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Abstract

The conflation of humanitarian and military spheres has long been a feature of modern conflict, restricting access to areas in which the need for humanitarian assistance is greatest. However, the advent of mobile technology has provided novel opportunities to circumvent old problems. In Ukraine, The HALO Trust’s (HALO) ability to conduct nontechnical survey is restricted in certain areas, and the security environment means this is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. Nevertheless, HALO pioneered a number of techniques that allowed for systematic assessments of the region, painting a general picture of contamination that will facilitate pro-active non-technical survey once the situation improves. This article examines HALO’s work in eastern Ukraine and illustrates how tablets, applications, and geographic information systems (GIS) can enhance the capacity of humanitarian organizations to identify hazardous areas in insecure environments. In addition, the article summarizes the initial survey findings conducted in Ukraine to date by international humanitarian operators.

 

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