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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12(9), 11345-11363; doi:10.3390/ijerph120911345

Identification of Response Options to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in Ghana via the Delphi Process

1
School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
2
Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, McGill University, CINE Building Macdonald Campus of McGill University, 21111 Lakeshore Rd., Ste. Anne de Bellevue, QC H9X 3V9, Canada
3
Department of Environmental Health Sciences, University of Michigan School of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
4
Science and Technology Policy Research Institute, CSIR-STEPRI, P.O. Box CT. 519, Cantonments, Accra, Ghana
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Susan Keane and Paleah Black Moher
Received: 30 July 2015 / Revised: 2 September 2015 / Accepted: 3 September 2015 / Published: 10 September 2015
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Abstract

The Delphi technique is a means of facilitating discussion among experts in order to develop consensus, and can be used for policy formulation. This article describes a modified Delphi approach in which 27 multi-disciplinary academics and 22 stakeholders from Ghana and North America were polled about ways to address negative effects of small-scale gold mining (ASGM) in Ghana. In early 2014, the academics, working in disciplinary groups, synthesized 17 response options based on data aggregated during an Integrated Assessment of ASGM in Ghana. The researchers participated in two rounds of Delphi polling in March and April 2014, during which 17 options were condensed into 12. Response options were rated via a 4-point Likert scale in terms of benefit (economic, environmental, and benefit to people) and feasibility (economic, social/cultural, political, and implementation). The six highest-scoring options populated a third Delphi poll, which 22 stakeholders from diverse sectors completed in April 2015. The academics and stakeholders also prioritized the response options using ranking exercises. The technique successfully gauged expert opinion on ASGM, and helped identify potential responses, policies and solutions for the sector. This is timely given that improvement to the ASGM sector is an important component within the UN Minamata Convention. View Full-Text
Keywords: Delphi technique; Ghana; small-scale gold mining; policy development; consensus; questionnaires; survey method Delphi technique; Ghana; small-scale gold mining; policy development; consensus; questionnaires; survey method
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Basu, A.; Phipps, S.; Long, R.; Essegbey, G.; Basu, N. Identification of Response Options to Artisanal and Small-Scale Gold Mining (ASGM) in Ghana via the Delphi Process. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2015, 12, 11345-11363.

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