Participatory sector reform in Ghana, forthcoming dialogues in Tanzania and Madagascar, team news, blogs and publications...
IIED drylands newsletter
The IIED Artisanal and small-scale mining newsletter is sent out quarterly. Updates from the team focus on our work in Ghana, Tanzania, Madagascar and more...
Dear friends, 

Welcome to our first newsletter on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). As our many colleagues and partners agree, ASM can make a positive contribution to inclusive and equitable sustainable development and growth, with improved inclusivity and equitability. Our ASM dialogue programme provides a much-needed forum for multi-stakeholder collaboration and knowledge sharing to promote better governance, greater voice, and secure and productive employment across the mining sector and complementary rural livelihoods.

Our new, quarterly newsletter will help keep you informed. It is produced by our ASM team, including Fitsum Weldegiorgis, who joined us recently. Abbi Buxton, who led the ASM team for two years, will return to the programme at the end of the year as an advisor following her maternity leave. Other members are Steve Bass, who acts as our dialogues’ global convenor; Gabriela Flores, our communications adviser; and Frances Reynolds, who manages our projects and finances.

We're interested to hear your thoughts on how our work should evolve, so you're very welcome to share your views with us.
The ASM team

News stories

On our way to participatory sector reform in Ghana

Our first ASM country dialogue began in 2015 in Ghana, where we've supported Ghanaian stakeholders to identify priorities for participatory sector reform — a long-held wish of the authorities. Through research, dialogue and communications, we helped stakeholders dissect the problem into manageable pieces, bring the right people together, agree a plan of action and appoint leaders to guide them. We are now supporting a group of Ghanaian government, business and community leaders to implement the roadmap for sector reform.

Building the foundations for a dialogue in Tanzania

We are currently scoping the next country dialogue to take place in Tanzania. The pre-dialogue starts in the last quarter of 2016, when we will focus on designing a process tailored to Tanzanian stakeholders’ needs and the national context. We will engage with key stakeholders to map knowledge and perspectives, and to identify contentious issues and possible solutions. We will also identify national partner organisations to undertake research and to convene the dialogue.

Small-scale gold miners in Madagascar. Photo: Global Environment Facility

Contributing to an inclusive ASM sector in Madagascar

We are working with GIZ Madagascar to convene a multi-stakeholder dialogue designed to turn ASM into an engine for fighting the extreme poverty of the country, while ensuring environmental impacts are minimised. A series of local dialogues over the last few months will contribute to a national dialogue later this year. We are advising GIZ, drawing on our experience convening participatory processes in mining and other natural resources sectors.
Women including mining engineer Judith Akorfa Buaba (centre) employed at the Dakete mine, in Ghana (Photo: Gabriela Flores Zavala)

Can mining dig rural women out of poverty in Ghana?

An IIED dialogue with small-scale mining communities discovered that women see mining as a source of hope – but that their dreams are seldom realised.

Amani Mhinda, executive director of Haki Madini, in Tanzania, provides a policy perspective.
Small-scale gold miners in Madagascar. Photo: Global Environment Facility

Miners' voices

We listen to the voices and stories of artisanal miners and others working in artisanal mining operations at the community level. 

Meet 11 artisanal gold miners from the mining district of Tarkwa in Ghana.
News of our ASM work has also been featured by Ghanaian media and other outlets:


Artisanal and small-scale gold mining in Ghana. Evidence to inform an ‘action dialogue’
James McQuilken and Gavin Hilson

In January 2016 Ghana hosted a multi-stakeholder ‘action dialogue’ on ASM – the first of IIED’s global dialogue series to facilitate the rights-based formalisation of ASM within a more inclusive and responsible mining sector. This paper provides background research on ASM in Ghana – giving an overview of the sector, identifying the barriers to formalisation, and offering some actionable ‘ways forward’.
State gold buying programmes
State gold-buying programmes. Effective instruments to reform the artisanal and small-scale gold mining sector?
RCS Global

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining provides a living to some 100 million people, offering huge potential for rural development. Yet the sector remains mostly informal and difficult to regulate despite decades of efforts by governments around the world. Learn from case studies in five countries, drawing out the challenges and potential factors for success in developing effective state gold-buying programmes.
Artisinal and small-scale mining and agriculture
Artisanal and small-scale mining and agriculture. Exploring their links in rural sub-Saharan Africa
Gavin Hilson

With most of sub-Saharan Africa's ASM activities informal because registration is often costly and bureaucratic, the resulting illegality has overshadowed its importance, in particular how many subsistence farmers now rely on ASM for their disposable incomes. This paper explores the links between ASM and subsistence farming in sub-Saharan Africa, and suggests ways in which to harness more effectively the former’s ‘livelihoods’ dimension in policy.

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