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Oxfam Ibis

Innovation for new livelihood prospects in Sierra Leone beyond mining

Like no other, the mining sector in Sierra Leone impacted the country's people lives and continues to do so. Many communities rely on the mining industry's activities to sustain their livelihood. Yet, mining practice experiences greater efficiency gains through automation, digitization, and larger and more machinery, which decreases the local demand for labor.

Quercus Group supported Oxfam Ibis and Oxfam Sierra Leone in the development, design and implementation of an innovation workshop. The workshop focused on identifying key challenges related to local Community Development Agreements (CDAa) and facilitating a social innovation process with local communities with the aim of developing local partnerships, activities and co-creating solutions for different livelihood strategies beyond mining.

Project Period: June 2019 - August 2019

Nicolai Rottbøll receives a goat by the local chief as a thank you for the collaboration.

Starting Point & Challenge

Many livelihood prospects in Sierra Leone are tied to the mining strategies. Local communities seek employment in mining and are often directly or indirectly impacted by industry's mining activities. The local demand for labor in mining is declining, and the industry entered into Community Development Agreements as measure to remedy past and present impact.

Our approach

A conversation about the mining activities is emotionally loaded and demand a sensitive approach to people's current and past stories. Quercus Group supported Oxfam Ibis in designing, implementing and facilitating a participatory process on identifying and co-creating possible pathways for creating livelihoods beyond seeking prospects within mining. The workshop leaned on thinking and tools from social innovation and design thinking.


The project resulted in a range of initial ideas and plans how to bring them to life. Oxfam Ibis and Oxfam Sierra Leone continued to work with the teams of each idea as part of a wider social innovation support program.

Learn more

Reach out to Nicolai if you are interested to hear more.