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Over the last fifteen years the mine action community has taken major steps towards professionalising Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE). A central element in that process has been the development of international standards for mine and Explosive Remnants of War (ERW) risk education, originally referred to as Mine Risk Education (MRE). Initially seven International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) on MRE were adopted in 2004, having been developed by UNICEF in consultation with major MRE actors.

Since their adoption in 2004, the MRE standards set a global framework based on which national standards and other technical notes have been developed by countries and programmes. In 2009, the seven existing MRE standards were merged into a single document, IMAS 12.10. In 2018 MRE was renamed as EORE.

This version of IMAS 12.10 has been updated based on input from both an IMAS mandated Technical Working Group, as well as the global Explosive Ordnance Risk Education Advisory Group which was established in 2019. This represents the most substantial update of IMAS 12.10 since 2009.

1. Scope

This standard establishes principles and provides guidance for the effective assessment, planning, implementation, management, monitoring and evaluation of Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE). It replaces and supersedes all previous International Mine Action Standards (IMAS) on Mine Risk Education (MRE), and is intended to serve as a basic framework for EORE operations globally.

2. References

A list of normative references is given in Annex A. Normative references are important documents to which reference is made in this standard and which form part of the provisions of this standard.

3. Terms, definitions and abbreviations

A complete glossary of all the terms, definitions and abbreviations used in the IMAS series is given in IMAS 04.10.

In the IMAS series, the words 'shall', 'should' and 'may' are used to indicate the intended degree of compliance.

  1. 'shall' is used to indicate requirements, methods or specifications that are to be applied in order to conform to the standard;

  2. 'should' is used to indicate the preferred requirements, methods or specifications; and

  3. 'may' is used to indicate a possible method or course of action.

The term 'National Mine Action Authority' (NMAA) refers to the government entity, often an interministerial committee, in an EO-affected country charged with the responsibility for broad strategic, policy and regulatory decisions related to mine action.

Note: In the absence of an NMAA, it may be necessary and appropriate for the UN, or some other body, to assume some or all of the responsibilities of an NMAA.

The term ‘Mine Action Centre’ (MAC) or ‘Mine Action Coordination Centre’ (MACC) refers to an organisation that, on behalf of the NMAA where it exists, typically is responsible for planning, coordination, overseeing and in some cases implementation of mine action projects. For national mine action programmes, the MAC/MACC usually acts as the operational office of the NMAA.

The term ‘Explosive Ordnance’ (EO) is interpreted as encompassing mine action’s response to the following munitions:

  • Mines
  • Cluster Munitions
  • Unexploded Ordnance
  • Abandoned Ordnance
  • Booby traps
  • Other devices (as defined by CCW APII)
  • Improvised Explosive Devices *

Note: *Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) meeting the definition of mines, booby-traps or other devices fall under the scope of mine action, when their clearance is undertaken for humanitarian purposes and in areas where active hostilities have ceased.

The term ‘Explosive Ordnance Risk Education’ (EORE) refers to activities which seek to reduce the risk of injury from EO by raising awareness of women, girls, boys and men in accordance with their different vulnerabilities, roles and needs, and promoting behavioural change. Core activities include public information dissemination, education and training.

The term ‘EORE Operator’ refers to any organisation, including governmental, non-governmental, civil society organisations (e.g., women’s organisations, youth organisations, red cross and red crescent societies etc.), commercial entities and military personnel (including peace-keeping forces), or practitioner, which is responsible for implementing EORE projects or tasks. The EORE operator may be a prime contractor, subcontractor, consultant or agent.

The term ‘EORE Team’ refers to an element of an organisation, however named, that conducts one or more prescribed EORE activities such as an EORE needs assessment, public information project, a school-based education project or a community mine action liaison project evaluation.

4. EORE general

4.1. What is EORE

EORE, as defined in section 3 (above), is designed to ensure that women, girls, boys, and men in affected communities are aware of the risks from EO and are encouraged to behave in a way that reduces the risk to people, property, and the environment. The objective is to reduce the risk to a level where people can live safely, thus contributing to an environment where economic and social development can occur free from the constraints imposed by EO contamination.

EORE is an integral part of mine action planning and implementation and is one of the five complementary groups of activities or ‘pillars’ of the mine action sector. Wherever possible, stakeholders should ensure that EORE is integrated with other activities such as survey and clearance. EORE is implemented as a stand-alone activity under specific circumstances, for example, in areas where ongoing conflict inhibits or slows the deployment of survey and clearance teams or where it is provided to people who have been displaced by conflict. EORE may also form part of a school curriculum and not be linked to other aspects of mine action. Programmes1 and projects2 may be implemented in situations of emergency, transition, or development.

Owing to the nature of the contexts that they work in, EORE operators are required to work in a conflict sensitive manner and to take the utmost care not to put the community they work in and the EORE staff at risk of harm or hardship as a consequence of their interventions. EORE is delivered in line with the core humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.

4.2 International legal obligations to provide EORE

Certain international treaties impose legal obligations on States Parties to provide EORE. The Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention obliges States Parties ‘in a position to do so ... to provide assistance for mine awareness programs.’3 The Convention on Cluster Munitions requires that States Parties conduct ‘risk reduction education’ to ensure awareness among civilians living in or around cluster munitions contaminated areas of the risks posed by such remnants.4 Protocol V to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons (CCW) requires that States Parties and parties to an armed conflict ‘take all feasible precautions in the territory under their control affected by explosive remnants of war5 to protect the civilian population, individual civilians and civilian objects from the risks and effects of explosive remnants of war... These precautions may include warnings [and] risk education to the civilian population...’.6 Similarly, CCW Amended Protocol II on Prohibitions or Restrictions on the Use of Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices requires that all feasible precautions shall be taken to protect civilians from the effects of these weapons.7

4.2.1 Flexibility

EORE programmes need to be flexible enough to react and adapt quickly to changes in circumstances (e.g. conflict, displacement, causes of accidents, contamination, natural disaster, etc.).

