Explaining how unexploded ordnance clearance enhances livelihoods in the Lao PDR

Durham, Jo, Nanhthavong, Vong and Sychareun, Vanphanom (2016) Explaining how unexploded ordnance clearance enhances livelihoods in the Lao PDR. Evaluation and Program Planning, 54 82-93. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.09.005

Author Durham, Jo
Nanhthavong, Vong
Sychareun, Vanphanom
Title Explaining how unexploded ordnance clearance enhances livelihoods in the Lao PDR
Journal name Evaluation and Program Planning   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0149-7189
Publication date 2016-02
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2015.09.005
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 54
Start page 82
End page 93
Total pages 12
Place of publication Kidlington, Oxford United Kingdom
Publisher Pergamon Press
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract

Following violent conflict, the continued presence of landmines and unexploded ordnance pose a barrier to rebuilding livelihoods. Mine action removes these explosive remnants of conflict to enable communities to safely return contaminated land to productive use. There is limited understanding, however, of how, why, in what context and in what respects mine action contributes to livelihoods. Yet, such information is required for effective resource allocation, checking underlying program assumptions, understanding benefits and potential harms.


The evaluation was undertaken in the Lao People's Democratic Republic. It used an interpretive case study design and applied the principles of realist evaluation. Program staff and local government authorities were interviewed (N = 37) and program beneficiaries. In total, 38 individual interviews with program beneficiaries were conducted and eighteen focus group interviews (9 with males, 9 with females), each with 6–9 participants.


The evaluation identified two main mechanisms through which the program ‘worked’: (1) communication pre- and post-clearance and (2) the delivery of the product (cleared land).


The realist approach helped to refine the program theory, highlighted the role of self- and task-efficacy and community communication, assisted in identifying contextual factors that influence outcomes and suggested a revision of expected outcomes.
Keyword Theory-driven evaluation
Social and behavioural mechanisms
Realist evaluation
Program theory
Incentive program
UXO clearance
Mine action
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
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Created: Thu, 29 Oct 2015, 11:54:15 EST by Jo Durham on behalf of School of Public Health