Under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) IDIQ
The Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (USAID AMPR) project supports the USAID Land and Urban Office in improving land and resource governance and strengthening property rights for all members of society, especially women. It serves as USAID’s vehicle for addressing complex land and resource issues around artisanal and small-scale mining in a multidisciplinary fashion with a focus primarily on diamond and less so on gold production in the Central African Republic (CAR), as well as targeted technical assistance to other USAID Missions and Operating Units in addressing land and resource governance issues within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector. The project builds upon activities and lessons from the Property Rights and Artisanal Diamond Development (PRADD I and II) projects. The USAID AMPR contract was signed on September 28, 2018 and will run initially for three base years and with two optional years. Most project activities will be carried out in the CAR.
This quarterly performance report describes achievements realized under USAID’s Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Project (USAID AMPR) in the Central African Republic (CAR) between April 1 and June 30, 2019. Throughout the quarter, the project implemented successfully it’s Work Plan requirements that focus on carrying out various studies and developing strategies intended to inform the design of subsequent project activities. AMPR also conducted several trainings for government stakeholders, civil society partners, field agents, and the key beneficiaries, notably, the Comité Locales de Paix et de Réconciliation (CLPR) and Antennes Locales de Suivie (ALS). AMPR expanded its relations with local and international actors working on conflict minerals, pastoralism, and peace and reconciliation. The project team met with Enabel, the Belgian cooperation agency mandated to carry out an EU-funded good governance project for the mining sector in CAR. Together the meeting explored strategies for coordination and information sharing, especially on the support for the Kimberley Process Secretariat in the Central African Republic, AMPR also met with the Central African Federation for Herders (Fédération Nationale des Eleveurs Centrafricains) (FNCE), with whom they discussed the increasing incidents of armed pastoralism, and proposed measures to address this problem before it undermines further security in the KP compliant zones.
The USAID AMPR project strengthened strategies to improve the participation, coordination and communication with key project stakeholders, notably the Ministry of Mines and Geology (MMG) and the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR). AMPR shared the technical aspects of the weekly reports with a wide array of stakeholders, involved the technical officers of both ministries in developing terms of references for field missions, and undertook joint field missions. After every mission, AMPR organized meetings to restitute the findings, and obtain feedback from the technical officials of both ministries. In June 2019, AMPR agreed with the MMG to establish a joint technical coordination committee comprised of all AMPR project components coordinators and selected experts of the MMG. The committed started reviewing all studies and strategies developed by AMPR in order to propose concrete interventions that could be considered under the AMPR year two Annual Work Plan. These initiatives were welcomed by both ministries. AMPR continued the interface with senior officials of the US Embassy and USAID in Bangui. Several meetings were organized to brief the officials, and to explore their views in relation to the various interventions carried out by the AMPR project. AMPR management was invited to attend several social events organized by the US Ambassador in Bangui. Below are the highlights of the progress realized under each component.
Objective 1: Assist Government of the Central African Republic to Improve Compliance with Kimberley Process Requirements to Promote Licit Economic Activities
Completed a rigorous and participatory diamond fraud diagnosis on the root causes of smuggling and ways to improve the enhanced monitoring mechanisms required under the Kimberley Process Operational Framework. A draft report was shared with key stakeholders for feedback including USAID, the World Bank and the US Embassy in Bangui. The final report from the diagnosis, summarizing the fieldwork, observations and the recommendations adopted by all stakeholders at the national workshop, was shared with USAID for final approval.
- Former PRADD II Deputy Country Director in Côte d’Ivoire Sabine Jiekak was recruited by the end of June 2019 by AMPR to carry out the Land Certificate Study. She will travel to Bangui in early July 2019 to undertake a study on the impact, relevance/utility and weaknesses of PRADD I certificates of customary land tenure delivered to nearly 3,000 miners between 2007 and 2012.
- Specialist in local revenue management, Sébastien Pennes was recruited by AMPR at the end of last quarter to carry out a study on whether a decentralized revenue management model might work in the mining zones in Carnot, Berberati and Nola. The study focused on whether the SODEMI model of Côte d’Ivoire might be applicable to CAR. The study findings concluded that the model is not transferable. However, a number of other recommendations will inform the AMPR project in developing a workable system to be piloted in one of two local communities covered by the project in CAR in the years to come.
- AMPR launched the first phase of the Knowledge, Aptitude and Practice (KAP) survey in early April with a representative sample of mine claim holders (341). The study focused on the artisanal miner or chef de chantier, drawn from active mining sites in select priority zones of Boganangone, Carnot, Gadzi, Nola, Boda, Sosso-Nakombo and Dede-Makouba. Through the Component II sub-contract with IPIS, the AMPR team also included a form for mapping diamond sites as well as gold. This initiative is right on schedule despite the difficulty of reaching gold mining sites in the middle of the rainy season.