4.3. The role of EORE in a broader mine action programme

4.3.1 General

Mine action field operations that are planned or implemented alongside EORE can often benefit from considerable information exchange and close working relationships that EORE operators necessarily forge with EO affected communities. Some of the practical contributions that EORE may make within a broader mine action programme to protect affected populations are identified below (Section 4.3.2 – 4.3.8).

4.3.2 Communication of safety messages

Communication of EORE safety messages refers to information and education activities that seek to minimise deaths and injuries from EO by raising awareness of the risk among individuals, communities, and institutions and by promoting safer behaviour. Messages may be transmitted through a mix of interpersonal face-to-face communication, educational curriculum, mass media (e.g. TV and Radio), electronic media (e.g. social media), traditional media, or small media (e.g. posters and leaflets). Activities may be conducted in formal and informal settings.

In an emergency situation, due to time constraints and lack of accurate data, communication through public information channels may be the most practical means of communicating safety information to reduce risk. In more stable contexts or in some protracted emergencies, communication of safety messages may be carried out as part of a more comprehensive risk- reduction strategy within, or beyond, a mine action programme.

4.3.3 Data gathering about at-risk communities

National authorities and EORE operators should gather sufficient information to gain as accurate as possible an understanding of the extent of the EO threat and its impact, to understand the prevalence/scale of unsafe behaviour, and to understand the reasons for risk taking.

Data should be gathered from affected communities and other sources on:

  1. the location of EO contaminated areas;

  2. the impact of/threats posed by EO on the civilian population, including casualty and accident data; and

  3. current and anticipated population movement.

Casualty data should be disaggregated by outcome (injury or death), sex, age, disability, geographic location, time, cause and place of accident, type of EO, whether the community had prior knowledge of the hazard, whether the community had received any education in safe behaviour, any Victim Assistance (VA) support received, and socio economic needs.

The information gathered should be used to inform the design, prioritisation, implementation and monitoring adequacy of EORE interventions, allowing national authorities and EORE operators to properly identify target groups. The information collected may also be used to support other complementary mine action activities.

4.3.4 Community liaison

Community liaison in mine action refers to the processes, techniques and information exchange that encourage mine action actors to develop a better understanding of affected communities and their existing assets, needs, and priorities. The process also allows affected communities, local authorities and development organisations to gain a better understanding of mine action services and to participate in defining their requirements for EORE, survey, marking, clearance and VA. Community liaison facilitates information exchange between national authorities, mine action agencies, relief and development organisations and bodies, and affected communities.

Community liaison should ensure that community members are aware of the existing threat and are involved in identifying their own risks and determining their own priorities for mine action assistance. It may also support communities to develop locally appropriate solutions to reduce the risk in their communities. Community liaison should also ensure that mine action programmes address community needs and priorities and involve community members including women, girls, boys, and men, and including those from marginalised groups in the setting of priorities as a means of informing design, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of mine action operations.

Community liaison is particularly relevant to EORE, but it is important to all pillars of mine action. Community liaison may be undertaken by a dedicated mine action team or be incorporated in the work of a more comprehensive EORE programme. Community liaison should be carried out by staff that have been appropriately trained, equipped and qualified to ensure that a coherent, conflict sensitive approach is applied when interacting with communities.

4.3.5 EORE support for survey, marking and clearance of EO

Land Release includes Non-Technical Survey (NTS), Technical Survey (TS), marking, and clearance of EO. EORE interventions should be designed and implemented in such a way that they contribute to each of these activities, as well as to promote support for them within the affected community. All EORE operations should take a conflict sensitive approach and be implemented in line with the principles of ‘do no harm’. In relation to specific activities in terms of NTS and TS, EORE operators should8:

  1. identify types of EO present;
  2. contribute to the accurate identification of specific location of EO contamination;

  3. help ensure that the communities understand the parameters for cancelling land through NTS and reducing land through TS;

  4. understand how EO are affecting the lives and well-being of the community; and

  5. record information on community priorities for clearance.

In terms of marking, EORE operators should:

  1. gather and disseminate information about local warning signs;

  2. ensure community understanding and respect for formal minefield/EO threat marking and fencing; and

  3. record information on community priorities for marking (including suitable materials that will reduce the risk of removal, theft, or destruction).

In terms of clearance, EORE operators should:

  1. maintain close working relationships with local authorities and clearance operators;
  2. advise the community of the arrival of clearance teams;
  3. inform the community about safety procedures to be used during clearance operations;
  4. inform women, girls, boys and men about areas that have been cleared and those that remain hazardous, including marking of cleared and uncleared areas;
  5. contribute to handover of cancelled, reduced and cleared land, including confidence- building measures to show the community that land is actually safe; and
  6. follow-up, by assessing whether the released land is used, and more generally by ensuring that communities understand the high level of confidence provided through land release.

In terms of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and IED Disposal (IEDD), EORE operators

  1. maintain close working relationships with local authorities and clearance operators;
  2. gather and report information on EOD/IEDD spot tasks; and
  3. facilitate the work of the EOD/IEDD teams within communities to remove and destroy EO.

4.3.6 EORE support for victim assistance

VA refers to a set of activities addressing the needs and rights of EO victims and comprises data collection, emergency and ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, psycho-social support, socio- economic inclusion, and laws and policies. EORE may facilitate the provision of assistance to EO victims including survivors, as well as, wherever possible, other persons with disabilities.

In particular, EORE operators may:

  1. identify EO victims including survivors and other persons with disabilities in need of assistance;

  2. contribute to EO VA data collection and referral systems;

  3. identify national and local capacities for VA, and under what conditions assistance is available;

  4. provide to survivors and other victims detailed information about the availability of assistance and how this assistance can be obtained;

  5. liaise with rehabilitation centres and other service providers in an effort to ensure assistance is provided;

  6. if necessary, facilitate transport of the survivor and family member to and from the centre and other service providers for treatment; and

  7. consider employing survivors in their work, if possible and where appropriate, as EORE facilitators.

