A substantial amount of donor contributions for mine action is spent on contracting commercial entities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and public sector operators, in order to carry out demining and other mine action related activities.
In many mine action programmes, road clearance tasks are contracted. In many countries, national mine action authorities contract capacities directly, and in some mine-affected countries, such as Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, national demining activities are mainly carried out through contracting. International Financial Institutions (IFI) and national governments also tend to finance a large number of demining contracts in support of civil engineering projects, such as roads, power lines, irrigation works and dams.
The difference between contracting in mine action and contracting in other industries is that it is often harder to define the end product, ie, cleared or verified land, in terms of the exact area, quality or number of square metres.
Mine action contracting should create an incentive for contractors to release land in the most cost-effective way possible; preferably through non-technical methods with a minimum of expensive and time consuming actual mine clearance.
In 2009, the GICHD completed a study of contracting in mine action. The study resulted in the GICHD Guide to Contracting in Mine Action (2009), and in a comprehensive training programme covering the various aspects of mine action contracting. In 2012, the Guide to Contracting in Mine Action will be updated to include a chapter on contracting in demining in the oil and gas industry. Other chapters of the guide will also be updated.
The GICHD provides training courses that cover the various aspects of contracting in mine action, both at the GICHD and, on request, to national mine action authorities and other organisations in their respective countries.
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