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Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining: How can knowledge networks help?

This paper reviews what is known about the problems and structural challenges facing the 20-30 million artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities worldwide. Better understanding of these structural challenges is needed to improve policies and policy implementation to further sustainable development opportunities for the sector.

The paper explores the current gaps in knowledge to achieve policy change from researchers, practitioners and artisanal and small-scale miners themselves. It explores how a ‘knowledge intermediary’, which acts to link knowledge with policy, could address these gaps and includes case studies of IIED’s work on knowledge networks and programmes. The paper concludes by proposing a way forward for designing a knowledge programme to meet the particular needs of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector.

The paper provides the foundation for a new knowledge programme at IIED for ASM. Key questions IIED would like to explore include:

•What should the objectives of a knowledge programme be, given the needs in the sector?
•What should be the principal activities to achieve these objectives (virtual network, knowledge review, learning group, dialogues, other)?
•What are the priority issues that a programme should address, and in which countries or contexts?
•What is missing: are the other factors, lessons learned or good practice examples that will be critical to deliver an effective ASM knowledge programme?

This publication forms part of IIED’s work to identify pathways towards inclusive and responsible mining.

Additional Info

A Buxton
Publication Year
Publishing Institution Webpage
Research Type
Thematic Tags
Political, Formalization, Governance, Large-scale Mining, Economic, Income, Local Content, Market Linkages, Social, Employment, Gender, Health and Safety, Human Rights, Labor and Working Conditions, Livelihoods, Technological, Equipment, Extraction, Legal, Laws and Regulations, Licensing, Environmental, Degradation, Land, Mercury, Pollution
3T Mineral (Mixed), Diamond, Gold, Tantalum, Tin, Tungsten
Global, Global/Multi-Region
Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Central African Republic, Colombia, Cote d'Ivoire, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Madagascar, Mali, Mongolia, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Zimbabwe
Last Updated
August 17, 2020