Learning and Training Program Overview

CIRDI’s learning and training programs incorporate a variety of teaching methods including: presentations, case studies, breakout sessions, peer-to-peer learning, analysis of leading global practices, and where possible field-based learning. Training sessions can also include experiential learning through the interactive development of guidelines or strategies and action plans for the government. Our programs are unique in the extent of learning engagement in the design and delivery of the course. All methods are adapted to the perspectives and circumstances of the learner through a needs-based collaborative learning approach. This is rooted in a social learning approach, which encourages a shift away from a traditional expert-based method of teaching and learning to a community-based co-learning method. Detailed needs assessments are conducted with local partners in order to understand baseline knowledge levels, define learning objectives, and ensure that the most appropriate pedagogical approaches are employed. CIRDI’s programs all contain strong gender elements and apply the principle of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC) where relevant.

Courses are designed for government officials, local communities and professionals. There are no specific admission requirements, but depending on the course details, some experience in the topic may be desirable. Course content is currently available in Spanish and/or English, and translation services will be provided as needed. Training can be undertaken in the partner country or through UBC’s facilities in Vancouver. Furthermore, in light of COVID-19 restrictions, CIRDI’s course offerings can be adapted to online learning delivered through webinars or on UBC’s online learning platform, Canvas.


The CIRDI approach to training under COVID-19 restrictions capitalizes on the benefits of digital learning systems while retaining the important pedagogical benefits of social and collaborative learning. CIRDI’s approach recognizes that digital learning can support the democratization of knowledge transfer – however specific measures must be taken to ensure learning experiences are equitable regardless of gender, income or internet connectivity.

CIRDI recognizes that online learning must be equitable from the design phase through to delivery, and we deliver our program interventions accordingly. For example, needs assessments are still a necessary element of the learning design process – in a COVID context, CIRDI assesses participants’ needs remotely. Additionally, CIRDI endeavours to ensure digital learning products are nationally and locally relevant in both content as well as visual design and delivery, and “low tech” resources are provided to support digital learning in low-bandwidth settings to ensure that any restrictions in knowledge dissemination associated with COVID are not compounded by unequal access to technology.


Course Offerings

The courses listed below are all customizable based on the audience, local context, and purpose.

Course: Sustainable Mining and Responsible Resource Management

The sustainable mining and responsible resource management program is a 5-10 day training package that includes environmental impact assessment, community engagement, water, tailings, reclamation and closure. The training focuses on both technical and governance considerations and is designed for government officials and industry partners. Technical considerations ensure participants are informed about the science and engineering of mining as a foundation for the development and implementation of effective sustainable development policies and regulations. Training modules can include:

  • Environmental impact assessment for large- and small-scale mining
  • Results-oriented policy planning
  • Community engagement during the mining life cycle
  • Mine water management
  • Tailings design and management during operation and closure
  • Reclamation approaches
  • Mine closure design and implementation
  • Global standards and mining sustainability initiative

Course: Gender-Based Analysis (GBA+) and Natural Resource Governance

The gender-based analysis and natural resource governance course is a 3-5 day training package that examines leading practices in applying an integrated, inclusive, and intersectional gender lens to key issues in natural resource governance. The training focuses on both technical and governance considerations and is designed for government officials, industry partners, and the community. This course moves from key concepts in GBA+ to engaging policy tools and processes that address systemic barriers experienced by women in resource governance and resource-dependent communities. Training modules include:

  • Political participation and decision-making
  • Developing an institutional gender strategy
  • Livelihood generation, economic empowerment, and gender-sensitive financial access models
  • Gender mainstreaming and competence-building in public institutions
  • Identifying and challenging unconscious bias
  • Gendering impact assessment processes
  • Understanding applied intersectionality
  • Opportunities and challenges for women entrepreneurs
  • Gendering formalization policies and co-operative formation
  • Inclusive policy setting and design

Course: Community-Based Decision Making

The community-based decision-making training program is a 3-5 day training package that outlines key practices and approaches to engaging with communities over the natural resource project cycle. The focus is on the roles and relationship between government, communities and companies and leading approaches to ensuring inclusive engagement of community members. Training modules can include:

  • Leading global practices in community engagement
  • Results-oriented policy planning
  • Natural resource-related conflicts
  • Field-specific case studies
  • Gender-sensitive consultation
  • Community impact benefit agreements
  • Approaches and methods of inclusive engagement

Course: Gender-Based Analysis and Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

The gender-based analysis and artisanal and small-scale mining course is a 3-5 day course that provides an in-depth introduction to the gender-differentiated impacts in the ASM sector – highlighting the challenges and opportunities for men, women, boys and girls in different contexts and circumstances, and strengthening understanding of how women can become more equitable and active participants in the ASM value chain. Training modules include:

  • Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA+) focused introduction to the ASM sector
  • Gendered risks, opportunities, and planning for results
  • Women’s political participation and decision making
  • Inclusive community and stakeholder engagement
  • Access to financing and value chain (local and global)
  • Gender-sensitive formalization pathways and policy
  • Entrepreneurship promotion and small business management (ex. accounting and tax knowledge)

Course: Environmental and Social Impact Assessment

The environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) course is a 5-7 day training package that outlines best practices and key considerations in conducting environmental and social impact assessments. The course moves from impact assessment concepts and tools to specific policies and regulations that support sustainable development in national resource planning and decision-making. Training modules include:

  • Leading practices in ESIA, with a focus on best practices in a Canadian context
  • Community consultations, dispute resolutions, and performance management
  • Values ecosystem components and assessment methodologies
  • Indigenous perspectives, transparency and engagement
  • Climate change, water resources and land-use change
  • Problem formulation and public participation
  • Gender-based analysis
  • Mine Closure and the ESIA process

Course: Tailings and Mine Waste Management

The Tailings and Mine Waste Management course is a 3-5-day training package that examines key technical and environmental aspects of tailings and mine waste design and operation.  The course is designed to improve health and safety performance and to reduce environmental impacts associated with tailings and waste management. The training focuses on both technical and governance considerations and is designed for government officials and industry partners. Training modules can include:

  • Physical and chemical considerations in mine waste
  • Tailings storage planning, design and construction
  • Tailings operations and performance
  • Tailings dam failures – lessons learned
  • Design and operation of waste rock piles
  • Heap leach pads
  • Water and hydrological considerations
  • Risk management
  • Reclamation and closure
  • Community tailings and waste management practices

Course: Remediation and Restoration

The Remediation and Restoration short course is a 3-5 day training package that examines leading practices in the remediation and restoration of mine sites during operation and closure. This course is usually offered in the partner country with field visits to mining site(s) to facilitate experiential learning. Training modules can include:

  • Concepts of remediation, restoration and reclamation
  • Reclamation ecology
  • Characterization of mine wastes
  • Chemical remediation
  • Remediation methods (site preparation, soils, revegetation)
  • Covers for mining wastes (tailings and waste rock)
  • Monitoring of remediation
  • Climatic considerations
  • National standards, regulations and policies

Course: Mine Closure

The mine closure course is a 5-7 day training package that examines leading practices in mine closure from a government, industry and community perspective. This course is usually offered in the partner country with field visits to mining site(s) to facilitate experiential learning. Training modules can include:

  • Mine closure from environmental impact assessment to relinquishment
  • Leading global policy elements
  • Setting mine closure objectives
  • Risk-based analysis
  • Physical and chemical stability
  • Reclamation
  • Key elements of mine closure plans
  • Community and gender-sensitive stakeholder engagement
  • Closure costing and financial assurance

Course: Mining Project Evaluation

The mining project evaluation training program is a 5-day training package that examines key technical and financial aspects of government evaluation and review process for mining projects. It is intended to build awareness of national processes and international best practices for the review of mining applications. Training modules can include:

  • Mineral resources and reserves
  • Elements of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies
  • Baseline studies
  • Mine design
  • Process plant design
  • Environmental design
  • Cash-flow analysis (capital and operating costs)
  • Economic evaluation (e.g. net present value and internal rate of return)

Course: Artisanal and Small-Scale Mining

The artisanal and small-scale mining training program is a 5-10 day training package that covers global issues in the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) and gemstone sector including formalization, health and safety, and gender. Training is best undertaken in the partner country and where possible field visits to ASM sites and communities should be included. Training modules can include:

  • Community engagement in ASM
  • Developing access to finance models
  • Guidance and roadmaps to formalization
  • Safe and environmentally sound mining and recovery methods (Minamata Convention)
  • Environmental assessment and mine rehabilitation
  • Gender and ASM
  • Value chain (local and global)
  • Business skills such as the formation of cooperatives, management models, financing and value addition

Course: Environmental Economics

The environmental economics course is a 5-7 day training package that outlines best practices in applied environmental economics for policy-makers, with a focus on sustainability and the green/blue economy. The training introduces general concepts and applied policy tools to understand micro and macro-level issues impacting the environment today. Training modules include:

  • Financing clean energy transitions: Seed Capital Assistance Facility and De-Risking
  • Impact investing and climate action
  • Sustainable development values and the economics of project evaluation
  • Understanding and applying polluter pays mechanisms
  • Trade and the environment
  • Environmental economics and COVID-19




If you would like more information, we invite you to connect with our COO & Director of International Programs, Jaime Webbe at jaime.revenazwebbe@cirdi.ca or send us your message at frontdesk@cirdi.ca.