Australian Aid, UXO Lao team up to study impact of clearance
Australian Aid and the La o National Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) Programme, or UXO Lao, are seeking to gain better understanding of the impacts UXO clearance work is having on the livelihoods of people in rural areas of Laos.
A new study of the Post Clearance Impact Assessment (PCIA) was commissioned by the Laos-Australia Development Learning Facility (LADLF) and UXO Lao.
Having begun in 2014, the primary goal of the PCIA is to identify who benefits from the clearance of UXO carried out by UXO Lao, and how clearance contributes to changes in livelihoods at the community and household levels.
The new study takes a case study approach to PCIA and also aims to build the capacity of UXO Lao staff at the national and provincial levels to design, implement, analyse and interpret PCIA data.
“Traditionally the effectiveness of UXO action has been assessed by quantitative measures such as area of land cleared and number of items removed,” a researcher from the University of Queensland and former Country Director of the Mines Advisory Group in Laos, Dr Jo Durham, said.
“There has been little systematic evaluation against the broader goals of contributing to physical safety, livelihoods, food security and socio-economic development. The UXO action sector is increasingly trying to build an evidence base to demonstrate its effectiveness in contributing to these broader impacts,” Dr Durham said.
UXO contamination poses a significant ongoing development challenge. It continues to threaten the physical safety, livelihoods, and food security of people in more than 25 percent of villages across Laos.
The research will be conducted over two phases. The first involves assessing data availability and the practical implications of adding PCIA to UXO Lao's current responsibilities. The second phase involves carrying out a PCIA with a methodology adapted to the UXO Lao context.
Both phases will be carried out by UXO Lao in two districts of Saravan province where a UXO Lao clearance team currently supports the work of the Laos Australia Rural Livelihood Programme. This propgramme aims to increase the economic security and resilience of poor women and men in rural areas.
The study is funded by LADLF, an Australian Aid project managed by Adam Smith International.
By Times Reporters
(Latest Update January 26, 2015)