Priority-setting aims to ensure that mine action delivers the most value for money. Given that a country’s mine/ERW contamination problem takes time to resolve, priority-setting involves:

  • deciding what tasks should receive priority; and
  • ensuring that adequate resources are allocated to the selected priorities.

When deciding which piece of land should be surveyed and/or cleared first, priority-setting in mine action has important developmental implications. If post-clearance land-use and development are priorities for mine/ERW-affected communities and governments, then this should be reflected as priority-setting criteria. Examples of specific development-related criteria that can be included in a country’s priority-setting system include whether:

  • land will be used for community development;
  • land ownership is clear;
  • target beneficiaries are clearly identified based on needs;
  • a development agency will assist beneficiaries in making productive use of released land; and
  • potential for land-related conflict is low.

The GICHD has produced 'Priority-Setting in Mine Action' issue briefs to assist mine action programmes in achieving greater value for money by designing and implementing sound priority-setting systems. The briefs cover the key principles underlying priority-setting.

The Briefs in this series are:

  • Brief 1: introduction, key terms and basic concepts, common challenges;
  • Brief 2: the need for a national priority-setting system, components of national priority-setting systems, what such systems should accomplish and how responsibilities and authorities should be defined;
  • Brief 3: establishing a national priority-setting system and adapting it over time, how to assess the quality of the system;
  • Brief 4: a more detailed examination of values, decision criteria and indicators; and
  • Brief 5: gender and priority-setting in mine action.