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Abstract

“Give me your money; I’m busy doing things” is not the most convincing fundraising appeal. Instead, “Look at the difference our program has made to the lives of the people that were helped” is far more likely to get a positive response. The overall purpose of mine action is to improve people’s lives and livelihoods, to reduce casualties, and increase compliance with political commitments like the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC). Although this is widely known, standard reporting excessively includes information on how many people received risk education, how many square meters of land were cleared, or how many people attended a training session. In other words, they report activities instead of outcomes. This information tells the donor that the mine action organization was busy but does not tell donors whether their money made positive, long-term differences in beneficiaries’ lives, nor does it help donors understand if the work was good value for money overall. To make a difference, implementing organizations need to know what success looks like and how to report it correctly. Even more important is the need to learn from experience, avoid repeating errors, and identify good practices and clever solutions for future use. Successful mine clearance is not measured by how many mines were removed but by the overall impact on the beneficiaries, the local communities and nations where they live, and how much the organizations involved were able to learn and implement continual improvement.

 

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