Deepening Governance and Widening 'Spaces' for change: Community Participation and Natural Resource Transparency in Post-Conflict West Africa

Project: Other

Project Details


The proposed research project seeks to deepen understanding of the main challenges associated with facilitating improved governance in small-scale mining communities, focusing specifically on the experiences of post-war Liberia and neighbouring Sierra Leone. In both countries, the informal and unregulated nature of the alluvial diamond sector played an instrumental role in driving and prolonging regional conflict, and it currently remains the root of much corruption and exploitation. While minimal effort has yet been made to develop the intervention models needed to address this exploitation, or ‘empower’ unregistered miners and their families at the bottom of the supply chain, it has been argued that the formalization of small-scale mining and better governance at the local-level are the keys to making the sector more sustainable. Through the proposed research project, two recent initiatives aimed at facilitating improved governance in the countries’ diamond sectors will be critically analysed: the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for rough diamonds and the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (EITI). With both initiatives, critics maintain, there has been little engagement with local stakeholders. Consequently, their impact at the grassroots level has been negligible. In addressing this disconnect, the research will explore how more meaningful community-level participation can be facilitated in Liberia and Sierra Leone, where both governments are currently struggling to formalize their artisanal and small-scale diamond mining economies. In doing so, the research will improve understanding of the challenges for ‘deepening’ natural resource governance at the local-level and converting resource revenues into sustainable development outcomes, in the process drawing important lessons for other resource-rich African countries that are prone to conflict and fragility.
Effective start/end date12/09/1631/12/23


  • Humanity United


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