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, and by inviting ASM sector stakeholders to share their views on the options outlined. The paper provides the foundation for a new knowledge programme at IIED for ASM. Key questions IIED would like to hear views on include: •What the objectives of a knowledge programme should 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? Responses should be sent to Sarah Best, Interim Programme Lead, IIED ASM Knowledge Programme, Deadline for comments: Friday 15th March 2013
IIED code:
Feb 2013 - IIED 
Mining, Markets, Responsible business 
ISBN 78-1-84369-911-8 
30 pages (Book/Report) 
Buxton, A. 2013. 'Responding to the challenge of artisanal and small-scale mining. How can knowledge networks help? IIED, London.