Landmine Monitor 2004

Appendices - Survey Action Center

The international community has become more aware of the link between development and landmines. A significant amount is known about the location of suspected mine fields, but much less is known, however, about the socioeconomic impact of landmines on communities. Without measuring impact, it is difficult to develop effective strategies to allocate limited resources in a cost-effective manner to minimize the human and economic costs landmines inflict. If the impact of landmines is to be significantly reduced or all landmines in the ground eliminated starting in 2009, as envisioned by the Ottawa Treaty, rather than in decades or generations as assumed in the early days of mine action programs, better information, including baseline data to measure progress, is an immediate and unavoidable requirement. Landmine Impact Surveys provide this data.

Who are we?

To meet this need, in a cooperative effort, the NGO community, the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) and the Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD), established the Survey Working Group in 1998. The Survey Working Group (SWG) monitors standards and facilitates the international coordination of resources and expert personnel for the completion of the Landmine Impact Survey in countries affected by landmines. The members of the Survey Working Group (SWG) are:

  • Association for Aid and Relief, Japan
  • Canadian International Demining Corps, Canada
  • Cranfield Mine Action, UK
  • DanChurchAid
  • Danish Demining Group, Denmark
  • Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining, Switzerland
  • Geospatial International, Canada
  • HALO Trust, UK
  • Handicap International, France/Belgium
  • InterSOS, Italy
  • Landmine Survivors Network, USA
  • Medico International, Germany
  • Mines Advisory Group, UK
  • Mine Clearance Planning Agency, Afghanistan
  • Norwegian People’s Aid
  • Swedish Rescue Services Agency
  • UN Development Programme (UNDP)
  • UN International Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
  • UN Mine Action Service (UNMAS)
  • UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
  • Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation, USA

Executed to a common international standard and certified by the United Nations Mine Action Service (UNMAS) the Landmine Impact Survey:

  • Allows donors to rationally allocate funds to places of greatest human need as defined by impact on communities;
  • Permits national authorities to develop national plans focusing on regions and areas of greatest impact; and
  • Gives implementers baseline impact data that will provide success indicators for mine action programs.

The LIS is not a sample survey: it is a complete community level inventory of mine impacted communities and their attending suspected hazard areas. Rigorous analysis of LIS data indicates that no more than from 3 to 10% of all communities may have been missed by a particular national survey.

The Survey Action Center, as the executive arm of the SWG, mobilizes resources and executes surveys in partnership with international and national organizations. It also provides technical, planning, and operational support including training and data analysis expertise as well as financial oversight to most surveys. SAC also serves as the focal point for the Survey Working Group’s strategic policy function. In October 2001, at the SWG’s Geneva meeting, SAC established a Board of Directors consisting of Handicap International, Danish Demining Group, Mine Clearance Planning Agency and Norwegian People’s Aid.

How we do it?

Landmine Impact Surveys are often initiated by the United Nations when it recommends that SAC send an Advance Survey Mission (ASM) to a country to collect basic information for operational needs, preliminary estimation of the extent of the mine/UXO problem and institutional arrangements needed for a survey. At the completion of an ASM, a proposal is written. SAC also raises all the necessary funds for the surveys. The implementing partners are selected through a competitive process. SAC trains the national survey supervisory staff and they, in turn, train the interviewers, who are dispatched to the affected parts of the country to conduct the actual survey. SAC analyzes the data and produces maps for reporting purposes. Throughout the survey SAC provides technical backstopping, monitoring and advice. UNMAS provides a Quality Assurance Monitor to ensure the survey is being conducted according to the protocols set by the Survey Working Group. After the final report is written, which includes comments from the host government, it is submitted to the U.N. for certification and, once certified, the final report is distributed worldwide to donors, governments and other stakeholders.

LIS data - an emerging picture

There is completed data for ten countries and partial data for northwestern Somalia (Somaliland). The results confirm the general impression that Bosnia and Herzegovina, Cambodia, and Ethiopia are in the top rank of seriously affected countries. Mozambique is in the middle rank, while Azerbaijan, Chad, Eritrea, Lebanon, Thailand and Yemen have definable and serious problems but are overall less impacted.

Impacted Communities

 
Impact Category
 
High
Medium
Low
Landmine Impact Survey
Completed
Comm.
% Total
Comm.
%Total
Comm.
% Total
Total
Azerbaijan
6/2003
11
2%
101
21%
368
77%
480
Bosnia & Herzegovina
12/2003
154
11%
696
51%
516
38%
1,366
Cambodia
6/2002
564
29%
463
24%
911
47%
1,938
Chad
5/2001
49
20%
52
21%
148
59%
249
Eritrea *
6/2004
33
7%
100
21%
348
72%
481
Ethiopia *
4/2004
152
10%
308
21%
1032
69%
1,492
Lebanon
8/2003
28
9%
164
54%
114
37%
306
Mozambique
8/2001
25
3%
205
21%
759
77%
989
Somalia: Phase 1
5/2003
45
13%
102
29%
210
59%
357
Thailand
6/2001
69
13%
233
44%
228
43%
530
Yemen
7/2000
14
2%
84
14%
494
83%
592
Grand Totals
 
1,144
13%
2,508
29%
5,128
58%
8,780

* Note: pending UN Certification

These numbers must be treated with caution – every country is unique and highly impacted communities, whether in Chad or Cambodia, require help to remove the threat to lives and livelihoods. But the profile that emerges from the data is instructive. The magnitude of impact level varies considerably among countries. More interesting than simplistic comparisons of country to country is an examination of the proportion of high to medium to low impacts levels. To date LIS has identified 8,780 impacted communities. Of these only 1,114 [13%] are highly impacted, yet these account for 68% of all recent victims. A further 2,508 [29%] communities are medium impact, while low impact communities account for 42% of the total, but less that 4% of recent victims. To the extent that a mine action strategy is driven largely by a desire to reduce or eliminate victims, these figures are extremely helpful because the LIS has pinpointed where the victims are and, more importantly from an operational point of view, identified the exact suspected hazard area where the victim incident took place. The LIS facilitates the ability to focus limited resources on the greatest problem, by identifying the relatively few communities that account for the greatest proportion of recent victims.

