CCIC monthly e-bulletin: April 2013                                                            About CCIC     |     Contact Us
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MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT-CEO

Julia Sanchez

CCIC Board Members Meet with Minister Fantino

On April 16th, five members of the CCIC Board and I were finally able to meet with Minister Fantino, after several postponed attempts following our initial request in August 2012. When we first requested the meeting, our main objective was to welcome the Minister to his new position and set the stage to re-establish a more favorable rapport between NGOs and his office and CIDA. Minister Oda’s term had been difficult for relationships between most NGOs and CIDA, and we hoped to turn that proverbial page and embark on a more constructive collaboration. But as months went by, the agenda for an eventual meeting became more charged. Minister Fantino’s public statements favoring the use of ODA to promote Canadian commercial interests and his negative comments about NGOs challenged our initial perception that we could work with Minister Fantino on issues of common concern, such as how to better inform Canadians about the important achievements of the Canadian aid programme.  And as we waited for the opportunity to meet him and share our concerns on these fronts, funding for NGOs, both through Partnerships with Canadians Branch (PWCB) and from most bi-lateral desks, was slower coming than ever. And consultation with our sector, with few notable and selective exceptions, was almost non-existant. By the time we met Minister Fantino, the announcement to merge CIDA with DFAIT had been made, and more than two years have lapsed without any new calls for proposals for general projects for NGOs.

A positive meeting

Despite the above, the meeting was held in a very positive and constructive tone, and we exchanged for over an hour on some priority issues for our sector. Minister Fantino seemed interested in what we had to say and remained engaged throughout the session. We believe that our main objective of setting the scene for more constructive and continued engagement with the Minister’s office was achieved.

The Minister was interested in giving us a reassuring message around the amalgamation and he addressed this first off. He assured us that this was a positive move and that the fact that the Minister’s mandate would now be entrenched in law would provide for an equal playing field with the other foreign policy objectives for Canada. He also said that nothing would change dramatically and that only the tinkering that was required to realize the merger would be done. He reiterated that ODA would continue to be about poverty alleviation.

We then talked at length about the NGO community and the specific nature of the sector’s contributions to development. After giving him some general facts about the sector and CCIC, we shared examples of the different ways in which NGOs mobilize and engage Canadians around international development. We talked about visibility as well as value-for money, leveraging the large financial support we get from Canadians and being a vehicle for the expression of Canadians’ own specific ways of engaging with the world and poverty issues.

(No)Business as usual?

We emphasized the important results that had been obtained through time on all these fronts in partnership with CIDA. And we expressed our concern that, despite this, CIDA had not held a call for proposals for these types of initiatives for more than two years now. The Minister’s reaction gave us the sense that he was favorable to seeing this situation unblocked.

Though the Minister reiterated at several points of our meeting that things would continue as usual and that only necessary adjustments would take place to accommodate the merger, we are hopeful that this meeting has signaled, and will continue to signal, more attention to and movement on the PWCB file. We have followed up with a letter that summarizes our key messages and concern with respect to funding to NGOs, and will follow-up with Darren Schemmer, as well as with the Minister’s staff, on the main issues discussed. We are thus hopeful that PCWB will be open for business again soon!

The Minister concluded the meeting by congratulated NGOs on our important work and invited us to reach out to him and his team whenever we had any questions or concerns. The meeting ended on a positive note, and all CCIC Board members that participated expressed their satisfaction with the meeting. But this is just the beginning, we have so much to address…

In solidarity,

Julia

This column makes you smile, react, nod or disagree? We’d like to hear about it! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.

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NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SECTOR

Partnerships on the agenda in Bali

March was all about Partnership. Fraser Reilly-King on behalf of CCIC, went to Bali, Indonesia, to attend the High Level Panel (HLP) of Experts on the Post-2015 Development Agenda meeting with civil society and the two day CSO prep conference. The Bali meeting focused on “Global Partnerships” and what will succeed MDG 8. CCIC moderated the discussion on the “Global Partnership” with three of the High-Level Panellists, where participants presented some of the points from the CSO statement. Fraser has written a blog for the Ottawa Citizen on the issue of Global Partnership and the Bali meeting. The Steering Committee of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) – the global governance structure that came out of the High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Busan – met in the days prior to the HLP with a view to trying to stake their claim on MDG 8 and the post-2015 agenda. The CSO Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, which sits on the Steering Committee and where CCIC has a seat as the North American representative, also met for the first time since the launch of the CPDE in Nairobi.

