Message from the President-CEO
December 21, 2011
A Year in Review
Dear CCIC members and friends,
As we wrap up activities for 2011, please allow me to get a bit sentimental, as one does around this time of the year, while looking back on the journey of CCIC since I appeared on the scene – in May 2011 during our forum and AGM.
I received the CCIC offer in mid-May of this year, and as it happened was on my way to Canada on a personal visit, so was able to join the board meeting, forum and AGM as a “special guest”. It was a truly amazing experience to parachute into those interesting discussions around aid effectiveness and the future of CCIC. To hear Emele Duituturaga talk about how PIANGO had been defunded, like CCIC, and risen from the ashes to become a vibrant and relevant actor on the regional and international scene. And to hear her also talk about the global CSO process, that I would later witness in all its strength during the CIVICUS World Assembly in Montreal and the Global Civil Society Forum in Busan, South Korea. I was also impressed with the engagement of a diversity of members – amongst them some new faces and some old friends - who stood up to advocate for the sector’s collective work during those two days; and overwhelmed by the strong sense of community during the farewell event in honour of Gerry, Esperanza and Brian. And a crucially important and solemn moment: when the resolution to increase the member fees for CCIC was carried unanimously at the AGM, thus creating the conditions for all the work we have done since then. I knew right away I had made the right choice – joining CCIC at this time of enormous challenges, and hidden opportunities, was by far the most interesting thing I could do!
The four months since I actually joined, in mid-August, have been exhilarating. What a great team, board and mandate CCIC has! After the crisis it went through, it is truly amazing that we are now deeply involved in a new phase of the organization’s life – which involves working more closely with our members on strategic issues and constructing a new organization with renewed relationships with key stakeholders in the Canadian and global development scenes.
I must say that what has nourished me most (other than one too many lunches here and there!) are the different opportunities to meet with our diverse membership – in small groups or in one-on-one meetings. Thank you to all who have made it a special point to invite me to events where I have been able to interact with different people involved and interested in our work – events, workshops, meetings, conferences, AGMs, etc. I really appreciate all these opportunities to hear people’s concerns, suggestions, and advice. I am confident that the work plan that the CCIC team is building will correspond to your collective priorities; and the door (phone, e-mail, etc.) will always remain open for continued dialogue and debates on the way forward.
I wish you all a very restful and energizing holiday break. And on behalf of the whole CCIC team (Fraser, Sylvie, Denis, Brittany, Chantal, Anna and Jack) look forward to working closely with you in the New Year.
In solidarity, Julia
1. All aboard for aid and development effectiveness: Highlights from Busan
CCIC’s Julia Sanchez and Fraser Reilly-King recently spent several days in South Korea to attend the Busan Global Civil Society Forum (BCSF) and the 4th High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4). HLF4 included a broad range of development actors – including donor and partner countries as well as emerging economies, the private sector, and civil society – and framed the agenda for aid and development effectiveness going forward - the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation. For the first time ever, BetterAid (a platform of over 700 civil society organisations involved in aid effectiveness policy work) was part of the official negotiations of the final outcome document, with Tony Tujan, Chair of BetterAid, acting as the civil society Sherpa. You can read the blogs from Busan, written by Fraser, Julia, and several other Canadian delegates to HLF4, including a blog on the Busan Gender Action Plan from Oxfam Canada’s Robert Fox. Gervais L’Heureux from AQOCI also wrote a daily blog from Busan. CCIC has posted some photos from Busan on its new flickr photostream. The Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness has provided extensive resources online from Busan, including videos from the BCSF, Maina Kiai’s keynote speech at the BCSF, and Hilary Clinton’s keynote address at HLF4.
2. An Americas Strategy in the making
Canada’s Minister of State of Foreign Affairs (Americas and Consular Affairs), Honourable Diane Ablonczy, held a Ministerial Dialogue on the Americas on December 6, 2011 for stakeholders from various sectors. This dialogue was part of DFAIT’s revision and renewal of the Americas Strategy. Panels focused on economic trends in the hemisphere, Brazil as an emerging power, justice and security in Central America, and competitive realities on the continent. While panellists were mainly from the business and academic sectors, participants heard compelling interventions from civil society organizations such as Lawyers without Borders Canada and the Justice Education Society. DFAIT is also asking for written input on the Americas Strategy, and CCIC’s Americas Policy Group (APG) is preparing a submission. To read more on this, see this December 14 CCIC blog from Brittany Lambert (APG Coordinator).
CCIC in the News
3. Recent coverage in CBC, The Catholic Register, & Embassy Magazine
Julia Sanchez was interviewed on CBC Radio’s All in a Day (November 30, 2011), regarding CIDA funding delays.
