Article

Development of educational curriculum and policy guidelines on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining for formal and non-formal education in Eastern Africa

Background:
 
With the rising price of high-value commodities, such as gold, alongside copper, tin, tantalum or tungsten, diamonds, coloured gemstones as well as low-value high-volume stone, sand, clay, granite, dimension stone, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) has witnessed a massive expansion worldwide. The ASM sector directly employs at least 42,240,796 people globally1, with an estimated 13.2. million in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite the recent expansion, most ASMactivities continue to take place outside the regulatory control of host governments, causing livelihood insecurity and depletion of previously untouched places that are ecologically sensitive, including protected areas and critical ecosystems. Environmental impacts of mining methods such as land degradation, clearing forests, river dredging, or use of toxic chemicals are compounded by influxes of workers to remote areas and livelihood practices that cyclically enhance resource degradation, such as logging for firewood, charcoal and mine infrastructure, alongside bushmeat harvest and overexploitation of wildlife.   
 
While countries seek to integrate environmental agenda surrounding ASM into broader governance discussions, training of ASM operators on the ground is also crucial.  At present, ASM education and training modules available in Africa are limited, with most training programmes including those targeting government officials, delivered through externally funded projects. Such training programs have not proven sustainable when the project ends.  It is therefore critical to find a sustainable way to supply the needed skills to the growing African ASM sector in order to realise its full potential and transformation. UNESCO believes that embedding the ASM training in the national education system is key to address the challenge of sustainability. This implies that a specific ASM curriculum becomes part of the normal training of mining engineers and technicians. The UNESCO’s office in Nairobi under its Earth Science program is therefore seeking to explore the possibility of having a curriculum for Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining educational opportunities in Eastern Africa. The current project aims to create formal university curriculum and extra-curriculum for practicing miners in Eastern Africa involved in ASM Sector.  
 
As part of efforts to contribute to the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision, UNESCO is also seeking to contribute to the formulation of clear policy guidelines on ASM which like the curriculum is timely giving the environmental and health impacts associated with ASM. Once the policy guidelines and curriculum are developed, the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa shall in collaboration with the African Minerals Development Centre at the African Union Commission (AUC) consider organising a stakeholder consultation workshop in 2021/2022. At this workshop, government officials and ASM operators will discuss policy guideline frameworks as well as formal and informal educational opportunities

UNESCO envisages to take this forward in two phases: (1) educational policy framework guidelines for formal and non-formal2 education (2) possible formal curriculum for formal education at masters / Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) educational level and non-formal training curriculum tailored to ASM in the normal training of mining technicians to adult and youth literacy, as well as programmes on life skills, work skills, and other forms of social or cultural development..   
 
Assignment The consultant shall be expected to develop a model educational curriculum and policy guidelines on Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining for formal and informal education in Eastern Africa. During the process consultant need to discuss with African Minerals Development Centre of African Union Commission (AUC) and the Inter-University Council for East Africa to bring them on board.
 
Outputs:  

At the end of this study, the consultant will provide:   1. Policy guidelines and framework on formal and non-formal education in the ASM Sector of Eastern Africa 2. A possible model curriculum for formal and non-formal education and a mapping of various forms of donor-supported capacity-building training activities in ASM   3. Recommendations on how the model curriculum developed could be integrated into academic programs at multiple educational levels in Eastern Africa in consultation with the Inter-University Council for East Africa  4. A mapping of existing training institutions with an ASM module in their programme (school of mines, vocational colleges, …);   
 
Profile of the consultant:   The consultant should be an Earth scientist with good ASM expertise in the African context.  Ideally, he or she should possess the following skills, knowledge and experience:   • A minimum of 10 years of extensive and in-depth experience in the artisanal mining sector;   • Involvement in research and/or training in ASM either at the university level or through donor supported capacity building initiatives for artisanal miners and other stakeholders;   • Experience in interaction with development and implementing partners in the artisanal mining sector;   • Good connections with universities and NGOs involved in the ASM sector in Africa;   • Good knowledge of the functioning of tertiary education, specifically in relation to mining in Africa;   • Possess excellent written communication skills in English.   
 
Duration:  

The study is expected to take five to six months (from Aug 2020 – Jan 2021)   

 

Fees:  

Fees for this consultancy will be based on UNESCO’s rules.   
 
This work will be conducted as a desktop study with interview of key stakeholders where necessary.    Interested candidates (individuals) should submit their applications to the UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, Nairobi, Kenya. Please submit a detailed CV and a cover letter highlighting experiences in the field of ASM in the African context and their linkages with training institutions, development partners and other stakeholders in the mining sector of Africa.   
 
Deadline for application: 10 Aug 2020   
 
Candidates should send their applications to nairobi.hydrology@unesco.org (under the subject line: ‘ASM consultant.’