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This page summarises an initial, internal brainstorming on indicators.

Ambox warning blue construction.png THIS IS WORK IN PROGRESS!
Note.jpg Further ideas/TODOs:
  • For each indicator, mention appropriate display mechanisms! --> For this, define categories of display mechanisms
  • For each indicator, mention if it is quantitative or qualitative, and maybe even how it could be calculated/where the data could be taken from.
  • --> Define a matrix for the main indicator characteristics
  • The overall goal is to come up with a reference set of indicators per mine action area (Land release, MRE, Victim assistance, etc.)

Important meeting notes

  • Indicators cannot be isolated! They always have to be put in context with outcomes/objectives/etc.
  • Approach: cause-effect ("what leads to what")
  • Short-term objective: in MINT/Geoportal, get started with output indicators and validate them with Russell (are they good ones? could they be presented in a better way? etc.)
  • Mid-term objective: GICHD publication on (outcome) indicators, their development, etc. by mid-2015

Examples of dimensions of change relevant to mine action

From a document distributed during the Copenhagen workshop in 2013. Examples of dimensions of change relevant to mine action (outcome level):

  • Changes relating to land and land use
  • Changes relating to safety / risk from mine and ERW
  • Changes relating to national capacity to address mine and ERW problems
  • Changes relating to gender
  • Change in the support to mine and ERW victims

Principles for the development of indicators

From a presentation from DDG:

  • Valid - Does the indicator directly represent the change it is intended to measure? Is the change within the scope of the project?
  • Objective - Is the definition precise, simple and unambiguous about what is to be measured?
  • Reliable - Is the data needed to measure the indicator consistent or comparable over time?
  • Practical - Can data be collected easily, on a timely basis and at reasonable costs?
  • Useful - Will the indicator data be useful for programme decision-making and learning?
  • Owned - Do the local communities and programme management agree that this indicator makes sense?

Other approaches?


  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Time-bound
  • (Evaluate)
  • (Reevaluate)

See [1]

Categories/Levels of indicators

This is just to have different sets of indicators, for different levels/purposes/areas...

  • Output-level indicators
  • Outcome-level indicators
  • Performance indicators
  • Impact-level indicators?
  • Activity-level indicators?

Collection of indicators

This is an initial collection of indicators encountered so far in the mine action context. It is not yet an assessment regarding their applicability/usefulness/relevance!

Indicators mentioned in the Copenhagen initiative output document:

Outcomes Indicators
Physical and Psychological Safety
  • Reduced number of mine/ERW related accidents/incidents reported in area of operation
  • Reduced at-risk behaviours of target population at high risk of a mine/ERW accident
  • Increased feeling of safety among beneficiaries
  • Number of mine/ERW accidents/incidents
  • Number of beneficiaries at risk of a mine/ERW related death or injury
  • Number of reported instances of unsafe behaviour
  • Level of awareness about mines/ERW in at-risk communities
  • Level of concern about mines/ERW on the part of the target population
  • Level of confidence in use of released land by target population
Land Use and Livelihoods
  • Released land contributing to improved livelihoods
  • Safe access to previously contaminated land
  • Improved productive use of released land
  • Proportion of released land put into productive use
  • Number of people directly benefitting from use of released land
  • Numbers of people accessing previously blocked resources and infrastructure
National Mine Action Ownership
  • Improved national ability to oversee, manage and implement mine action activities
  • Realistic estimation of mine and ERW problem
  • Proportion of mine action activities driven by national strategy
  • Level of national implementation capacity
  • Level of compliance of database and information management system with national and international standards
  • Proportion of mine action budget funded by national contribution
  • Percentage of national staff in management and operational advisory positions

Indicators mentioned in DDG's publication on output monitoring

Objective Indicator Evidence to collect at baseline and impact assessment
Increase in productive use of released land
  • Changes in use of released land
  • Amount of released land brought into productive use e.g. housing or agriculture and grazing land
  • Number of men and women benefiting from released land
  • Describe current and former use of land
  • Estimate the percentage of different land uses (e.g. 25 % agriculture, 30 % housing, 10 % infrastructure (roads), 20 % unused etc.)
  • Estimate number of men and women benefiting from targeted land

Enable resettlement and return

  • Number of men and women resettled on released land
  • Number of refugees and / or IDPs returning to communities benefiting from mine action
  • Describe current and former population in terms of IDP, refugee and host population

Improve access to markets and natural resources

  • Changes in infrastructure
  • Meters to market, main road, cultural important buildings...
  • Time spent on collecting water
  • Number of potential users, men and women
  • Estimate meters to market, main road, cultural important buildings
  • Estimate time spent on collecting water
  • Estimate the number of potential users of infrastructure (e.g. users of roads, schools etc.)