IMAS 13.10 provides additional guidance on VA in mine action.

4.3.7 EORE support for advocacy

EORE may play a role in building political will within concerned countries in favour of mine action. In addition, EORE may consider including a national or regional advocacy element. This may be advocacy in favour of the Anti-Personnel Mine Ban Convention, the Convention on Cluster Munitions, and the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, especially its Protocol V and Amended Protocol II, as well as other relevant international law. It may also advocate in favour of VA, including support for the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. However, EORE operators should not risk their neutrality and safety of staff by pursuing advocacy in an unstable or hostile environment.

4.3.8 EO injury surveillance

The foundation stone of an injury prevention strategy is to gather as much information as possible on every single accident/incident. EO injury surveillance refers to the ongoing and systematic collection, analysis, interpretation, and dissemination of EO incidents-related data, essential for effective planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of EO risk reduction activities, including EORE. Injury surveillance is a public health tool used to identify at-risk populations, predict patterns, and recognise risk factors. An injury surveillance system may take different shapes, it may be integrated into a broader national ‘all injury’ surveillance system led by the Ministry of Health or the Ministry of Interior, or developed as a separate system led by a NMAA and only dedicated to EO incidents. In emergency contexts, EO injury surveillance may be led by an international organisation or by an international or national non-governmental organisation (NGO). In some circumstances, and as a temporary measure, EO injury surveillance may be based on media reports or other sources; however, if alternate systems are used, they should be developed with a strict and explicit methodology to avoid duplications and other bias.

EO injury surveillance systems should be established and maintained by the NMAA (or organisation acting on its behalf) or embedded in a broader national injury surveillance system as they provide an essential source of evidence to systematically document the most at-risk areas, the most at-risk groups, and the most at-risk behaviour, to support the targeting, tailoring and prioritisation of EORE interventions. An important prerequisite for a solid injury surveillance system is the integration of robust protocols to protect confidentiality; however, some alternate systems (media based) do not require names of casualties or other details.

5. Needs, vulnerabilities, capacities assessment and information management

5.1. General

National authorities and EORE operators should base their projects on a careful assessment of needs and capacities (an ‘EORE needs assessment’). The purpose of an EORE needs assessment is to identify, analyse and prioritise the local EO risks, to assess the capacities and vulnerabilities of the women, girls, boys and men in the affected communities and other stakeholders, and to determine the options for conducting EORE.

The purpose of gathering data and assessing needs should be established in agreement with all relevant stakeholders. EORE operators should share results of their needs assessments with national authorities in formal reports and with other stakeholders, through, for example; briefings to community leaders, community-based organisations, and community members. This is particularly applicable for data collected from the affected communities themselves. All data shall be collected and managed/stored in line with relevant data collection regulations. The analysis of relevant data may be used to improve EORE projects.

5.2. The conduct of needs assessments

All needs assessments should contribute to national mine action assessments, in order to better plan programme activities. Any needs assessment should be reported to the NMAA (if it was not commissioned by the NMAA in the first place), and/or other competent coordination entity, which should then share it with other relevant organisations and bodies.

Although a needs assessment ideally precedes the planning and implementation of EORE, it is not a one-off activity but rather an important component of EORE project cycle management. It should review the different needs, vulnerabilities, and expectations of the affected communities in each EO affected region (province or district). This is part of the monitoring responsibilities of EORE operators and the NMAA (or organisation acting on its behalf).

The process of data gathering and analysis should be transparent. The process of a needs assessment should ensure the participation of women, girls, boys and men from the at-risk community and include marginalised and other hard-to-reach at-risk groups (persons with disabilities, elderly, out-of-school children, etc.). National and local authorities and other EORE operators working in the area should also be informed and included in the process.

Those staff conducting a needs assessment should be appropriately trained, equipped and gender balanced to do so. As a minimum, staff should be trained to:

  1. understand the reason for gathering the data and how it will be analysed and used;

  2. understand the principles outlined in IMAS series 10: Safety and Occupational Health;

  3. understand country-specific data collection and management sensitivities and protocols, such as those that have been defined by humanitarian coordination mechanisms or relevant authorities; and

  4. remain cognisant of the need to obtain on-going refresher-training, particularly in relation to norms and ethical standards for gathering data and conducting a needs assessment in line with humanitarian principles.

In the event that EORE teams are deployed to work in complex environments, or where the boundaries between safe and unsafe areas may be less clear, EORE operators shall conduct a formal risk assessment and take appropriate measures to mitigate any security concerns highlighted. At all times EORE operators shall ensure that adequate medical support is provided to EORE teams in accordance with IMAS 10.40.

5.3. Principles applicable to the conduct of needs assessments

Those conducting EORE needs assessments should draw on existing information wherever possible.

Data should be gathered on nationally standardised forms, where they exist, to facilitate entry into the national mine action information system. In addition, organisations may also gather other data for internal purposes using their own forms. Those staff charged with gathering data shall be suitably trained for that purpose, including on the ethics of data gathering. Care should be taken that this process does not become a mechanical experience, but that it develops as an open conversation allowing interviewees to speak naturally.

EORE practitioners shall not raise expectations that cannot be fulfilled, by, for example, inferring (intentionally or unintentionally) that clearance in the area may be given a higher priority following an EORE needs assessment.

The different needs of women, girls, boys, and men should be considered. Community members’ perceptions and requirements may also vary according to age, gender, social, ethnic, religious and educational background, etc.

EO survivors have both the right to privacy, and the right to be included in decisions and programmes affecting them. This right shall be respected at all times.

