Management For Mine Action Operations: A
Case For Government-Industry Partnering
Dr. Alan Childress and Lieutenant Colonel Pete Owen
Issue 4.1 | February 2000 | Information in this issue may be outdated. Click here to link to the most recent issue.
SUMMARY: Directed mainly at policy makers and leaders in mine-plagued
nations and government and non-government mine action planners, the article
argues for holistic mine action strategies, coordinated priorities, and best
management practices. The authors establish the need for nations to take charge
of their mine action organizations and present strategic management methodology
to implement self-determination concepts. They insist that humanitarian demining
must start with the end in mind, an integrated and nationally prioritized
requirements analysis of each of the mine action areas—mine awareness, minefield
assessment and surveys, mine and UXO clearance, victim assistance, and information
management. They also suggest that nations should consider reconstruction
and development programs, as well as mine action, when contemplating resource
mobilization. With nationally prioritized programs, and mine action centers
managed by Host Nation-dedicated general managers, nation’s can expect to
achieve optimum resource allocation and, most importantly, to look after their
people as a first priority. The author’s recommend that nations look to industry
for dedicated, first tier mine action program managers.
way of introduction we relate Andy Smith’s description of the beginning of
a typical humanitarian demining effort. At present, Smith writes in the October
1998 Journal of Humanitarian Demining, humanitarian demining in most
affected areas begins with a UN-led emergency response, which is controlled
by ex-pats, who usually have a military background and who are largely paid
for by ‘ear-marked’ donations from UN countries. At the same time, as the
UN arrives, the specialist charitably-funded clearance groups, which are funded
by an individual government’s aid budget or by trusts and donor charities,
tend to move into the area. Following the charitable groups come the commercial
companies, some of them regionally based, while others may appear regionally
based but are actually initiated by profit-taking outsiders. Further, while
a few new charitably funded demining groups still exist most of the new players
are commercial companies. For example, with the massive funding available
for work in the former Yugoslavia, European groups are anxious to get involved
and new allegiances and companies arise weekly.
point in relating Smith’s scenario is to highlight the apparent lack of holistic
strategic planning and management processes that would help coordinate and
manage scarce humanitarian demining resources. While planners and resource
suppliers have increased dramatically since the early-90s, we find no apparent
corresponding management strategies to coordinate those planners’ and suppliers’
intentions. Humanitarian demining documents suggest that governments, non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), and other donor organizations have entered the demining
equation without an integrating plan to help synergize their donated resources
and have become immune to the cry for help. Our experience in humanitarian
demining, combined with our research of the humanitarian demining management
and technology literature, reveals that the humanitarian demining industry’s
customers, the 70 or so mine plagued nations, would benefit greatly from a
general model, a process, to strategically manage their humanitarian demining
efforts. In general, our paper is addressed to the leaders of those mine-infested
nations, calling on them to establish clear priorities in relation to the
needs of their affected people and to manage the accomplishment of those priorities
with the most sophisticated management practices they can summon.
to several humanitarian-demining sources, landmine clearance will require
decades of organized, deliberate, and time-consuming effort. Studies reveal
that 60-100 million landmines lay abandoned in at least 70 countries around
the world and landmines are responsible for killing or maiming an estimated
500 people each week. Hidden Killers 1998: The Global Landmine Crisis
reports the cost to remove one landmine averages from $300 to $1,000 and the
cost for surgical care and fitting of an artificial limb is $3,000 or more
per amputee in some countries. An additional problem, Hidden Killers 1998
continues, is the long-term effect on people and their environment. Landmines
stand in the way of efforts to restore war-torn societies to normal life.
They consume billions of dollars of assistance that could be used to bring
prosperity and reconciliation, impacting virtually every aspect of life in
the mine-affected countries and on the international community as it seeks
effective ways to help those countries. Hidden Killers 1998 concludes,
in part, that the landmine crises can be successfully overcome, if the countries
suffering mine pollution are determined to tackle the problem, and if the
international community can sustain and coordinate its investment (italics
ours) in eradicating the landmine plague.
addition to Hidden Killers 1998, we found several writers who stress
the need for a comprehensive management approach to mine action operations.
