The impact of demining operations has to be considered and evaluated according to the political and security context. The FSD conducts operations typically in three different situations:
In war and post conflict situations: Humanitarian aid is often the only lifeline for thousands of people in their struggle for survival. Professional delivery of humanitarian assistance, access to beneficiaries and safety for aid-workers is essential prerequisites. FSD has provided assistance to its partner organization WFP and other humanitarian actors in emergency situations such as Afghanistan and Iraq in various ways. FSD experts provide mines and UXO safety training to field staff, assist humanitarian agencies with survey and planning of operations, and clear logistical infrastructure, access roads and food distribution sites.
During the transitional and recovery phase after an armed conflict: A priority for governments and non-state actors emerging from violent conflict is to build confidence that peace can be sustained. This requires national authorities and aid agencies to repatriate refugees and to extend humanitarian assistance and government services into former conflict areas. National elections are another important factor in reconciling post-conflict countries. Governments need legitimacy and want as many voters as possible to show up at voting centers. Many voters, however, can only participate once they have safe access. Landmines and other explosive remnants of war often hamper the mobility of government officials, politicians, election officials, returnees as well as the staff of relief and development agencies. Landmines obstruct the peace-building stages of post-war societies and thereby threaten a return to violent conflict.
During development phases, landmines and other explosive remnants of war continue to threaten, maim and kill indiscriminately long after hostilities have ended. Landmines impede post-conflict reconstruction and economic development. Mine clearance is required before fields can be planted, drinking water can be made available and schools can be built. In countries such as Tajikistan and Laos, FSD is assisting the national authorities and development agencies in the implementation of ambitious mine action strategies, focusing on priority areas which are vital for agricultural development and essential national infrastructure programs.
Furthermore, type and density of contamination by landmines and other explosive remnants of war vary tremendously from context to context. In order to systematically assess the quality and impact of its demining projects, FSD is applying a set of specific indicators. The following chart illustrates the relevant quantitative as well qualitative indicators that have to be systematically measured in order to evaluate the overall value of operations.
FSD programme indicators: