Moritz Schuberth

Approaching Community-Based Armed Groups in Sub-Saharan Africa: Lessons Learned & Measures of Success

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A surge in the prevalence of community-based armed groups (CBAGs) in sub-Saharan Africa has led to concerns that they pose a growing challenge to governments and citizens across the region. This paper maps how different intervening actors—communities, governments, civil society organizations, humanitarian and development agencies, and security providers—have approached the challenges posed by CBAGs and how to best measure the success of these interventions. The mapping of approaches, analysis of lessons learned, and identification of success factors will contribute to a deeper empirical understanding of the strengths and shortcomings of current responses to CBAGs, which will inform the development of more effective and appropriate practices and policies. 

Approaches to CBAGs can be categorized as following three different logics: engagement, management, and transformation (EMT). Given the multiple confounding factors and overlapping interventions, it is difficult to measure results of EMT approaches, attribute them to specific interventions, and evaluate their impacts. This report proposes a set of specific indicators that intervening actors and interested third parties could use to measure the progress of EMT interventions in meeting their objectives.