We briefly cite the more adamant writers below. Note that we replace humanitarian
demining with mine action, which refers to all those activities that address
the problems faced by populations as a result of landmine pollution.
Ambassador Robert Oakley et al., arguing in a Los Angeles Times article that
international demining planners need to develop a comprehensive demining strategy,
suggest that the international community must begin working together now to
develop an integrated approach to humanitarian demining. They assert that
all components of mine action—mine awareness, mine assessment and survey,
mine and UXO clearance, and victim assistance—should be integral parts of
any comprehensive international demining operation, stating that these initial
steps were not taken in Bosnia. International companies, local contractors
and local forces tackled the larger Bosnian mine problem and they are still
at work today, competing for funding and influencing priorities. Oakley et
al. claim this lack of a comprehensive master plan has exacted a high price—human
suffering remains, and economic output is still less than half its 1990 figure.
further claim, regarding Kosovo, that despite the widespread belief that mine
clearance is an integral part of post-conflict peace-building, economic revitalization
and sustainable development, there is no agreed model for addressing or even
coordinating these different needs and roles. They conclude that to be effective,
international mine action planners must develop a comprehensive strategy now.
Otherwise, the "fighting may cease, but the casualties will go on and on."
We agree with Oakley, suggesting in our Implications and Conclusions section
that the World Bank, UN, donor nation and NGO endeavors might be consolidated
under a Development Action Center, synthesizing their resources to national
to David Ahern in a Journal of Humanitarian Demining article, the UN
has assumed the lead in coordinating NGO demining efforts with those of their
own forces, and that one of their principles is that primary responsibility
for mine action plans rests with individual states. When the state is inherently
incapable of demining its land this ability must be developed, in which case
the UN assumes the responsibility of capacity building. Reviewing UN landmine
policy documents, we find the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) is
indeed the focal point within the UN system for all mine-related activities,
responsible for ensuring an effective, proactive and coordinated UN response
to landmine contamination. UNMAS is tasked with helping to facilitate global
efforts at coordinating mine action. Mine action strategic management at the
country level, however, does not appear an UNMAS function, although country-level
mine action strategic management could be inferred from UNMAS’ holistic goals.
Lokey, arguing for comparative advantage economies, suggests that matching
needs and resources and creating public-private relationships is of paramount
importance. He writes in the Journal of Humanitarian Demining that
the challenging dynamic of the last three to five years is that with more
resources becoming available, the challenge has become more complex and difficult
to manage. Few organizations and activities have much experience managing
and executing mine action programs on the scale now necessary. Lokey submits
that the UN has had a comprehensive role in attempting to orchestrate global
demining and related activities. Mine action center management is frequently
UN-sourced, although their mine action center management role has been limited
by reorganizations within the UN demining offices, resource realignments,
lack of consensus by the demining community on the role of the UN, demining
funds debates, etc.
need for widely accepted and applied best management practices, according
to Lokey, is based on the potential of governments, NGOs, and other relief
agencies to become overly dependent on their internal bureaucracies when implementing
their mine action policies. Mine action priorities are generally different
among governmental agencies and organizations. Bureaucracies, sometimes called
"stovepipes," undermine the importance of teaming and process building or
improvement and thwart interagency coordination and cooperation. The almost
insidious, ever present "hidden agenda" must be acknowledged as underlying
many mine action discussions and evaluations.
Lokey’s most important point, relevant to our argument for centralized strategic
management, is that donors and other resourcing agencies must recognize the
authority of the Host Nation or their designated representatives. Too frequently,
developmental activities take on a paternal characteristic that minimizes
the role of the Host Nation and reduces their input into decision making.
We suggest later in the article how Host Nations can achieve a mine action
upper hand through indigenous, strategic management competencies, led by a
professional general manager.
Thompson discusses donor influence on safety and productivity in humanitarian
demining, based on Bosnia and Herzegovina scenarios. He presents a model that
involves donors early on in the mine actions processes and ties them to safety
and productivity aspects throughout the mine action stages. While humanitarian
demining is donor-driven at the macro level, he concludes, at the micro level
donors have not been adequately accountable for the efficiency or safety of
their programs. We agree with Thompson that donors should play a key role
in humanitarian demining and they should be more active. We’re concerned,
however, that the Host Nation must be equally involved in planning from the
beginning in forming and implementing its humanitarian demining strategy.
