Who We Are

Who We Are

The Canadian International Resources and Development Institute (CIRDI) is a centre of expertise in natural resource governance at the University of British Columbia (UBC).

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 Service Offering

We draw on a wealth of Canadian expertise, the academic rigour of our university roots and the technical know-how of our global partner mix, to provide customized, leading-practice advice, technical support, training, and applied research on natural resource governance. Our academic independence enables us to act as a trusted convener in complex, multistakeholder environments. Environmental sustainability, gender equality, and human rights are key concerns that guide our programs.

1. Applied Research

Being part of a public university, CIRDI recognizes the value of academic engagement with “communities of practice” as a critical strategy to ensure that new knowledge informs decision-making and innovation in resource governance. CIRDI creates pathways for academics to partner with stakeholders in order to bridge the gap between research and resource governance practices in ways that enhance transparency and accountability.

2. Training and Capacity Building

CIRDI offers a suite of robust, pedagogically-grounded and innovative short-courses and workshops related to natural resource governance. Topics include: data transparency and disclosure; environmental and social impact assessment and monitoring; community engagement; tailings management; gender equality and artisanal mining.

3. Public Administration Reform

CIRDI’s in-house methodology for public administration reform is founded on three mutually reinforcing principles: National Ownership; Partnership and Inclusion; and Technical Competence and Excellence. The approach is applied through comprehensive gap analysis and institutional coordination at all scales of governance to address identified gaps. Transparency and accountability measures to support enhanced disclosures and evidence-based decision-making on resource governance issues are emphasized throughout the reform process.

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.

Programming impacts 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.

*Data covers the period between 2013-2019

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