Roy Maconachie

Roy Maconachie
University of Bath | UB · Department of Social and Policy Sciences

PhD

About

70
Publications
14,953
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2,246
Citations

Publications

Publications (70)
Article
The UN calls for the elimination of child labour by 2030, and its ‘worst forms’ by 2025. Implicit in this mandate is the assumption that children’s work is harmful, yet no coherent theory of harm exists within the child labour field. Moreover, evidence suggests that simply removing children from supposedly harmful work is often damaging. This paper...
Article
In recent years, as alluvial mineral deposits in many regions of West Africa have become ‘worked out’, new methods of extraction have become increasingly prevalent. In the case of Sierra Leone, traditional artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) employing rudimentary hand tools has gradually become more mechanized, with the illicit use of heavy mach...
Article
In recent years, resource-rich developing countries have increasingly adopted Local Content Policies (LCPs) as a means of stimulating locally-driven, resource-based development. Such policies, which seek to catalyse development through the procurement of local goods and services in regions where mining and oil and gas production takes place, are no...
Article
In recent years, governments, donors and policy makers across sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) have increasingly realised the potential of formalizing and supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low tech, labour-intensive mineral processing and extracting. A significant body of evidence suggests that ASM has become the most important rural non-...
Book
Gold Michael John Bloomfield, Roy Maconachie The quest for gold sounds like something from the past, but gold remains a highly prized and impactful resource within the global economy. From the insatiable demand for gold in the electronics that permeate our day to day, to the environmental desolation driven by gold mining in the Amazon, the gold tr...
Article
This paper explores how artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral processing and extraction – has evolved in sub-Saharan Africa in recent decades. The analysis focuses specifically on the types of entrepreneurs who pursue work at, and innovation that occurs in, the region's ASM sites, using ideas debated heavily in...
Article
This article reflects critically on the impacts of the recent ban on artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – in Ghana. Government officials claimed that a ban was necessary because the country’s ASM activities, most of which are found in the informal economy, pose a serious threat to l...
Article
Across sub-Saharan Africa, artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) represents a major source of direct and indirect employment. Yet, despite the livelihood benefits and the growing interest from governments, donors and policy makers to formalise ASM, most artisanal miners still operate informally. Focusing on Liberia, this article critically investi...
Article
This paper explains how formalizing and supporting artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labor-intensive mineral processing and extraction – would help governments in sub-Saharan Africa meet several targets linked the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While most of the men and women found working in ASM in the region choose to oper...
Article
Across mineral-rich sub-Saharan Africa, it has become increasingly common for mining companies to support development schemes in host communities where resource extraction takes place. The negotiation of so-called 'community development agreements' (CDAs), provides an opportunity to address the social and environmental impacts of mining, while at t...
Article
This paper critically examines how women employed in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech mineral extraction and processing – in sub-Saharan Africa could be affected by moves made to formalize and support their activities under the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), ‘Africa’s own response to tackling the paradox of great mineral wealth existi...
Article
In Sub-Saharan Africa, now dubbed the ‘Green OPEC’ of the global bioenergy economy, biofuels have been hailed as a ‘new profitability frontier’ that will provide ‘win-win’ outcomes and deliver development to poor communities. Yet, in an era of economic recession and soaring food prices, their ‘sustainability’ has been at the centre of controversy....
Article
Using populist tactics to frame energy transitions is neither new nor a predominantly Western phenomenon. In sub-Saharan Africa, populist leaders have long dispensed energy endowments for political gains. This paper studies populism and energy in Uganda, a highly energy-deprived country. Fact-checking recent governmental speeches and policies revea...
Article
Full-text available
Electricity generation expansion planning in Africa has focused almost exclusively on minimising costs. Yet infrastructure projects in Africa have been frequently shown to fail because planners have neglected their socio-political realm. Using the social science literature, this paper derives six political factors that are crucial for African elect...