He also addresses the notion that demining should be approached under the
overall economic and social development context, a provision we strongly concur
Colin King, in a Journal of Humanitarian Demining article, suggests
we study requirements before investing in technology. Supporting Lokey’s argument
for Host Nation participation in the mine action planning process, he argues
that there is inadequate communications between the operational and scientific
communities, and that optimizing the process of demining requires much more
than the development and incorporation of high technology. It involves a logical
and coherent approach to well-defined aims.
other professionals we consulted are Donald "Pat" Patierno, Director, Office
of Humanitarian Demining Programs, U.S. Department of State, and Wolfgang
Schussel, the Austria Vice Chancellor and Foreign Minister. Patierno, arguing
the U.S. case, strongly believes that the Host Nation’s demining authority,
if it exists, must take responsibility for the management of demining programs
so that mine action activities provide the greatest benefit to the Host Nation.
An established mine action center should clarify its nation’s policies; enforce
demining safety standards; and provide quality assurance measures. In addition,
an established mine action center would coordinate NGO and international organizations’
efforts, helping to avoid duplication, reduce waste, save time, and most importantly
save lives. Speaking for Austria, Schussel amplifies Patierno, advising that
mine action programs must be of a comprehensive nature, even to the point
that they must be seen as integral parts of comprehensive reconstruction and
development programs. We note that this latter point is also a position of
the World Bank, which we discuss in our closing section.
addition, a strategic management process would help produce cost-benefit analyses,
generally needed for nations seeking demining financing. According to the
World Bank’s policy document on Mine Action Programmes, the high cost
of financing land mine clearance activities should also be justified on economic
grounds, taking into account the scarcity of financial resources. In this
regard they note a significant aspect of mine action which needs attention
is the integration of mine pollution information into the process of planning
for other sectors in development and reconstruction. Mine pollution affects
the comparative expense and value of differing strategies for repair of roads
and infrastructure, rehabilitating agricultural production and other areas
of reconstruction. Because demining money and development and reconstruction
money have often been compartmentalized, trade-offs are not uniformly made.
National leaders, in our view, should be able to examine all assistance initiatives
concurrently and openly, helping prioritize their nation’s crises from a well-informed
final point we would make: Can the existing international political and donor
level of awareness be maintained? Patierno (in a 1999 comment in a State Department
road show soliciting private money for humanitarian demining purposes) warns
that donor fatigue at some point is going to set in among donor nations. We
need to conserve and distribute mine action resources for the long term, anticipating
that public and private sector focus, awareness, and vigilance may wane over
time. Nurturing the humanitarian demining constituency over the long term
may be less complicated if mine infested nations can present centralized,
responsible, well managed mine action centers that report incremental progress
on a consistent basis.
we note a current appalling situation that amplifies our plea for holistic
strategic management. James East reports that mine-infested Thailand signed
the Ottawa Agreement, compelling the Thai military to earnestly start mine
removal on the Thai-Cambodian border. However, the agency set up to do it,
the Thai Mine Action Centre, has not yet started conducting surveys to determine
where the mines are. East quotes the Centre’s frustrated assistant director,
"we have been here for a year and we have not yet removed one mine" even though
U.S. military experts trained the Thais in mine action when the Centre was
established. The Centre’s 150-person staff awaits HK$20.1 million budget approval
from the Defence Ministry. The 99 trained deminers are "twiddling their thumbs
in their barracks," according to East, despite American pledges to help in
financing mine detecting dogs, mine detectors, and armor-plated vehicles.
This indicates that while U.S. training was successful, retraining may be
necessary soon (demining skills tend to wane if not used) due to the Mine
Action Centre’s lack of an integrated or holistic approach to their mine problems.
THE MINE ACTION STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PROCESS DEFINED
management, in our context, expresses a commitment to identifying, prioritizing,
and implementing the optimum mix of available mine action resources for a
given mine-plagued nation. The key to strategic management, which is a process,
is recognizing that the resource equation to address mine problems will most
likely differ from one mine-infested geographic or political area to another.
