The fieldwork component for the 2019-2020 Global Policy Projects has now been completed by seven UBC Master of Public Policy and Global Affairs (MPPGA) student teams who worked with clients organizations on a policy problem in ten different countries throughout December 2019.
Find below a reflection from students whose project focused on improving resource governance and sustainable long-term management of the Ethiopian mining sector.
Project Client: Ministry of Mines and Petroleum through the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute and the Supporting the Ministry of Mines (SUMM) project
The MPPGA student team in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia spent two weeks engaging with the Ministry of Mines and Petroleum through the Canadian International Resources and Development Institute and the Supporting the Ministry of Mines (SUMM) project, gaining insights into gaps, challenges, and opportunities with Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) policies for large-scale mining and petroleum projects.
After an introduction to the SUMM team on day one, the team began interviews and focus groups with officials from the Ministry, mining and petroleum corporations, consulting firms, civil society organisations, and other external stakeholders. The fieldwork contributed to a broader understanding of the policies, structures, processes, and tools that are in place for ESIAs in Ethiopia, the challenges faced by each stakeholder group, such as lack of capacity and skills, and the opportunities there may be for improvement. The team chose to focus on compliance-monitoring in particular, and focused their interview questions around this.
“The Global Policy Project in Ethiopia was a great experience. It gave me further insights into how policy affects people on the ground. Over the course of the trip, I felt myself becoming more comfortable with interviewing people. Our team bonded over our work and we felt like we were making a real difference.” – Joshua Tafel, MPPGA Student.