The HALO Trust (HALO) arrived in Colombia in 2009 and, once accredited, began operations in 2013. HALO is currently the largest civilian humanitarian demining organization in the country, operating in twenty-five municipalities across eight departments.¹ The United States has supported HALO from the outset in Colombia and remains the single biggest donor for demining in the country. In 2019, through U.S. Department of State support, HALO began an innovative study to investigate the causal link between landmine clearance and socioeconomic development in Colombia. The study focused on two municipalities in the south of Antioquia Department—Nariño and La Unión—both of which were declared landmine-free by HALO in 2016. The following article describes the methodology behind this project, challenges faced during implementation, and the ultimate results of the study. It also seeks to demonstrate, more broadly, why such studies are vital for understanding the medium- to long-term effects of landmine removal in communities previously affected by explosive remnants of war (ERW).



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