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.
The web portal and SMS service will provide a new structure for improved and timely information sharing between MA actors and affected communities.
For the past two years, the Danish Demining Group (DDG), the humanitarian mine action unit within the Danish Refugee Council, has been working on an ambitious, global innovation allowing for two-way communication between people affected by mines and explosive remnants of war and mine action operators through web- and mobile phone platformsView
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