Fitsum is an Associated Research at AFD Group and Research Officer at the Centre for Social Responsibility in Mining. An economist by training, his research interests lie across sustainability and human development effects of economic activities, with a focus on applying socio-economic theory and modelling to analyse the developmental impact of the extractive resources sector.
At CSRM, Fitsum has undertaken applied research through various projects that involved extensive fieldwork and engagement with community, industry and government. Select projects and fieldworks:
Madagascar: applied economic modelling to analyse the fiscal and non-fiscal contribution of mining at regional and country levels.
Rwanda: developed rapid impact assessment framework for mining and regional development using Q-methodology.
Australia: conducted a survey study of indigenous employment and social impact of mining closure at Century, North-West Queensland.
Australia: completed an evaluation of the Australian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) pilot process.
Solomon Islands: undertook extensive field research in the Solomon Islands to monitor the social and economic impact of mining-induced resettlement on affected livelihoods.
Ethiopia: worked on mining and human rights impact assessment in the case BHP Billiton’s exploration in the Danakil region contributing to the development of an assessment tool.
Fitsum contributes to short courses and master-class training programs offered in Australia and overseas to policy and management level experts as well as community representatives from developing countries. Select experience:
Madagascar: co-delivered Australia Awards in Africa course on 'Managing the Social and Environmental Impacts of Mining' involving 20 participants from 11 African countries.
Nigeria: co-delivered to Shell Nigeria’s Social Performance Team a master-class course on Community Research Methods for the Extractive Industry in Port-Harcourt.
Chile: co-delivered to participants from community, government and civil society a short course on Connecting Mining to Human Development in Santiago.
Prior to joining CSRM, Fitsum worked as a project support officer for the Queensland Office for Regulatory Efficiency (QORE). Fitsum also conducted socio-economic research on Asia-Pacific working for the Foundation for Development Cooperation (FDC). After beginning his professional career as a budget officer for the Eritrean Ministry of Finance, a highlight of Fitsum’s work has been his role working with human rights affected groups from across the East African region in Sudan. He also worked in the financial sector in South Africa.
Fitsum holds a Master of International Economics and Finance from the University of Queensland; a Baccalaureus Commercii Honores Degree in Money and Banking from the University of the Free State, South Africa; and a Bachelor of Economics from Asmara University, Eritrea.