MDS in Sierra Leone

Country Sierra Leone, Africa
Target Areas Kono District
Funder GIZ, The Tiffany & Co. Foundation
Status Active


The current project, which builds on important lessons learned from a pilot project implemented in Sierra Leone in previous years, began in 2014 but was temporarily suspended due to the Ebola epidemic in the Kono District in 2014-2015. Activities resumed in July of 2015.

  • Through visits and interviews, DDI assesses numerous mning sites in the Kono District with alluvial and artisanal production of diamonds
  • After obtaining consent of village leaders and community, mining sites are selected to participate in the program
  • Training on mining techniques, health and safety and the implementation of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards is provided at participating mining sites
  • Independent auditors visit the sites at random to verify adherence to the Standards. DDI provides support to miners for compliance and improvement during the process.
  • MDS-compliant sites are certified and the diamonds they produce become Maendeleo Diamonds
  • Companies invited to participate in the sales process must meet due diligence requirements (including know your customer and anti-money laundering requirements), pay a support fee to miners and comply with DDI’S traceability and segregation policy and procedures
  • DDI establishes an agreement with qualified invited buyers who are interested in purchasing Maendeleo Diamonds and can demonstrate traceability from source to manufacturing

Expected results

  • Miners and site owners know their rights and obligations
  • Mining practices improve, with respect to human rights, the environment, and health and safety
  • Mining sites that are certified have access to new markets and improved economic outcomes
  • Invited and  qualified buyers have the opportunity to purchase a unique, certified product

In Sierra Leone, the program is already producing results for miners, and their communities. The program stands as a model which is scalable, replicable and transferable to other contexts, countries, minerals and metals.