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Independent evaluator for the iTSCi conflict-free programme

“When we’ve got our next tough project in Africa, Synergy will be our first recall!”

-Director Environmental Risk, Barclays Capital Group  

Independent evaluator for the iTSCi conflict-free programme

Client:ITRI (International Tin Research Institute)
Countries:The Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Burundi and worldwide
Sector: Artisanal and small-scale mining
Services client used:Auditing
Our expertise: Due diligence, human rights, advisory support, conflict analysis and resolution, artisanal small-scale mining, global reach

Project description

Synergy is the independent evaluator for the iTSCi (ITRI Tin Supply Chain Initiative) conflict-free programme. iTSCi is a joint initiative that helps upstream companies (from mine to smelter) institute the management systems, actions and processes necessary to conform with, and implement, OECD regulations at a very practical level, involving small and medium size enterprises, co-operatives and artisanal mine sites. The programme is designed for use by the industry but with oversight and clear roles for government officials, in keeping with the OECD’s Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Area.

Synergy’s team of independent evaluators operate in challenging post-conflict environments where there is often limited governance. The team conducts field work in cooperation with several stakeholders including local government agents, representatives of international NGOs and local civil societies.


Synergy carries out a range of auditing and assessment activities designed to provide general information like the circumstances around the mineral trade in the areas of iTSCi operation as well as specific audits, and other assurances. These independent assessments include:

  • Company pre-audits: preliminary assessment of companies’ documentation during application for membership, evaluating the company history, ownership, management policies and procedures and potential links to conflict minerals trade in the African Great Lakes Region;
  • Company site audits: regular field-based auditing of member companies’ operations to track companies’ performance against international due diligence standards, in particular the OECD and UN guidance; and
  • Governance assessments: field research, analysis and reporting on key challenges relating to the governance of regional mineral sectors and the implementation of the iTSCi Programme, especially in regard to OECD Due Diligence Guidance Annex II issues.

Key challenges and successes

Between 2014 and 2015, Synergy:

  • Conducted over 30 company audits: 8 in the DRC, 12 in Rwanda and 12 in Europe and Asia
  • Completed and provided recommendation for over 100 preliminary assessments