That is, mine action resource mixes, not constant, must be tailored to the
environment and an evaluation of the Host Nations’ ability to sustain a long-term
strategic management process starts with the end in mind—a Host Nation-led,
NGO-supported Requirements Analysis of the mine-infested environment—then
works back examining all resources available to help achieve the Host Nation’s
mine action goals, irrespective of mine action agendas not indigenous to
the Host Nation.
first part of strategic management focuses on a clear understanding of the
Host Nation’s vision, goals and objectives and an understanding of what other
donors will bring to the table. The Host Nation, in developing its strategic
plan with the help of the lead donor, selects the optimum mix of available
mine action resources based on a requirements analysis of the mined environment.
All components of mine action—mine awareness, minefield assessment and surveys,
mine and UXO clearance, victim assistance, and information management—must
be examined in the requirements analysis and reflected in the resource mix.
The resource mix (requirements) selected for employment is based on Host Nation
goals, objectives and written into their strategic plan that details the support
they require from donors.
second part of the strategic management process is implementing the strategic
plan (the resource mix), through a cyclical process of planning, organizing,
resourcing, controlling, and sustaining the mine action program. It’s not
enough to develop the optimum resource mix. To fully exploit it, Host Nations
must effectively and efficiently manage the application of those resources,
through a national mine action center, to achieve their mine action visions.
We believe that obtaining or developing an independent, Host Nation-dedicated,
sophisticated general manager to manage the mine action center for the long
term is as important as developing the strategic plan. Indeed, it is part
of it and we will address this challenge in our conclusions.
STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT PROCESS APPLIED
this section we discuss our two-part model, the strategic planning phase followed
by the implementing management cycle.
suggest Host Nations start by studying the contaminated areas concurrently
with establishing a mine action center organization. Typical questions that
might be asked during the strategic planning phase are: Hasave a National
Level One Level 1 sSurveys been consideredducted (UNMAS budget for Yemen Level
1 Survey is US$1.83 million)? What types of mines are present or suspected?
Casualty data? What is the soil content? The foliage? The culture of the people
in the mine polluted region? What is the land used for? Urgency of mine clearance?
Economic implications? Political considerations like can the nation sustain
mine action and is the government able to support long a long-term commitment?
What type of equipment is employed and what is its condition?
to the mine action organization, will the military and civilian sectors cooperate,
with the civilian sector leading the policy decisions and the military implementing?
This is generally a condition for UN, World Bank, and NGO support. What is
the structure of their existing humanitarian demining organization? What is
their demining experience?
an optimum resource mix for the country, we suggest the Host Nation build
a requirements matrix for each of the five components of mine action—minefield
analysis and survey, mine awareness, mine and UXO clearance, victim assistance,
and information management—for each mine-infested region, then aggregate the
data in a national matrix. The matrix, based on a Level 1 survey if available,
will help the Host Nation decide their approach to each mine-infected region.
Model. Our thesis is that mine-plagued nations can and must manage all
aspects of their mine action challenges—mine awareness, minefield assessment
and surveys, mine and UXO clearance, victim assistance, and information management—by
coordinating and cooperating with donors and other players in the demining
industry. Only in this manner can they synthesize and synergize human, material,
and funding resources to achieve timely and effective solutions to mine threats.
While not advocating a one size fits all management plan, we challenge mine
action planners to apply best management practices to achieve the optimum
use of scarce resources. We suggest a 6-part management cycle, which we tailored
to help mine action leaders establish a mine action management process. The
cycle involves planning, organizing, resourcing, controlling, and sustaining,
all wired together by coordination (Figure 1). We rely on UNMAS for mine action
organization terminology and standards.
