Geneva Diary: Report from the GICHD

by Ian Mansfield [ Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining ]

Image 1
All graphics courtesy of GICHD

The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining provides operational assistance to mine-action programmes and operators, creates and disseminates knowledge, works to improve quality management and standards, and provides support to instruments of international law. The author discusses changes that have occurred at the GICHD, including a redesigned Web site and new publications.

Image 2
Redesigned GICHD homepage.

In January 2007, the GICHD unveiled a new look for its Web site and publications. The GICHD implemented these changes to give the organization a modern, fresh appearance, and to increase the utility of the Web site as well as reduce the cost of publications. The redesigned Web site can be seen at www.gichd.org and includes a number of new features such as shortcut buttons, an improved search function, an evaluation repository and a training calendar.

One of the first publications to be issued in the new style was the Metal Detectors and PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] Catalogue,1 published in March 2007. This catalogue features handheld, large-loop and vehicle-mounted detectors, as well as the relatively new multi-sensor systems. In April, the third edition of the Guide to Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War2 was published. This edition provides updated information, such as the text of the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons'3 Protocol V on explosive remnants of war; it also includes new chapters on mine action and development, as well as capacity building and evaluation.

Tenth Annual Meeting of Programme Directors and U.N. Advisors

In March 2007, the GICHD hosted the "Tenth International Meeting of Mine Action Programme Directors and U.N. Advisors" on behalf of the United Nations Mine Action Service. The meeting brought together over 200 people from 35 mine-affected countries, along with representatives from the various U.N. agencies, nongovernmental organizations and donor countries involved with mine action.

Since the first annual meeting was held, attendance has increased tremendously; in March 1998 only 40 people from seven countries attended. The idea for the meeting came about as there was a growing need for better standardization, coordination and sharing of experiences among the emerging mine-action programmes. The initial meeting focused only on U.N.-conducted or -supported programmes, but since then, the meeting has expanded to include nationally run programmes.

Over the years, the topics discussed at the meeting have included U.N. policy updates, capacity building, national ownership, information management, standards, resource mobilisation and technology. Since the beginning, all meetings have been funded by Switzerland and hosted by the GICHD.

Evaluations

The GICHD continues to provide training and advice on the conduct of mine-action evaluations, as well as take on selected evaluations itself. Early in 2007 the GICHD undertook an evaluation of the United Nations Development Programme's capacity-building project in Albania and also completed an independent assessment of the residual threat in Kosovo on behalf of the United Nations Mission in Kosovo. Later in the year, the GICHD will undertake a thematic evaluation in the Caucasus as part of a rolling series of evaluations for the European Commission. Bullet

Biography

HeadshotIan Mansfield is the Operations Director at the GICHD and is responsible for all operational, technical and research activities of the Centre. He is also responsible for analyzing existing and potential areas of activity for the Centre, as well as all evaluation, assessment and consultancy activities. Mansfield holds a Master of Business Administration and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering.

Endnotes

  1. Metal Detectors and PPE Catalogue 2007. Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Geneva, February 2007. http://www.gichd.org/fileadmin/pdf/publications/Metal-Detectors-2007/Metal-Detectors-Catalogue-2007.pdf. Accessed 25 April 2007.
  2. A Guide to Mine Action and Explosive Remnants of War. Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Geneva, April 2007. http://www.gichd.org/fileadmin/pdf/publications/Guide-to-MA-2007/Guide-to-Mine-Action-2007.pdf. Accessed 25 April 2007.
  3. Convention on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Certain Conventional Weapons Which May Be Deemed to Be Excessively Injurious or to Have Indiscriminate Effects, Geneva, Switzerland, 10 October 1980. http://www.ccwtreaty.com/KeyDocs/ccwtreatytext.htm. Accessed 18 April 2007. This Convention is also referred to as the CCW or CCCW.

Contact Information

Ian Mansfield
Operations Director
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining
7bis Avenue de la Paix
PO Box 1300
CH-1211 Geneva 1 / Switzerland
Tel: +41 22 906 1674
Fax: +41 22 906 1690
Mobile: +41 79 337 9809
E-mail: i.mansfield@gichd.org
Web site: http://www.gichd.org