Message from the Director – partnerships for inclusive capacity-building

In the three years since IM4DC was established, partnerships have been essential to our work in supporting partner countries and institutions to develop strong and well-governed mining sectors that deliver sustainable and inclusive benefits to communities and nations.

The success of IM4DC’s short courses and study tours depends on partnerships with education and training institutions, with mining and services companies and with state and federal government agencies both in Australia and in our partner countries. Many of IM4DC-commisioned research activities are also collaborative, while the Alumni network involves an increasing number of in-country alumni groups, such as the newly-formed ZAM4D group in Zambia.

IM4DC thanks all of its partners for their willing and successful collaborations. Our partnerships extend across many modes, including:

  • Cooperation agreements with government agencies and international bodies, including the WA Department of Mines and Petroleum, Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the World Bank and African Minerals Development Centre to work together generally or to collaborate on specific projects
  • Joint development of curriculum materials and handbooks such as Indonesian mines inspector training modules, mining law curriculum in Ghana, and negotiation handbooks for Africa
  • Hosting of mine site visits by mining companies and delivery of presentations by mining industry personnel in Australia and other countries
  • Hosting of delegations and IM4DC Fellows by WA and Queensland Government agencies and by mining associations and companies
  • Joint delivery of courses by partner country universities and other institutions, with Australian universities
  • Collaborative research and forums between universities in Australia and partner countries.

A major hurdle to achieving inclusive and sustainable development is the differential impact that mining and related economic activity can have on women. The proportion of women working in mining and services activities is much smaller that the proportion of men, restricting the ability of women to benefit directly. As well, mining can result in differential impacts on women in communities, with women less able to reap economic gains and being more vulnerable to any negative impacts.

IM4DC recently commissioned a review of its activities around gender inclusiveness, which found several areas for improvement in our performance. Recommendations include greater integration of gender equality, inclusion and women’s empowerment across the IM4DC program; and more collaborations with institutions in Australia and in partner countries to access expertise on gender, mining and development to inform strategy and programs.

Partnerships are key to achieving greater gender inclusiveness in both IM4DC’s activities and in the outcomes of mining for development.