GICHD’s ‘Landmines and Livelihoods’ reports are based on studies that employ the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach to better understand both the problems created by landmines and other Explosive Remnants of War (ERW), and the benefits stemming from mine action.
There is no one-best-way to evaluate the worth of mine action programmes, but the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach has many advantages, particularly for survey and clearance operations leading to the release of safe land to communities. Landmines and other ERW not only kill and maim innocent civilians, they block access to and improvement of physical and natural assets on which the livelihoods of rural households depend. With its focus on livelihoods assets, the Sustainable Livelihoods Approach provides an excellent model for analysing (i) how explosives contamination creates insecurity, deepens poverty, and constrains development and (ii) the benefits stemming from mine action.
In addition to providing great insight into the costs of explosives contamination and the benefits of mine action, the ‘Landmines and Livelihoods’ reports for Yemen and Afghanistan document the type of development investments that are valued by this sample of rural communities and provide a number of recommendations for the mine action communities they survey. They also provide a wealth of information on how such surveys are planned and conducted.
Importantly, national social scientists played a central role in the surveys to allow surveys to be replicated without extensive involvement from international experts. As well, extra efforts were made to obtain the views of women and children.
Sustainable Livelihoods surveys should be an important tool for mine action programmes to promote the well-being of rural women, men, girls and boys. We hope these reports will be read by those outside the mine action community who are working in the surveyed countries.
The three GICHD reports on Landmines and Livelihoods are :