Message from the President-CEO
November 29, 2011
Dear CCIC members and friends,
The last two months of this year are busy for the team here at CCIC, as we work closely with some of you on several key moments for the Canadian and international development discourse. Some of these moments were already on our agenda, but others originate from the rapidly changing environment for development. Our responses to these key events are described in some detail below and include: preparations for the Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan; the DAC Peer Review process; as well as the survey of CCIC members regarding the delays in CIDA’s call for proposals process. I would like to acknowledge the contributions that we have so far had from so many of you in this work – participating in preparatory/briefing calls and meetings, commenting on our briefing papers, and helping out in the preparation and rolling out of the call for proposals survey we launched last week. Thanks for your engagement and support – our lean secretariat team can accomplish a lot more with your involvement!
In a context where CCIC is carefully seeking balance between its involvement in strategic files, the need to make the best use of limited resources, and where our sector is facing important challenges such as the changing relations between CIDA and CSOs, it is particularly important that we have open and effective channels of communication with the membership. To this effect, the CCIC team is presently reviewing its communication strategy and tools, to better respond to the needs of its members and to ensure that information sharing mechanisms contribute to the effectiveness of our collective work. Besides recently creating a CCIC blog and a CCIC YouTube channel, we are about to launch a member-dedicated section on our website and a revamped Flash e-bulletin, starting in January 2012. So, stay tuned!
In solidarity, Julia
1. Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness now underway in Busan!
The Fourth High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4) is taking place from November 29 to December 1, 2011, in Busan, South Korea. With the expiration of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness in 2010, Busan represents a crucial moment for donors and governments to reaffirm and implement previous commitments, and to work with a diversity of new development actors to define a forward-looking agenda and framework for aid and international co-operation. CCIC’s Julia Sánchez and Fraser Reilly-King are participating in HLF-4 as well as the Busan Civil Society Forum, the Global Facilitation Group Meeting of the Open Forum and the Better Aid Coordination Group meeting. Other representatives of Canadian civil society attending Busan include Gervais l’Heureux from AQOCI, Robert Fox from Oxfam Canada, Brian Tomlinson from Aid Watch Canada, and Shannon Kindornay and Joe Ingram from The North-South Institute.
CCIC has produced a briefing note on the expected outcomes of HLF-4 and also held a pre-Busan information meeting in Ottawa on November 18th that brought together CSO representatives and CIDA senior staff who will be attending HLF-4, and other interested members. Twelve CCIC member organizations participated in this event. You can keep in touch with all the latest developments at HLF-4 by checking out the frequent posts from Busan on CCIC’s new blog.
2. OECD Peer Review – opportunity to provide input on CCIC’s submission
This month, representatives from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) came to Canada as part of a peer review of CIDA’s policies and practice. The Dutch and French Development Agencies joined the review as CIDA’s peers. The DAC met with representatives from the humanitarian and development community, including CCIC and many of its members, with knowledge partners, and with members of Parliament, amongst others. CCIC will be making an official submission to the DAC and the peers in December, and is inviting its members to be part of an informal reference group that will help steer and shape the submission and provide inputs. The reference group will be set up by December 5th, with the final submission made by CCIC to the DAC by December 16th. Interested individuals and organizations should contact Fraser Reilly-King for further details.
3. Documenting the impact of delays in CIDA’s announcements
CCIC and Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation have produced a report based on their recent survey to assess the extent and impact of delays in CIDA’s announcement of results to the latest calls for proposals. The survey was sent to all members of CCIC and provincial and regional councils. This is the first of two surveys that will be sent to members to evaluate the impact of changes at PWCB and provide ideas on how it can be improved. The survey was conducted from November 18-24, 2011 and sent to the 517 member organizations of CCIC and the Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation. (However, it should be noted that not all of these member organizations apply to CIDA for funding.) 113 organizations responded to the survey, with 87 responses to the English version and 26 responses to the French version. It is hoped that by documenting and illustrating with concrete figures the impact of these delays on Canadian organizations and on their work in developing countries with the poorest and most marginalized populations, we will be able to raise awareness among CIDA’s officials and other decision makers of the urgency to address these delays. CCIC is engaged in a constructive dialogue with CIDA on possible improvements to the competitive process at Partnerships with Canadians Branch, and will provide CIDA with specific examples and recommendations once the announcements are finally made and a fuller analysis of the impacts of the new system can be made. The report, Survey on the impacts of CIDA funding delays on civil society organizations, is now available on our website. For more details, please read CCIC’s recent briefing note.
