2006 UNMAO Planning Process in Sudan

by Hansie Heymans [United Nations Mine Action Office in Sudan]

A national strategic framework for mine-action efforts in Sudan drives the development of several planning documents that involved several national and international organisations to ensure the successful implementation of a successful framework. The author discusses the development process for the various national mine-action planning documents.

The Annual Operational Plan is the final output for the overall mine-action planning process. This process follows directly from the Mine Action Strategic Framework1 that was developed and signed in 2004. Based on the Framework, the United Nations used the Portfolio of Mine Action Projects2 process to develop a list of proposed projects for various mine-action players. From the portfolio process, mine-action stakeholders such as the United Nations, local authorities and nongovernmental organisations (local and international) developed and agreed upon the United Nations and Partners 2006 Work Plan for Sudan.3 Based on both these processes, stakeholders developed the 2006 Annual Operational Plan4 using the logical Framework analysis.

Figure 1 illustrates the overall process followed in Sudan to develop three separate but interrelated documents for mine-action planning. The results of these three processes are:

The processes are listed in the centre blocks of the figure (e.g., input from stakeholders, Portfolio and Work Plan; and regional priority development and priority setting). The final products of the three processes were the 2006 MAP document, the Work Plan for 2006 and the 2006 Annual Operation Plan.

Figure 1
Figure 1: Illustration of overall planning process followed in Sudan. Click to view full version. Graphic courtesy of Hansie Heymans

Mine Action Strategic Framework

The Mine Action Strategic Framework was developed in 2004. The United Nations Mine Action Service and the United Nations Development Programme jointly led this process, which involved the authorities from both North and South Sudan. The government of Sudan (GoS) and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement both agreed upon and approved the MASF. The document was developed before the GoS and the SPLM signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and consequently will be revised in 2006; therefore the MASF will be used to guide the planning process. The development of the Portfolio and the 2006 Work Plan should be guided by the overall strategic priorities identified in the document.

Portfolio of Mine-action Projects

The preparation and development of the Portfolio for Mine Action Projects started in June 2005. Input was requested from U.N. agencies, national authorities and nongovernmental organizations. The MASF strategic priorities were used to develop project sheets supporting the MASF. Project sheets are used to submit and register a project in the MAP. The development of the MAP was facilitated through two review panels—one in the south representing the SPLM and one in the north representing the government of Sudan. The panels consisted of members from nongovernmental organisations, demining authorities and the UNMAO. The panels reviewed all project sheets, ensuring all projects support the MASF strategic priorities and were overseen and approved by both mine-action authorities. Participating U.N. agencies, national and international NGOs and the national mine-action authorities completed final in-country review of all project sheets in August 2005 and submitted them to UNMAS–New York for review. Together, they submitted well over 30 projects.

2006 Work Plan

In June 2005, the U.N. Country Team started work on the Work Plan for 2006, developing U.N. Strategic Priorities for Sudan. Mine-action stakeholders developed the mine-action sector priorities using the MASF as a starting point. After these priorities were finalized, objectives were developed for mine action involving all mine-action partners. Both national mine-action authorities approved these objectives before they could be presented to the U.N. Country Team. As with the MAP, this process included other U.N. agencies, demining authorities (the National Mine Action Office and the New Sudan Mine Action Directorate) and NGOs (local and international). UNMAO did all of the work but involved all stakeholders and local authorities.

U.N. Strategic Priorities for 2006. The priorities for 2006 support the implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and efforts for a peaceful resolution of conflict throughout the country, and provide effective and efficient humanitarian assistance. These goals will be achieved through:

National Planning Assumptions for 2006. The U.N. Country Team and Work Plan Team formulated the following national planning assumptions to guide planning for 2006:

Mine-action sector priorities. The United Nations and Partners 2006 Work Plan for Sudan differentiates between two main groups of priorities: humanitarian and recovery/development. The U.N. Country Team delegated the development of the definitions for the two groups of priorities to the sector leads. The mine-action sector based the definition for humanitarian priorities on the returnees' short-term emergency needs (i.e., to alleviate human suffering and assist people in distress). The sector further based recovery/development priorities on activities in support of longer-term objectives and supporting the establishment of mine-action structures through capacity-building.

