March 15, 2011
1. Key Messages re Federal Budget 2011
The 2011/12 federal budget will speak volumes about Canada's global priorities. Current directions project a freeze on foreign aid and limited action on financing adaptation to climate change, with continued increases in military spending, including major expenditures on new fighter jets. As a result, the upcoming budget risks being out of step with Canadians’ values and their vision for Canada’s role in the world.
CCIC and other CSOs are calling for this year’s federal budget to reflect Canadians’ desire for action to support peace and equality and to address the impacts of climate change on the world’s most vulnerable people. Key messages for the sector on the international priorities of the budget are now on the CCIC website.
CCIC will hold a media briefing on budget concerns regarding aid, defense and the environment with the Pembina Institute and the Rideau Institute on March 17, 2011. Watch the website for the joint press release. CCIC’s reaction to the budget will be posted after March 22.
2. Seeking a New Deal with CIDA
The CSO sector is facing growing uncertainty about the reliability of standards applied at CIDA to determine whether programs will be approved for funding support. This uncertainty has been heightened with changes at CIDA’s Partnerships with Canadians Branch that pit Canadian NGOs against each other in competition for funding opportunities based on “calls for proposals”. This new system replaces program support provided to Canadian aid agencies to support their ties with developing country partner groups.
During a series of meetings with CCIC members, CCIC President-CEO Gerry Barr discussed the need for new ways to work with Canada’s aid agency. CCIC has published a draft text of a proposed “Cooperation Agreement” setting out a new approach to the sector’s relationship with CIDA. CCIC will ask for discussions leading to a joint (CCIC & CIDA) statement affirming key directions for Canada’s aid spending based on the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, shared principles rooted in the sector’s Code of Ethics and newly emerging accountability standards (the Istanbul Principles).
3. Mapping Study of Canadian CSO Policy Coalitions
A new mapping study of Canadian CSO policy coalitions is now available on the CCIC website. The study, “Canadian civil society organization coalitions’ governance, capacity and agendas – Common challenges, shortfalls and their implications”, was commissioned as a resource to support strategic reflection and discussion in CCIC and the sector on current issues and capacities in coalition work. The report draws from interviews with individuals from 24 Canadian coalitions focused on issues related to CCIC’s 10-Point Agenda. It reviews the value-added of coalitions in Canada, identifies cross-cutting opportunities and challenges, considers some of the overlaps and gaps in coalition agendas, and draws out implications for CCIC.
Click here to read the study.
4. Africa-Canada Forum Briefing Notes on Peace and Security in Africa
In October 2010, at the Africa-Canada Forum annual Colloquium, ACF members and colleagues reflected on peace and security in Africa and ways to support democratization. ACF published two briefing notes on difficult issues where it believes Canada can make a difference. The first addresses the democratization process, conflict minerals and sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second looks at Canada’s new Action Plan on the Implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security (1325, 1820, 1888, 1889), and suggests improvements, in particular with regard to women's participation and representation in peace negotiation and decision-making bodies, and ongoing consultation with civil society.
Click here to read the briefing notes.
5. CCIC is seeking a new President-CEO
CCIC is looking for a new President-CEO to lead Canada’s pre-eminent coalition of voluntary organizations working globally to end poverty, promote social justice, and achieve sustainable human development.
Click here to see the job description.
6. Mark your calendars: 2011 CCIC Annual General Meeting
Member organizations are invited to the May 26 & 27 Forum and 2011 CCIC AGM.
The 2011 AGM is of historic importance, with CCIC and its members operating in an unprecedented new context. The AGM provides a unique opportunity for the sector to come together and ensure the Council’s future.
The AGM will be preceded by a special Forum: “From Principles to Practice, Improving our development effectiveness as CSOs”. The AGM will affirm the importance of CCIC’s role in promoting development excellence and an enabling environment for civil society organizations. The AGM will receive a report on the Council’s response to discontinued CIDA funding and will review CCIC’s strategic priorities for the coming year. A new membership fee structure will be considered for adoption – one that ensures sustainable funding for the core functions of the Council.
Members will have the opportunity to recognize and celebrate Gerry Barr’s many significant contributions to the Council at the AGM Dinner on May 26, 2011.
All this adds up to a major meeting! Let’s make sure that we are all there!
7. Asia-Pacific Working Group Regional Meeting
The Asia-Pacific Working Group (APWG) is organizing a regional meeting in Montreal on March 30, 2011. The main objectives of this meeting are to provide a networking space for organizations and individuals with an interest in the Asia-Pacific region, and to gather ideas and suggestions for activities to be undertaken collaboratively through the working group in the coming year. The meeting will be in French. It will take place at the office of Development and Peace in Montreal, at 1425 West René-Lévesque Boulevard. To register, contact Denis Côté (APWG coordinator).
8. From Theory to Practice – Making Canadian CSOs more effective development actors
In Ottawa (April 28), Montreal (May 3), Winnipeg (May 4) and Toronto (May 5), CCIC will meet with its members and Provincial and Regional Council members, to provide an update on the CSO development effectiveness agenda and to get feedback on how CCIC can begin to work with the outcomes of this agenda in Canada.
Following 60 national consultations worldwide (including one in Ottawa in March 2010), in September 2010 the Open Forum on CSO Development Effectiveness endorsed the Istanbul Principles. Now, ahead of the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, the Open Forum is finalizing the draft International Framework on Civil Society Organization (CSO) Development Effectiveness, which elaborates the principles further, and looking to develop a practical toolkit to help CSOs implement them.
CCIC is hoping that the provincial meetings will stimulate organizational reflections on how CCIC and its members can situate and work with the Principles and the Framework within the Canadian context – more specifically in relation to CCIC’s existing Code of Ethics and Operational Standards and the current political environment that frames Canadian CSO work on development effectiveness. The outcomes from these provincial meetings will inform a one day Forum on Implementing the Istanbul Principles on May 26, ahead of the the CCIC AGM.
For more details on the meetings, contact Fraser Reily-King, or click here for the Overview.
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