|The Fight Against Antipersonnel Mines - Facts and Elements of a Normative Approach to the Decision Process (European Commission, 1997, 65 pages)|
The feasibility study of a mine action program should permit to collect, interpret, analyze and comment a maximum of information. It must comprise the following nine items:
1) The general environment of the operation
- reminder of recent history in relation to mines;
- reminder of the reasons why the study is being conducted.
2) The description of the zone to be treated
- geographical situation;
- political and economic situation:
- structure of the government,
- identification of the main local and regional actors;
- demographic situation;
- cultural and religious data;
- role of the main international agencies.
3) Logistic aspects
- means of communication;
- transports and customs;
- supplies and living conditions;
- local recruitment of personnel;
- currency and banks;
- local administration.
4) Safety conditions
- on the national, regional and local level:
- general safety,
- conditions of transportation,
- safety of the expatriated personnel and local employees,
- information collected from the other organizations present locally;
- general comments and impressions.
5) Specific indicators of the presence of mines
· Sanitary and social data;
- statistical data about the victims of mines and accidents;
- number of amputees and production of prostheses;
· Information collected from communities and development agencies:
- number of single-parent families;
- number of orphans;
- number of abandoned dwellings, housing capacity in urban and rural zones;
- importance of disused fields and weakness of agricultural yields;
- cessation of forestry production, lack of construction materials;
- roads and tracks seldom taken;
- under-used or disused resources: rainwater and water drawn from wells, mine exploitation;
- improvised demonstrations against mines led by non-specialized members of the community.
· Psycho-social information obtained by watching the population:
- behavior of the adults in suspicious areas;
- way the parents pass on information to the children;
- assessment of the general knowledge about the hazards of mines;
- assessment of the extent of fear in the population.
· Observation of direct or indirect economic factors linked, both in the communities affected and in the rest of the country, to:
- the efforts to achieve rehabilitation or development;
- the survival economy that gets instituted in the most affected zones.
6) Technical information and conditions of execution
· Regarding mines and ammunitions:
- various types of mines, either known or not;
- use of mines, mode of laying, booby trapping...;
- existence of marks on the ground, of maps and available information;
· Regarding operational constraints:
- geographical factors, distances and chances of access to the minefields, geological and topographical characteristics of the ground...;
- climatic and seasonal weather-related factors;
· Regarding equipment and logistics:
- detection materials, metal detectors, dogs...
- equipment for manual and mechanical mine clearance,
* logistic means and maintenance:
- maintenance and servicing of the equipment,
- maintenance and servicing of the vehicles,
- means of communication,
- medical logistics and evacuation,
- delivery, reception, customs,
- can any material be purchased locally?
7) The other expected (or expectable) programs to fight against mines
· The possible operators:
- The United Nations peace-keeping program,
- temporary multi-lateral program,
- international organization program,
- NGO program,
- commercial operation program,
- program of the Government or military operations
· The procedures, principles and priorities:
- cooperation and/or coordination structures.
- documents, surveys and maps.
The conclusion of this study should allow the sponsor and the State to either give up the setting up of a specific mine action program, or to choose a mode of intervention characterized by:
- the fulfillment of the priority needs of the populations,
- the selection of a mode of action,
- the selection of a type of cooperation and coordination,
- the selection of the necessary means,
- the search for possibilities of local financing,
- the definition of specific reliable indicators necessary for planning the action.