DDI envisions a world in which artisanal and small-scale miners have ac­cess to the opportunities, information and tools they need to work with dignity within flourishing, self-sustaining communities, as valued actors in the formal economy and as contributors to their country’s develop­ment.


The Diamond Development Initiative works to effect systemic change within the artisanal and small-scale mining sector by convening all interested parties in processes and projects that help turn precious stones and minerals into a source of sustainable community development. DDI’s work complements regulatory efforts to favour positive socioeconomic outcomes for miners and their families in developing countries. 

History and purpose

The Diamond Development Initiative (DDI) began in 2005 at a meeting of representatives from the United Nations, national governments, US and UK international development aid agencies, NGOs and the diamond industry. DDI was governed through a Coordinating Group until June 2007, when a Board of Directors and an Advisory Group took over. In January 2008, DDI appointed its first Executive Director.

DDI was created to address the social and economic issues faced by the millions of artisanal diamond diggers in Africa and South America who live in poverty outside the formal economy, vulnerable to exploitation, health and safety risks, and human rights abuses. This will be achieved through the formalization of the ASM sector.

DDI parallels and complements the regulatory instruments of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) whose goal is to prevent the trade of conflict diamonds, defined as  “rough diamonds used by rebel movements to finance wars against legitimate governments …”  As a regulatory system, the KP does not address issues of poverty and exploitation. DDI seeks to fill this gap and respond to development problems with development solutions.

DDI’s international Board of Directors includes representatives of the diamond industry, governments, academia and civil society, residing in Belgium, Canada, the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Supporters and partners

DDI receives support from governments, international donors and the diamond industry, including producers, retailers, industry associations and foundations. DDI also works closely with other civil society organizations that complement its efforts in the formalization of the artisanal mining sector. In addition, DDI has built strong relationships with African and South American governments and civil society organizations in countries with alluvial artisanal diamond production.

Legal Status

DDI International is registered in the United States as a Nonprofit 501 (c)3 Organization (EIN/tax ID number: 51-0616171) DDI Canada, an affiliate of DDI International, is registered in Canada as a non-profit charitable organization with registration number 84188 3606 RR0001.