace through Locally Owned and Externally Financed SSR-DDR in Rwanda

 This article aims to critically examine Rwanda’s SSR-DDR process through a theoretical framework outlining four different models of peace processes in order to identify what sort of peace that can emerge from Rwanda’s SSR-DDR approach. The author analyses how the Rwandan government has managed to keep the SSR-DDR process ‘locally’ owned while largely financed by external actors, despite strong criticism for its apparent lack of democratization. The ‘genocide credit’, the Rwandan government’s preference for national, rather than international solutions and its recent troop contribution to peacebuilding operations in the region are identified as main reasons for this development. The paper argues that the peace emanating from the SSR-DDR process may be considered as a hybrid form of stateformation and statebuilding, due to the local agency’s preference for security and stability while simultaneously enjoying financial and technocratic support for its ‘liberal’ peacebuilding actions in the region. 

The article can be accessed here


La politique des États-Unis en Afrique centrale et des Grands Lacs – Janvier 2015

Cette note publiée par l’Observatoire des Grands Lacs en Afrique s’intéresse à l’implication des États-Unis en Afrique centrale et des Grands Lacs, région qui ne présente pas en soi d’importance majeure pour les États-Unis, ni en termes économiques, ni dans la lutte contre l’extrémisme violent qui concerne d’autres régions du continent. L’attention américaine sur la région d’Afrique centrale et des Grands lacs se concentre sur le règlement de conflits qui perdurent depuis les années 1990, plus particulièrement sur la situation dans l’Est de la République démocratique du Congo (RDC) où les milices armées entretiennent la violence et interdisent toute stabilisation, et les exactions de la Lord Resistance Army (LRA) qui affectent aujourd’hui principalement la République de Centre Afrique (RCA) et la RDC, et sont présentées comme la principale menace régionale contre les intérêts américains.

Ces préoccupations américaines sont largement alimentées par les campagnes de groupes de pression à vocation humanitaire, dont les efforts de sensibilisation ont joué un rôle important sur les positions prises par le Congrès comme par l’Administration Obama. Cela s’est traduit par une implication diplomatique plus forte dans le dossier congolais et un engagement militaire significatif en appui des forces régionales luttant contre la LRA. À côté de ses deux initiatives, la politique régionale reste axée sur une ligne définie dès la fin des années 1990, celle du soutien aux partenaires stables et capables de contribuer aux objectifs privilégiés de Washington dans l’ensemble de l’Afrique orientale : la stabilisation et surtout la lutte contre le terrorisme. De ce point de vue, les États-Unis appliquent dans les Grands lacs, comme dans le reste du continent, une stratégie indirecte fondée sur l’assistance économique et le renforcement des capacités des forces de sécurité, focalisée sur l’Ouganda, le Rwanda et le Burundi.

Veuillez cliquer sur le lien pour accéder à la note La politique des États-Unis en Afrique centrale et des Grands Lacs – Janvier 2015.


Gacaca and DDR: The Disputable Record of State-Building in Rwanda

State-building is currently considered to be an indispensable process in overcoming state fragility: a condition characterized by frequent armed conflicts as well as chronic poverty. In this process, both the capacity and the legitimacy of the state are supposed to be enhanced; such balanced development of capacity and legitimacy has also been demanded in security sector reform (SSR), which is regarded as being a crucial part of post-conflict state-building.

To enhance legitimacy, the importance of democratic governance is stressed in both state-building and SSR in post-conflict countries. In reality, however, the balanced enhancement of capacity and legitimacy has rarely been realized. In particular, legitimacy enhancement tends to stagnate in countries in which one of multiple warring parties takes a strong grip on state power. This paper tries to understand why such unbalanced development of state-building and SSR has been observed in post-conflict countries, through a case study of Rwanda. Analyses of two policy initiatives in the security sector – Gacaca transitional justice and disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) – indicate that although these programs achieved goals set by the government, their contribution to the normative objectives promoted by the international community was quite debatable. It can be understood that this is because the country has subordinated SSR to its state-building process. After the military victory of the former rebels, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the ruling elite prioritized the establishment of political stability over the introduction of international norms such as democratic governance and the rule of law. SSR was implemented only to the extent that it contributed to, and did not threaten, Rwanda’s RPF-led state-building.


4 ways to support reconciliation: Lessons from Rwanda and Liberia

International Alert identified two strands to support people in finding peaceful solutions to conflict. One strand involves working with communities to improve relations between people and the state. This often means bringing together communities with local and national authorities to discuss improving the accessibility and quality of public services. The other strand is about supporting reconciliation within and between communities.

Reconciliation projects in Rwanda and Liberia that came to an end in recent years provide an opportunity to identify good practice in this area. Based on achieved results, four elements of good practice in reconciliation programming can be pointed out.

In order to read, 4 ways to support reconciliation: Lessons from Rwanda and Liberia, please follow the link.


Reintegration Assistance for Ex-Combatants: Good Practices and Lessons for the MDRP

This working paper suggests the best practices in reintegration program design include: planning of pilot activities for reintegration support at the start of the DDR process; investing in regular communication and outreach with ex-combatants, communities and other stakeholders; ensuring specialised services and program adaptations for vulnerable groups of ex-combatants including children, women and the disabled; and building broad-based partnerships that facilitate the evolution of reintegration activities into wider development programming. 