Article
This article explores the complex voices of militants associated with the capture of oil resources in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. The persistent violent conflict surrounding the struggle over oil resources is a major concern for many within the country and the international community. Understanding the conflict over oil in the Niger Delta ha...
Article
Full-text available
This paper reflects critically on the transformational impacts the recent Ebola epidemic has had in diamond-rich areas of rural Sierra Leone. It focuses specifically on the country's ‘diggers’, a sizable group of labourers who occupy the bottom of the country's artisanal diamond mine production pyramid. Based upon research conducted in the diamond-...
Article
This article critically examines the policy environment in place for artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) - low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing - in sub-Saharan Africa, with a view to determining whether there is adequate 'space' for the sector's operators to flourish as entrepreneurs. In recent years, there has been grow...
Article
Full-text available
Southern Africa’s electrification is at odds with United Nations goals to provide modern energy for all by 2030. Electricity planning, a crucial tool to optimally match future supply and demand, has largely focused on minimising costs in southern Africa, sometimes complemented by a discussion of a discrete set of environmental scenarios. Political...
Article
Full-text available
Universal electricity access is an important development objective, and the focus of a number of key global UN initiatives. While robust electricity planning is widely believed to be a prerequisite for effective electrification, to date, no comprehensive overview of electricity planning research has been undertaken on sub-Saharan Africa, the world...
Article
This article contributes to the debate on the formalization of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) – low-tech, labour-intensive mineral extraction and processing – in developing countries. A unique sector populated by an eclectic group of individuals, ASM has expanded rapidly in all corners of the world in recent years. Most of its activities, h...
Article
Alleviating mass rural poverty is Sierra Leone’s greatest development challenge. It is a deeply political issue in so much as the country has abundant natural resources, yet is characterized by networks of elite actors who capture and control much of the wealth they generate. Access to these resources has long been bridged by informal networks, wit...
Article
In recent years, a number of academic analyses have emerged which draw attention to how most artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) activities – low-tech, labour-intensive, mineral extraction and processing – occur in informal ‘spaces’. This body of scholarship, however, is heavily disconnected from work being carried out by policy-makers and donor...
Chapter
Over the past decade, neoliberal reforms, soaring commodity prices and rising global resource demands have led to significant growth in extractive industry investment in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). A surge of investment has triggered a variety of responses in mineral-rich communities—from outright rejection, to protest over labour conditions, to acce...
Article
This paper introduces a Special Section on the extractive industries, mineral sector reform and post-conflict reconstruction in developing countries. The collection of papers presented reflects on a wide range of post-conflict natural resource management scenarios across a variety of geographical settings in sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and Me...
Article
This article contributes to evolving debates on Sierra Leone's post-war "crisis of youth" by providing an extended analysis of the role that young boys and girls assume in negotiating household poverty and enhancing their livelihood opportunities in small-scale mining communities. Child miners - or "half shovels" as they are locally known - are bot...
Chapter
Full-text available
Over the past two decades, neoliberal reforms, soaring commodity prices and heightened global resource demands have led to significant growth in extractive industry investment across sub-Saharan Africa. A surge of investment has triggered a variety of responses in mineral-rich communities—from outright rejection, to protest over labour conditions,...
Article
There is now a burgeoning body of literature which examines the impacts of Ebola in Guinea Conakry, Liberia and Sierra Leone. This analysis, however, has focused predominantly on health issues, emergency preparedness and the international response in all three countries. At the same time, it has grossly overlooked the social and economic impacts of...
Article
In recent years, a critical understanding of human–nature interactions has become central to studies exploring the dynamics of urban morphology and the sustainability of growing cities in the developing world. Accordingly, numerous scholars have employed the coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) framework as a tool for understanding how cities...
Article
http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/2014/nov/04/ebola-sierra-leone-small-scale-mining-sector-catastropic-consequences
Article
Over the past two decades, neoliberal reforms, soaring commodity prices and heightened global resource demands have led to significant growth in extractive industry investment across sub-Saharan Africa. A surge of investment has triggered a variety of responses in mineral-rich communities – from outright rejection, to protest over labour conditions...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a special issue on the extractive industries, community development and livelihood change in developing countries. The collection of papers presented in the issue reflects upon a broad range of emerging community development challenges surrounding the growth of the mining, and oil and gas sectors in different settings across s...
