SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT OF THE MINING COMMUNITIES SCHEME – STAGE I
“Never say it can’t be done, start with <let’s see>”
The Scheme for Social Development of Mining Communities – Phase I is one of the components of the “Closure of Mines and Mitigation of Social Impact” Program. Through the Program, initiated in 2000 by the Ministry of Economy and Trade, 31 mines were closed, various employment opportunities were created for the redundant labor force and the capacity of the agencies involved in the restructuring process of the mining sector was developed.
As part of the efforts to mitigate the social impact on the areas affected by the restructuring of the mining sector, the Social Development Scheme of Mining Communities aimed mainly to develop the capacity of mining communities to manage their own problems.
The RSDF fulfilled the role of implementing agency for this component, under the Ministry of Economy and Industry (as the beneficiary of the loan), collaborating in this capacity with the National Agency for Development of Mining Areas, responsible for mitigating the social impact of the restructuration.
The RSDF intervention at the community level is subsumed to the same principles of citizen involvement, partnership, local contribution, capacity development for the development of projects, promoted within the other projects, which subscribe to the mission of the organization. The project portfolio and the support package offered to the beneficiaries in the preparation and implementation of the projects were adapted to the specifics of the mining communities.
Period: 2004 – 2006
- socio-economic regeneration
- promoting local initiatives
- increasing the capacity to manage projects
- mining communities affected by the restructuring of the profile industry (rural and urban)
- disadvantaged groups in mining communities (rural and urban)
Project value: USD 6.9 million
- BIRD (repayable loan granted to the Romanian Government represented by the Ministry of Finance)
- contribution from the state budget
- 75 communities facilitated
- 69 small infrastructure works performed
- 10 small businesses started
- 12 social services developed
- 260 members of funded communities trained in project management
“The projects financed by SDSCM respond to needs identified by the community and perceived as a priority […] The success in obtaining the financing of the proposed projects and especially their successful implementation have a contagion effect at the locality level. Positive examples also encourage other community members to take initiatives to solve community problems ” – external evaluation by Gallup International Organization (2008)
The FRDS intervention, based on community initiatives, in the context of a quasi-general attitude of non-involvement and distrust in government measures, at the level of mining communities, required special efforts. RSDF facilitators played a significant role in stimulating community participation: they mapped the villages, peripheries, and semi-peripheries of urban mining localities, including central areas recognized as “very poor” (without access to water, sewerage, thermal power, etc.) and they informed and supported them to draw up an eligible funding application. The result was not long in coming:
- 56 km of rehabilitated roads that improve access to school, public services, markets, etc.,
- 37 km of water supply networks
- 234 m2 rehabilitated from community centers where cultural, social, interethnic activities take place
- 2410 disadvantaged people benefit from alternative social services (socio-medical care services for dependent elderly people, playgrounds for children, multifunctional social centers, etc.)
- 4 centers for processing and marketing of raw materials, 2 tourist pensions, 1 local passenger transport service and 1 car service that act as poles of local development