A thesis submitted by Kalyango Ronald Sebba in fulfilment of a PhD: RETURNING HOME: GENDER AND CHOICE AMONG IDPs




Kalyango Ronald Sebba

A thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree of doctor of philosophy in Gender Studies of Makerere University


The study examines how gender influences the choice of women and men to either return to or stay away from pre conflict homes. This study, carried out in Northern Uganda Gulu District, specifically set-out to explore how gender relations between women and men influence the decision to return or not within given spaces, that is, the IDP camp, transit site and pre conflict homes. In addition, to assess how social institutions influence women and men’s decision to return and to examine how women and men cope with and or adapt to challenges they experience in the process of returning. To examine these factors, a qualitative methodology was used to illuminate the subtle interconnections in the multilevel interactions between displaced persons and institutions to reveal how individual goals, motivations and preferences are in turn influenced by institutional commands and a complex set of gendered and non-gendered factors.

The study fills a gap in knowledge by providing an explanation of the factors which influence women and men’s decision to either return or not after years of displacement. In particular how return to pre-conflict homes is never a linear movement from place of asylum to original home but a cyclical one. The study also highlights how gender relations within households interface with community and institutional factors to influence when, where and how women and men return to after years of displacement. Using a sustainable livelihoods framework, the study further examines the strategies of returning women and men and how women in particular cope with exclusionary policies and programmes which obscure their agency and consider them passive victims and recipients of aid.

The findings bring to the fore how gender influences when, where and who returns first to pre conflict homes. In addition how differences at the interface between displaced persons and institutions result into divergent meanings of return. While institutions approach return as a linear movement, for displaced persons return is essentially a cyclical process permeated with changing gender and power relations.  Lastly how the choice to return is largely informed by social processes which are in turn conditioned by human agency, livelihood strategies, gender roles and entitlements in pre conflict homes.

New Publication by Desmond Molloy: Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration: Theory and Practice.

Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration:

Theory and Practice

Desmond Molloy

DDR has been widely advocated for decades as an essential component of post-conflict peacebuilding. But DDR in practice has generated more questions than answers. Does it work, contributing to post-conflict stabilization and the reintegration of former combatants? Can it work better? What constitutes success? What accounts for failure? Do potential risks outweigh the potential benefits?  Drawing on his extensive experience in the field, Desmond Molloy considers these questions and more as he traces the evolution of DDR theory and practice from the mid-1980s to the present.  Further, he projects its potential applications in the changing world with the evolving nature of conflict, particularly in addressing Islamic violent extremism.

“Molloy offers valuable insights in to the practical applications of DDR theory within the context of modern conflict and national and human security programme.”

Dean Piedment, Countering Violent Extremism initiative.

Desmond Molloy is Senior Programme Director with The Nippon Foundation in Myanmar, where he focuses on the design and management of integrated peacebuilding programmes, and is a Core Member of IRGR.


  • Disarmament , Demobilization and Reintegration
  • Foundation of the Theory
  • Evolution of the Practice
  • The Classic DDR Approach
  • Operationalizing Community Security Approaches
  • Theory meets Practice?
  • DDR in War
  • The UN Approach to Reintegration
  • Cross-Cutting Issues
  • The Dilemmas of Confronting Risk
  • The Next Generation

Lynne Rienner Publishers, Boulder, Colorado.

To be released in November 2016/ca. 250 pages

ISBN: 978-1-62637-568-0   pb $26.50/£20.50

A Kumarian Press Book

PhD Defense – Randolph Wallace Rhea – CPS’ first PhD candidate


Thesis “Ex Combatant Reintegration in the Great Lakes Region: Processes
& Mechanisms, Trajectories & Paradoxes”

The doctoral thesis explores the social and economic processes through which
members of armed groups in the Great Lakes region of Africa reintegrate into socie-
ty after prolonged periods participating in violent conflict. My analysis is based on
survey data of the experiences of nearly 10,000 excombatants, and the communi-
ties they return to, across five countries Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, DRC, and
Congo. My findings carry direct implications for planning and evaluation of Disarma-
ment, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) programming in the region.

The thesis can be found Here 

IRGR Seeking Project Assistant

IRGR announces exciting short-term employment opportunity

We are inviting applications for a part-time position as Project Assistant (PA) from late January to late November 2016. Applicants should have documented previous professional experience in report writing or in proposal development for competitive international tenders.  The PA will be tasked with editorial work in English, including to quality ensure briefing papers and op-eds to be published on IRGR’s webpage and other media platforms.  Attestation of excellent proficiency in academic English and knowledge of program ware for the maintenance and upgrading of IRGR’s website, must supplement proven record of accomplishment in the designated areas.

Minimum requirements: BA degree in either peace and conflict, international relations, international politics, humanitarian studies or security and development in addition to previous record of solid accomplishment in the above designated competence areas.  External candidates not studying at University of Tromsø or living in Tromsø may also apply. Proven academic knowledge and operative skills in reintegration, DDR, recovery or related subject areas, will be considered an additional asset.

The position will be placed on in Grade 34 (Hovedlønnstabell i staten).  Payment on hourly basis.  Total workload amounts to 200 hours, with the monthly workload fluctuating between 2 -7 workings days, subject to IRGR’s Work Schedule in 2016.

Deadline for applications: January 6. 2016. Submit application, CV, certificates and attestations to: Professor Tone Bleie, Head of IRGR, email: tone.bleie@uit.no

IRGR Presents to IDDRTG & TDRP

Over the last few months the IRGR has been active in presenting with key DDR stakeholders on the future of reintegration programming.

First, this summer the IRGR member Randolph Rhea presented to the IDDRTG on state of the art in research outputs in the field of reintegration. Key actors present included UNDP and Folke Bernadotte Academy. The ensuing discussion focused on the space for scholar – practitioner cooperation to shape the future of knowledge and training on diverse reintegration contexts.

Next, this Autumn IRGR member Randolph Rhea presented to the World Bank’s TDRP at their annual trust fund committee conference. Rhea presented key findings from his comparative study of ex-combatant reintegration processes in the Great Lakes Region which was published by the TDRP this summer.

New Comparative Study on Ex-Combatant Reintegration Published!

This July IRGR member Randolph Rhea completed a study published by the World Bank’s TDRP.

The study explores the reintegration processes that ex-combatants, as well as the communities that receive them, go through in the transition from being soldiers to being civilians across the Great Lakes region (GLR) of Africa (Uganda, Rwanda, DRC, RoC, and Burundi). The study uses a cross-country comparative approach capitalizing on survey data col­lected between 2010 and 2012 from nearly 10,000 ex-combatants and community members across the GLR. This is the first time that such a large sample of data on ex-combatants from across multiple countries has been systematically compared and analyzed, thus the study represents the cutting edge of empirically driven quan­titative research on the reintegration processes of ex-combatants.

View the complete study here!

New IRGR Publication – Towards a theory of ex-combatant reintegration

The IRGR is proud to announce the publication of a new paper on conceptual development towards a theory of ex-combatant reintegration by member Stina Torjesen-

This paper encourages the development of a theoretical framework for the study of the reintegration of ex-combatants after war. It takes the first steps towards this by proposing a new definition of reintegration, where the processes ex-combatants experience, rather than the programmatic support offered by international and national agencies, take centre stage. The article links the study of reintegration to two broader disciplines; political economy and sociology, and in particular to the two disciplines’ account of power and group belonging. It argues that a political economy approach is particularly useful for making sense of the context in which reintegration processes unfold. The article also suggests some relevant research questions and highlights methodological concerns related to research on reintegration.

The full article can be found here.