Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework

The Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework (WDDF) is a self-measurement tool for use by governments. It is designed to help artisanal diamond producing countries evaluate how their legal frameworks, policies, and practices regarding artisanal and small-scale diamond mining align with the goals of the Washington Declaration to improve and monitor their progress over time.

Artisanal and small-scale diamond mining (ASDM) occurs in eighteen countries worldwide. ASM is characterized by low levels of mechanization and capitalization and high labor intensity. It is usually done by local people for the purpose of creating local livelihoods or subsistence or as small businesses, or at group or individual level. It is often done in the pursuit of (self-) employment and often in conditions of informality. ASDM provides a livelihood for an estimated 1.5 million people and their dependents. It produces approximately 25% of the world’s rough diamonds and 15% of gem-quality diamonds. ASDM’s contribution as a proportion of global output is expected to increase over time as fewer kimberlites are being discovered. For some, ASDM is full time work. For others, it provides complementary income. For yet others, it is a temporary income source in times of crisis. However, due to a confluence of issues, in some countries, the ASDM sector began to be tied or associated with the financing of armed rebel groups at the end of the 20th century.

The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) is a multi-stakeholder initiative bringing governments, industry and civil society together to reduce the flow of ‘conflict diamonds’ used by rebel forces to finance conflicts against legitimate governments. First convened in 2000, it came into effect in 2003, and now comprises 54 participants representing 80 countries. KPCS members account for an estimated 99.8% of the world’s production of rough diamonds. After the Moscow Declaration of 2005, in 2012, KPCS participants introduced the Washington Declaration recognizing that the development of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector through formalization initiatives and improved social conditions in ASM communities would be strong incentives “to bring rough diamonds into legitimate chains of custody.” This tool proposes concrete avenues to achieve greater formalization and development of the sector and assist government professionals organize action-oriented workshops to operationalize reforms and monitor progress.

In agreement with KPCS leadership and the US Department of State, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) coordinated the development of the draft Washington Declaration Diagnostic Framework (WDDF), or implementation guideline, to help diamond-producing countries better understand the status of their domestic ASDM sectors, and help them assess and monitor the actual implementation of the Washington Declaration. This framework was developed by artisanal mining experts from Estelle Levin Ltd. (ELL) and has benefitted from the input of international artisanal diamond experts and members of the KPCS Working Group on Alluvial and Artisanal Production (WGAAP). The WDDF is one step in a longer process to support governments and supply chain operators achieve the goals of the Washington Declaration.

Chapter 1 of this report outlines the need for a Diagnostic Framework and presents the Framework’s approach and structure. Chapter 2 provides a conceptual review of different Washington Declaration Policy goals and the way in which the indicators in this document addresses some of the challenges. Chapter 3 presents a description of the suggested self-assessment methodology.