Séparateur

Relaunch of Policy Advisory Group

In 2010, CCIC’s Board launched a Policy Advisory Group (PAG) to identify and discuss strategic policy opportunities for the Council in relation to the 10-Point Agenda to End Global Poverty and Injustice. Comprised primarily of CCIC members and allies, the PAG helps bolster the Secretariat’s capacity to scan and track the sector’s policy needs and opportunities, and provide a channel for member input into CCIC policy priorities in a 6-12 month horizon. After almost a two-year hiatus, a reconfigured PAG met this month to discuss CCIC’s plans in the coming year for work around aid, development and the private sector, and also discussed responses to the recent CIDA-DFAIT merger. A report of the meeting will be posted shortly on CCIC’s member site. The PAG will meet roughly three times a year. Individuals with diverse policy expertise and knowledge of CCIC are invited to contribute to the Group’s deliberations. To express interest in participating, or for a copy of the Terms of Reference and criteria, contact Fraser Reilly-King.

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2013 APWG Annual Symposium: Trade, Investment, and Human Rights in Asia

The Asia-Pacific Working Group (APWG) of CCIC organized its one-day annual symposium on April 16th in Ottawa. The APWG Annual Symposium focused primarily on Canada’s trade and investment agenda in Asia and its impacts on populations in the region. Speakers included Sanya Reid Smith (Third World Network), Afsar Jafri (Focus on the Global South), Ah Nan (Burma Rivers Network), Stuart Trew (Council of Canadians), Daniel Poon (North-South Institute) and Denis Côté (APWG-CCIC). Many of them have raised human rights concerns associated with trade and investment agreements and suggested alternatives and means of mobilization against such agreements protecting corporate privileges. An audio recording of the event, summary reports of each presentation, as well as short filmed interviews with several speakers will soon be accessible on the APWG webpage and/or through the APWG’s Weekly Bulletin. You may subscribe to the bulletin by contacting the APWG coordinator, Denis Côté.

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Following up on CIDA-DFAIT merger

Since the amalgamation of CIDA and DFAIT was announced in Federal Budget 2013, CCIC, its members and other international development stakeholders have been meeting and discussing the future of Canadian international development on a regular basis. Key concerns shared by the vast majority in relation with the announcement include: 1) the protection and reinforcement of the ODA Accountability Act; 2) maintaining a strong mandate for the international development program, focussed on poverty reduction; 3) clear roles and responsibilities for the Minister for International Cooperation; 4) Accountability and transparency for the new DFATD, in line with principles of sound development. Different communication tools -including a budget analysis and benchmarks for effective and coherent international development and humanitarian assistance- have been developed; some are available online, others in the Members’ Space.

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CCIC looking to members to shape modules on RBA and partnership in development

As a follow-up to the 2012 focus on socializing the Istanbul Principles (IP) in Canada – workshops in various provinces, the best practice case studies and the IP Calendar – CCIC is collaborating with EQUITAS and the Coady International Institute to develop two modules around integrating rights-based approaches (RBA) into development programming and around equitable partnerships. CCIC is working with these two organizations to develop a tool that will be of immediate and practical use to members. To help shape and inform the work, CCIC is looking for members with experience in partnership and RBA to join a time-bound reference group. Members of the reference group will conclude their responsibilities by participating in a three day pilot workshop in Antigonish in October. To express interest and participate in the reference group, please contact Fraser Reilly-King .

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Fighting Impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo

In the context of the Canadian Association of African Studies (CAAS) Annual Conference, l’Entraide Missionnaire, in collaboration with the Africa-Canada Forum, the Canadian Centre for International Justice and the Institute of African Studies, is organizing the screening of a documentary entitled  ''L'affaire Chebeya, un crime d'État'' on Thursday, May 2 from 19-21 pm (Carleton University, Tory Building, room 208), and a roundtable on “Fighting Impunity in the Democratic Republic of Congo” on Friday, May 3 from 14h-15h30 (Carleton University, Tory Building, room 240). Me Jean Joseph Mukendi, national president of the bar and President of the “Collectif pour la défense des parties civiles Chebeya et Bazana” is the guest speaker for both events. See also the poster for other events in Montreal and Quebec city. Free admission. For information, please contact Sylvie Perras.

