Message from the President-CEO
October 26, 2011
CCIC staff news: Arrivals and Departures
Dear CCIC members and friends,
Though Flash is rarely used to communicate staff news to the broader membership, as we have become a much leaner secretariat and more member-led organization, it is important to share news about our evolving team as our transition and consolidation phase advances. This month, we have a big hello and a huge good-bye. I am pleased to announce that Chantal Havard has now joined CCIC as the Government Relations and Communications Officer. Chantal brings a strong combination of communication, member and public engagement skills, both in the CSO and public sectors. She has worked most recently at CIDA in Communications, and has extensive CSO experience working and volunteering with organizations including Équiterre, Canadian Crossroads International, Transfair Canada (now Fairtrade Canada), and CECI. Please join me in welcoming Chantal to the CCIC team.
We are also saying goodbye to our dear colleague, and cherished member of our community, Gauri Sreenivasan, who is leaving her position as CCIC’s Policy Coordinator at the end of this month. Gauri has worked in CCIC’s policy team in various positions since 1996. Gauri brought leadership to the development of CCIC’s Global Economic Justice Program and has worked with the membership on this and many other key files. In November, Gauri will be starting a new (and no doubt illustrious) chapter in her career as the Deputy Director (Policy) at the New Democratic Party. We will miss Gauri more than we can express, but we are delighted that she will be helping to shape policy around key issues close to our sector’s heart. We are planning to celebrate her years with us (more news on this soon!), but for now join me in saying au revoir to our good friend Gauri!
In solidarity, Julia Sánchez
1. How Canada could reach 0.7% of GNI for ODA
This month the Norwegian government committed US$4.7 billion – or 1 percent of GNI – towards aid, prioritizing climate change and humanitarian assistance. CCIC estimates that the Canadian Government would need to increase the International Assistance Envelope by $680 million in 2012-2013 to be on track to achieve 0.7 percent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2022-2023. In late September, CCIC presented its Pre-Budget backgrounder to the Finance Committee. Here are CCIC’s three key demands:
1) Create a long-term plan for the future growth of Canadian aid;
2) Enhance commitments to climate change financing;
3) Support the first replenishment of the Global Partnership for Education.
2. Canadian civil society sharing knowledge to better deal with CIDA’s unsettling call for proposals process
There is frustration and anxiety around the unacceptable delays to the various calls for proposals that CIDA initiated late last year and in the spring of 2011. At best, the new CIDA system could have generated independent and objective assessment of proposals, clearer timelines and greater predictability. But by not functioning effectively, this system is creating delays and disruption in project implementation, uncertainty among partners in developing countries and the potential of lay-offs. Beyond raising these issues with senior management at CIDA, CCIC is working in collaboration with the Provincial and Regional Councils using the following methods:
1) Providing updates on CCIC’s website with information on the calls for proposals process;
2) Conducting a membership survey to map the outcomes of the various calls for proposals and identify improvements to the system that can be shared with CIDA;
3) Preparing factsheets and key messages on how the current situation works against effective development. These could be used by organizations with their own constituencies, MPs, media etc.
3. Upcoming opportunity for CIDA to learn from OECD peers
On November 14-18, the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) will be coming to Canada to begin CIDA’s next Peer Review. The purpose of the Peer Review is to
1) Help CIDA understand where it could improve its development strategy and structures so that it can increase the effectiveness of its investment; and
2) Identify and share good practice in development policy and strategy.
As with Canada’s 2007 DAC Peer Review, the 2012 Review will focus on CIDA’s strategic orientations, policy coherence for development, aid volume, channels and allocations, organization and management, aid effectiveness and humanitarian assistance. A report on the findings will be published in June 2012. It is still unclear whether the process will include meeting with civil society, although this is usually a standard part of the process. CCIC will make a submission to the Review. If your organization is interested in the Peer Review process or wishes to submit documentation, please coordinate with Fraser Reilly-King.
4. Better Aid for the World We Want!
October 17 is International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. On this day CSOs around the world launched the global campaign “Better Aid for the World We Want”, pushing for firm political commitments at the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan, South Korea, in late November. Campaign events, led by the Global Call to Action against Poverty, in cooperation with the BetterAid platform and the Open Forum, are taking place in Uganda, Liberia, Ghana, Malawi, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, India, Argentina and Nicaragua. The public are encouraged to sign a petition asking governments to ensure that citizens’ voices are heard in development and aid decisions.