4. Last chance to complete public engagement survey from Inter-Council Network
The Inter-Council Network (ICN) of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation has recently launched its three year program, “Exploring Public Engagement Effectiveness in Canada”, with a survey to scan the work that PE practitioners are undertaking across the country. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete, and will be open from October 31 to November 30, 2011. Ideally, it should be completed by your organization’s PE practitioner, or someone who is knowledgeable about your PE activities, projects or programming. Please feel free to forward the survey link to others who may be able to add to ICN’s work and understanding of PE in Canada.
CCIC in the News
5. Recent articles from or featuring CCIC
A look at CIDA’s post-Busan priorities, op-ed by Julia Sánchez, published on November 23rd, 2011 in Embassy Magazine. For the full text, see CCIC’s blog
NGOs frustrated with CIDA funding delays, by Kristen Shane, published on November 16, 2011 in Embassy Magazine, featuring comments from Julia Sánchez
6. Sustainable economic growth: The debate continues
One year ago, CIDA launched its sustainable economic growth strategy. In January, CCIC will release a paper that analyzes this strategy and makes recommendations for moving forward with the strategy. CCIC is also planning an event related to this paper, in January 2012 in Ottawa. Keep your eye on CCIC’s homepage in coming weeks for more details on this event.
7. CCIC participation in conference with global perspectives on evolving relationships between CSOs and governments
On November 16th CCIC participated in the Tenth Annual Public Policy and Third Sector conference, The Recession and Beyond: Taking Stock of Evolving Government-Nonprofit Relationships, in Toronto. This event was organized by Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies, in collaboration with the Association for Nonprofit and Social Economy Research. Julia Sanchez presented on ‘The Global Economic Crisis and Developing Countries’. Throughout most of the country presentations, with the notable exception of Australia and in part Germany, the state of relationships between governments and the voluntary sector was reported to be deteriorating at an alarming pace in what is clearly a global trend affecting democracies in the North as well as the South. Though the tactics that undermine the sector's work have taken different forms, there are many similarities and there is much to learn from the experience elsewhere as we plan our strategies moving forward. For more information, the agenda and some presentations from the conference are available online.
8. Canada’s engagement with the Americas
On October 31st, Ambassador Allan Culham, Director General of Hemispheric Affairs at DFAIT and Permanent Representative of Canada to the OAS, invited civil society organizations to a special dialogue session on Canada's engagement in the Americas. Participants discussed key priorities in the region, as well as challenges and opportunities for Canada’s engagement in the Americas. The consultation was part of DFAIT’s “Revision and Renewal” of the Americas Strategy. Participants included representatives from CCIC, FOCAL, NPSIA, CECI, AUCC, CLC, CERLAC, ASF, the Forum of Federations, the Métis National Council, Equitas, Oxfam, the Coady International Institute and Common Frontiers, among others.
9. View from Honduras
Civil society organizations across Canada organized activities with Honduran human rights defender Betty Matamoros between November 10th and 17th. Betty works with the Central American branch of the Hemispheric Social Alliance. She has been actively engaged in trade and militarization issues for decades and has been key in building international solidarity with the non-violent resistance movement that emerged in Honduras following the coup d'état in June 2009. Betty spoke at public events and met with human rights organizations in Nova Scotia, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto. She provided powerful insight into the human rights and democratic governance crisis in Honduras and called on the Canadian Government to refrain from taking any other steps to strengthen relations with the Honduran government until there is a verifiable improvement in the human rights situation.
Worth Looking At
10. Climate conference resources now online
In September 2011, a learning conference was held in Ottawa entitled Climate Negotiations and Justice for Vulnerable Populations: Perspectives for COP 17 and Rio+20. This conference was held in collaboration with the Canadian Coalition on Climate Change and Development (C4D), CCIC's Africa-Canada Forum, Asia-Pacific Working Group and Canadian Food Security Policy Group. You can now view excerpts of seven of the presentations from this event on CCIC’s website or on our new YouTube channel. You can also read the report on the learning conference.
11. Code of Ethics reminder
CCIC’s Code of Ethics compliance process operates on a rotating three year cycle, and there are three corresponding cohorts of CCIC members, organized into groups alphabetically. In accordance with this cohort system, this year, a number of CCIC members are being asked to reconfirm their compliance with the Code of Ethics and Operational Standards. Many members were emailed compliance forms in June 2011. This is a reminder that the deadline for those members to submit their completed forms is February 15, 2012. For more information, contact Jack Litster.
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.