Completed Surveys

Landmine impact surveys have been completed in Azerbaijan, Cambodia, Chad, Mozambique, Somalia (Phase 1: Awdal, Galbeed, Sahil, and Togdheer regions), Thailand, and Yemen. In 2004 surveys will have been completed in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Lebanon.

Bosnia and Herzegovina (UN certified)

SAC began the survey in November 2002 with funding from the governments of the United States and Canada and the European Community, through the International Trust Fund. The Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center authorized the survey and Handicap International implemented it. The survey recorded 1,366 communities impacted by landmine/UXO contamination with 154 (11%) evaluated as high impact, 696 (51%) as medium impact, and 516 (38%) as low impact. 129 victims of landmine/UXO incidents were documented in 71 communities within the prior two year timeframe, 62 of which were recorded as fatalities. A total of 1,234 suspected hazard areas were identified as blocking access to valuable socioeconomic resources. The final technical analysis report was issued in September 2004.

Eritrea (completed, awaiting certification)

The survey began in May 2002 with funding provided by the European Community and the government of Canada. The survey was executed by UNDP through the Eritrean Solidarity and Cooperation Association (ESCA) with support from the Eritrean Demining Authority (EDA), UNMEE MACC, and HALO Trust. SAC provided training and data analysis support for the technical report. A total of 481 communities were recorded as having landmine/UXO contamination with 33 (7%), 100 (21%), and 348 (72%) in the high, medium, low impact category, respectively. The number of suspected hazard areas blocking access to valuable socioeconomic resources was recorded as 914. The survey found 295 victims, of which 77 were fatalities, in the prior two year timeframe. The final technical analysis report will be issued in November 2004.

Ethiopia (completed, awaiting certification) 

The survey began in January 2002 with funding provided to SAC by the European Community and the governments of Norway, United States, and Germany and to UNDP by the governments of Norway and Netherlands. The Norwegian People’s Aid implemented the survey. Of the 1,492 communities affected by landmine/UXO contamination, 152 communities (10%) were high impact, 308 communities (21%) were medium impact and 1,032 communities (69%) were low impact. The number of suspected hazard areas blocking access to valuable socioeconomic resources was recorded as 1,916. The survey found 1,295 victims, of which 558 were fatalities in the last two years. The final technical analysis report will be issued in November 2004.

Lenanon (UN Certified)

The survey began in March 2002 with funding from the European Community. The survey was implemented in collaboration with the National Demining Office through the Mines Advisory Group (MAG), with technical support from the Vietnam Veterans of America Foundation (VVAF). A total of 306 communities were recorded as having landmine/UXO contamination with 28 (9%), 164 (54%), and 114 (37%) in the high, medium, and low impact category, respectively. The final technical analysis report was issued in July 2004.

On-going Surveys

Afghanistan

The survey began in June 2003 with funding from the European Commission through UNDP and MACA. The governments of Canada and Germany have provided funding directly through the Survey Action Center. MCPA is implementing the survey with oversight and monitoring from a SAC coordination team based in Kabul. As of 19 September, a total of 1,867 impacted communities have been identified. The survey finds 265 (14%) high impact communities, 397 (21%) medium impact, and 1205 (65%) low impact. Data collection should be completed by late November 2004 and final analysis and reporting by February 2005.

Angola

The survey began in December 2002 with funding from the European Community and the governments of Germany, Canada, and the United States. The Institute of National Demining, InterSOS, HALO Trust, Mines Advisory Group, Norwegian People’s Aid, and Santa Barbara Foundation are conducting the survey under the auspices and support of CNIDAH, the Angolan mine action authority, with oversight and monitoring by a SAC coordination team based in Luanda, Angola. As of 30 July, 320 surveys have been conducted. Completion of data collection is expected to be in February 2005 with final analysis and reporting completion in August 2005.

Somalia (Phase 2: Bari, Nugaal, and Mudug Regions)

The survey began in August 2004 with funding by the European Community through UNDP. The Puntland Mine Action Center (PMAC) is implementing the survey with oversight and monitoring by a SAC coordination team in Garowe. Completion of the survey is expected in July 2005.

Future Surverys

Republic of Georgia

SAC conducted an Advance Survey Mission and a proposal for conducting a limited LIS in Georgia is nearing completion.

Sudan

Two Advance Survey Missions have been conducted to Sudan and SAC is in the final stages of fundraising in preparation for conducting an LIS in Sudan.

LIS Explorer

Later in 2004, SAC will add an application to its website to allow users to explore the results of completed landmine impact surveys. From an internet browser, one may view numeric and descriptive data from three vantage points: (1) communities, (2) suspected hazard area, and/or (3) recent victims. The LIS Explorer will offer interactive filtering of the displayed data so the users can focus on their particular interests. The results can be exported to a MS Excel workbook for further individualized analysis. Summary maps of the completed surveys will be available for download, with interactive GIS mapping expected to be added in 2005. With this application, national authorities, operators, and donors will be able to develop analyses of landmine data to meet their special needs.

Point of Contact:

Survey Action Center
6930 Carroll Avenue, Suite 240
Takoma Park, MD 20912, USA
Phone: +1 301 891 9192
Fax: +1 301 891 9193

sac@sac-na.org

www.sac-na.org