chapter  5
22 Pages

Participatory Approaches to Impact Assessment: Experiences from Humanitarian Interventions in Zimbabwe

This chapter begins by delineating the case background and explains disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR) in Liberia in its operational and practical aspects. It sets out the methodological strategy, research design, possible limitations, biases and the actual process of field research. The chapter focuses on important ethical dilemmas that complicate research with child soldiers, rendering the use of a flexible, fluid and inclusive research design necessary. It explores the research methodology, choice of techniques and some of the practical challenges encountered in mapping of reintegration outcomes for former child soldiers in contexts like Liberia. Problems with DDR programmes range from cheating, exclusion, lack of access, to spiraling enrolment and inflated caseloads. Contemporary narratives on child soldiering appear to be polarized between capabilities/agency and the incapacity/vulnerability dichotomy. Looting and capturing villages for food and kidnapping civilians for manpower became a mainstay of survival.