All data related to EORE needs assessments shall be entered into the national mine action information system (subject to requirements for confidentiality or other ethical considerations). It may be used to support other mine action activities and broader development planning.

5.4. Data collection and analysis as part of an EORE needs assessment

Data gathered during an EORE needs assessment provides the foundations upon which the plan can be developed and rolled out based on a solid prioritisation methodology. As a minimum the data collected should allow the following to be determined:

  1. identification of main target groups, including the most at-risk groups, both social and geographical. This can be achieved by gathering comprehensive data on who is taking risks, what type of risks, when and why (which may relate to gendered social roles), and who is affected by EO;9

  2. baseline and comparative data on local knowledge of EO, attitudes, beliefs, norms, coping mechanisms, and sources of information regarding EO risks and personal safety;

  3. basic information on the EO threat (e.g. type of devices used, nature of suspected areas where such devices are found, any formal and informal marking used, etc.);

  4. most affected areas (data on where people are injured, activities undertaken at the time of accidents, where the risk is greatest, where risk-taking behaviour is occurring, etc.);

  5. pre-existing EORE messages and activities, according to target groups;

  6. risk communication/education and community engagement approaches and methodologies likely to induce behavioural change. Community input should be sought in assessing any existing local safety strategies;

  7. local channels of communication: The way target groups communicate and learn taking account of local cultural considerations, languages and gender and age-based norms;

  8. contact details of community leaders and other key community members and groups who might support EORE and potentially become agents of change towards safer behaviour;

  9. times and locations where target groups are available for EORE activities/safety messages taking account of delivery method;

  10. institutional arrangements and partnerships that may facilitate EORE activities/safety messages and emergency responses; and

  11. resources available.

5.5. Utilisation of needs assessments

There are different forms of EORE strategic and operational plans, and the duration of plans varies. Typically, an EORE strategic plan, in a non-emergency context, will be a multi-year plan, 

while an action plan or work plan will be for one year or less.

Prioritisation mechanisms at national and local levels are critical and EORE prioritisation criteria should be developed in collaboration with all relevant stakeholders. Those criteria should be explicit and transparent.

Generally, it is not possible to deliver to the whole at-risk population EORE services of the same quality at the same time. Not everyone is at equal risk – and therefore in equal need. Hence the importance of developing a priority-setting mechanism to determine which community will have the first priority for EORE activities, which will have the second priority, and so on.

A community mine action plan may also be developed, based on the expressed needs of the affected community. These needs should be incorporated into the higher level of mine action planning.

Planning is essential to effective implementation and should be based upon careful and on-going assessments of the needs of affected communities. The assessment should be conducted with the active involvement of women, girls, boys, and men in the affected community. Planning should also determine how the monitoring and evaluation of the programme will be conducted.

Planning should seek to formulate clearly defined objectives for EORE interventions.

6. EORE messages and message delivery

6.1. General

Safety messages are at the heart of any EORE initiative. Developing, testing and disseminating these messages and assessing their impact should be the result of a carefully planned strategy and a core component of the EORE project cycle management. A nationwide approach to addressing risk-taking behaviour, target groups, messages, etc. may not always be the best way to deliver EORE. Some countries have significant cultural and religious differences that significantly impact the nature of behaviour.

All communication in EORE should be based on a carefully planned strategy that is targeted to specific at-risk groups and which is socially, culturally and age appropriate. In many situations, men and boys make up the majority of direct victims, however, this does not mean efforts should focus exclusively on males; first, women and girls are often involved in accidents due to carrying out different types of activities, often having lower levels of knowledge about contamination in post-conflict settings, and second, they are often powerful agents for wider change, including behaviour change among boys and male adolescents/adults. As a minimum the following elements should be included in any EORE communication strategy:

  1. risk-taking behaviours that are to be addressed;

  2. reasons for risk-taking behaviour;

  3. target groups and areas;

  4. type of EO contamination threatening communities;

  5. local culture including social norms;

  6. other complementary mine action activities taking place;

  7. key safety messages;

  8. communication channels; and

  9. means of dissemination.

6.2 Message development

Messages to be communicated depend on target audiences, the behaviour to be promoted, and the factors likely to influence target audiences to adopt the desired behaviour. Messages or symbols should be culturally, linguistically, and socially appropriate. There should be positive messages, as people need to feel that they can take action and that, by taking action, they can improve their own and their families’ lives. A message does not need to be short, but it should be clear. Messages should also be regularly revised and adapted to reflect the changing context including new threats, movement of population, new patterns of dangerous behaviour, etc..

All EORE messages shall comply with the principles of ‘do no harm’ and the core humanitarian principles.

6.3. Message testing

EORE operators shall test all messages and suggested means of delivery with a representative sample of the target audiences including highly vulnerable groups before they are considered for wider dissemination.

Testing that takes into account any differences in literacy and language skills, between social or cultural groups, and between women, girls, boys, and men may be done at various levels of sophistication with different costs. Such testing does not necessarily have to take a long time but should be sufficient to establish that messages or materials as a minimum are:

  1. understandable;

  2. socially acceptable;

  3. relevant;

  4. realistic; and

  5. persuasive.

6.4. Monitoring, reviewing and revising EORE messages

Messages and message delivery should be monitored by every EORE project or programme to ensure their effectiveness. A monitoring system should be established at the planning stage. Monitoring of EORE messaging should establish that messages are:

  1. relevant in case of context change;
  2. reaching their target audiences;
  3. being understood and accepted (knowledge and attitude changes); and
  4. being acted upon (behaviour change).

7. Using media and other communication tools

7.1 Designing EORE media and materials

In determining whether there is a need for media and other communication tools to support EORE,

the difficulties of getting the right message to the right person in the right language, symbol or graphic using all available communication tools is an important consideration.