- Communication specialist, Souleymane Ouattara, who prepared the Communication Strategy for the PRADD II project in Guinea worked with the field office team this past quarter to design a comprehensive AMPR project communication strategy that includes key strategies, messages, and tools. The strategy was presented for approval to USAID, but after commentary, it will be subsequently revised by the field office team.
- Worked closely with the World Bank Natural Resources Project mining component team to put in place a policy to support the Kimberly Process Focal Points, the field agents recruited by KP secretariat itself. The Focal Points benefited from various technical training organized by the project and participated in relevant field activities like the collection of data for the Component III gold site mapping initiative. Tetra Tech presented a proposal for a $1 million single-source contract to carry out field support to cooperatives in one to two sites, but final negotiations over the contract terms were still underway at time of quarterly report writing.
- Discussions initiated with the US Ambassador in Bangui, the Political and Economic Officer and the USAID Development Program Specialist on the importance of setting up a Friends of CAR. Relevant documentation of the proposed structure for the Friends of CAR was shared with the US Embassy officials for their review and to provide input.
Objective 2: Strengthen Community Resilience, Social Cohesion, and Responses to Violent Conflict in the Central African Republic
- Participatory assessment of Local Peace and Reconciliation Committees (CLPR) and the Kimberley Process Local Monitoring Units (ALS) in the pilot sites of Balégo, Yamalé, Bania, Wapo, Nassolé and Nandobo now in place for the roadmap spelling out the strategies and actions needed to strengthen the CLPR set up under PRADD II.
- Project team worked closely with the Ministry of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation (MHANR) to establish new CLPRs in the sub-prefectures of Carnot and Gadzi. This included supporting the process of voting for members, carrying out initial training for members, and setting up a monitoring system.
- Supported in partnership with MHANR and the MMG, the preparation of the Annual CLPR Action Plans in the 6 pilot CLPR sites of Berberati region, Balégo, Yamalé, Bania, Wapo, Nassolé and Nandobo.
- Consultant Sabine Jiekak worked closely with the project team to complete a diagnostic on the role of women in the diamond mining sector. This included a literature review and a participatory field research phase to identify the gender dynamics and opportunities to support women’s economic empowerment with a focus on promising livelihoods and an entrepreneurial/value chain approach in Nola, Gadzi, and Boganagone.
- Consultant Sabine Jiekak worked with the field team to design the project’s Gender Action Plan with a focus on mainstreaming gender dynamics into all activities. The plan includes the AMPR strategy for gender mainstreaming, the findings from the gender diagnostic, and the proposal for specific activities to promote economic and social inclusion of women.
- Organized the first technical consultative meeting on armed pastoralism and transhumance between the MMG, MHANR, Ministry of Livestock and the General Secretary of FNEC (Fédération Nationale des Eleveurs Centrafricains). The meeting discussed strategies for monitoring, documenting and reporting violent attacks by the armed pastoralists.
- Supported thanks to the collaboration with the CLPR and the ALS, the establishment and signing of a joint declaration with the KP monitoring committees and anti-fraud police (USAF) to commit all actors to jointly fight fraud in the Berberati region, and share in a timely fashion information on security and violent incidents in the compliant zones of Balégo, Bania, Yamalé, Wapo, Nassolé and Nandobo.
Objective 3: Increase Awareness and Understanding of the Opportunities and Challenges of Establishing Responsible Gold Supply Chains in the Central African Republic
- IPIS completed the first cycle of field missions required to collect detailed information on 201 mining sites. IPIS carried out a debriefing workshop and prepared for the second cycle of data collection. Throughout the process, IPIS conscientiously downloaded for review draft questionnaires, shared results of a first round of data analysis and interpretation, worked with the local sub-contractor on data cleaning, and uploaded the initial dataset into the IPIS database.
Objective 4: Improve USAID Programming through Increased Understanding of Linkages Between ASM and Key Development Issues
- Carried out in Ghana a rapid artisanal gold mining assessment combined with a field visit in the Wassa Amenfi West District and the Asankrangwa Stool chieftaincy. This assessment identified options for US government programming in the gold sector.
- Finalized the ASGM Ghana scoping mission report. Shared with the World Bank, US Embassy Accra and the USAID ILRG project team.
- Technical Deputy / Component 4 Coordinator attended the OECD Responsible Minerals Forum in April 2019, where he moderated a panel discussion on diamonds and the new Responsible Jewelry Council’s standards. He also participated and presented on best practices in mining cooperatives at the KP Intersessional and provided technical assistance to the US Delegation.
- Technical Deputy participated in the Kimberley Process Intersessional in Mumbai, India where he gave a well-received presentation on lessons learned from mining cooperatives and especially focused on examples from PRADD II.