CCIC monthly e-bulletin: September 2012                                                            About CCIC     |     Contact Us
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Taking the policy discussions to the public: Reflections on CCIC-CASID conference on the post-2015 framework

Civil society’s very crucial role in policy dialogue is being downplayed and de-prioritized of late, by our donors, supporters and ourselves. And apparently academics feel a degree of frustration that their research inputs for policy discussions are not met with the same receptivity as in the past. But a vibrant civil society that contributes energetically to policy dialogue is essential for a healthy democracy and good policy. So we must find new ways, despite the limitations in our context, to continue our engagement in key policy issues of our times. And the post-2015 development framework promises to be one such key policy issue – for the new framework will no doubt have a strong influence on the focus and impact of our collective development efforts in the decades to come. One of the new ways clearly involves making new partnerships and alliances for policy work.

The CCIC team has been hard at work this month organizing a joint conference with CASID (Canadian Association for Studies in International Development) - and with special participation from our friends at SIDGS (School of International Development and Globalization Studies) at the University of Ottawa - on the post-2015 development framework, and more specifically, how we as Canadian international development groups and academics can best engage with this very important global agenda. With few exceptions, Canadians have been missing in action on this policy front to date, and especially if we compare with the vibrant engagement that Canadian CSOs and others have demonstrated in the past over similar key global issues. This is no doubt in part due to our reduced policy capacities, which are being squeezed given the thrust of the current funding environment for CSOs in Canada. But at CCIC and CASID we are convinced that Canada has something valuable and unique to offer to this global process, so we set out to design a conference to explore this further. 

Throughout the post-2015 two-day conference we explored how development practitioners, academics,think tanks, and government officials can collaborate to shape a Canadian response to the next framework for development cooperation. We had amongst us representatives of most of the major global initiatives that have tackled this process upfront (UN, Millennium Campaign, Beyond 2015, reflection group, GCAP, etc.) to help us understand what is already being done and what value-added contribution we can bring to the table. With our conference room at capacity, participants set out to work dissecting the causes and impacts of the MDGs’ successes and failures, and describing a path forward. This is what we mean when we talk about engaging in policy, presenting ideas that are informed by the extensive field work that many of our members do as implementing agencies for development projects. 

I look forward to sharing the results of the conference with all our members in the coming weeks, and also furthering our discussions on how we can support the sector to continue its engagement with this issue, and others to come.  The CCIC-CASID post-2015 conference is living proof that our sector is alert and active, and still adept at churning out significant contributions to policy dialogue.

In solidarity,



Istanbul Principles Update – From Principles to ActionIP Icons

It has been a busy month for the Istanbul Principles. During the CIVICUS World Assembly, the Ontario Council for International Cooperation (OCIC), in collaboration with CCIC and the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, launched a set of visual icons (above) which illustrate the eight Istanbul Principles for CSO Development Effectiveness. In October, they will be made available for everyone to use as an open source tool in a range of sizes, formats and languages. September also saw a number of CCIC and Provincial and Regional Council members test-piloting a new practitioners guide developed by the Open Forum. The aim of this new resource is to train CSO practitioners to transmit the concepts and collective experience behind the International Framework and the accompanying Toolkits into conceptual and planning steps on the path to improving their effectiveness. The guide is being test-piloted in five regions around the world before the Open Forum comes out with the definitive version.


Gearing up for Post-2015

Everyone is talking post-2015 these days and what might replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). At the CIVICUS World Assembly, Beyond 2015, GCAP and CIVICUS hosted a one day conference (and a series of subsequent meetings) to strategize among civil society as the UN gears up discussions on what a post-2015 framework might look like. The meetings culminated in the release of the Montreal Declaration and Plan of Action on the Post-2015 Agenda. CCIC also hosted a two day conference with the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development at the University of Ottawa on Thinking outside the MDG Box. And the UN’s High-level Panel (HLP) of Eminent Persons on the post-2015 UN Development framework held its first meeting on 25 September at the UN Headquarters in New York. Beyond 2015 has analyzed its set-up and priorities.

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Hundreds of civil society representatives join forces at CIVICUS World Assembly

The CIVICUS World Assembly was held for a third and last time in Montréal from September 3-7. Brought together under the theme Together for a just world: Defining a new social contract – making the future together, 650 participants from across the world were involved in workshops, plenary and side events. CCIC staff and members were present and actively engaged in the discussions. A short summary report containing 15 key commitments for further civil society action towards a new social contract has been published, and the full report on the World Assembly will be available in October. Meanwhile, reports on the different activities are available on the conference site, as well as resource documents, blogs, videos of all plenary sessions and insightful interviews with speakers and  a photo gallery.