The development of an EORE programme usually requires the use of a strategic set of interventions based on a variety of approaches, media and materials that will aim to maximise positive behaviour change among the at-risk population in a given context. Those media and 

materials may include for example; radios, TVs, videos, websites, social media, text messages, mobile applications, puppet shows, theatre, printed materials and other tools.

Adapting EORE materials from other contexts could potentially be inappropriate or misleading in certain circumstances. Any adaption of EORE materials between contexts or settings shall, therefore, be carefully tested before dissemination. EORE products should be re-tested when the context and EO risk patterns change.

7.2. Testing EORE media and materials

As with messages, EORE media and materials shall be tested with a representative sample of the target audience including highly vulnerable groups before they are considered for wider dissemination. For example, a focus group discussion or group or individual interviews may be conducted to discuss the proposed approach with selected members of the target audience.

Testing of EORE materials shall establish as a minimum that the designs are understandable, socially acceptable, relevant, attractive, and persuasive.

7.3. Monitoring and revising EORE media and materials

As part of a project or programme-wide monitoring system, the relevance of and reaction to EORE messaging, should be regularly checked. Where it is assessed that media and materials are resulting in the wrong message being delivered, they shall no longer be used until they have been effectively revised. Appropriate resources should be allocated for any revisions required as a result of the monitoring.

8. Implementing EORE

8.1. General

This section identifies particular issues in the implementation of EORE projects and programmes, in particular EORE in an emergency and how to promote sustainable EORE.

8.2. EORE in an emergency situation

An emergency may result from an armed conflict or a natural disaster.10 EORE in an emergency refers to efforts in raising awareness of a significant new risk from EO. The aim is to promote safe behaviour among the largest number of civilians potentially at risk, in the shortest possible time. The scope of an emergency intervention may vary considerably; it may be nationwide or extremely localised, and the emergency situation may last for days, weeks, months, or years.

EORE in emergencies that result from an armed conflict includes EORE interventions both during and post conflict. Conducting EORE during conflict is extremely sensitive and requires a conflict- sensitive approach in order to ensure that the community is not put at risk from reprisals. In such circumstances, reporting of suspicious items is especially sensitive. Also, EORE during conflict must bear the security of the EORE teams in mind.

8.2.1 Key challenges for EORE in an emergency situation

Well implemented EORE should effectively be an exchange of information with specific groups within at-risk communities to support sustained behaviour change. In an emergency, and owing to time constraints, communication might be one-way. The aim is to reach the greatest number of at-risk people, as soon as possible with information about the EO and basic safety messages 

to encourage safe behaviour.11 Population displacement (IDPs, refugees and returnees) or even movement of local and host communities are particular risk factors in such circumstances. As accessibility to the at-risk population is often limited due to security reasons or destruction of infrastructure, this requires the development of innovative strategies to engage in ‘hard-to-reach’ areas, provide training and monitor activities. At the end of an emergency phase, an evaluation or re-assessment may be required to establish a new/different post-emergency EORE approach.

8.2.2 EORE messages in an emergency situation

In an emergency, messages may tend to be general in nature as comprehensive needs assessments are not typically possible. Determining the key messages in such cases depends on a variety of factors, such as the target audience, the type of EO threats, the types of risk-taking behaviour and the information to which the NMAA and EORE operators have access. Efforts should focus on raising awareness of the threats and stressing safe behaviour, such as recognition of potentially dangerous areas, as well as who to report to in case EO or hazardous areas are identified.

8.3. EORE in schools

Integrating EORE into the school system and curriculum is a strategy primarily developed in countries facing a widespread and protracted EO problem, including in emergency contexts, which is likely to be faced by successive generations of people. It is a method to target a very large number of children and is appropriate in countries where the national government has accepted that EO are a long-term or residual problem, requiring multiple and sustainable solutions. The information and its means of provision should be appropriate to different age groups. EORE does not have to be a specific subject but may be incorporated as an extra- curricular activity or as a curriculum on life skills or put into a social environment curriculum.

8.3.1 Integrating EORE into the curriculum

Integrating EORE into the school curriculum or as an extra curricula activity is distinct from projects where EORE teams visit schools and make presentations. In setting up a programme to integrate EORE into the education system it is necessary to determine if it will involve all schools in the country or only particular schools in heavily affected areas.

The NMAA should determine whether the national or local authorities and school systems have the capacity and willingness to undertake such a programme. Many regional and rural schools may be under-equipped and teaching staff may be poorly trained and under-paid. Acceptance by the ministry or department of education and the heads of the targeted schools is essential from the beginning of the programme. These institutions will be involved in developing the programme and will be ultimately responsible for implementing, monitoring and providing the resources for it.

It may be that EORE is more appropriate to include as a supplementary activity in schools, rather than to integrate it in curricula, which may take several years to achieve. In addition, depending on the level of school enrolment, which is often different for boys and girls in a country or area, the development of special projects and methods to reach out-of-school children and/or those who attend informal or religious schools may be required. These children are often more at risk from EO accidents than those who attend school. Such children may be reached through the development of community liaison and broader EORE projects and programmes. Additionally, a child-to-child approach may be useful to reach younger or female siblings who may not have the opportunity to attend school.

8.4. Strengthening community capacities for EORE

Efforts to strengthen community capacities for EORE should be an integral part of any EORE programme. This may include the establishment of volunteer networks and strengthening of community risk management efforts. EORE may be integrated with development, clearance/survey, disability assistance, and other methods of community-based risk reduction. These methods include, for example, the development of a network of community focal points for EORE and EO reporting, the maintenance of local marking systems, and educating about their importance while clearance is pending.

9. Coordination of EORE and information management

9.1. General

Coordination is important to ensure that EORE operators and other mine action organisations complement and support each other’s work.

