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Evaluation database

Evaluation report

2014 Burkina Faso: Evaluation finale du projet "enfants dans les mines d'or et carrières artisanales dans 5 régions du Burkina Faso 2009-2013"

Executive summary

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Poverty in Burkina Faso can affect women and children in a disproportionate way. The report “Profile of equity and poverty of children and women in Burkina Faso” carried out by PEP, INSD and UNICEF in 2012 shows that poverty is more acute among children (they represent 53% of the population), with a rate of 45.3% of poor children. In order to combat poverty, it is not uncommon that families resort to child labour to increase the family income.
Since the mining industry boom of the past 5 years in Burkina Faso, the use of child labour in small scale gold mining has increased. The Ministry of Mines and Energy announced in May 2014 that around 700,000 children are working or are present in small scale gold mines. In cooperation with UNICEF, the government has launched a project in 2009 that combats child labour in 40 gold mining sites in the country. After 5 years of implementation in 2009-2013, UNICEF has decided to evaluate this project in order to better guide the next programme cycle.


Systematically and objectively evaluate the effectiveness, efficiency, impact and sustainability of the project « Enfants dans les sites d’orpaillage et carrieres artisanales ». How does the project fare in terms of the child’s right to survival (health), the child’s right to develop to the highest attainable standard (education) and the right to be protected from all forms of violence, abuse and exploitation;
Systematically measure how equity was taken into account in the implementation and monitoring and evaluation of the project ;
Identify enabling factors and bottlenecks in the implementation of the project, as well as the quality of the responses to challenges ;
Suggest recommendations that will enable scaling up or to reshape the project in order to sustainably eliminate the practice of child labour in mines and small scale sites nationally.


The evaluation used a participatory approach, combining information from the desk review, the collection of qualitative and quantitative data, and institutional consultations. A total of 40 sites were interviewed. More precisely, work in the field allowed to discuss with a total of 1,160 parents out of 1200 (97% of the sample). Qualitative data was collected through in-depth individual interviews with resources persons, and with 24 focus groups with child workers and their parents. The preliminary report was shared with the stakeholders of this process for review and comments.

Findings and Conclusions:

The project is in line with legislation banning worst forms of child work in Burkina Faso, especially Decree N-2009-365/PRES/PM/MTDSS/MS/MASSN determining the list of labors that cannot be carried out by children in Burkina Faso.

In the project zone, 99.1% of children and 95.2% of parents that were interviewed agree that the activities of the project cater to their needs. Consequently, there are fewer children in small scale gold mines in the region.

Key factors found to guarantee the achievement of goals are:

  • Community sensitization and social mobilization on the project activities, using an inclusive approach;
  • Advocacy towards key stakeholders and challenging of national and regional authorities on better regulation of actions combatting child work on gold mining sites;
  • Work in common with high impact interventions like the creation of the Bisongo (preschools);
  • School support for children who left the mines;
  • Availability of vocational training;
  • Support to socio-economic reintegration and to mothers in income generating activities.


The needs of the most vulnerable groups in the target populations are so important that it is key to concentrate the interventions there in order to be effective. If not, the risk to achieve only very superficial results and short term interventions is real.
It is essential to pursue, concentrate and strengthen the interventions to contribute to the wellbeing of children and women in the target zones that:

  • The project needs to find new partners and donors such as UNDP, World Bank and bilateral cooperation (Canada, France), in a context where the number of small-scale gold mines is growing rapidly;
  • The steering committee must be created by Decree and its Action Plan must be validated by MASSN (and coupled with the IDA project on ‘social transfers’- World Bank);
  • An emergency plan should be drafted to correct the ongoing project, taking note of existing shortcomings, with accompanying budget lines ;
  • In order to foster more inclusion and participation in the management of the project, local cooperation structures should be set up, with various components;
  • A cooperation strategy is defined with key persons within communities in order to monitor and follow all the beneficiaries in order to refrain their reintegration in the mines;
  • Governmental structures and teachers, as well as communities increase the quality of school  canteens and improve the general school environment so it appeals to children through ‘School Management Committees’;

Lessons Learned:

In terms of efficiency, the necessary budget for the care of a beneficiary has dropped dramatically from US$503 to US$178: a 282% decrease in the budget compared to 2009-2010. Thanks to that, 28,264 persons benefited from the activities, compared to the figure of 10,015 persons that were originally planned to benefit.
In terms of change, they are concrete when it comes to school enrolment (65.2% of beneficiaries were able to go back to school), but are not that clear in other fields, such as socio-economic reintegration.
Traditional leaders played a key role in the implementation process by sensitizing their communities themselves about the risks and consequences of child labor in small-scale gold mining sites. Major risks identified are that the good results are not sustainable, and that the children who left the mines will eventually return to them.

Full report in PDF

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Report information


Burkina Faso


Child Protection - Child Labor


Ministère de l’Education Nationale et de l’Alphabétisation, Ministère de la Fonction Publique, du Travail et de la Sécurité Sociale, Fondation Terre des Homme


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