Overview – transformation
The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) is working to transform artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) by bringing this largely unregulated informal sector into the formal economy in ways that benefit miners, their communities, regional and national economies, and the diamond and jewelry industry.
DDI focuses its formalization efforts on the artisanal diamond sector. It has also demonstrated, through initiatives impacting the mining of minerals such as gold, that the development issues are similar and much of DDI’s transformational approach can be applied effectively.
DDI promotes transformation in the following ways:
DDI works from within the Kimberley Process and in parallel to the KP Certification Scheme to tackle the development issues affecting artisanal and small-scale mining, where the problem of conflict diamonds originated.
DDI works with the local government to register miners – including diggers, traders and auxiliary workers – giving them an identity that facilitates access to protection, legitimacy and government support.
Organizing miners into associations and cooperatives provides them with training to improve mining methods and labour conditions, bargaining power to market their products and the opportunity to develop alternative livelihoods.
The Maendeleo Diamond Standards certification process attests that diamonds from a conforming site are responsibly and ethically produced. Requirements include respect for human rights, no child labour, environmental sustainability and the protection of the health and safety of miners.
DDI implements projects that support improvements in the ASM sector, including improved mining methods and mechanization, banking and savings programs.
To complement the formalization process, DDI offers support to artisanal mining communities to increase their quality of life, including provision of clean water and access to education.