This toolkit for development agency practitioners on the management of mineral wealth and its links to conflict is part of a series commissioned by USAID from leading environment and security practitioners, exploring how development assistance can address key natural resource-related risk factors. Other papers in this series focus on land use conflicts, on water and on timber.
The minerals toolkit paper: 1) examines the relationship between valuable minerals, such as diamonds or coltan, and violence; 2) discusses lessons learned in aid programs to deal with ‘conflict commodities’; 3) presents a range of program options; 4) provides a survey instrument that identifies key questions related to minerals and conflict; and 5) identifies relevant USAID mechanisms and implementing partners.
The toolkits in this series explore individual risk factors in depth. They do not identify all relevant factors linked to violence. As such, they are designed to serve as companion pieces to conflict assessments. Conflict assessments provide a broad overview of destabilizing patterns and trends in a society. They sift through the many potential causes of conflict that exist and zero in on those that are most likely to lead to violence (or renewed violence) in a particular context. While they provide recommendations about how to make development and humanitarian assistance more responsive to conflict dynamics, they do not provide detailed guidance on how to design specific activities.
The toolkits in this series are intended to fill that gap by moving from a diagnosis of the problem to a more detailed discussion of potential interventions. Together, the assessment framework and toolkits are designed to help Missions gain a deeper understanding of the forces driving violence and to develop more strategic and focused interventions.