Planning implements the strategy discussed above and starts with the General
Manager or minister-in-charge determining the goals (or targets) that must
be achieved to reach the national leader’s mine-free vision. Following goal
establishment is defining measurable objectives necessary to achieve those
goals. The General Manager may next want to establish and schedule the activities
necessary to accomplish the objectives. The planning process actually starts
while performing the Requirements Analysis that indicates the resources needed
to accomplish the mine action goals. The Requirements Analysis document (we
recommend the matrix form) is the guide used to plan and schedule the objectives
and events leading to goal accomplishment.
example at our organization, U.S. Central Command, when we enter a nation
that has sought U.S. mine action assistance, the planning matrix (similar
to a schedule) we use is designed to help stand up the new organization and
teach the Host Nation how to manage their humanitarian demining operations.
The matrix we construct is relatively simple, listing the activities required
to stand-up the organization on the left side and dates across the top (usually
in months). Then we start filling in what should be done and by whom. This
approach works best with new start programs. (Once the Host Nation has the
MAC and humanitarian demining committee operational, we work to support their
goals and assist them with resolving their most significant problems through
a train-the-trainer process and donated material and equipment.)
significant U.S.-led events occur during the Planning phase that might also
serve as examples. Following the Department of State Policy Assessment Visit,
which determines U.S involvement in a nation’s request for demining assistance,
we begin developing the U.S. Humanitarian Demining Country Plan. This plan,
which we draft in continuous coordination with the Host Nation, mine action
trainers, et al., serves as our resourcing strategy.
is written to accurately capture all resources and direct them toward the
required support of the Host Nation. This plan, which helps eliminate redundancy,
identifies high-demand military training assets, and helps coordinate the
myriad activities carried out by different U.S. organizations. It defines
the Host Nation’s mine problems and requirements as well as the U.S. commitment.
We suggest Mine Action Center (MAC) General Manager’s develop a similar resourcing
holistic plan, in particular to depict resource requirements of their country,
NGO’s, and other donors, that is, for them to budget.
Developing the organization to establish and support the mine action center
and humanitarian demining committee organizations will largely determine successful
execution of the plan. How do we arrange our human resources to best accomplish
the objectives we set out while planning? Also, defining processes is extremely
important—how does work get done at the National MAC and Regional MACs? Among
donors within the MAC?
recognize many aspects of "organizing." The Host Nation establishes their
National humanitarian demining Committee, National MAC, and Regional MACs.
The donors and Donor Committee organize donor support to best address Host
Nation requirements, problems and needs and the U.S. organizes its support
to provide its part of the required support. In our case we write and coordinate
our Country Plan and ensure that our planned support compliments and synergizes
the Host Nation assets and donor support to the Host Nation. If a military-only
organization exists, we will recommend some sort of a civilian-led, military
implemented hybrid organization that all donors can support. An organization
chart of this type is at Figure 2. We are recommending this organizational
structure to a country we are supporting.
some sort of donor organization is not in place, we attempt to organize one
to facilitate future support and to better coordinate efforts. Part of our
Requirements Determination Site Survey (actually a requirements analysis)
is designed to determine who is doing what in the Host Nation, who has the
lead, and where the U.S. fits in the big picture (our aim is a viable self-sufficient
program.) This also includes helping organize donor support to the Host Nation.
Resourcing provides funding and personnel to support the MAC and RMACs and
should be coordinated while developing a Country Plan. Based on the Requirements
Analysis, all aspects of the mine action program must be considered in the
resource plan, providing donor organizations not already part of the nation’s
demining plans an opportunity to fill in needed funding or resource gaps.
U.S. Central Command, we start resource planning in earnest during the Requirements
Determination Site Survey while we’re conferring with the Host Nation and
NGOs interested in helping the Host Nation. We then draft the U.S Country
Plan, staff it with all interested agencies including the Host Nation, then
brief the coordinated draft plan to Host Nation representatives, U.S. humanitarian
demining program managers and force providers (trainers) for approval. The
briefing is conducted at what is called a Resource Allocation Planning Meeting.
The end result is a resourcing plan (the Country Plan) that is, again, technically
approved by the multiple humanitarian demining organizations and the Host
Nation (although not yet signed). The agreed upon plan is then signed by the
U.S. Ambassador to the Host Nation and sent to the decision authority within
the U.S. Government to provide resources. U.S. resources are approved through
the Interagency Working Group, which represents upper-level decision-makers
from several U.S. Government agencies. In the event that approved resources
are less than required, the plan is reworked to account for shortages and
coordinated once more with all involved agencies supporting humanitarian demining,
including especially the Host Nation, to help eliminate shortfalls.
