Artisanal Mining and Property Rights Year 3 Annual Progress Report

AMPR supports the USAID’s Land and Resource Governance Office and the USAID DRC Mission Central Africa Program 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 ASM in a multidisciplinary fashion with a focus on diamonds and, to a lesser extent, gold production in the CAR. The project also provides targeted technical assistance to other USAID missions and OUs in addressing land and resource governance issues within the ASM sector. The project builds upon activities and lessons from the PRADD I and II projects. The AMPR contract was signed on September 28, 2018 and will run for five years (the two option years were approved in 2020).

Some highlights from Year 3 include:

  • Work Plan Advancements in the Face of Crisis: The AMPR team carried out the vast majority of work plan activities (88%) successfully by the end of the year despite the continued impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, widespread insecurity following the December 2020 CAR presidential elections, treacherous road conditions, and day-to-day challenges such as the recurring lack of running water in the office. Details of project implementation successes are described below, as well as efforts to mitigate these challenges and minimize their impact on project implementation.
  • Strong Coordination with Government of CAR (GoCAR) Partners: AMPR has continued strong coordination with the Ministry of Mines and Geology (MMG) and other GoCAR partners. AMPR successfully coordinated with the MMG Director General to present technical documents to the Minister of Mines and Geology to issue a decree creating Société Centrafricaine d’Exploitation Diamantifère (SCED)-Ndéléngué pilot ZEA in Nola subprefecture. The project has also provided extensive support to the MMG’s efforts to revise the Mining Code and supported the Ministry of Humanitarian Action, Solidarity and National Reconciliation (MHASNR) to establish and officially install six additional CLPRs in Boda and Boganangone sub-prefectures. Most recently, the project has collaborated with the Ministry for the Promotion of Women, Family and the Protection of Children (MPFFPE) to develop its strategy for the rollout of the Gender Innovation Fund planned for Year 4.
  • Implementation of Livelihoods Activities with Women’s and Mixed Gender Groups: Local subcontractor Association of Women for the Promotion of Entrepreneurship (AFPE) completed its contract in September 2021, under which they trained 21 women’s and mixed-gender livelihoods groups on agricultural production, artisanal soapmaking, village savings and loans, and basic literacy. As a result of their gardens and savings schemes, many groups were able to reinvest in their entrepreneurial activities and communities. For the local members, the generated savings and credit offerings is the only way to amass enough funds internally to offer a substantial loan to members through a tightly knit rotating saving and loan system independent of the formal—and in rural CAR, nonexistent—banking system.
  • Pastoralism and Conflict: Building on the Concordis International field research last year, an Issue Brief summarizing the state of knowledge about pastoralism and conflict along with multiple programmatic recommendations was prepared and widely disseminated. This fed into the State Department Working Group on Pastoralism and then it led to a series of webinars with the US Embassy and coalitions of international non-governmental actors around integrated and multi-scale policies needed to address the root causes of pastoralism related conflicts.
  • CAR Mining Code Review: AMPR prepared a detailed technical note with 50 key recommendations on CAR’s Mining Code. The note that focuses on the organization of the ASM sector; best practices for supply chain transparency and good governance; and the promotion of social cohesion and local development was presented to the Mining Code review committee during a full day’s workshop. The committee integrated about 80% of the recommendations into the new Mining Code draft.
  • Green Economy and Critical Minerals: AMPR’s Technical Deputy and two consultants prepared an in-depth analytical paper on the impact in USAID-presence countries of critical minerals needed in the rapidly expanding new Green Economy, and especially in the battery sector needed for electric vehicles.

Annual Report Fiscal Year 2020: October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020

Executive Summary

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID)/Ethiopia Feed the Future Ethiopia Land Governance Activity is a five-year, $10.9 million Task Order under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) Contract implemented by Tetra Tech. This first Annual Report summarizes progress made to implement the Activity and the results achieved during the Fiscal Year 2020 (October 1, 2019 – September 30, 2020). The Activity’s purpose is to provide support to the Government of Ethiopia (GoE), its regions, and citizens to strengthen land governance, increase incomes, reduce conflict, and support well- planned urbanization, thereby contributing to the country’s socio-economic development plans.