Effective coordination of EORE projects should ensure the coherent and effective involvement of all relevant actors in every component of the EORE programme cycle: assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation of strategies and activities. It will also ensure that EORE is coordinated with other complementary mine action activities, and other relief and development efforts. In this way, EORE can better achieve its goals of minimising the number of casualties, reducing the socio-economic impact of EO, and promoting development (e.g. land release, ensuring people feel safer around the area they live, education through integration of EORE in school curricula, etc.).

9.2. Coordination mechanisms and tools

For maximum effectiveness, EORE should be coordinated within the structure of a national mine action programme. Overall responsibility for the national management of mine action, including EORE, rests with the NMAA (or other organisation acting on its behalf). The NMAA, typically, sets overall mine action policy and strategy for the country. It may also coordinate operational mine action activities, although this role is usually devolved to a MAC, which reports to the NMAA. The national MAC may, in turn, fulfil its tasks through several sub-national MACs that are allocated responsibility for specific districts or local areas of responsibility. In addition to coordinating EORE through an NMAA/MAC, EORE operators should participate in other relevant coordination mechanisms that may exist or be set up by the government, the UN or NGOs at regional and national levels.

When the EO problem extends beyond national borders, EORE should also be coordinated at the regional level to ensure that approaches are harmonised to the extent possible with coherent messaging for refugees/IDPs in different host communities. Regional coordination is especially important in humanitarian crises or conflicts with large-scale cross-border movements. In countries and regions where no effective mine action coordination mechanism exists, EORE practitioners should coordinate their work through existing humanitarian clusters (i.e. protection, education) or/and develop their own coordination group.

10. Monitoring and evaluation12

10.1. General

Monitoring is an ongoing activity which should quality-assure EORE and the outputs, outcomes and impacts of the project or programme throughout its implementation and in accordance with 

the plan. Evaluations should focus on the achievement of objectives, the impact of EORE, accountability, and lessons learned.

10.2. Key issues to monitor

At a minimum, monitoring should look at how well EORE is being implemented and whether the plan on which implementation is based is relevant to the needs of the affected communities. The following issues should, therefore, be monitored:

  1. effectiveness and efficiency of EORE delivery;

  2. perception of EORE projects and programmes by at-risk communities;

  3. knowledge increase and retention;

  4. resultant behaviour change;

  5. geographical coverage;

  6. equity principles (extent to which the most vulnerable are being targeted and prioritised);

  7. reasons for risk-taking, new behaviours, adaptation to the hazard;

  8. h)  EO incidents and casualties; and

  9. changes in the make-up of the target risk group.

In addition to monitoring the effectiveness of EORE and progress in implementing plans, monitoring should keep tracks of change in the EO threat and environment. This involves monitoring changes to:

  1. the EO threat;

  2. initial assumptions regarding target groups;

  3. demographic and cultural changes affecting those most at risk; and

  4. the broader political and socio-economic context that might influence people’s ability to respond to EORE in an appropriate manner.

10.3. Developing a monitoring system

Monitoring should be carried out at project and programme level and both internally (i.e. by the EORE operator itself) and externally (by a NMAA or organisation acting on its behalf). It should aim to ensure that all EORE meets applicable national and international standards, including where applicable, the requirements of any accreditation granted to EORE operators.

The monitoring system developed should, as a minimum, be able to:

  1. identify measurement indicators, including sex and age disaggregated data where relevant, that focus on relevance, efficiency, effectiveness, impact, and sustainability;

  2. establish systems to collect and record information concerning these indicators;

  3. ensure that the data collected is analysed and interpreted;

  4. ensure that the information is used to inform day-to-day project/programme management; and

  5. ensure that EORE is adapted based on the information gathered by monitoring to ensure that the activities support the achievement of objectives.

10.4 Key issues to evaluate

Evaluation of EORE should assess the outcome and impact of the project or programme, particularly in terms of behaviour change and contributing to reducing the human, social and/or economic impact of EO. An evaluation may not necessarily be of a single project; it can also consider the organisational approach/policy/strategy on EORE.

10.5. Using an evaluation

There are four good reasons for undertaking an evaluation of an EORE project or programme:

  1. to improve performance and efficiency;

  2. to enhance accountability;

  3. to improve communication among stakeholders; and

  4. to improve learning and empowerment.

Ultimately, the benefit of evaluation, as with monitoring, is realised only through the use of the results. So, the results of an evaluation should feed directly into future EORE project and programme planning, organisational strategy and, to the extent possible, should be disseminated widely to all stakeholders within and beyond the mine action sector.

10.6. When to evaluate

An evaluation may take place at various stages of the programme or project cycle - not only at the end. Immediate evaluation (conducted immediately after the completion of EORE activities) and formative evaluations (also sometimes known as mid-term reviews) aim to assist the development of a project or programme during its implementation by highlighting achievements, identifying problems, and suggesting solutions. Summative (or ex-post evaluations) take place after the project or programme has ended (sometimes a number of years afterwards) and aim to derive lessons and to feed into long-term policy.

The decision when to evaluate will depend on each individual project or programme, and the different factors that affect it. Factors that should be considered are:

  1. whether the project or programme has short- or long-term objectives;
  2. what kind of monitoring methods are already being used (i.e. what data are available);
  3. whether external evaluators are required;
  4. the availability of resources for the evaluation; and
  5. the impact the evaluation will have on people’s time (both project/programme staff and target beneficiaries).

11. Capacity development

11.1 General

The need to develop national capacity has been seen as a critical area for international assistance since the early days of mine action.

11.2. Developing a capacity development plan

Based on the information and insights generated by the needs and capacities assessment and/or by a specific capacities assessment of the national and local actors, a capacity development plan should be elaborated to improve EORE management and operations.

A capacity development plan should include the following elements:

  1. a shared stakeholder vision and understanding of the current gaps in management capacity;

  2. activities for dealing with each problem, keeping in mind the overall vision;

  3. specific benchmarks and outputs to be reached in meeting each stated objective;

  4. the process of how each objective will be reached; and

  5. clear division of who will be responsible for supporting, implementing, and/or executing the plan.