As evidenced by the successes and challenges of reintegration programs around the world, the institutional structures and arrangements governing DDR and reintegration programs can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of these operations. Minimum institutional features of particular relevance include: strong national ownership; the separation of political oversight and technical implementation bodies; decentralized program structures; timely and regular monitoring and evaluation; rigorous financial systems and controls; and a clear exit strategy

To access the full paper, click here.


The Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Program: Reflections on the Reintegration of Ex-Combatants

To reflect on its activities and refine programming during its final two years, the Rwanda Demobilization and Reintegration Commission and Program (RDRC/RDRP) commissioned a series of specialized studies in 2005. These studies addressed questions related to the social and environmental impact of programming, as well as to the impact of program activities on particular
sub-groups of ex-combatants. The major findings, lessons learned and recommendations of three of these studies are summarized in this note.

To access the full text, click here.


Transitioning Toward Gender Justice: A Trend Analysis of 13 African cases

Gender justice sees equal power relations, privilege, dignity, and freedom for people of different genders as a necessary component for any “just” society and a prerequisite for development. Gender justice includes gender equality, meaning substantive freedom for all genders to have genuine choices about their lives. Mirroring a global pattern in peace and security practice and policy-making, transitional justice (TJ) practice has tended to reduce gender justice concerns to violence against women (VAW). This policy brief advocates for policy-makers to adopt a broader and more meaningful understanding of gender justice, and to incorporate it into their TJ policymaking. To demonstrate the need for a broader understanding of gender justice within TJ processes, this policy brief draws upon a study conducted by the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation (CSVR) on the drivers and impacts of TJ in Africa. The study examined gender trends emerging from 13 African countries that had State-led TJ processes between 1990 and 2011, and their impacts up until 2016. Based on the academic literature and available data for the 13 cases, four key factors were used as basic indicators of gender justice: women’s political rights and representation; women’s economic equity; women’s participation in civil society; and State measures against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).

For full access to Transitioning Toward Gender Justice: A Trend Analysis of 13 African cases, kindly follow the link. 


Healing Trauma and Building Trust and Tolerance in Rwanda

25 years after the Genocide against the Tutsi, trauma healing remains a pressing public health issue in Rwanda. To help address ongoing challenges, Interpeace and NAR have implemented a psychosocial support group approach, geared at both individual healing and fostering social cohesion.
This report explores the question of how peacebuilding approaches can address deep wounds of the past, reduce trauma and psychological distress, and build resilience, forgiveness and social tolerance in a post-genocide setting like Rwanda. The data generated over the course of the programme empirically demonstrates the positive impact of psychosocial group therapy modelled on peacebuilding approaches on at least two major change aspects:

  • It effectively reduces trauma, revenge tendencies as well as anger, and builds positive psychological resilience, social trust and tolerance.
  • It effectively reduces the likelihood of participants engaging in violence and victimization and increases the likelihood of individuals engaging in formal mechanisms for formal civic participation as well as informal forms of family and interpersonal conflict resolution and mediation.

To read the full report, Healing Trauma and Building Trust and Tolerance in Rwanda, please follow the link provided. 


Rwanda 25 Years On: A Future in the Shadow of the Past

Between April and July 2019, Rwanda marked a quarter of a century since one of the most destructive genocides in recent memory nearly wiped out the country’s Tutsi Population. What path has Rwanda taken in attempts to rise from the horrors of genocide? What can we make of post-genocide governance and reconstruction politics over the last twenty-five years?

For full access to the analysis, Rwanda 25 Years On: A Future in the Shadow of the Past, kindly follow the link. 



Justice As Prevention

Countries emerging from armed conflict or authoritarian rule face difficult questions about what to do with public employees who perpetrated past human rights abuses and the institutional structures that allowed such abuses to happen. Justice as Prevention: Vetting Public Employees in Transitional Societiesexamines the transitional reform known as "vetting" -- the process by which abusive or corrupt employees are excluded from public office. More than a means of punishing individuals, vetting represents an important transitional justice measure aimed at reforming institutions and preventing the recurrence of abuses. The book is the culmination of a multiyear project headed by the International Center for Transitional Justice that included human rights lawyers, experts on police and judicial reform, and scholars of transitional justice and reconciliation. It features case studies of Argentina, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Czech Republic, El Salvador, the former German Democratic Republic, Greece, Hungary, Poland, and South Africa, as well as chapters on due process, information management, and intersections between other institutional reforms.


Parliaments as Peacebuilders in Conflict-Affected Countries

The changing nature of conflict and the increase in intrastate conflict during the 1990s, followed by its slow decline since the turn of the century, have led to changing priorities in the field of conflict resolution. No longer is the international community solely concerned with resolving existing conflicts; it also is managing emerging conflicts to ensure that they do not flare into violent conflict.This book outlines some of the strategies parliaments and parliamentarians can adopt to reduce the incidence of conflict and effectively manage conflict when it does emerge. It is hoped that by developing a better understanding of the nexus between parliament, poverty, and conflict parliamentarians will be more aware of the array of options open to them as they seek to contribute to conflict management in conflict-affected societies.


Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice

In Assessing the Impact of Transitional Justice, fourteen leading researchers study seventy countries that have suffered from autocratic rule, genocide, and protracted internal conflict.