CCIC monthly e-bulletin: January 2013                                                            About CCIC     |     Contact Us
banner image



January has seen international development featured widely in the media again, this time around questions about Canada’s aid to Haiti. Though some will argue the debate is not always as well informed as it should be - given the seriousness of the issue for Haitians and for Canada’s role in the world - I remain on the camp of those that see the silver lining on the dark cloud, and think that this public debate is much better than no debate at all. Of course, like in any public debate, the risk that the conversation will be taken in very unproductive directions is very real, especially when the tone and language being used are paternalistic and contribute to nurture clichés about poor people and developing countries …. However, it is an invitation and a great opportunity for us to also jump in with reasoned and informed contributions that emanate from the years of experience and engagement that our sector has in Haiti specifically, in complex emergency situations and in fragile states more generally.

Many of CCIC’s members have a long history of working in Haiti, given Haiti’s prominence in Canadian priorities and the historical ties that link us to Haitian people. And many of them have come out during the recent public attention given to Minister Fantino’s announcement that new aid to Haiti was being put on ice while CIDA reviewed its future plans for engagement in Haiti. Among those that have put important messages out there are Plan and Care, AQOCI and Oxfam Quebec. The North-South Institute also jumped in with an important thought piece on the challenges and opportunities in Haiti. And at the international level, the Centre for Global Development has continued to fine tune its recommendations for improving aid in Haiti building on its analysis of funding flows to Haiti released in May of 2012.

Haiti no doubt haunts us all to some degree. And questions about how we could do things differently and better, in Haiti and elsewhere are legitimate. These questions have been asked on many occasions already, and we must continue to ask them and find answers as we move forward in what is a constant learning process. The answers that emerge each time feed into the growing collective knowledge of how aid and international cooperation can be most effective in situations as trying as Haiti. Canadian CSOs working in international development are learning organizations that are continuously reviewing and evaluating their practices. Abundant literature produced by CSOs, academics and other researchers on how to make international development more efficient and relevant already exists to inform this learning process. We agree with the Minister that the time might be opportune for Canada to review its approach in Haiti as the country enters a new stage of its recovery and development process. However, this should not be done in a vacuum but rather in close consultation with the Haitian government, first and foremost, as well as CIDA staff, international aid practitioners, partner organizations in developing countries and the academic sector. Kevin McCort from Care probably summarized our collective wish and potential contribution best, when he said “We want to ensure he consults with us. We have lots of experience in Haiti. We can help explain to him and others about what some of the challenges are in Haiti and why it is having trouble reaching the milestones we all want”.

Given Canada’s special relationship with Haiti, this is a great opportunity for our government and civil society groups to show leadership in addressing some of the key challenges that need to be overcome in order for Haiti to get on the path of sustainable long-term development. Canada, as one of Haiti’s key donors and hemispheric neighbor, can surely step up to the plate in addressing the challenges of coordination and local ownership that have become increasingly evident, amongst others. This is, without question, a unique opportunity for us to shine on the global stage by making a difference that no other country is equally positioned to make.

In solidarity,




Donor approaches for engaging with the private sector

The North-South Institute and CCIC have released a new paper, Investing in the business of development – Bilateral Donor approaches to engaging the private sector. The paper, which includes an Executive Summary, maps the strategies on the private sector and economic growth of the OECD’s 23 bilateral donors against a broad range of themes and sub-themes. The thematic framework is used as a means to draw out some comparisons in the themes and sub-themes, and from this, analysis and conclusions about how donors are addressing their engagement with the private sector. Among other things, the paper looks at what donor strategies on growth and the private sector actually entail, which private sector they are engaging, in what ways, under what terms and to what end.  The paper concludes with policy implications from this analysis, and identifies future areas of research. You can also read the North-South Institute and CCIC blogs about the Report.


