Call for Research Proposals: Community Perspectives of Humanitarian Mine Action in Lao PDR and Viet Nam’
The ASEAN Regional Mine Action Center (ARMAC) is calling for research proposals related to ‘Community Perspectives of Humanitarian Mine Action in Lao PDR and Viet Nam’.
Since there is a serious lack of support for the explosive ordnance (EO) victims being identified, ASEAN member states (AMS), together with ARMAC have stepped in with a project entitled; “Enhance Victim Assistance Program or Victim Assistance project; funded by ASEAN-Korean Cooperation Fund (AKCF) to provide support to the EO victims. This project has five indicative objectives, one of which is to undertake research on the aforementioned topic.
It is almost three decades since Humanitarian Mine Action began in Southeast Asia. While operations in the early years focused on EO removing to reduce injuries and fatalities, the contribution of mine action to social and economic development become increasingly important. The United Nations International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) define mine action as “Activities which aim to reduce the social, economic and environmental impact of mines, and EO including unexploded sub-munitions. Mine action is not just about demining; it is also about people and societies, and how they are affected by EO contamination. The objective of mine action is to reduce the risk from EO to a level where people can live safely; in which economic, social and health development can occur free from the constraints imposed by EO contamination, and in which the victims’ different needs can be addressed.”
Mine action operators have incorporated approaches to better involve affected communities in mine action interventions to tap into local knowledge, to ensure that clearance, risk education and victim assistance reflect the priorities and needs of the impacted populations. However, EO affected populations comprise a variety of people of different ages, gender, ethnicity, literacy levels, and economic status. They also include people with disabilities. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have emphasized the importance of “leaving no-one behind”, and the mine action sector has increasingly sought to ensure that their field operation work (clearance and risk education) and victim assistance services are inclusive. However, currently there is a limited evidence-base to demonstrate how well different people in contaminated communities have been able to contribute to and shape the nature of mine action interventions and whether their different needs have been satisfactorily met. The range of approaches applied by the mine action sector in Southeast Asia to include and address the needs of diverse communities has also not been systematically documented. Having a clearer understanding of the approaches implemented to enhance inclusion, combined with the perspectives of the impacted people on their ability to participate and influence, can provide valuable lessons to inform future approaches and greater inclusion.
Research goal, question, target groups and timeline
Goal: The central goal of the research is to investigate the roles of the communities involved in the process of the prioritization of land clearance, explosive ordnance risk education, victim assistance and residual management. In addition, the study is to explore the needs and rights of EO affected communities, especially EO survivors and their dependents can be best addressed by mine action interventions.
Research Question: What has been the level of involvement of the EO affected communities in Humanitarian Mine Action activities (victim assistance services, explosive ordnance risk education, land clearance and residual risk management) in Lao PDR and Viet Nam?
Target Groups and Location: Explosive Ordnance (EO) affected communities and relevant stakeholders in Lao PDR and Viet Nam
- 6 rural EO affected communities in two provinces in each country — 3 communities per province per country (different geographical areas are highly recommended);
- Representatives from related government and non-government stakeholders in each country (ministries/mine action authorities/operators/service providers, INGOs/NGOs/UN Agencies/academic institutions);
Period: 6 months
Who can apply, and what type of proposals may be presented:
This call for proposal of the case study in each country is opened to any research individuals and institutions. Data and evidence based are essential for the research.
The institution/research team in each country will be responsible for managing and implementing the research study in the field and for ensuring that the research is conducted to the best possible standards.
International research advisor will be assigned to support and consolidate the research in both Lao PDR and Viet Nam. The successful applicant working in each country is expecting to collaborate closely among each other and together with the international research advisor to ensure the research process and design in both countries are aligned.
The study will be used:
- as a reference for an assessment on how each activity of mine action is being prioritized;
- as a reference for an assessment of the needs of the EO victims and the project’s upcoming program/s;
- to disseminate to relevant stakeholders including communities, service providers, mine action related organizations/institutions; and
- to share in ARMAC’s digital media for those who are interested in its findings.
- Raw data and related notes being produced during the study;
- Research study written in English language (in Word and PDF file formats).
Application Process and Deadline
The research proposal should be submitted to email address: firstname.lastname@example.org by 16 October 2022, 23:00 (GMT +7). Applicants are required to submit a proposal in English following the template provided in Annex I and II.
Workplan and Timeframe
The workplan and timeframe of this research is until 31 March 2023. The execution of this research project is expected to start as soon as possible.
Incomplete application will NOT be considered, and only shortlisted candidates will be notified. Applicants are invited to apply as early as possible. The applications will be assessed on a rolling basis. More information about ARMAC, visit www.aseanmineaction.org.
 Association of the Southeast Asian Nations – a regional organization comprised of 10 Member States i.e. Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
 ARMAC was established by the ten ASEAN member states (AMS) to serve as a centre of excellence to encourage efforts to address explosive ordnance (EO)/landmines and explosive remnants of war (mine/ERW) for interested ASEAN Member States (AMS) and to facilitate cooperation between interested AMS and relevant institutions. More information about ARMAC: https://aseanmineaction.org/.
 In this document, Explosive Ordnance (EO) will be used to refer to Landmines and explosive remnants of war (mine/ERW) and other submunitions. See also mine action glossary: ‘the International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) 04.10’ (2nd edition, amendment 10, February 2019). https://www.mineactionstandards.org/fileadmin/MAS/documents/standards/Glossary_of_mine_action_terms_and_abbreviations_Ed.2_Am.10.pdf
 UNMAS, International Mine Action Standards, IMAS 4.10, “Glossary of mine action terms, definitions and abbreviations,” 1 January 2003.