Impact Assessment has been used by NPA for many years. This method helps NPA to understand, support and contribute to sustainable improvements in the socio-economic, humanitarian and political conditions of communities in areas affected by mines and unexploded ordnance.
Since 2011, this method has been improved to help NPA get a more holistic understanding of the impact of programme activities on a much wider scale, than just at the operational level (community/village). This method now better supports the programme planning cycle, decision making of programme activities and meeting reporting requirements at different levels. The different levels of assessment now include: at the Country level (Level 0), at the Province or District levels (Level 1), and at the Village/Community/ level (Level 2).
The different levels of assessments need to be adapted to fit the context of each country to make sure that it is relevant and realistic to understand how people are affected by contamination. For example, at the village/community level landmines and cluster bombs might affect people similarly but the ways of how to measure the impact can be very different. For example, in South Sudan, people don’t use the land if it is mined, whilst in Laos and Vietnam, people use land contaminated by cluster munitions.
In addition, other factors and dynamics than can affect programme activities need to be thought about when the impact assessment method is used. These might include: different priority settings between the national and local/grassroots levels; the different post-conflict stages the country finds itself in e.g. emergency, recovery, rehabilitation or post-conflict; the political dimensions at play; economic influences etc. For example, at the National/Country level (Level 0) it is important that NPA shows to key stakeholders, a good understanding of the changing complex political and country specifics where programmes are already set up; or are planning to set-up programmes in the near future.
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Pictures (left to right): 1. Team members interviewing affected villagers and drawing a village map, Lao; 2. Children and cattle have free access to land after clearance, Lebanon; 3. Removal of landmines have allowed locals to harvest cashew nuts Senegal.