Thinking Outside the MDG Box Conference Report now available

IP Calendar

The report of the post-2015 conference that CCIC co-organized with the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) is finished. The goal of this conference was to bring international development, environment and human rights practitioners and academics together to contribute towards shaping Canadian civil society’s response to the global development framework that will succeed the MDGs when they expire in 2015. Also, four videos from the conference are available on CCIC’s YouTube channel.

dividing line

Digging Deep: Women’s Rights, Canadian Policy and Global Engagement

On January 22, CCIC, Oxfam Canada and Match International organized a meeting of the CCIC Women’s Rights Group to assess the current policy environment in Canada and implications for gender and development policy and check energy levels to take action collectively to advance women’s rights in Canada and in the global South. Participation was great with more than 40 participants from 20 organizations and many gender consultants. We had very rich discussions, including on the post-2015 framework and VAW but also on other topics of importance.  The highlights of the discussions will be captured in a report and other media support that will be out in the coming weeks.  For more information, please contact Sylvie Perras at  

dividing line

Survey on CCIC’s Code of Ethics

CCIC is launching an online survey as part of a special research project related to charting a sustainable course for the future of the CCIC Code of Ethics and Operational Standards. An online survey is the first step to begin a reflective process among the CCIC membership. The questions are designed to provide information about the members’ experiences with the current compliance process; to identify how members currently identify with the process; and to provide ideas for moving forward. The results of the survey and a small number of follow-up interviews will help to focus further research into examples and lessons from other existing accountability mechanisms. A discussion paper will be drafted and presented to members for a dialogue on how best to move forward. The research project will conclude with an options paper for the Board that will allow them to make informed decisions on next steps. The survey will soon be distributed to CCIC Member Executive Directors.

dividing line

The African Mining Vision: A Transformative Agenda for Development

The Africa-Canada Forum backgrounder on the African Mining Vision stands as an outcome of its annual colloquium on the Role of the Private Sector in Africa’s Development. It was also prepared in view of the 2013 South Africa Mining Indaba, the world’s largest gathering of mining’s most influential stakeholders and decision-makers, and where Minister of International Trade and Minister, Ed Fast, was expected to participate. It provides a broad overview of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV), adopted by African Heads of State in 2009, and the implementation of this Vision to date. It situates this Vision within the current approach of the Canadian government towards the extractive industries, in particular in the areas of international development, and trade and investment, in terms of both policy and practice. Finally, it problematizes that approach against the AMV, but also alternative, and increasingly mainstream, thinking around the issue of resources extraction, development and poverty eradication.  You can access the backgrounder here.  For more information, please contact Sylvie Perras at

dividing line

CIDA IATI implementation schedule

Towards the end of December, CIDA published its implementation schedule for how it will publish to the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) standard. CIDA began publishing its first set of quarterly data files to the IATI registry at the end of October, becoming the first donor to publish bilingually. The release of the implementation schedule now signals how and when CIDA will go about publishing IATI compliant data. It contains detailed plans for gradual compliance with almost all fields in the standard. Engineers Without Borders applauded the key milestone, and Andrew Clarke from Publish What You Fund, called them “Detailed, accountable and accessible”. All other government departments, representing approximately 30 percent of aid spending, are not yet subject to IATI.

dividing line

Imagine Canada Survey on “Impact Proof Points” has been extended

As mentioned previously in FLASH, Imagine Canada is also engaged in redefining a new narrative for the charitable sector, and it is collecting "Impact Proof Points" from its members in order to illustrate the unique contribution of organizations in the charitable sector and what would be missing if these organizations did not exist. The deadline to share this information has been extended so if you haven’t already done so, please take 5 minutes to complete the survey so that Imagine Canada can showcase the diversity, engagement and impact of the sector!

dividing line

New on CCIC’s blog

We have three recent posts on our blog! Following the publication of a new report by the North-South Institute and CCIC, entitled “Investing in the Business of Development: Bilateral Donor Approaches to Engaging the Private Sector”, Fraser Reilly-King, co-author of the report, has written a blog, where he explains how donors countries are engaging with the private sector. And since 2013 is International Year of Statistics, Fraser also wrote a piece on CCIC’s project aimed at gathering metrics for our sector. Finally, following up on a workshop organized by the Humanitarian Coalition and the Food Security Policy Group, Paul Hagerman from the Canadian Foodgrains Bank and Fraser Reilly-King from CCIC wrote a blog on resiliency and long term development.

dividing line

Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC)

ACGC staff work on developing the 'Development in a Box' program

This month CCIC spoke with Heather McPherson, Executive Director at ACGC, which is made up of 70 very diverse member organizations. ACGC members work in Alberta and around the world in many geographical and thematic areas. Heather tells us about ACGC’s involvement with students and teachers through “Development in a Box”, which was created to build a connection between ACGC member organizations and the Alberta education system.   She also talks about upcoming events and many opportunities to engage during International Development Week, which is taking place nationally on Feb. 3-9, 2013.