We would caution General Managers regarding establishing control measures
for demining operations. Evidence suggests that control systems produce two
kinds of invalid data: invalid data about what can be done and invalid data
about what has been done. Military deminers, perhaps unsophisticated in the
role of accurate data, may wish to please their organizations more than reporting
data accurately. Quality Assurance management (systemic quality) should be
practiced through rigorous demining training and strictly enforced safety
practices. Quality Assurance, in addition to Measures of Effectiveness, are
techniques we would recommend Host Nations establish for controlling quality
and reporting progress, thus helping ensure effective and consistent U.S.
and other donor support. Regarding the importance of reporting progress, we
reiterate here the necessity of Mine Action Centers reporting incremental
progress on a consistent basis.
general, the U.S. does not attempt to control the Host Nation mine action
program. Control procedures are established and cover everything from accounting
for equipment to the quality of the instruction being conducted in any of
the elements of mine action. Measures of Effectiveness (MOEs) are established
for measuring two things – how well the Host Nation is conducting humanitarian
demining and how well the U.S. support is assisting the Host Nation. These
MOEs are often different from the Host Nation’s or other donor’s Measures
of Effectiveness. The general manager must gather the appropriate information
to assess MOEs and adjust his program as necessary to continually improve
U.S. and other donor support.
We repeat Patierno’s warning that donor fatigue at some point is going to
set in among donor nations. General Manager’s need to conserve and distribute
mine action resources for the long term, anticipating that public and private
sector focus, awareness, and vigilance may wane over time.
In this phase,
the U.S. focus changes from intensive, daily support of the new organization
to maintaining, consulting, and looking more long term for new technologies
and techniques that might help speed efficiency and improve safety for the
Host Nation. Our presence is scaled back to 30-45 days per quarter, usually
focused on specific elements of mine action such as mine awareness. For example,
our mine action assistance program consists of a formal annual visit called
the Requirements and Verification Visit specifically designed to review and
update the Host Nation's humanitarian demining requirements, what the other
donors are doing, and then verifying that equipment previously donated is
being used properly and effectively. Obviously, we spend considerable time
in the Host Nation throughout the year but the Requirements Analysis Verification
Visit is conducted to work with the highest levels of the Host Nation government
and to ensure the Host Nation understands we hold them responsible for the
supplies and equipment provided. The results of the Requirements Analysis
Verification Visit are then used to update the Country Plan, changing or modifying
U.S. support to the Host Nation in light of the status of their goals and
objectives as well as what other donors intend to provide. Our Country Plans
cover two years and are coordinated with all agencies associated with humanitarian
demining in the Host Nation (including the Host Nation). U.S. Country Plans
are posted on the web at www.centcom.mil.
In our view, coordination in mine action is continuously communicating within
and among all players associated with the Host Nation’s mine action program,
to include players who may have a contribution but are unaware of it. Reinforcing
the holistic approach, coordination starts from day one and never stops—it
is the key to efficiency and success. Coordination brings the players to the
table to achieve the Host Nation’s demining vision and helps break down bureaucratic
"stovepipes." Coordination is central to the five management steps discussed
above. In a situation where there are often competing desires and agendas
between donors and the Host Nation, vigorous and open coordination is absolutely
our program, the establishment of a formal donor committee and good lines
of communication with the Host Nation is essential. The donor committee must
be chaired by an organization that can help ensure all donations support the
Host Nation with minimal redundancy or waste. The donor committee provides
the forum for coordinating donor plans and de-conflicting resource arguments.
Coordination is the key to success! Managing coordination within the MAC—indeed,
achieving a degree of cooperation among the mine action functions—may be the
general managers’ greatest challenge.
CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS
a. While we suggest
that strategic planning for mine action is distinct from management planning,
in practice management leaders generally combine the functions - thus, the
Strategy would be developed in the Planning phase of the management cycle.
