Home Our Work Humanitarian Disarmament How we work

How we work

NPA works along three pillars of work, Mine Action, Arms Management and Destruction, and Humanitarian Disarmament Initiatives. Through these three pillars, NPA covers the full life-cycle of weapons and ammunitions – with interventions before, during and after their use.

The Pillars of Work

Mine Action

Land release (mines and CMR)

Application and promotion of good land release methodology is core to NPA’s Mine Action work.
Land release mines
Land release Cluster munition

EOD

  • BAC
  • Spot tasks
  • AXO

In addition to the teams of women and men who perform survey and
clearance, personnel have specialized teams who undertake what NPA call
Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD).

Read more here

Risk Education

As an integral part of NPA’s overall Mine Action planning and implementation, NPA conduct Mine Risk Education (MRE) in NPA programmes. MRE is a critical part of the training to ensure consciousness and to alleviate the humanitarian suffering caused by explosive remnants of war – both for the civilian population as well as to personnel working with Humanitarian Disarmament. MRE consists of various educational activities aimed to raise awareness, promote behavioural change through campaigns, training and community liaison.

Stockpile Destruction 
(mines and cluster munitions)

Antipersonnel mines and cluster bombs are banned weapons. In order to ensure these prohibitions are respected, NPA helps countries with less income to destroy their stockpiles of mines and cluster munitions. Destruction of each and every mine and cluster bomb is the only way of guaranteeing that such weapons will never be used again.
Read more about NPA’s work to destroy cluster munitions in stock here

 

Advocacy

Operations and advocacy are two sides of the same coin in NPA. The collective advocacy efforts of NPA’s Head Office and the external offices amount to an international political process by which NPA aims to influence policy and resource allocation in states, the UN, and other political, economic, or social systems and institutions. NPA questions the way policy is administered, participates in global and national agenda setting; propose practical, policy, and legal solutions; and is inclusive and engaging at all times. This includes participation in relevant fora enhancing the quality, impact, and coordination of Mine Action or arms management and destruction efforts.

Capacity Building

Capacity building of and support to national authorities
It is crucial to develop solid partnerships with governments and support them in taking meaningful ownership of their own challenges, securing resources, and building the necessary institutions and capacities. NPA will always relate to national authorities and other levels of authority in a respectful and constructive way, and will seek to foster genuine partnerships. NPA will actively involve national authorities in the analysis, planning, and implementation of operations.

NPA will focus on capacity building of personnel and on assisting them in developing methodologies and systems, as well as national policies and legislation. To this end, NPA will also facilitate partner-to-partner communication, meaning exchanges between the various national authorities that NPA have partnered with. With a view to supporting national authorities in taking ownership, NPA will also contribute to stakeholder coordination both in the countries where NPA operates and on a global level.

NPA personnel will proactively engage with other operators, donors, and other stakeholders to help ensure that everything is done in a coordinated manner.
Internal capacity building
NPA will methodically build internal capacity at all staff levels and encourage motivated and competent national staff in country programmes to apply for international positions.

  • Of NPAs close to 2000 staff, only 3 % are expatriates.
  • In most of NPA global programmes, the Operations Managers themselves come from affected countries. 
  • NPA minimizes costs and increases effectiveness through regional cooperation.

Methodology Development

NPA has been a driver of much of the methodology development that has taken place in Mine Action since the early 1990s. NPA consistently seeks to improve, innovate, and look for ways to deliver higher quality and increased efficiency and effectiveness across NPA programming. Personnel will share knowledge and developments with all those working in the same field as selves, and encourage others to do the same, so that NPA can make stronger collective efforts towards Humanitarian Disarmament.

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Threats

Mines/ERW, EWIPA

Arms Management and Destruction

PSSM

Physical security and stockpile management
NPA implements Physical security and stockpile management (PSSM) activities in cooperation with relevant partners in order to help mitigate the risk associated with insecure and dangerous stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. Through provision of internationally acknowledged procedures, NPA PSSM activities help limit the general presence, availability and proliferation of weapons and ammunition, thus lowering the potential for use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas (EWIPA) and other armed violence. In addition, the implementation of safe and sustainable systems for storage of ammunition and destruction of surplus and obsolete ammunition limits the risk of Unplanned Explosions at Munitions Sites (UEMS).