Capacity development may be carried out directly on the ground or through the provision of technical support from a distance.

Based on the EORE strategic plan and its vision, mission, and goals, the next phase in the process is the formulation of a work plan. A work plan flows logically from the EORE strategic plan and supports its implementation, typically on an annual basis. This operationally focused document should include detailed activities, and necessary resources, as well as programme results, indicators and targets. It should also include a concise performance measurement framework, summarising key components of the plan in an easy-to-track format.

11.3. At-risk communities

At-risk communities, for example, those constrained to live with the daily risk/threat of EO, including EO survivors. Many develop local coping mechanisms, which may be more or less effective. EORE operators should seek first to understand and support at-risk communities in their efforts to minimise risk, and not to assume ignorance or lack of capacity. Subsequent capacity development may cover areas such as information management, risk management and EORE delivery. Risk management in this context refers to initiatives such as marking or fencing, seeking alternatives to risk-taking and using alternative approaches to access livelihoods and resources without clearance or entering hazardous areas.

11.4. National Mine Action Authority

Building the capacity of the NMAA is critical to the performance of a mine action programme. In the case of EORE, the NMAA should be aware of the importance and role of EORE and be capable of making informed, strategic decisions about EORE direction and contribution to casualty reduction and effective mine action.

11.5. Mine Action Centre

The capacity of the MAC, where it exists, to coordinate EORE effectively is essential for any successful EORE programme. Capacity development efforts need to include the abilities to assess, plan, task, monitor, and ensure the quality of EORE projects as well as the EORE programme as a whole.

11.6. EORE operators

EORE operators, and in particular those which are local NGOs, may require capacity development to assess, plan, train, deliver, and monitor EORE. This is especially challenging if participatory development approaches are to be effectively institutionalised. The facilitation of participatory rural appraisal methods and techniques, for example, is a complex management task. It requires skills and expertise to accomplish it well. The same applies to the need to use data meaningfully to facilitate change and incorporate it into mine action and development planning. The emphasis on assisting individuals or communities to think through their issues and to find meaningful solutions rather than being told what the problem is by an outsider is central. This requires solid facilitation skills, including an ability to listen.

12. Roles and responsibilities

12.1. National Mine Action Authority The NMAA should:

  1. ensure that EORE is integrated into the mine action programme;

  2. establish and maintain national standards and/or guidelines on EORE;

  3. establish whether there are any requirements for accreditation of EORE operators;

  4. liaise with other humanitarian, development, protection and education actors on strategic planning and adopt a national strategic plan for EORE;

  5. provide adequate resources for the implementation of the national EORE programme;

  6. liaise with donors and other supporters, such as capacity-building providers, advocacy organisations and media representatives; and

  7. organise external evaluations of the EORE programme as a whole.

12.2. Mine Action Centre

The MAC should:

  1. ensure that EORE activities are coordinated, prioritised and implemented in accordance with the national policies, strategies and standards;

  2. establish explicit and transparent priority-setting mechanisms with/for EORE operators;

  3. coordinate and monitor implementation of EORE activities in country;

  4. approve the criteria for an accreditation system (if it exists), and accredit EORE operators in line with those requirements on behalf of the NMAA;

  5. ensure that relevant data and information is made available to EORE operators;

  6. manage the development of a sustainable national operational EORE capacity through local and international EORE partners;

  7. coordinate the implementation of EORE needs assessments, share all necessary information, subject to requirements for confidentiality, with EORE operators, mine action organisations and other relevant bodies;

  8. recommend policies, strategies, and standards on EORE to the NMAA; and

  9. liaise with other humanitarian, development, protection and education actors at field level.

12.3. EORE operators

EORE operators shall:

  1. gain accreditation from the NMAA to implement EORE interventions (where an applicable accreditation system exists);
  2. implement EORE activities in line with the national policies, strategies and standards;
  3. ensure that all staff conducting EORE activities are competent and suitably trained, equipped and qualified; and
  4. maintain accurate records of all activities and provide the MAC/NMAA with all necessary data and information related to EORE implementation.

Where the NMAA is in the process of formation, EORE operators may be well placed to assist the establishment process by giving advice and assistance, including on the development of national standards.

In an emergency, as a minimum, coordination between EORE operators should include regular meetings to agree on:

  1. who visits which communities;

  2. prioritisation and timing of interventions;

  3. what messages are promoted as a priority by the different projects;

  4. what basic guidelines are to be followed by all EORE operators; and

  5. parameters for data collection and general information sharing.

12.4. United Nations

The UN has a general responsibility for enabling and encouraging the effective management of mine action programmes by continuously refining IMAS to reflect developing mine action norms and practices, and incorporating changes to international regulations, requirements and treaties. Such treaties include the Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989) and the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (1979) among others.

Annex A (Normative) References

The following normative documents contain provisions, which, through reference in this text, constitute provisions of this standard. For dated references, subsequent amendments to, or revisions of, any of these publications do not apply. However, parties to agreements based on this standard are encouraged to investigate the possibility of applying the most recent editions of the normative documents indicated below. For undated references, the latest edition of the normative document referred to applies. Members of ISO and IEC maintain registers of currently valid ISO or EN:

  1. MRE Best Practice Guidebooks and Training Manuals;

  2. IMAS 01.10 Guide for application of IMAS;

  3. IMAS 04.10 Glossary of mine action terms definitions and abbreviations;

  4. IMAS 05.10 Information Management for Mine Action;

  5. IMAS 07.12 Quality Management for Mine Action;

  6. IMAS 07.14 Risk Management for Mine Action;

  7. IMAS 07.30 Accreditation of demining organisations;

  8. IMAS 07.40 Monitoring of mine action organisations;

  9. IMAS 13.10 Victim Assistance in mine action;

  10. IMAS 14.10 Guidelines for evaluation of mine action interventions;

  11. Draft TNMA 12.10/01/2018 Risk Education for Improvised Explosive Devices (IED);

  12. Anti-personnel Mine Ban Convention (APMBC);

  13. AmendedProtocolIIandProtocolVoftheConventiononCertainConventionalWeapons (CCW);

  14. Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM);

  15. United Nations Gender Guidelines for Mine Action Programmes; and

  16. Increasing Resilience to Weapon Contamination through Behaviour Change: Risk Awareness and Safer Behaviour Guidelines for use by the Components of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement (2019).

