Who We Are

Who We Are

The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute is a centre of expertise in natural resource governance. CIRDI’s head office is located in Vancouver, and is part of the School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA), at the University of British Columbia (UBC). CIRDI also maintains an office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

What We Do

We work at the request of governments that seek to strengthen their capacity to govern and manage their natural resources for the benefit of their people. CIRDI’s value proposition to partners is based on proven technical excellence in natural resource governance, specifically within our strategic areas of practice; needs-based and partnership-driven programming; and results-based program management.

Our Three Areas of Focus

We concentrate our efforts in three areas:

How We Work

CIRDI’s ability to generate positive impact depends on respectful, collaborative partnerships with governments, communities, industry, international agencies, academic institutions, strategic advisors, NGOs and resource development associations. Likewise, all our decisions are informed by their potential measurable impact towards our ultimate goal of poverty alleviation, in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We also have a strong institutional commitment to ensuring our programming strives to enhance women’s empowerment and gender equality, in line with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP).

Our History

CIRDI was established in 2013 by three leading universities – The University of British Columbia (UBC), Simon Fraser University (SFU) and the Polytechnique Montréal (EPM) – under a Contribution Agreement with Global Affairs Canada (GAC). While UBC has always been CIRDI’s institutional home, CIRDI’s relationship with the university was further formalized through our integration with UBC’s School of Public Policy and Global Affairs (SPPGA) in 2017. In addition to our headquarters in Vancouver, CIRDI opened a field office in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in 2016 to administer our Supporting the Ministry of Mines (SUMM) Ethiopia Project, which is also funded by GAC.

Over the past six years, CIRDI has delivered programming across 22 project sites, with 186 partners, including academic institutions, local communities, embassies, industry associations, international and regional agencies, NGOs and non-profits, and private and government partners.

Since our founding, CIRDI has become a trusted inter-disciplinary centre of expertise on natural resource governance and related policy, management, and sustainable development. With Canadian and international partners, CIRDI provides leading-practice advice, technical support, training, and applied research as well as a platform for innovative thinking, knowledge mobilization and shared learning. Our academic and operational independence enables us to act as a neutral convener in complex, multi-stakeholder environments. In this way, CIRDI exchanges knowledge and expertise with other countries that enables leading-practice natural resource governance, environmental stewardship, gender equality and ultimately, poverty reduction.

Our results

CIRDI works to create an enabling environment for natural resource development, governance and management that offers a fair deal to all stakeholders. We are the only Canadian institutional platform that is focused on providing systemic resource governance assurance. Our approach goes beyond externally-led gap analyses and instead actively supports nationally-owned strategies that leverage domestic capacity and institutionalize governance reform.

Key aggregated results from our work in the last seven years include:

  • 10 extractive sector or related policies and plans drafted with support from CIRDI in Argentina, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Papua New Guinea, Senegal, West Africa (through the West African Economic and Monetary Union, UEMOA);
  • 2,534 people trained in global leading practices in natural resource governance;
  • 1577 government staff reporting increased access to information on global practices related to resource governance;
  • 1,373 participating leaders and local stakeholders reporting understanding of gender-responsive extractive sector policies;
  • 898 participating leaders and local stakeholders demonstrating change in ability to innovate, adapt or adopt gender-responsive extractive sector policies.


We believe that all countries can benefit from transparent, accountable institutions that represent and serve the people; that diversity is a strength and that economies do better when everyone has a chance to succeed.