In March 2020, the GoE declared a state of emergency, restricted domestic travel, issued a national work-at-home order, and banned large congregations to mitigate the spread of Novel Coronavirus of 2019 (COVID-19). Based on these events, the Activity developed and implemented contingency planning to (1) protect the health, safety, and well-being of Activity staff and (2) ensure continuity of operations. These actions enabled the Activity to continue to implement and achieve results.

Important achievements during the first year of implementation include supporting the GoE reform federal and regional legislation governing both rural and urban land rights. The reforms will regulate the payment of fair and adequate compensation and resettlement assistance for government expropriation of land, introduce land tenure forms most suitable for agricultural development, and regularize informal rights in urban and peri-urban areas to strengthen Ethiopia’s land governance system.

The Activity assisted the GoE to enact and implement provisions of the Expropriation, Valuation, Compensation, and Resettlement Proclamation No.1161/2019 (developed with assistance from the predecessor USAID Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) Project) and to draft a regulation for land valuation. The Activity then provided training to a total of 39 federal and regional land administration officials to strengthen their capacity to implement the provisions of the new legislation. The Activity analyzed the rural land administration proclamations and regulations of the Amhara; Oromia; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples (SNNP); and Tigray National Regional States (NRSs) to identify amendments that will be required to bring their legislation into conformity with the federal land administration proclamation once it is passed. The Activity has also assessed the urban legal framework to inform its support to develop a draft Urban Lands Registration Proclamation and a regulation to formalize rights in urban and peri-urban areas. Recently, the Ministry of Agriculture invited the Activity’s Chief of Party (COP) to serve on its Advisory Panel to guide substantive revisions to Ethiopia’s rural land policies and legislation.

Through its LAND intervention, USAID assisted the Oromia NRS Land Bureau to develop innovative legislation and participatory approaches to successfully pilot, for the first time in Ethiopia, demarcation, and registration of pastoral communities’ communal land rights. The Activity is replicating and scaling the piloted approaches. While COVID-19 work-at-home orders were in effect, the Activity agreed the modalities to remotely support the Land Bureau to carry out field work to demarcate the Gomolle dheeda (grazing unit). Building on the methodologies and capacities developed under the predecessor USAID Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND) Project, the Activity helped guide Oromia officials to establish regional and zonal pastoral advisory committees and initiate creation awareness campaigns. Following social distancing protocols, the Activity supported a two-day orientation workshop to Oromia Land Bureau heads and senior management; and a seven-day practical, hands-on refresher course for Land Bureau surveyors originally trained by LAND to carry out field work independently with the Activity providing only advice and guidance. It is expected the field work will begin in November 2020.

Through the Activity, USAID is assisting the GoE to pilot methodologies to improve efficiency and reduce the costs of systematic urban land adjudication and registration (ULAR) using appropriate “fit for purpose” technologies. The Activity provided the Ministry of Urban Development and Construction (MoUDC) with analysis of ULAR processes and workflows to identify where new technologies and tools could be introduced to help make ULAR more efficient and participatory. The Activity is collaborating with the MoUDC to finalize a decision-making framework incorporating a vendor-neutral, technology agnostic approach and objective evaluation criteria to assess available technologies’ total costs and potential for sustainability and scalability to inform MoUDC’s selection of the appropriate technologies. After the technology is selected, the Activity will support a pilot to test its performance and improved workflows in Dukem town, Oromia NRS in the coming year.

The Activity successfully engaged federal and regional Women’s Land Task Forces (WLTF) established under LAND to strengthen provisions in new legislation to promote gender equity and youth’s access to land. WLTF members actively participated in legislative drafting committees the Activity supported and provided analysis and technical inputs to help shape legislation. The Activity also engaged WLTF representatives and gender advisors in land bureaus to identify and mitigate potential risks that women and youth could be excluded from participating and benefiting from ULAR processes; assess the performance of pastoral Community Land Governance Entities (CLGEs) established under LAND to help strengthen procedures to strengthen women and youth access to rangeland resources in the pastoral landholdings the Activity will help demarcate and register, and to develop baseline data collection tools to inform development of legislation in new regions to strengthen pastoral communities’ land rights.