The latest version/edition of these references should be used. GICHD holds copies of all references used in this standard. A register of the latest version/edition of the IMAS, guides and references is maintained by GICHD, and can be read on the IMAS website ( NMAA, employers and other interested bodies and organisations should obtain copies before commencing mine action programmes.

Amendment record

Management of IMAS amendments

The IMAS series are subject to formal review on a three-yearly basis, however this does not preclude amendments being made within these three-year periods for reasons of operational safety and efficiency or for editorial purposes.

As amendments are made to this IMAS they will be given a number, and the date and general details of the amendment shown in the table below. The amendment will also be shown on the cover page of the IMAS by the inclusion under the edition date of the phrase ‘incorporating amendment number(s) 1 etc.’

As the formal reviews of each IMAS are completed new editions may be issued. Amendments up to the date of the new edition will be incorporated into the new edition and the amendment record table cleared. Recording of amendments will then start again until a further review is carried out.

The most recently amended IMAS will be the versions that are posted on the IMAS website at

Number Date Amendment details

01 Aug 2012

  1. Reviewed for impact of IATG development.
  2. Minor typographical amendments.
  3. Removal of reference to IMAS 08.10.

01 Jun 2013

  1. Reviewed for the impact of new land release IMAS.
  2. Amendment No and date included in the title and header.

25 August 2020

  1. Title updated to ‘Explosive Ordnance Risk Education (EORE)’.
  2. The term ‘EORE’ replaces ‘MRE’ throughout.
  3. References to gender updated to ‘women, girls, boys and men’ throughout.
  4. Minor typographical amendments throughout.
  5. Updated introduction.
  6. Para 1 scope updated to reflect new name
  7. Para 3 the following terms added ‘explosive ordnance (EO)’, ‘explosive ordnance risk education (EORE)’, ‘EORE operator’, ‘EORE team’. These terms updated/used throughout
  8. Para 4,1
  9. Para 4.2 reference to CCW APII added
  10. New Para added ‘4.2.1 Flexibility’
  11. Para 4.3.1 and 4.3.2 wording amended including use of EORE and EO throughout.
  12. Para 4.3.4 updated wording on gender and diversity, team composition, training and equipment.
  13. Para 4.3.5 and 4.3.6 updated to reflect relevant updates to other revised standards
  14. New Para 4.3.8 ‘Injury Surveillance’
  15. Para 5.2 additional paragraph on working in complex environments included
  16. New Para 5.4 ‘Data collection and analysis as part of an EORE needs assessment’
  17. Para 5.5 two additional paragraphs covering prioritisation
  18. Para 6.1 additional references to project cycle management, communication strategy and gender and diversity.
  19. Para 6.2 additional reference to ‘do no harm’, humanitarian principles and ongoing context analysis.
  20. Para 6.3 updated requirements on EORE message testing
  21. Para 7 renamed ’Using media and other communication tools’
  22. Para7.1 additional paragraph on types of media tools
  23. Para 7.2 additional requirements for media and materials
  24. Para 8.2 additional paragraph on conflict sensitive approach to EORE
  25. Para 8.2.1 reference to hard-to-reach areas
  26. Para 8.3.1 additional note that school environment is often different for boys and girls
  27. Para 8.4 additional reference to community focal points for EORE and EO reporting.
  28. Para 9.2 additional paragraph on regional/cross border cooperation;
  29. Para 10 footnote refence to IMAS 14.10 included
  30. Para 10.1 additional reference to outcomes;
  31. Para 10.2 additional bullet points’ knowledge retention, equity principles and EO threat
  32. Para 10.3 additional reference to sex and age disaggregated data (SADD)
  33. Para 10.5 additional sentence on feedback loop following evaluation
  34. Para 12 updated responsibilities for NMAA, MAC and EORE operators
  35. Annex A references added IMAS 05.10, IMAS 07.12, IMAS 07.30, IMAS 07.40, IMAS 13.10, IMAS 14.10.



1 The term ‘Programme’ implies the medium- to long-term activities of an organisation in the fulfilment of its vision and strategic objective. A mine action programme consists of a series of related mine action projects. Similarly, an EORE programme consists of a series of related EORE projects.
2 The term ‘Project’ refers to an activity, or series of connected activities, with an agreed objective. A project will normally have a finite duration and a plan of work. The resources needed to successfully accomplish the objective will normally be defined and agreed before the start of the project.

3 Article 6, paragraph 3, APMBC.
4 Article 4, paragraph 2(e), CCM.
5 Defined as AXO and UXO linked to an armed conflict.
6 Article 5, Protocol V on ERW, CCW.
7 Article 3, Amended Protocol II, on Mines, Booby-Traps and Other Devices, CCW.

8 Interventions should be based on data/information supplied by the community or other key informants.

9 Attention should be paid, in particular, on population movements into and/or through areas of risk.

10 UNICEF defines an emergency as ‘a situation that threatens the lives and wellbeing of large numbers of population and in which extraordinary action is required to ensure their survival, care and protection.’

11 UNICEF has developed an Emergency EORE Toolkit for use in planning a risk education campaign in an emergency situation. The Toolkit is designed to take an EORE project manager or project team step-by-step through the first six weeks of an emergency EORE campaign.

12 For detailed guidance on the evaluation of mine action interventions see IMAS 14.10.

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