Project Case Study
Disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration in South Sudan
Enabling army right-sizing through government capacity building
Following decades of conflict, the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) had grown to an unsustainable size, at nearly 2% of the population, and was absorbing the majority of South Sudan’s national budget.
The pressure placed on the Government by the defence budget was constraining spending on crucial national development programmes such as health and education.
Significant savings could only be achieved by a reduction in the SPLA payroll. Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR) is one of the central means of achieving this.
In 2013, on behalf of the World Bank, we worked alongside the South Sudan National Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission to build its capacity to plan, manage, evaluate and learn from a series of concurrent DDR pilot projects. Working closely with national partners at the DDR Commission we conducted baseline surveys of ex-combatants and the communities into which they were to be reintegrated.
We also delivered training in project management at the NDDRC Headquarters in the capital, Juba, as well as in the four states of the Greater Bahr el Ghazal region. Despite the limited infrastructure across the country, we adapted our operations to work effectively in the most hard to reach places.
Our work with the DDR Commission has helped to ensure that the lessons learned will be integrated into planning for the wider roll-out of DDR activities, which is intended to reduce the SPLA’s headcount by 150,000, freeing up a considerable percentage of the country’s national budget to address the ongoing issues such as access to water and healthcare that are affecting its people.