On 17 July 2000, Belgium, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom, the United States and the European Commission (EC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to create the International Test and Evaluation Program (ITEP); Germany became a Participant on 14 June 2002. The following information was extracted from the ITEP website (www.itep.ws).
Through its members, ITEP constitutes a global network of test and evaluation resources for humanitarian demining. The following are activities within ITEP:
Developing and using universally accepted standards for test and evaluation methodology.
Collecting, generating and distributing robust, scientifically objective data on technologies, materials and systems for humanitarian demining.
Establishing a responsive and cost-effective test and evaluation program.
Performing test and evaluation of equipment and systems—existing or in development.
Efficiency is achieved through collaboration among ITEP Participants with complementary test facilities and technical capabilities. Data generated through ITEP test and evaluation activities is available to the demining community in the form of reports published on the ITEP website.
ITEP is managed by an Executive Committee, consisting of one representative from each member, that reports to a Board of Directors. Administrative and technical support is provided by a Secretariat, currently hosted by the EC Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy. The Secretariat is the main communication channel and point of contact for those seeking information from or contact with ITEP. Points of contact for the participating countries are provided on the website and contact information for the Secretariat may be found at the end of this article.
A work plan, listing national and collaborative projects, has been prepared and published on the ITEP website. It is divided into six technical areas listed as survey, detection, mechanical assistance, personal protection, manual tools and neutralization. The lead nation and partners are identified for each project, and a timeline for completion is provided.
When ITEP was established in 2000, there were no universally accepted methods for testing and evaluating humanitarian demining equipment and systems. Individual ITEP Participants were in the process of developing test methods that generate reliable, reproducible and statistically significant data. Under ITEP, workshops are being conducted to review these national methodologies and identify universally acceptable test protocols for metal detectors and mechanical assistance equipment. A similar process is planned for personal protective equipment (PPE).
A systematic inventory has been completed of test and evaluation activities, capabilities, and needs in southeast Europe. The inventory was carried out through questionnaires; visits to Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia and Slovenia; and a regional workshop in Croatia. A report is available on the website.
This initial page is intended to introduce ITEP Future pages will cover news and events.