Article
In sub-Saharan Africa, commercial bioenergy production has been hailed as a new form of ‘green capitalism’ that will deliver ‘win-win’ outcomes and ‘pro poor’ development. Yet in an era of global economic recession and soaring food prices, biofuel ‘sustainability’ has been at the centre of controversy. This paper focuses on the case of post-war Sie...
Article
The impacts that increased transnational extractive industry investments are having on local populations in natural resource-rich regions of sub-Saharan Africa are diverse, far-reaching and complex. A surge of recent investment has been variously met by resistance and rejection, by acquiescence combined with demands for better labour conditions, an...
Article
This contribution critically explores changing relationships between diamond mining and patterns of urbanisation in Sierra Leone. In providing an historical overview of mining expansion and contraction, the paper highlights the significant impacts that mining has had on the rural–urban continuum, and how this has shaped political, economic and soci...
Conference Paper
Sierra Leone is emerging from a long period of political instability and is ranked among the world's poorest countries. During the civil war of the 1990s, widespread forced outmigration left much of the countryside abandoned, as residents fled to the safety of the capital city, Freetown. Consequently, food production became severely dislocated and...
Article
This article critically explores competing knowledge claims over soil fertility in and around Kano, northern Nigeria’s largest city. Drawing on methods from both the natural and social sciences, the analysis explores an apparent mismatch between local and scientific knowledge claims, and the methodological complexities of assessing soil fertility a...
Article
As skyrocketing global food and energy prices have recently triggered a stream of riots in urban centres across sub-Saharan Africa, underscoring the desperation of urban residents as food becomes unobtainable, cities in the West African country of Sierra Leone face a series of new challenges as the country emerges from a decade of civil war during...
Article
The peri-urban interface in poor countries is frequently an area of great dynamism and a focus of competition for basic resources. In Nigeria, peri-urban livelihood strategies have become an increasingly important survival mechanism in the context of rapid urban growth. This book uses an innovative combination of methodologies from both the natural...
Article
In mineral-rich regions of Sierra Leone, the diversification of livelihood portfolios is widespread and local actors have long pursued complex and dynamic strategies that involve the intertwining of farming and mining economies. This article examines recent evidence from two impoverished communities in the diamond- and gold-producing regions of the...
Article
In recent years, policy mechanisms to support a formalized artisanal and small‐scale mining (ASM) sector in sub‐Saharan Africa have gained increasing currency. Proponents of formalization argue that most social and environmental problems associated with the sector stem from the fact that ASM is predominantly unregulated and operates outside the leg...
Article
This paper argues that a formalised small-scale gold mining sector could ameliorate Sierra Leone's emerging 'crisis of youth'. Burgeoning pockets of unemployed young men now found scattered throughout the country, the mobilisation of whom proved instrumental in prolonging civil war in the 1990s, have fuelled fresh concerns about renewed violence. I...
Article
While the majority of research carried out on diamonds and development in Sierra Leone has focused on debates concerning the role that diamonds played in the country's civil war of the 1990s, little attention has been directed towards understanding how the emergence and consequences of ‘new spaces’ for citizen engagement in diamond governance are s...
Article
Sierra Leone’s conflict has often been characterized as a ‘crisis of youth’. For some, the post-war resurgence of grassroots associational life represents the unleashing of long-suppressed youth egalitarianism, yet this analysis tends to ignore the role of international aid in providing an economic incentive for impoverished Sierra Leoneans to embr...
Article
In recent years, the densely populated region around the burgeoning city of Kano in northern Nigeria has been the focus of much academic enquiry into the links between vegetation modification and fuelwood production and consumption. While many scholars have praised the socio-economic and ecological sustainability of Kano's rural–urban interface, ar...