Do no harm

  • Changes in the number of conflicts over land
  • Level of equal participation in decision making over use of released land
  • Describe the situation e.g. the number of and nature of conflicts over land in the target area
  • Describe the decision making process focusing both on men and women

Reduced violence and conflict

  • Number of people who have had a violent encounter
  • Men, women and children’s perceptions of the level of armed violence
  • Estimate the ratio of violent encounters e.g. in the past twelve months
  • Perceived level of armed violence amongst the people today

Reduced threats from explosive remnants of war

  • Number of accidents (human and domestic animals)
  • Number of people who worry about accidents with mines or remnants of war (feeling of safety)
  • Level of knowledge on mine risks among the population
  • Number of identified private owners of explosive remnants of war
  • Number of accidents, men, women, children, animals
  • Number of people who say they worry about accidents with mines or remnants of war
  • Estimate awareness of mines and UXO in the population, disaggregate by gender and age
  • Estimate number of identified private owners of explosive remnants of war

Improved security provision and conflict management

  • Level of trust in policy
  • Change in the percentage of people willing to report incidents of armed violence
  • Formation of local strategies for armed violence prevention and reduction
  • Measure community willingness to report
  • Incidents of armed violence to police
  • Number of local initiatives to counter armed violence

Reduced treats from SALW

  • Number of firearm related accidents
  • Percentage of people who say they worry about firearms

Estimate number of firearm related accidents

Indicators mentioned in the UN M&E framework:

In the UN M&E framework for mine action, indicators are targeted to measure the progress towards the UN-specific mine action objectives. They address two levels: vision-level and strategic objectives. The latest document describing those indicators is this one: UN Survey Instrument

Inspirational indicators from WHO document

Cf. -- write a summary here after going through the document.

Indicators mentioned in a discussion about operational efficiency

From a discussion between Helen, Rana and Elisabeth:

  •  % of areas worked on that had mines
  •  % of areas worked on that had UXOs
  • Average size of cleared area
  • Average size of surveyed area

Comment from Russell about approaches and learning from other people's experience

The key issue (I would go as far as to say the over-riding issue) about getting indicators into common use is the widespread negative perception by field operators. Mention indicators and the reaction is something like "that's all nonsense, no-one in the field has time to go around collecting page after page of data that is never going to be used anyway". This is almost a direct quote from a reaction I had from a colleague who is relatively positive about GIS and other technology, and seems to sum up the most common reaction.

As a result, it seems likely that the biggest problem to overcome is perception and acceptance, and technical issues are the second issue. In terms of an approach this means things like:

  • go for quick wins with indicators that may not be overall so useful but are very easy to data collect and produce obvious results so that people start to change the perception
  • try to find out the biggest issue that needs addressed in a given situation (i.e. which indicator is most requested) and decide if this is a feasible problem or not. If not feasible then ruthlessly set it aside and look at next most urgent. What we choose _not_ to do is going to be important. (ref to Steve Jobs: "there is no shortage of good ideas, but you have to say no to all of them if you are going to work on the best ideas"). Don't be distracted by unrealistic expectations.
  • in looking at indicators from other parallel development areas, we should focus not on the "technical" fit of the indicator to mine action as our first criterion, but at how well the indicator is accepted in the field. Build up a library of these and then look for common factors and characteristics in why and how they are accepted (and also maybe the timescale and process from first use to acceptance). If our main problem is perception then that must be addressed analytically as far as possible.
  • accept that indicators are partial and indicative and generally only indicative of anything when it is too late, but that this is _far_ better than the alternative of working blind, hearsay and widespread accepted myths and lies about effectiveness and impact. This is a tough challenge as most people will be far happier to continue with what they have always done even if it is wrong than to change to something which we know is only partially accurate.
  • "doing the right job" is more important than "doing the job right" so look at how other sectors address the "right job" issue.

References (external links)