New project of mapping artisanal and small-scale mining sites in the Central African Republic

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Following a successful training in Bangui with members from civil society organizations and field officers from the Kimberley Process focal point at the Ministry of mines and geology of the Central African Republic (CAR), IPIS will start field based research to map artisanal and small-scale gold and diamond mining sites in Western CAR. This study will focus on quantitative research through Mobile data collection on artisanal mining sites and  on qualitative research on the gold sector in order to map location and socio-economic dynamics in the sector.

With institutional support from the Ministry of Mines and Geology, IPIS will use well-established protocols employed in the Democratic Republic of Congo to map the location and conflict dynamics around diamonds and gold. This project is financed by the Artisanal Mining and Property Rights (AMPR) project from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Teams of independent field researchers recruited by IPIS will be equipped with smartphones and open-source application for mobile data collection. IPIS will build on its longstanding expertise to develop an interactive map of diamond and gold site locations with the data from the data collection campaign.

Training workshop in Bangui

8 members recruited from civil society organizations were trained  in Bangui at the Centre de la mère et de l’enfant from Monday 25th to Thursday 28th of March. This training was organized jointly by IPIS and the AMPR project. Besides participants from civil society, 13 focal points from the Kimberley Process and 6 AMPR field agents participated in the training.

This four-day training was designed around eight modules:

  • Presentation of the AMPR project and the IPIS component of mapping artisanal sites in western CAR;
  • Participative approach to site identification with local communities;
  • Research objectives through a detailed discussion of the questionnaire;
  • Field research methodology and practical advises;
  • Mobile data collection with ‘ODK Collect’ mobile application;
  • Security analysis and discussion on Standards operating procedures and Contingency plans;
  • Use of InReach satellite communicators on the field;
  • Knowledge of the artisanal diamond and gold mining sector.