Nov. 23, 2023
Policy leader advises Kosovo on shaping an inclusive future for emerging mining industry
In the heart of the Balkans, Kosovo — a land of rich history and diverse communities — was at a crossroads. Emerging from the shadows of conflict and transition, Kosovo aspired to harness the potential of its mining sector to drive economic growth and inclusivity.
Deborah Archibald, a distinguished geologist and Executive Fellow of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy, emerged as a Canadian expert in this transformative journey, leaving an indelible mark on the path to mining that is inclusive.
Phase 1: Illuminating the path
In 2023, Archibald embarked on a mission to Kosovo, armed with a mandate to support the Government of Kosovo to revitalize the mining sector. She partnered with the Technical Assistance Partnership (TAP) initiative, a part of Global Affairs Canada’s Expert Deployment Mechanism (EDM) approach to official development assistance.
GAC’s EDM deploys Canadian expertise to countries worldwide in a wide range of sectors to further knowledge sharing and learning. TAP-EDM responds to the needs expressed by partner countries eligible for official development assistance in areas such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), co-operative development, natural resources management, gender equality mainstreaming, and inclusive governance.
TAP-EDM highlights Canada’s commitments in the Feminist International Assistance Program; bringing greater programming flexibility to implement the policy’s six action areas through the delivery of TA to national governments to adopt more flexible approaches to deliver Canada’s TA.
Alinea International is GAC’s implementing partner for TAP-EDM. Through TAP-EDM’s TA and public engagement activities, Alinea works with GAC to enhance Canada’s leadership role in the world in a transparent and accountable way.
The mission of the project is clear: to strengthen the government's capacity to develop policies and programs that would ensure the mining sector's benefits reaches all Kosovans, including women, the vulnerable, and the poor.
Archibald's initial task was to conduct a comprehensive 360 review, which included a meticulous examination of the existing legislative framework and stakeholder consultations. She delved deep into the intricacies of mineral development and the institutions entrusted to oversee it. She spoke with state-owned and private mining companies, mineral exploration firms, non-governmental organizations, and government ministries, ensuring a broad spectrum of voices were heard.
Crucially, Archibald’s work aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, strongly emphasizing gender equity and inclusion within the Government of Kosovo’s institutions and the mining industry. The 360 review illuminated the gaps and challenges, laying the foundation for the transformative journey.
Phase 2: Building bridges to inclusion
With the findings of Phase 1 in hand, Phase 2 saw Archibald return to Kosovo, ready to put words into action. Her collaboration with the Government of Kosovo's Ministry of the Economy was a testament to her commitment to inclusive, responsible, and sustainable mining. Together they are embarking on the arduous task of strengthening institutions, legislation, regulations, policies, and strategies to drive the sector forward.
Archibald's role extended beyond policy development; she was a mentor, empowering Kosovo's officials with the knowledge, skills, and abilities required for the task at hand. Through her interactions with the civil service, she shared best practices in resource management, fostering public engagement and community consultation.
Challenges on the road to transformation
The journey toward inclusive mining is not without its challenges. Kosovo is in the midst of a profound transition, from a war-torn past to the complexities of governing a fledgling nation. The shift from a socialist state to a liberal democracy is a monumental one, and memories of the past are still fresh.
Kosovo has only been a country for a mere 15 years, and the transition to independence was a process of cultural and institutional change that requires time, patience, and unwavering dedication.
TAP-EDM: The catalyst of change
Deborah Archibald is a TAP-EDM Canadian expert. She brought to Kosovo not just her expertise but also a profound sense of purpose. Her commitment to strengthening government frameworks and environmental management practices by involving communities in decision-making is a testament to her character. Her role in the project is more than an administrator; she is a trusted collaborator, communicator, and influencer who is able to orchestrate complex resource projects.
Archibald's journey in Kosovo is a testament to the power of collaboration and perseverance. In partnership with GAC and Alinea International, she is lighting the torch of inclusive mining, illuminating a path of hope and prosperity for the people of Kosovo. As the mining sector is transformed into a force for good, it can become a symbol of Kosovo's resilience and progress, a beacon of light in the heart of the Balkans.
In the end, this TAP-EDM project’s legacy in Kosovo is not just about minerals extracted from the earth; it is about the hearts and minds that can be transformed, the communities uplifted, and the promise of a brighter, more inclusive future for all Kosovans.
Based in Northwest Territories, Deborah Archibald is a geologist, educator, and former assistant deputy minister for mineral and petroleum resources in the GNWT. She is an Executive Fellow of the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and was formerly the School’s Extractive Resource Governance Program (ERGP) director. She holds a Bachelor of Science in geology and a Master of Management Sciences.