We made the distinction to emphasize the importance of determining a country’s
total mine action requirements before contemplating resources, which most
countries tend not to do. Our Strategic Management logic would also apply
to countries that decide to outsource their mine action operations. Host nations
should lead the Requirements Analysis phase and provide the General Manager
to lead their Mine Action Centers. Host nations would do well to advertise
their general management needs to international management consultant firms.
The investment in an exceptional general manager, beholden only to the Host
Nation government, should achieve significant returns on the investment, in
terms of humanitarian and resource allocation outcomes.
b. The implications
of well planned and Host Nation-managed mine action programs are considerable,
including serving the Host Nations’ political, economic, as well as mine action
agendas. Arnold Sierra, a Foreign Service Officer currently engaged at the
U.S. State Department’s Humanitarian Demining Program, suggests that Host
Nation's consider an umbrella Development Action Center (DAC), which would
integrate mine action and national development and reconstruction activities,
supporting self-determination goals. A donor support methodology could be
established within the DAC to help eliminate waste, synergize donor support,
and coordinate activities by the many different donor agencies involved. We
note that as a development agency the World Bank supports member country programs
that help lead to the eradication of poverty and to the promotion of sustainable
development. Its support of mine action is based upon the recognition that
mine pollution is, for many affected countries, a significant obstacle to
the reestablishment of normal development activities. In this context, it
shares with UNDP a perspective which views mine pollution as a development
problem with long term consequences and, necessarily, with long-term solutions
which extend far beyond initial humanitarian concerns. Also important is that
the Bank shares responsibility with UNDP for convening donor groups in reconstruction
situations and thus has a major role in resource mobilization and in setting
long term agendas for international support for mine action and other needs.
Similar to UNDP mine action policies, land mine clearance in Bank-financed
projects must be carried out under the auspices of civilian authorities, an
incentive for civilian-led national Mine Action Committees, setting policy
for Mine Action Centers.
for continuous Quality Assurance, not necessarily Quality Control, are significant.
While Quality Control at the demining unit level is necessary and important,
Quality Assurance, systemically managed by the General Manager, is equally
important. Assuring that training and safety systems are well designed, properly
taught, and rigorously enforced is a function of the General Manager, not
off-handedly delegated to subordinates. In addition, it is the responsibility
of the General Manager to establish Measures of Effectiveness for his Mine
Action Center, which tell his boss or the Prime Minister how the mine action
program is progressing. Donors will also need data for their own agendas,
which the General Manager must accommodate if he expects continuous donor
support. Having established its own Measures of Effectiveness, the U.S. will
assist General Manager’s in establishing data collection methods to meet their
(and other donors’) data needs. The point is that General Managers need to
realize the importance of regularly reporting mine action data to donors,
helping ensure their long-term support.
d. Our research
and experience indicates that worldwide mine action remains fragmented and
uncoordinated. Holistic national approaches to their mine action problems
would appear to help sustain stable and generous donor support. Regarding
competition for demining resources, holistic approaches may tend to prioritize
donor support to regions enduring the most human suffering, rather than those
with the most political influence.
APPLICATION OF STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND LESSONS LEARNED
In the June edition
of Journal of Mine Action the authors will demonstrate their strategy
and management model through a fictional nation that contains many of the
mine action problems in existence today. They will also present several of
the lessons they learned during their experience in Horn of Africa and Middle
East mine afflicted countries.
Pete Owen, USA, is the Program Manager for U.S. Central Command’s humanitarian
demining program. He is responsible for all U.S. mine action operations in
the Middle East and African nations that comprise Central Command’s area of
responsibility. Much of this article is based on lessons he learned while
establishing and managing the program.
Dr. Alan Childress,
a management consultant for Booz× Allen & Hamilton, is currently engaged
as U.S. Central Command’s humanitarian demining Country Manager for Ethiopia,
Eritrea, and Djibouti. He specialized in international management while earning
his business administration doctorate at Nova Southeastern University.
authors acknowledge the contributions of John Johnson, the U.S. Central Command’s
humanitarian demining Country Manager for Jordan and Egypt. His extensive
mine action knowledge and his compassion for people affected by the worldwide
landmine affliction are unparalleled.