The mine-action sector priorities were developed using the MASF as a starting point, Work Plan assumptions and priorities, and the following guidelines for "humanitarian activities" and "recovery and development activities":

Based on the above guidelines and extensive consultation with stakeholders and partners, the 2006 Work Plan priorities for the mine-action sector were defined as follows:

Mine-action sector objectives. The mine-action sector objectives were derived from the defined priorities and related to the strategic framework. The objectives are also closely related to the five defining pillars of mine action: mine clearance, mine-risk education, victim assistance, advocacy and stockpile destruction. The following objectives were derived from a high-level planning process and formed the basis for the development of the Annual Operational Plan:

While these objectives relate to the pillars of mine action with either a humanitarian or recovery and development focus, they do not make explicit provision for the definition of support services and information management. It was decided that three more "internal objectives" would be added to ensure that the mine-action support services and information management can develop internal operational plans to support these objectives:

Mine Action Annual Operational Plan for 2006

SWOT analysis. As part of the comprehensive planning process, the programme took the opportunity to conduct an internal review using a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. This analysis allowed the group to make sound deductions leading to the identification of responsibilities and the setting of target dates.

Logical framework analysis. The LFA process is used to take the defined objectives and further develop them into operational plans to define expected accomplishments, output and activities. In addition, it provides a mechanism for measuring these components and recording assumptions made for each of the components. In the United Nations and Partners 2006 Work Plan for Sudan, the LFAs for each objective are discussed, and the Plan illustrates the outcome for each of the objectives.


The planning process in Sudan is an inclusive, proven and holistic approach that aims at developing various planning tools that are linked and consistent with each other. The process is driven by the MASF and strategic priorities set in the framework. From these priorities, the MAP and Work Plan follow, developing projects in support of the objectives contributing to the MASF. The process takes into consideration input from all mine-action implementing partners, local authorities and setting of priorities to relieve human suffering more effectively and efficiently.


HeadshotHansie Heymans is the Planning Officer for the U.N. Mine Action Office in Sudan. He arrived in Sudan in June 2005 having previously been Information/Planning Technical Advisor/Survey Technical Officer in Eritrea and Quality Assurance Monitor for the Bosnia and Herzegovina Landmine Impact Survey. He also assisted the Afghanistan MAC with establishment of an information office and spent three years in northern Iraq as the Chief of Information.


  1. Sudan National Mine Action Strategic Framework, Government of Sudan and SPLM, 27 August 2004.
  2. Portfolio of Mine Action Projects 2007, Tenth Edition. United Nations Mine Action Service, United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Children's Fund. New York: 2007. Available at http://www.mineaction.org/downloads/Portfolio_for_emine_bookmarked_October_25_06.pdf. Accessed 13 December, 2006.
  3. For the United Nations and Partners 2006 Work Plan for Sudan, as well as for Sudan's work plans from other years, visit http://www.unsudanig.org/workplan/. Accessed 13 December 2006.
  4. Mine Action Annual Operational Plan 2006. United Nations Mine Action Office. Version 1.2. 30 November 2005. The full Operational Plan is available from the United Nations Mine Action Office.
  5. Primary roads are the main roads used for logistical support by the mission and other humanitarian agencies while secondary roads can include roads not in this category but still a priority in terms of mine action.
  6. Convention on the Prohibition of the Use, Stockpiling, Production and Transfer of Anti-personnel Mines and on Their Destruction, Oslo, Norway. 18 September 1997. http://www.un.org/Depts/mine/UNDocs/ban_trty.htm. Accessed 20 November 2006. The document was opened for signature in Ottawa, Canada, 3 December 1997, and thus is commonly known as the Ottawa Convention.

Contact Information

Hansie Heymans
UNMAO Planning Officer
Building 42, Block 12
Mekka Street, El-Riyadh
P.O. Box 913
Khartoum / Sudan
Mobile: +249 912 178 039
Tel: +249 155 188 000
Fax: +249 155 188 851