Iraq: Landmine Impact Survey 2004 - 2006

INTRODUCTIION

Growing out of the world wide collaborative efforts of the International Campaign to Ban Landmines and its Ottawa Treaty, Landmine Impact Surveys are executed to meet the overlapping needs of international donors, national authorities in landmine-and unexploded ordnance (UXO)-impacted countries, as well as Humanitarian Mine Action planners and implementers.

The overall vision of Landmine Impact Surveys as articulated by the Survey Working Group (SWG) is to "facilitate the prioritizing of human, material and financial resources supporting humanitarian mine action at the national, regional and global levels". To fulfill this vision, Landmine Impact Survey projects are executed to meet the same high standard. Their implementation provides for improved collaboration between the three primary stakeholders of the process: national authorities, donors and implementing agencies, and provides for the utilization of the same dataset. The data collected during the survey process provides clear improvements on past efforts in that it:

- Defines the entire problem in terms of scale, type of location, hazards, and socio-economic impacts upon communities;

- Improves national planning efforts by allowing for better prioritization of resources;

- Fosters development of national plans with well-defined immediate, intermediate and long-term objectives;

- Establishes baseline data from which performance can be measured.

Landmine Impact Surveys are considered to be the first and most vital step in the transformation of overall Humanitarian Mine Action (HMA). These surveys dramatically improve the quality of information available for decision makers at all levels.

Subsequent meetings of the SWG further refined this vision to create a number of subordinate objectives focused upon three key constituencies:

- Allow donors to rationalize their allocation of funds to the areas of greatest human need as defined by the impact of landmines and UXO upon communities;

- Permit national authorities to develop national plans focusing upon regions and areas of greatest impact;

- Give implementers baseline impact data that will provide success indicators for mine action programs.

The findings and information presented in this report are available in the Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) database maintained by HMA entities in Iraq. This information is descriptive in nature, and provides the best and most comprehensive picture of the nature of the landmine and UXO threat impacting communities in Iraq.

Although this report is the most useful tool for subsequent planning at the national level, it is not a substitute for a national plan. This report should encourage Iraqi national authorities, decision-makers and planners to become familiar with the current state of landmine/UXO contamination in their country, and to use it when addressing future activities related to allocation of funding, prioritization of efforts and identification of areas for intervention. This survey has transformed the vague or unknown into functional knowledge. The challenge now is to ensure that others will use this knowledge to bring about positive, constructive action.

As a global initiative to standardize available information regarding the landmine problem around the globe, the Landmine Impact Survey process represents a successful, concerted effort to ensure conformity of methods, procedures and processes. These surveys are based upon the best practices in the fields of social science research and Humanitarian Mine Action. To ensure quality of results, internal and external quality assurance mechanisms are imbedded into the methodology of the survey process. Landmine Impact Surveys are executed to internationally recognized standards and measure and score impacts upon affected communities in a generally uniform manner.