iTSCi teams have made around 1,500 visits to mines and exporters as well as stakeholder committees in four Central Africa countries this quarter. This work is a vital part of the iTSCi programme, observing first-hand exactly how the traceability and due diligence measures are being implemented and liaising directly to tackle issues on the ground.
Field visits are made by staff from programme PACT, sometimes jointly with government agents, who report on incidents, regional security issues, production activities and stakeholder meetings. This infrastructure provided by iTSCi also facilitates community projects coordinated by PACT, successfully transforming the lives of local communities.
The visits link with a network of local and regional community and stakeholder steering committees as a key element in the successful operation of the programme. Their formation and operation is an important objective of the work. Meetings are often able to resolve incidents effectively through dialogue and direct action. They also work with iTSCi teams to plan training and expansion programmes.
At the same time meetings with government ministers and agencies discuss and agree on higher level funding, training and enforcement issues. For example, during the quarter members of the iTSCi governance committee visited Rwanda to meet with His Excellency Minister Vincent Biruta and the CEO of Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board, Mr. Francis Gatare to discuss programme operations in the country.
Engagement at this intensity is a vital part of the iTSCi programme success in ensuring that challenging issues can be addressed efficiently and effectively in a realistic way. Data from the visits informs key decisions, while at the same time providing members with confidence in their due diligence operations.