Read the full interview...

dividing line


It is International Development Week!

For more than 20 years, CIDA has been promoting the International Development Week, (IDW) which takes place the first full week of February. This year again, from February 3-9, hundreds of events will be organized throughout the country by Canadian Civil Society Organizations involved in international development, around the theme “I am making a difference”. IDW provides Canadians with opportunities to learn more about international development issues and to engage in many meaningful ways. Find out what will be happening in your region during IDW – or post your own event – by visiting CIDA’s site and by visiting the Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation (see list on IDW page).

dividing line

Order of Canada awarded to President of CCIC member organization

Venkatesh Mannar, President of CCIC member Micronutrient Initiative (MI) has recently been awarded the Order of Canada. Mr. Mannar has spent his career working to reduce debilitating micronutrient deficiencies among the world´s most vulnerable, and he has led MI since 1994. The international development community in Canada can feel very proud to have Mr. Mannar amongst us!

dividing line

Updates on the Campaign to “Reverse the Cuts”

In recent weeks, as the House of Commons Finance Committee was considering its recommendations for Budget 2013, representatives of the campaign met with several members of the committee and other key Parliamentary offices to share their analysis of the cuts to CIDA’s budget and their concerns with the impact these cuts will have on the world’s poor. These meetings affirmed the value of the campaign, but MPs also told us they need to hear more from constituents concerned about this issue.  The online petition continues to attract signatures – but not as quickly as we had hoped. If you have not already done so, please consider sending an action alert to your members, donors and other supporters, encouraging them to sign the petition. The campaign has garnered a great response from civil society organizations. More than 40 groups are now participating in the campaign.  Visit “Reverse the Cuts” Facebook page for information on how to contribute to the photo campaign and stay tuned for more details on an event on the Hill on February 13.

dividing line


Tracking Post-2015 Platform

The North-South Institute has launched an innovative tool for analyzing proposals on the post-2015 framework. The clear, quantifiable and time-bound nature of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), with goals, targets and indicators by which progress can be measured, has been heralded as one of the most valuable features of the MDGs.  It is likely that the post-2015 agenda will be framed in a similar way, but with a new set of priorities. As a result, a number of proposals are being made on the priorities, and corresponding goals, targets and indicators, which should make up the post-2015 development framework. The North-South Institute’s “Tracking Post-2015” initiative tracks and analyzes the post-2015 process, including progress towards goals, targets and indicators for the post-2015 framework.

dividing line

Call for Applications: 2013 Alan Thomas Fellowship

The call for applications for the 2013 Alan Thomas Fellowship to Promote Civil Society and Voluntary Action is now open. The Fellowship was first awarded in 2008, and there are now seven Fellowship recipients whose research and reflection has made a significant contribution towards strengthening leadership for civil society and promoting greater understanding of the importance of voluntary action. The Fellowship will again be awarded in 2013 to a leader in the NGO/not-for-profit sector who would not normally have access to a sabbatical leave. Valued at a maximum amount of $60,000 for up to one year, the award is intended to allow the recipient, at a transitional moment in his or her career, to make a contribution to the sector, through research and reflection. The new deadline for applications is March 29, 2013, and the 2013 recipients will be announced in June 2013

dividing line

More tools for CSOs to improve Development Effectiveness

The CSO Development Effectiveness Web Portal is an open online platform where civil society practitioners interested in and working towards improving the impact of their work in development, can access and share tools, resources and case studies with others also working on improving their effectiveness. On this site, you can search for ideas and examples from other CSO practitioners, upload your contributions, and rate the tools you think work best for implementing a particular aspect of the CSO Development Effectiveness agenda.

dividing line

New graphic on aid spending in Haiti

The National Post has published an interesting graphic detailing how the Canadian aid money is being allocated in Haiti, by sector and type of projects. It also provides information on child mortality, life expectancy and literacy rate for all CIDA countries of focus. Another visual shows the evolution of Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) spending as a percentage of the Gross National Income (GNI).

dividing line

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.