Measuring performance is the norm across a range of human activities. But is it a norm in humanitarian mine action (HMA)? Some might suggest that it is. However, if we measure our performance, it is unclear whether we do so in a standardized way so that meaningful comparisons can be made. HMA lacks standardized indicators, whether it is for items of explosive ordnance (EO) found and destroyed, m2 of land released, or more general outcomes such as internally displaced persons returning to an area once cleared. Indicators can of course be ignored, misused, misreported, or misunderstood and some fear that they can be subject to manipulation or misrepresentation. The playing field for operators may not be level. However, this is not a reason not to use key performance indicators (KPIs); it is a reason for standardizing their use. The time is overdue for mine action to develop standard indicators with agreed definitions in order to measure, understand, and compare performance more accurately.
Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining (GICHD)