5. Is Canada still committed to supporting education globally?
In early November, the Global Partnership for Education (formerly the “Education for All - Fast Track Initiative) is holding its first ever replenishment campaign with a view to reinvigorating political and financial support for education. The GPE, which currently supports education in 46 developing countries, works to ensure that all children receive quality basic education. Between now and 2014, the GPE anticipates needing $2.5 billion to address education needs in just over 60 countries.
Canada was a founding member of the GPE and maintains strong commitments to education both bilaterally and multilaterally. Last month, in the Finance Committee’s pre-budget consultation, CCIC asked for Canada to increase its contribution to the GPE to $125 million over the next three years, which represents Canada’s “fair share”.
6. Public meetings featuring Burmese youth leaders
A partnership between CUPE, Canadian Friends of Burma and CUSO-VSO is sponsoring a visit to Canada by two young Burmese leaders. Mi Aie Son works with the Mon Youth Progressive Organization and Aung Naing Soe is the General Secretary of Nationalities Youth Forum. They will be holding public meetings in three cities, seeking international solidarity and support for their human rights advocacy work. The meetings are to be held at the following times and locations.
October 25, 6:30 p.m., Ottawa Main Library (120 Metcalfe St., Ottawa)
October 26, 6:30 p.m., Ryerson University, Jorgenson Hall Centre Hub 152, (350 Victoria St., Toronto)
October 30, 2:00-4:00 p.m. CUSO-VSO office, (1460 Howe St., Vancouver)
7. Lead up to Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan: Opportunities to get involved
The Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) in Busan, South Korea will take place from November 29 to December 1, 2011. Members of BetterAid gathered in Paris at the beginning of October for the second-last meeting of the Working Party on Aid Effectiveness (WP-Eff) before Busan. Ahead of the meeting, BetterAid issued a statement in response to the Second Busan Outcome Document (BOD), flagging both a number of ongoing concerns, but noting a number of improvements from the initial draft. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon will be attending HLF-4, as well as US Secretary of State Clinton and one hundred other Ministers. CCIC is organizing a pre-Busan meeting with civil society and CIDA officials in Ottawa on the morning of November 18. Please contact Jack Litster before November 11 to confirm your participation in the event.
Worth Looking At
8. The Report to Parliament on the ODA Accountability Act: Third time lucky?
In early October, the government released its Third Report to Parliament on the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, meeting one of the technical requirements of the Act by providing a report on annual aid disbursements across 13 Departments. As a whole-of-government exercise, the Report is generally a success. It also provides timely and more detailed information on funding allocations at different thematic, country, programmatic and institutional levels. However, as with previous years, the Report lacks depth. The report falls short of explaining how the three criteria of the Act shape and inform the Departments’ respective thematic priorities, their short, medium and long-term objectives, and corresponding policies and programs – in particular from the three Departments disbursing the majority of ODA (CIDA, Finance and DFAIT). CCIC has produced a Briefing Note that highlights some key aspects of this Third Report, draws out some funding trends, and outlines recommendations.
9. New report by CHF links climate change adaptation and food security in world’s poorest countries
This concise report, entitled Saving Crops, Saving Lives: The Need for More Aggressive Support to Climate Change Adaptationsheds new light on the challenges of climate change facing farmers in developing countries and how donors around the world can help them to adapt. It finds that while investment in adaptation efforts yield a double dividend in protecting harvests and securing the incomes of some of the world's poorest people, failure to plan properly can equally put recent development successes in jeopardy. The report also argues that while curbing emissions is important, progress on global agreements has been slow and farmers need help urgently with environmental changes they are seeing in their fields. For more information contact Michael Jones.
10. Explore these new online resources from the Asia-Pacific Working Group
The Asia-Pacific Working Group participated in the organization of a series of events during the month of September and recently made resources related to these events available on its webpage:
- A presentation from the Ottawa public forum on Farming, Forests and Fuel – Southern Perspectives on Climate Change
- A presentation from the Montreal public forum on Land Grabbing in Asia : A Case Study from the Philippines
- The audio recording of the keynote presentation of Maria Theresa Nera-Lauron at the APWG 2011 Symposium on Climate Change and Agriculture in the Asia-Pacific Region.
11. Reality of Aid report: Increase aid effectiveness by keeping promises
Aid could make a real difference for people who need it most if promises are made and kept by development actors, reveals a new report from the Reality of Aid Network, based on evidence from 32 countries around the world. The report “Democratic Ownership and Development Effectiveness: Civil Society Perspectives on Progress since Paris”, was launched on October 5. Long-time (former) CCIC staff member Brian Tomlinson was content editor of this report.
If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Jack Litster. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than 150 words.