Julia Sanchez was quoted in an online article from The Catholic Register (December 13, 2011) regarding delays in CIDA funding announcements.
Fraser Reilly-King was quoted in an Embassy Magazine article (December 14, 2011) by Sneh Duggal entitled ‘Major foreign policy re-think coming in 2012’.
4. Busan: A New Architecture for Development Cooperation? Debrief meeting with Canadian civil society, January 9, 2012
All CCIC members are invited to participate in a brown bag lunch and an afternoon of presentations and discussions regarding the outcomes of the 4th High-Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness (HLF4) in Busan, South Korea. Several individuals from Canadian civil society who attended HLF4 will be present at the event, as well as various representatives from CIDA. The brown bag lunch will take place at The North-South Institute (55 Murray Street, Suite 500, Ottawa), from 12:00pm - 3:00pm on January 9, 2012. Conference call facilities will be available for all CCIC members. If you wish to attend in person or call in, please RSVP to Jack Litster by January 5, 2012 to confirm your participation in the event. Seating is limited.
5. CCIC presents The elusive quest for pro-poor growth? A discussion on CIDA’s Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, January 23, 2012
One year ago, CIDA launched its sustainable economic growth (SEG) strategy. CCIC is organizing an event on January 23, 2012 at the International Development Research Centre to launch a CCIC paper on the SEG strategy, which situates CIDA’s strategy in the current international focus on growth, provides an overview of the strategy, and analyzes the assumptions on which it has been developed, making a series of recommendations for ways that would move the strategy in the direction of pro-poor growth. The event will be kicked off by two keynote speakers, including Jim Stanford (Economist, Canadian Auto Workers). It will provide an overview of CCIC’s SEG paper and CIDA’s current focus on the extractive industries and women’s economic empowerment and will finish with a roundtable discussion on growth and CIDA’s strategy among representatives from the international development sector. The event is open to all CCIC members, both those who are interested in the issue of growth, and those who wish to learn more. To register, RSVP to Jack Litster.
6. Insights into hunger and poverty: USC Canada hosts two events with Frances Moore Lappé, January-February 2012
USC Canada will be hosting two evenings with Frances Moore Lappé, author of the bestselling book Diet for a Small Planet. Lappé ‘s new book, EcoMind, confronts our current myths about markets, food, and environmental issues. These events will be held in English, and will take place in Toronto on January 31, 2012 (Wychwood Barns -Barn 2, 601 Christie Street) and in Ottawa on February 1, 2012 (St. Brigid’s Centre for the Arts, 310 St. Patrick Street). Both events begin at 7:30pm; tickets are $10.
7. Global Development Symposium: Save the date, and call for submissions
From May 6-9, 2012 the Global Development Symposium will be taking place at the University of Guelph, organized by the Ontario Veterinary College. The Global Development Symposium will be exploring interdisciplinary approaches to improving public health and food security while empowering communities for lasting change. This symposium will bring together social, environmental, medical and veterinary scientists with policy makers, students and community members who have an interest in positive global development. Keynote speakers are leading visionaries on the topics of Global Development and Health, including Stephen Lewis. Themes include public health, food security, and community empowerment. The deadline to submit abstracts for oral and poster presentations is February 6, 2012.
Worth a Look
8. Spotlight on human rights in Asia
CCIC’s Asia Pacific Working Group (APWG) recently contributed a short text to a national conversation on human rights in Asia organized by the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada. In the text, APWG’s Denis Côté noted that “Canada can best contribute to the progressive realization of human rights in Asia in four ways: by using a human rights framework to assess and develop its trade and investment agreements; by ensuring that its official development assistance (ODA) meets international human right standards; by ensuring the corporate accountability of Canadian private companies operating in Asia; and by supporting civil society in Asia’s developing countries.”
9. CCIC’s web presence evolves further
CCIC has been expanding its social media presence, recently launching a twitter account, as well as a flickr photostream, and has made a splash with its vibrant new blog, launched in November. CCIC has also been expanding its presence on Facebook. If you have not done so already, please take a minute to explore these new resources, and promote them to your networks.
Also to note that many interesting new jobs have been posted recently on the widely used Employment page of CCIC’s website (this page has been receiving an average of 10,000 page views per month in 2011). All CCIC members are still encouraged to make use their two free postings per year, if they have not already done so. For more details contact Jack Litster.
10. Keeping up with CIDA - on Facebook
This month, the Canadian International Development Agency launched French and English Facebook pages, which feature integration with CIDA’s RSS feeds, as well as their other social media outlets (Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube). Check it out!
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.