Surplus Destruction

The fact that many armed forces fail to destroy surplus military weapons and ammunition leads to heightened levels of explosive risk at Ammunition Storage Areas (ASAs), more diversion and proliferation of weapons and ammunition, and the perpetuation of armed violence. Many factors contribute to the global build-up of aging and excess weapons and ammunition. These can include a lack of awareness, transparency, or trust; the absence of national policies on the issue; a lack of training and capacity in armed forces; and insufficient donor resources. As part of its Arms Management and Destruction (AMD) activities NPA raises awareness and provides technical assistance on ammunition management and destruction of surplus stocks of weapons and ammunition. This in turn further limits the risk of UEMS and helps limit the general presence and availability of weapons and ammunition, thus lowering the potential for EWIPA incidents and other armed violence.

UEMS Rapid Response

Unplanned Explosions at Munition Sites (UEMS) Rapid Response
Through the implementation of safe and sustainable systems for storage and destruction of weapons and ammunition NPA aims to limit diversion and
the risk of UEMS. In the event of an UEMS, NPA has a standing rapid response capacity that can deploy to assist with coordination and clearance.

Risk Assessments

As part of its operations, NPA conducts risk assessments of ASAs and other relevant areas. This is often done at an early stage before other activities such as ammunition and weapons management or destruction, but is also an ongoing process throughout operations. Risk assessment is a key part of any operation in order to identify relevant risks and corresponding mitigating actions. Risks can be directly associated with the technical challenge (i.e. dangerous weapons and ammunition stockpiles) or can be related to socio-economic impact or environmental aspects.

Risk Education

An integral part of any NPA operation is Risk Education (RE). This is also the case when it comes to AMD activities. RE is a critical part of building awareness of the ever growing problem of insecure and dangerous stockpiles of weapons and ammunition. RE typically consists of various educational activities aimed to raise awareness and promote behavioural change in relevant authorities and people living in potentially dangerous areas.

Advocacy

As within other areas of NPA’s Humanitarian Disarmament portfolio, operations and advocacy go hand in hand. The collective advocacy efforts of NPA’s Head Office (HO) and the external offices amount to an international political process by which we aim to influence policy and resource allocation in states, the UN, and other political, economic, or social systems and institutions. NPA questions the way policy is administered, participates in global and national agenda setting; propose practical, policy, and legal solutions; and be inclusive and engaging at all times.

Capacity Building

A crucial part of any NPA operation is to develop solid partnerships with governments and other relevant actors in order to support them in taking ownership of their challenges, securing resources, and building the necessary institutions and capacities. In designing arms management and destruction interventions NPA focuses on help for self-help in order to assist countries with capacity building and establishing sustainable systems and processes. NPA focuses on capacity building of personnel and on the development of methodologies and systems, as well as national policies and legislation. NPA also aims to facilitate partner-to-partner communication, meaning exchanges between the various national authorities that we have partnered with.

Methodology Development

NPA consistently seeks to improve, innovate, and look for ways to deliver higher quality and increased efficiency and effectiveness across our programming. We share our knowledge and developments with all those working in the same field as ourselves, and encourage others to do the same, so that we can make stronger collective efforts towards humanitarian disarmament.

Threats

Dangerous and insecure ASAs Surplus weapons and ammunitions EWIPA

Humanitarian Disarmament Initiatives

Research and Documentation

The Humanitarian Disarmament Initiatives is the pillar for NPA’s work to help develop and promote policies, rules and norms that can restrict and eventually end the use of weapons with indiscriminate effects. This is another path for NPA to save lives.

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Development of Operational Responses

The Humanitarian Disarmament Initiatives is the pillar for NPA’s work to help develop and promote policies, rules and norms that can restrict and eventually end the use of weapons with indiscriminate effects. This is another path for NPA to save lives.

Read more

Advocacy

The Humanitarian Disarmament Initiatives is the pillar for NPA’s work to help develop and promote policies, rules and norms that can restrict and eventually end the use of weapons with indiscriminate effects. This is another path for NPA to save lives.

Read more

Threats

EWIPA, TRW, Nuclear weapons