Weldegiorgis, Fitsum S., & Saleem H. Ali (2016, September). Mineral resources and localised development: Q-methodology for rapid assessment of socioeconomic impacts in Rwanda. Resources Policy, 49, 11 pp., in press. (doi: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2016.03.006) (Text accessible: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0301420716300381#)


•Factor analysis resulted in three shared perspectives on mining related issues.•Shared view resulted that mining benefits outweigh social and environmental losses.•Differed degree of acceptance of mining project impacts and prioritisation of value.•Hybrid of Q-sort, focus groups and interviews enhanced veracity of information.•Further research needed to re-evaluated and triangulate findings with other methods.
Abstract: The regional impacts of large development projects often require rapid appraisal in confined geographies. Impacts have largely been studied at country level, which have often neglected a finer granularity of analysis at sub-national level, which has specific relevance in Africa, since many mineral conflicts on the continent are highly localised. This study applies Q-methodology to quantitatively analyse qualitative perspectives regarding impacts of mining-led development at a district level in Rwanda – a densely populated country with a high economic growth rate. This approach revealed three classes of shared perspectives regarding topics of greatest concern to stakeholders: (a) economic diversification and sustainable socioeconomic development; (b) employment, resettlement, and mining land-use; and (c) income, benefit distribution, and social impacts. The use of this method to consolidate qualitative data through a deliberative process to get an output that can be used for broader geographic comparisons holds much promise for researchers and practitioners alike working in geographies of rapid development.

Fitsum S Weldegiorgis <f.weldegiorgis> is with the Sustainable Minerals Institute, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia.