Access to Capacity Development


Failure to build organisational strength.


Incentivising access to capacity development resources

Favouring progress over performance, the Impact Escalator is our model for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) capacity development. 

A staged approach, it builds organisational capacity over time and so avoids overburdening mines with unreasonable expectations – and debt. As small mines champion improvement on the ground, they gain access to larger grants and loans, continued technical assistance and higher premiums in international markets. This gives mines a real incentive to invest time and effort into adopting best practices.

impact escalator

Every organisation must show measurable improvements in their environmental, social and governance (ESG) practices before moving onto the next stage.

In our experience, as mines receive capacity-building support their performance improves – and positive change and development impact follows.  

Long Term Impact

An inclusive approach

There are no inherent barriers to participation. Mines of different sizes and at different points in their sustainability journey can join, and the stages can be tailored to each organisation.


Measurable results range from increased productivity to health and safety improvements to reductions in human rights abuses. 

Long-term impact

Beyond increased productivity and profitability, mines enjoy key business-building benefits including improved business literacy and technical knowledge.

See our capacity development approach in action

david sturmes

Digging for Change

In 2018 we have partnered with Fairphone, global lighting company Signify, the Chinese cobalt refiner Huayou Cobalt, ultimately forming the Fair Cobalt Alliance (FCA). The

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Read our ESG performance criteria