The training is a part of a partnership agreement NPA has facilitated to be signed between EMAO and SSDA, on behalf of the two governments. In the agreement the two authorities agrees in principle to assist each other, both in the capacity building and in specific mine action projects in the border region. EMAO has since it started mine action operations gained much experience. Today EMAO consist of skilled and experienced staff committed to their work. With the structure and commitment, EMAO is an example for South Sudan Demining Authority, and can be used as a model in how to quickly take over national ownership. With the opening of the Entoto Training Centre, EMAO can facilitate for capacity building of SSDA and national operational staff from South Sudan.
Even if it is almost 6 months until the Entoto Training Centre is to be completed, EMAO Training Department managed to prepare the centre with classroom and accommodation for the students.
The MDD Introduction Course was based on NPA MDD methodology, developed at the NPA Global Training Centre in Sarajevo. The objective was for students to get a general overview of MDD operations, gain experience and knowledge in planning mine action activities with MDD capacity. The course was intended for senior operations staff in national and international organizations. The course was made up of three modules:
Module I - Theory:
The main aim of this module was to introduce the students to EMAO and NPA MDD methodology,
and to get practical experience of interaction with dogs to build confidence in dogs in general.
Module II – Field visit:
The main aim of this module was to give the students a full picture of MDD operations in the field – its possibilities and restrictions, and on the MDD field camp – its administrative and training facilities.
Module III – Workshop:
This module was course specific, with the aim to start the process of implementing MDD teams in South Sudan.
The participants from Sudan were very impressed of how EMAO is conducting MDD operations in the field, and a similar model will be implemented in Sudan within the next year – with assistance from EMAO and NPA. EMAO training centre at Entoto will be used for training Sudanese dog handlers, but during the course the representatives from Sudan also experienced the benefits of using the training centre for other types of training.