Kathryn McPhail from the ICMM wins global essay award

ICMM’s Kathryn McPhail has won the Bronze Award for the International Finance Corp/Financial Times essay competition for her essay on Sustainable Development in the Mining and Minerals Sector: The Case for Partnership at Local, National and Global Levels. This year the annual competition received 750 essays from 90 countries, under ‘Private Sector Development: Creating Markets, Transforming Lives’. Phail, Senior Program Director for the International Counci for Mining and Metals, based her entry on ICMM’s Resource Endowment initiative. This was the only submission to discuss the development role of mining which, along with oil and gas, is one of few significant investors in the world’s poorest countries, which are often overlooked by other business sectors. The essay explores ICMM’s independent research (which commenced in 2004) into enhancing mining’s contribution to poverty reduction. The objective is to identify the critical factors that have allowed some countries to benefit from their substantial resource endowments and to avoid the so-called ‘resource curse’. Practical steps were then identified for the mining industry and others, such as governments, local communities and development agencies – to enhance the positive impacts of mineral resource investments.

The panel of seven judges included global experts from a diverse range of geographic backgrounds and industries. They made their decisions based on quality of analysis and logic of argument; implications for private sector development; innovation and originality; relevance to international audiences; and writing style and structure.

One of the judges commented, “This year’s level of competition is high with around 50% increase in the number of submissions. This clearly shows that there is a market for innovative but grounded development approaches especially around the private sector agenda”. McPhail’s essay “in particular, provided an insight to the international thinking on private sector development in the mining sector.”

She thanked Dr John Groom, Chair of ICMM’s Resource Endowment initiative working group for his leadership and support. “It is also a great privilege to work together with the very many people who have been involved in the process to date – both at the international and the country levels.  Their active engagement in, and strong contribution to, the Resource Endowment initiative is terrific. This is a truly collaborative effort.”