Strengthening artisanal mining research and policy through baseline census activities
Hilson, G. (2005) Strengthening artisanal mining research and policy through baseline census activities. Natural Resources Forum, 29 (2). pp. 144-153. ISSN 1477-8947
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1477-8947.2005.00123.x
Over the past 10-15 years, several governments have implemented an array of technology, support-related, sustainable livelihoods (SL) and poverty-reduction projects for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM). In the majority of cases, however, these interventions have failed to facilitate improvements in the industry's productivity and raise the living standards of the sector's subsistence operators. This article argues that a poor understanding of the demographics of target populations has precipitated these outcomes. In order to strengthen policy and assistance in the sector, governments must determine, with greater precision, the number of people operating in ASM regions, their origins and ethnic backgrounds, ages, and educational levels. This can be achieved by carrying out basic and localized census work before promoting ambitious sector-specific projects aimed at improving working conditions in the industry.