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Evaluation report

1999 Mozambique: Evaluation of National Programme of Landmine Education and Awareness (Evaluation of Programa de Educacao papa a Prevencao de Acidentes por Mines [PEPAM])



Author: Nichols, T.

Executive summary

Background

Years of conflict have left hundreds of thousands of unrecorded landmines and explosives throughout Mozambique. While precise figures are unavailable, mine clearance agencies estimate that the number of landmines in country ranges between 350,000 and 500,000. In May 1995. the Government of Mozambique (GoM) established the National Mine Clearance Commission (NMCC) to address the escalation of landmine accidents, which had the central role of creating policy direction and coordinating mine clearance operations in Mozambique. Handicap International (HI), a French NGO, has taken the lead in coordinating the public awareness campaign since 1995. The awareness campaign, called the National Coordination Program of Education Activities to Prevent Mine and UXOs Accidents (Portuguese acronym is PEPAM), was designed to inform, change attitudes, and educate the public about preventative actions to take in the event that a landmine/explosive is discovered or suspected. Further, the goal of the program is to develop a national capacity by building, strengthening, and making technically autonomous a network of institutions and organizations involved in educating Mozambicans about the risks and dangers of landmines and explosive devices.

Purpose / Objective

This evaluation assesses the:
- Qualitative impact of mine awareness actions on target beneficiaries
- Tools used by the program (educational and pedagogic materials, theatre, radio)
- Program methodology
- Data gathering process regarding mine accidents and suspected areas
- Liaison work that has evolved through the program

Methodology

A survey measuring knowledge, attitudes and behaviour about mines was given to 45 individuals. In-depth interviews with partners and program staff (two senior international staff and 16 field staff) were conducted. Existing databases [surveys] were consulted. Observations of plays and lectures were also done. These activities took place in six districts.

Key Findings and Conclusions

The National Coordination Program of Education Activities to Prevent Mine and UXOs Accidents (Portuguese acronym is PEPAM) staff trained over 6,064 field agents and formed over 2,848 mine committees to deliver the campaign messages. It is estimated that approximately 7,030 lectures have taken place. Over 1,521 plays were performed and an overwhelming majority believed that theatre was the "best" and "most powerful" medium to transmit mine messages. 500,000 pamphlets, 100,000 posters, and 5,000 field agent manuals were purchased and it is estimated that 85% of these materials have been distributed.

100% of those surveyed agreed with the statement that 'mines are dangerous', 80% disagreed that 'moving close to a mine is not so bad' and 93% agreed that explosives are dangerous. An overwhelming majority stated that they would consult their local authorities and/or traditional community leaders if they were to find a mine. Of the six provinces visited, only one (Inhambane) had reached a level of complete consciousness from interviews with field partners. The number of child victims from land mines has increased over the period under review.

In collaboration with the Ministry of Education, the Handicap International (HI) staff created a manual for teachers and teaching aids that they could utilize during their routine lessons. It is estimated that 90% of these educational materials have been distributed. Unfortunately, school was out of session in three of the six provinces visited, so the evaluation information collected does not permit a thorough assessment. Interview data with education professionals suggest that the teaching aids are practical and user-friendly.

HI staff also provided training to approximately 2,313 education professionals. The training takes place during the school semesters, preventing some teachers from finishing the entire cycle outlined in the manual.

In the beginning of 1999, HI experienced difficulties distributing the mine awareness and education materials. This bottleneck in distribution created difficulties during training sessions held in both Inhambane and Maputo provinces.

Significant factors obstruct the flow of information in reporting mine-related incidents and suspected zones. Many members on the local and district level mine committees articulated that they wanted some form of payment or compensation for their time and energy. The Provincial Supervisors must confirm each mine discovery before passing on the information to mine removal teams. This, combined with a lack of capacity at the village level and the great distances between villages and district capitals, slows down the flow of information.

Initially, HI did not have funds for training activities and the staff were required to convince and rely on NGOs to cover these costs. These circumstances influenced significantly the manner in which they could activate links with partners. HI's program approach appeared passive and unmoving rather than urgent, proactive and spirited. In addition, in 1998, many of the agents trained left the field, creating an abyss in program activities. In March, the entire HI team met to design a reformed strategy to partner with organizations and governmental institutions.

Recommendations

Mine awareness campaign activities and education should continue for an additional year before phasing out mine awareness/education activities.

Theatre should accompany a tool or an educational material that could be used later to remind people and, ultimately, influence beliefs.

All training targeted for education professionals should occur during the months of December and January or during vacation months.

The data collection system [recording and dismantling found land mines] needs to be revitalized and maintained for long-term operation; creating a separate endeavor concentrating exclusively on collecting valid information in a systematic manner would be most favorable.



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Report information

Date:
1999

Region:
ESARO

Country:
Mozambique

Type:
Evaluation

Theme:
Child Protection - Landmines

Partners:
Handicap International

PIDB:

Follow Up:

Language:
English

Sequence Number:
1999/020

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