The Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD) has recently initiated a range of activities designed to improve the standard and effectiveness of mine action evaluations. The Centre is following a two-track approach. One aspect is to develop a range of tools available to all, which will assist in improving the standard of evaluations, and the second is to undertake a range of evaluations itself where appropriate.
In August 2004, the Centre appointed an officer to guide this work. To date, an evaluation handbook has been drafted and internal training has been conducted at the GICHD. Now the Centre has combined with the World Bank and Carleton University in Canada to offer a mine action evaluation module as part of its annual training course offered to developing countries. The GICHD will be sponsoring a number of attendees at this course in the summer of 2005. (Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for details.)
In addition to this work, the Centre has been undertaking a series of evaluations itself, both to prove the methodologies being developed and to fill a gap in the market. To date, the Centre has undertaken project and programme evaluations for France, Germany, Sweden, the United Nations and soon for the European Union. In addition, the Centre will establish a repository of evaluations and expand on the lessons learnt from them.
Ongoing Work at the GICHD
An extensive outreach programme has commenced in support of the Study of Mechanical Application in Demining that was reported in the last edition of the Journal of Mine Action.1 Briefings on the study findings have been made to the United Nations, a number of non-governmental organizations, and people in mine-affected countries; these briefings will continue throughout the year. Follow-on work is also continuing in areas such as the use of rollers, route clearance, residual hazards and the use of machine-mounted magnets to remove metal fragments. This last technique looks particularly promising.
The Study on Manual Mine Clearance is under way and aims to address the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of manual demining. Specific study areas include average clearance rates, cost, safety and techniques, as well as the management and organization of demining teams. Results of this work should be available in mid-2005.
The GICHD has an ongoing programme to help mine-affected countries take the International Mine Action Standards and develop them as national standards. A training package has been produced and workshops held in a number of countries. Most recently, the GICHD has helped the Mine Action Programme for Afghanistan develop a comprehensive set of draft national standards. These national standards will be available on the GICHD website (see contact information below).
Finally, the GICHD publication A Guide to Mine Action has recently been released in Arabic and Russian language versions, to complement the English, French and Spanish editions. All GICHD publications can be ordered online at www.gichd.ch.
- Mansfield, I. (2004). Geneva Diary: Report from the GICHD. Journal of Mine Action, 8.2. Retrieved June 10, 2005, from http://www.jmu.edu/cisr/journal/8.2/notes/mansfield.htm.