Cindy Wilhelm

Cindy Wilhelm


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Personal profile

Key Research Interests

My Key research interests include the following concepts: Resource Governance, Resource-based development, Extractive Industries, Corporate Social Responsibility, Mining Megaprojects, Linkages and Diversification

I am studying the inclusiveness of resource-based development to improve the extractive industries to spread resource-wealth more evenly in resource-rich developing countries. I am particularly interested in studying mining sector reforms. For my PhD project I am focusing on the implementation of Local Content Policies (LCPs) in Guinea's bauxite industry.

My work is qualitative. I combine fieldwork in Guinea where I conduct semi-structured interviews using an actor-based approach (including representatives from the government, mining companies and civil society) with document analysis. This allows me to see how the legal texts that outline LCPs are actually implemented and what the challenges and obstacles are.

Academic Background

I hold a Master of Research (MRes, with distinction) in International Development from the University of Bath. My MRes dissertation  An Actor-oriented Assessment of Guinea's Local Content Policies (LCP): Opportunities and obstacles for the government, mining companies and civil society was supervised by Dr. Roy Maconachie. For my MRes I conducted 2 months of fieldwork in Conakry and Boffa in Guinea.

I have a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Economic History from the Erasmus University Rotterdam. I graduated with two honours programmes diplomas. My Bachelor Thesis was supervised by Dr. Ben Wubs and Dr. Jeroen Euwe: "A 'star performer' megaproject? Linkages and the Mozal aluminium smelter in Mozambique (1998-2017)."

I was also an exchange student at the University of Vienna and joined their History Master's courses and their International Development MA modules in Landgrabbing, Natural Resources and Development and Perspectives on Inequality.


I regularly participate in academic conferences. I attended the Oxford Forum for International Development 2020 (OxFID) conference.

I participated in and presented at the virtual Extraction Tracing the Veins 2020 virtual conference. My paper "The future of extractive industries: Understanding and analysing mining sector reforms in Sub-Saharan Africa" was featured in the Policy for Sustainable Mining panel. You can watch my conference presentation here.

I participated in the Academy of International Business (AIB) 2020 conference. I presented the paper that I co-authored with Dr. Irina Heim from Henley Business School at the University of Reading. The paper carries the title "Extractive MNEs and Sustainable Development: A Comparative Study of a Least Developed and Emerging Resource-Rich countries". The paper was nominated for the UNCTAD-AIB 2020 Award. You can watch the presentation of the paper here

I am the co-founder of UEA's Fieldwork Support Group. Making fieldwork safer and more ethical has been my main project next to my PhD. We have created the fieldwork support group to support and connect researchers (especially postgraduate researchers) to offer a platform and lobby for safer and more ethical fieldwork practices.

Outside of my academic work, I regularly work on projects related to resource-based development and in particular local content and local procurement. I am regularly recruited by non-profit organizations and consultancies as a contractor or consultant to support research and advisory activities to governments, non-profit organizations, and mining companies. I have experience working on the regional development of mining areas (in particular Guinea and West Africa), and I am comfortable communicating with mining companies, government, and civil society representatives in English, French, and German.

I have done numerous internships and volunteering activities with the following organizations:

  • Research Internships (The Hague University of Applied Sciences, Sen Foundation, UPEACE Centre The Hague)
  • Administrative Work and Internships (European Association of History Educators (EUROCLIO) The Hague, The Third Hague Peace Conference)
  • Tutoring and Teaching for young refugees and migrants (NeuAnkommen Wien, Asylcafé Backnang, VluchtelingenWerk Nederland)

I have participated in academic competitions and honours programmes:

  • Student Research Conference 2018 in The Hague, NL. The presentation of the summary of my Bachelor’s thesis was awarded as ‘Best Research Social Sciences & Economics.’ 1000€ prize by AWOV Wetenschappelijk Onderzoek Verkeersveiligheit. Publication of the paper in e-journal SURE!
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam, Honours Programmes. History Honours Class on History, State & Society. Erasmus Honours Academy "Grand Challenges" on Responsibility, Sustainability and Leadership. Awarded to the 50 most talented students at Erasmus University.
  • The Third Hague Peace Conference, Essay Competition. 2015. Top 100 Essays with my Essay on reforming the Geneva Conventions.


Research Group or Lab Membership

I am a member of the Development Studies Association (DSA), the European Association of Development Research and Training Institutes (EADI), The West African Research Association (WARA), and the Academy of International Business (AIB). I am a member of the World Bank's Extractives-Led Local Economic Diversification Community of Practice (ELLED CoP). I am also part of  UEA's Environmental Justice Research Group.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Master of Research, University of Bath

1 Oct 201830 Sep 2019

Award Date: 10 Dec 2019

Bachelor of Arts, Erasmus University Rotterdam

1 Sep 201531 Jul 2018

Award Date: 1 Sep 2018

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or