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Engagement opportunity for members: New Ethics Task Force launched

In a workshop at the CCIC 2012 AGM, an Ethics Task Force began taking shape for providing member input and guidance into the process of reviewing the compliance mechanism for the CCIC Code of Ethics and re-visioning where next with the Code. CCIC is undertaking a research and consultation project which will start with a member survey regarding capacity and motivation for compliance with the Code, and an analysis of compliance mechanisms for codes of conduct for various national platforms around the world as well as alternative mechanisms for ensuring accountability and excellence in practice for the sector. These activities will lead to a members’ consultation event in the winter of 2013, and a a new direction for the Code to be discussed at the 2013 AGM and eventually approved by the CCIC Board of Directors. If you would like to be involved in this process as a member of the Ethics Task Force, please contact Jack Litster for more information.

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Rosemary McCarney
Rosemary McCarney with children at Al Salan Camp in Al Fasher, Darfur

This month CCIC spoke with Rosemary McCarney, President-CEO of Plan Canada. In this interview, Rosemary talks about the upcoming UN Day of the Girl (October 11), and the humanitarian crisis in the Sahel. She also comments on how Plan has adapted to changing realities over its 75 year history and on partnerships with the private sector.

Read the full interview...

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Upcoming fall campaigns from RESULTS Canada and AQOCI

In the 2012 Federal Budget, the Government announced a 9% cut to the Canadian International Development Agency over three years. RESULTS Canada believes these cuts are not consistent with Canadian values around our global obligations and threaten progress made in key areas of development, as programs to reduce poverty and increase health and livelihoods are being shrunk or cut entirely. The organization is planning a “Reverse the Cuts” Campaign, which will mobilize individuals and organizations, to tell the Government that these cuts are not acceptable and to ask that funding be restored. More information will be available soon on RESULTS Canada’s website.

L’Association québécoise de coopération internationale (AQOCI) is also planning a campaign for November, as part of the Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale (JQSI), from November 7-17, 2012. This year’s theme for the JQSI focuses on “a fair economy, centered on people”. In a context of multiple crises (on the economic, ecological, social and food security fronts) and of growing discontent within the social movements, JQSI will offer opportunities to reflect and to act on the role of the economy, through the lens of human rights and democratic principles. A special campaign called “Faisons les comptes” will provide opportunities for citizens to ask stakeholders in international development to be held accountable for their choices. More info will be available on the JQSI site in the coming weeks.

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Event highlights the need for action on human rights of indigenous peoples in Colombia

On September 13, Amnesty International Canada, the Assembly of First Nations, and the National Indigenous Organization of Colombia (ONIC) hosted a special reception in honour of the 5th anniversary of the United Nations Declaration on the Human Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Representatives from various organizations acknowledged those who have fought for the recognition of indigenous rights. Luis Evelis Andrade Casama of the ONIC highlighted the urgent need for better implementation of the UN Declaration in Colombia, where at least a third of the 102 Indigenous nations are at risk of total extinction due to the ongoing armed conflict and forced displacement from their resource-rich territories. The evening highlighted the UN declaration’s role in raising the bar and setting a new standard for indigenous rights, but also the many challenges still facing its adequate implementation. CCIC’s Americas Policy Group works on issues related to the rights of indigenous people in Colombia, especially in the context of Canadian investment and resource extraction.


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World Federalist Movement–Canada weighs in on Canada’s peacekeeping presence

This summer, World Federalist Movement–Canada published a fact sheet that analyzes the diminishing role that Canada is playing in United Nations Peacekeeping missions in recent years. The fact sheet points to the emergence of new Asian and African countries as the major troop contributors to UN Peacekeeping missions, and argues that as “a middle power with no significant external threat to its borders, Canada should be primarily interested in a strengthened multilateral system.”


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Analytical tools and commentary from the North-South Institute

The North-South Institute has launched a series of blogs and online dashboards called International Development in a Changing World. This series looks at global events and policy frameworks such as the Rio+20 Conference, G20 meetings, the post-Busan aid architecture and the post-2015 global development goals.

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Carleton University launches Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership program

This month, Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration launched a Master of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership degree, which will offer summer institute courses and online courses in the fall and winter semesters, and will begin in June 2013.

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New on CCIC’s Members' Space

If you don’t have your password to log into the CCIC’s members space, please contact Chantal Havard.


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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 one paragraph.