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Community Financial Benefits in Natural Resource Development


Engaging deeply with the growing interest around community economic dimensions in natural resource development, the Devonshire Initiative (DI) facilitated a workshop on January 25, 2024, foregrounding a foundational introduction to Community Financial Benefits. The workshop illuminated the intersection of mineral wealth and local development, advocating for a holistic approach that integrates financial benefits into the fabric of community growth and well-being.


Local communities, especially those proximate to resource development areas, are integral to and profoundly impacted by financial benefits from these operations. This workshop, grounded in exhaustive desk research, discussed about various funding sources, structures, and management mechanisms around Community Financial Benefits. The conversation was further enriched by the insights of two esteemed speakers: Mark Podlasly, Chief Sustainability Officer at First Nations Major Project Coalition (FNMPC), and Nomfundo Mogapi, Chief Executive and Founder of Center for Mental Wellness and Leadership (CMWL), exemplifying the diverse applications and profound impact of Community Financial Benefits in the context of Indigenous Communities in Canada and Trauma informed Approaches in South Africa.

Key Takeaways from the DI Workshop:

  1. Vitality of Community Financial Benefits: The workshop underscored the need for a robust framework that not only capitalizes on these benefits but also safeguards against impacts faced by communities if well-being of communities is not at the core of these benefits.

  2. Diverse Benefit Models: A spectrum of financial models was explored, ranging from funding sources to management strategies. Additionally, the workshop explored the common priority investments in today’s context, ranging from entrepreneurship, employment, gender equality, cultural preservation, environmental stewardship, indigenous empowerment, infrastructure, and overall community well-being.

  3. Defining Funding Structures: Participants delved into the architecture of various funding mechanisms, including royalties, equity participation, community funds, trusts, foundations, and direct cash transfers. The session also illuminated additional shared benefits such as local procurement, employment, skill development, and effective reporting practices.

  4. Navigating Challenges and Opportunities: The workshop created a platform to discuss the multifaceted challenges and opportunities in Community Financial Benefits. It highlighted the imperative of community empowerment, cultural respect, transparent dialogue, financial education, and the integration of trauma-informed methodologies in financial management at the community level.


Connect and Collaborate with the DI

For an in-depth understanding of this subject and other initiatives by the Devonshire Initiative, we invite you to connect with Carolyn Burns at

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