Article
Full-text available
This chapter critically examines the challenges involved in implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) in sub-Saharan Africa. The EITI is a policy mechanism being supported by donors and Western governments as a key to facilitating economic improvement in resource-rich developing countries. Proponents of the EITI argue th...
Article
In Ethiopia and Sierra Leone, recent social, political and environmental transformations have precipitated the intensification of wetland use, as local people have sought to safeguard and strengthen their livelihoods. Concurrent decentralization policies in both countries have also seen the government strengthen its position at the local level. Dra...
Article
This paper critically examines some of the main challenges associated with facilitating ‘good governance’ in small-scale diamond-mining communities, focusing on the experience of Sierra Leone. Two recent governance initiatives in the country's diamond sector are reviewed: the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) for rough diamonds and the...
Article
This article critically examines the challenges that come with implementing the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI)—a policy mechanism marketed by donors and Western governments as a key to facilitating economic improvement in resource-rich developing countries—in sub-Saharan Africa. The forces behind the EITI contest that impoveri...
Article
Sierra Leone has recently emerged from a long period of political instability and civil war, and is ranked among the world’s poorest countries. Thousands of displaced people are in the process of returning to their villages to rebuild their mainly farming-based livelihoods, and many are growing food crops for the first time in a decade. With pressu...
Article
Global financial markets are subject to a complex web of soft law rules and standards called IntThis paper critically examines some of the main challenges associated with facilitating ‘good governance’ in small-scale diamond mining communities, focusing on the experience of Sierra Leone. Two recent governance initiatives in the country’s diamond se...
Article
African countries with significant natural wealth have often reaped limited rewards and have experienced underdevelopment, corruption, political instability, and in some cases, violent conflict. As a result, the so-called ‘resource curse’ hypothesis has received much attention in recent years. It has been suggested that diamonds played a key role i...
Article
In recent years, the so-called ‘resource curse’ syndrome has gained increasing currency. Growing evidence suggests that many African countries with significant natural wealth have actually reaped limited rewards, instead experiencing underdevelopment, corruption, political instability, and in some cases, violent conflict. In the small West African...
Article
Sierra Leone is currently emerging from a brutal civil war that lasted most of the 1990s, and now has the dubious distinction of being ranked among the world's poorest countries. As thousands of displaced people move back to their villages, a large proportion of the predominantly farm-based rural population are growing food crops for the first time...
Article
In Nigeria, Africa's most populous country, peri-urban livelihood strategies have increasingly become recognized as important survival mechanisms for a wide range of actors in the context of rapid urban population growth. Based on field research, which illuminates local actors' knowledge and perceptions of land degradation, this paper identifies so...
Article
Full-text available
Economic and social development indicators suggest that the small West African state of Sierra Leone is among the poorest countries in the world. Sierra Leone’s economy and quality of life deteriorated rapidly during a decade of political instability and civil war in the 1990s, when many people fled their homes and abandoned their livelihoods due t...
Article
Sierra Leone has recently emerged from a long period of political instability and civil war, which has relegated the country to the bottom of the world human development league table. A process of reconstruction and rehabilitation is now underway, to restore livelihoods, repair damaged infrastructure and rebuild the economy. The sustainable develop...
Article
In sub-Saharan Africa, urban and peri-urban food production has been identified as an important resource for meeting the challenges of rapidly growing cities, and the positive aspects of such production have been well documented in the literature. This paper examines some of the health and environmental concerns associated with urban and peri-urban...
Article
Full-text available
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Project (1)
Project
The project goal is to identify mathematical optimisation approaches which are able to combine economic, social, environmental, technological and political objectives of electricity planning in Africa. Its key motivation is the belief that successful implementation requires engineering planners to consider crucial success factors and insights from the social science literature at the planning stage already. The complexity of African infrastructure planning cannot be sufficiently addressed by solely minimising project cost, but rather calls for multi-criteria optimisation approaches which make explicit the trade-offs involved.