In-depth

Alt text for imageUNDP supports the awareness of local communities on gear of mines - Credit: UNDP

UNDP Angola supports mine action activities for more than ten years and its value to the sector is well established. As Mine Action in Angola is currently going through a phase of escalation, with the availability of national budgets and new technologies, UNDP’s role in providing strategic support is increasingly needed to ensure efficiency, the maintenance of standards and that resources reach those most in need.

In addition to UNDP support to Mine Action, UNDP Angola also supports Government initiatives in managing Small Arms and Light Weapons (SALW) and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in recent years.

The decision to pursue programming in demining in 2007 was based on a joint-BCPR/Regional Service Centre assessment. Although a highly specialized technical activity beyond the normal remit of the CO, it was understood that the long-term impact of a properly functioning demining programme would have long-term development impacts which would enable recovery and confidence building in the rural communities.

UNDP Angola seized the opportunity with the view that its involvement is predicated on developing sustainable national capacity (database, standards, procedures) that would allow for human security concerns to dictate demining priorities.

Through UNDP’s support for demining brigades established in all 18 provinces, a national database was established, and demining standards and operational procedures, based on international standards, were approved.

Overall, the focus on prioritizing development and the production of knowledge products in support of working in the area of mine action outweighs the niche-technical specialization that the sector demands.

The UNDP Angola also contributes to the institutional strengthening and capacity development of the National Service for Civil Protection and Firefighters (SNPCB), the executive branch of the National Commission for Civil Protection (CNPC), in data collection, processing and information management for emergency preparedness and response. 

With the support of the UNDP Angola, the National Commission for Civil Protection improves its coordination and oversight functions vis-a-vis the Provincial Commissions for Civil Protection on the operational side of the National Contingency Plan for 2009-2014. 

This is facilitated through a series of provincial workshops to better disseminate the Plan and the roles of each stakeholder (the commission is a multi-sectorial body comprised of more than 20 government ministries), particularly targeting the local communities.

Those interventions constitute an opportunity for the Provincial and Municipal Commissions (most of them not functioning de facto) to better understand their roles and responsibilities in the prevention and preparation for disasters through the application of tools for DRR like the Capacities and Vulnerabilities Participatory Assessment (CVPA; community profiling), Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Information and Data Management (IM).       

In order to complement the training on techniques, tools and methodologies for DRR, particularly IM, GIS and CVPA, UNDP Angola provided all 18 Provincial Civil Protection Commissions with a set of tools including one computer complete with Devinfo software, and a printer.