Although the Activity assisted the GoE to achieve important results under extraordinarily difficult conditions, it fell short on a number of first-year performance indicator targets and did not complete its baseline data collection processes. It is noted, however, that  the overwhelming majority (over 80%) of indicators whose actuals deviated from targets related to demarcation and registration of pastoral landholdings and urban parcels. Registration activities are led by government implementing partners. A combination of GoE imposed work-at-home orders and travel restrictions in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as emergencies in addition to the pandemic that required immediate response of government staff prevented them from conducting the field work and delayed implementation of these activities over the course of the year.

 




 

Artisanal Mining and Prosperity Rights (AMPR) Under the Strengthening Tenure and Resource Rights II (STARR II) IDIQ Annual Progress Report for Gender Livelihoods October 1, 2019-August 31,2020

Executive summary

The USAID Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) Project in the Central African Republic aims to support the improvement of land and resource governance and strengthen property rights for all members of society, especially women. To ensure that both women and men gain the opportunity to equally participate in and benefit from the AMPR project, a Gender Action Plan was devised to help the project team identify and develop specific activities to benefit women in the mining areas, and ensure AMPR commitment to equitable stakeholder engagement for gender equity.

This report covers gender-related activities conducted under AMPR from October 2019 to August 2020. The main gender objectives for Year II were to support and improve the technical and organizational capacities of 21 women’s and mixed-gender groups in the target sub-prefectures of Carnot, Nola, and Boda, in order to spur economic empowerment and improve the social inclusion of women in mining areas. To implement these activities, AMPR subcontracted a local non-governmental organization called Association des Femmes pour la Promotion de l’Entreprenariat (AFPE), a women-led association for the promotion of entrepreneurship to provide technical training and mentoring to the AMPR-supported groups. In addition, the project team ensures effective representation and participation of women in local mining monitoring and conflict management committees.

In Year II, AMPR established relationships with 21 women’s and mixed-gender groups comprising a total of 535 members, including 425 women and 110 men. Almost all the groups identified food crops as their primary livelihood activity, and with the support of AFPE, AMPR provided training on improved agricultural practices to 52 specific farmers to become farming leaders, and provided technical assistance to their group members with support for replication using a farmer field school approach on 25 hectares, exceeding the 10 hectares initially planned. AFPE also facilitated training on village-level organizational strengthening for the leaders of the groups. 79 group leaders, of which 59 were women, received training of various topic and discussed the best strategies to apply them in their specific group’s dynamics. In addition to agricultural activities and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, AMPR provided training and support to 10 women’s groups engaging in artisanal soapmaking, providing these groups with a complementary livelihood activity.

AMPR launched activities to increase women’s participation in the Kimberley Process (KP) Certification Scheme, with 10 women becoming members of the local mining monitoring committees (CLS), where they were familiarized with key KP requirements. In the compliant zones (ZEAs), women pit owners (chef de chantiers) have been actively involved in the discussion around establishing specific mining designated areas; community members and miners stakeholders agreed to have two women members in the local development committee to be set up to manage the ZEA.

While the project’s activities have been effective overall, critical factors challenged the project team during implementation and most likely affected outcomes. The COVID-19 pandemic restricted gathering for a long period, forcing AMPR and AFPE to reduce some of the activities planned from all the group’s members to just a few leaders. The team also face some challenges in maintaining the women’s interest, as 39% of women dropped out of the groups, leading to an increase in the number of men and the establishment of 20 mixed groups out of the 21 selected by AMPR. Based on lessons learned from this year, the AMPR team has already started a review of their approach to address limits identified and strengthen collaboration with local technical authorities, now all in place at their respective posts.  AMPR will also strengthen collaboration with the European Union GODICA project and the World Bank Appui à la Professionnalisation des Coopératives Minières activity to improve support to women in mining areas, both in gold and diamond mining, as well as related livelihoods activities.