Linking communities to Mine Action – strengthening community liaison through digital platforms

Organisation: Danish Demining Group (DDG)

Partners: Geneva International Centre for Humanitarian Demining-GICHD, Danish Refugee Council (DRC), CartONG, Frontline SMS

Location: Ukraine

Type of grant: Core – implementation

Status: Completed

  • DDG in Ukraine for April blog

  • Building Marked in Sloviansk town as it is suspected to contain mines

  • Building marked as it contains mines

  • Outskirts of Sloviansk


Summary

Access to timely and accurate information is often very limited in areas where mines and other explosive remnants of war (ERW) pose hazards to the local population.

Danish Demining Group (DDG) is therefore piloting a two-way communication web portal and parallel SMS service that will improve the information provision and exchange between the people living in the affected communities and the Mine Action (MA) actors assisting these communities.

By improving the flow of information, the objective is to empower people living in ERW affected communities to engage with the mine action organisations working in their area, and to enable them to know the hazards which are present in their community. The MA actors will, in turn, increase their dialogue with the affected communities. Ultimately, the increased information exchange will provide grounds for more efficient and effective mine action based on needs expressed by the communities.

DDG will develop and test a web portal, which shall function as a MA information hub hosting the following: a range of location-based information concerning MA activities and services; information regarding the various MA actors operating in the given area; information regarding accidents; and other relevant information. The information in the web portal will be available to the public.

However, to ensure that the information in the web portal surpasses the digital divide, the information will be passed on directly from the web portal to the communities through an existing network of community representatives that meet on a regular basis.

In countries where reporting is centralised around one coordinating body, the web portal would be able to absorb reports directly from the affected communities. In countries where reporting is decentralised, the web portal would function as a referral system.

The web portal primarily targets the affected communities and mine action actors. Secondarily, the web portal can create a link between MA and humanitarian and development organisations.

Upon subscription, the SMS service targets the affected communities with information on the dangers of mines and ERW. Messages of encouragement to report on suspected hazardous items and explanations of how to report should also be disseminated as a component of the system.

Challenge(s) the project will address

  • Affected communities are not consistently informed about: the processes of MA, the activities undertaken by MA actors, and on the dangers of ERW;
  • Affected communities are often unware or uncertain of reporting structures, of the follow up on given reports and of the subsequent response. This constitutes a disincentive to report suspected hazards and to engage with MA actors.

Innovation Factor

The web portal and SMS service will provide a new structure for improved and timely information sharing between MA actors and affected communities.


Added Value

  • Relevant information on MA will be shared with affected communities in a formalised and consistent manner;
  • Affected communities are provided with an additional channel for engaging with the MA actors;
  • Increased trust between the affected communities and MA actors;
  • Enhanced feedback mechanism for communities to use regarding MA activities;
  • Other humanitarian and development actors will be able to access information on MA in their area of operation.


Key Deliverables / Impact

  • Providing a platform for information exchange between affected communities and those assisting these communities;
  • Development of risk education and SMS service
  • Analysis of the impact of this mechanism within a functioning MA environment.

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