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New ways to participate at the CCIC Annual Forum and AGM

Forum and AGM 2013

Each year, civil society organizations (CSOs) from across the country convene at the Annual CCIC Forum and AGM to discuss and strategize around the most pressing issues for civil society and international development.  This year’s Forum is entitled “Development and Social Transformation as Shared Responsibility: Building new Bridges and Connections” and will take place between May 23 and 24, 2013, in Ottawa. It will be an important moment for CSOs across the country to debate the future of the sector in Canada. The Forum welcomes non-members of CCIC too!
Special guests will include Michael Edwards, who will be presenting a paper commissioned by CCIC on the future challenges for NGOs in international development, as well as Anabel Cruz and John McKay. This year, we are introducing several exciting new ways for participants to engage, connect and build bridges with other CSOs in Canada:

CLICK HERE TO REGISTER! The deadline for registration is May 15, 2013

We look forward to welcoming you at this milestone event!

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Phase 2 of the Canadian International Food Security Research Fund launched

In early April, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of International Cooperation, Lois Brown, announced that Canada will invest an additional $62.5 million in its Canadian International Food Security Research Fund (CIFSRF).  The Objectives of the fund are threefold: to increase food security in developing countries through funding research in agricultural development and nutrition; apply Canadian science and technology expertise in collaboration with developing-country partners to address food security; and use research results to inform food security policies and programs. This second phase of funding will help scale up research that emerged from phase 1 (started in 2009 as part of the Food Security Strategy).

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Are you ready for honest feedback from your local partners?

In an effort to enhance the accountability of organizations to their partners, and to promote better development practice, Keystone Accountability has worked over the past few years with more than 60 international NGOs (INGO) surveying almost 10,000 partners. Each INGO receives an individual report detailing how their partners rate their performance benchmarked against the wider cohort. The survey was one of 30 case studies profiled under our Istanbul Principles work in 2012. Oxfam Canada, noted that “the partner feedback report provided actionable data and recommendations on how we can improve our partnership practice.” Keystone is now organizing a second wave of surveys with INGOs and is encouraging Canadian groups to participate. Learn more about the process or contact Kai Hopkins for more details.

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New on CCIC’s blog

Two articles of interest have been published on our blog these past few weeks. In a second article inspired by the publication of the Human Development Report 2013, guest blogger Esther Kwan explains why the Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI), is a key complement to the Human Development Index, for describing more adequately human poverty. The MPI identifies multiple deprivations at the individual level in health, education and standard of living across 104 developing countries (UNDP). CCIC’s Policy Analyst Fraser Reilly-King, now a regular contributor of the Aid and Development blog in the Ottawa Citizen, has re-posted an article which responds to an editorial published in  the Globe and Mail on March 29. His article debunks the myth –and provides examples- that trade and growth automatically translate into development and poverty reduction.

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Coalition profile : Control Arms Coalition Canada

(To advance its policy agenda, support existing networks and have a greater impact, CCIC is involved in many coalitions. Each month we will be featuring one of them in Flash! so that you can get involved with them too.)

The Control Arms Coalition – Canada, which is part of a global coalition, has been actively campaigning for more than 10 years for the United Nations to adopt an Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). An important victory was won last March when a resounding majority (154 votes YES – 3 votes NO, 23 Abstentions consensus) voted in favour of such a treaty. The treaty enshrines in new international law a set of clear rules for all global transfers of weapons and ammunition. It will create binding obligations for governments to assess all arms transfers to ensure that weapons will not be used for human rights abuses, terrorism, transnational organized crime or violations of humanitarian law. It will also require governments to refuse any transfers of weapons if there is a risk countries would us them to violate human rights or commit war crimes.  The Canadian Control Arms Coalition has congratulated Canada for voting in favour of the ATT and calls on Canada to prioritize signing and ratifying the treaty, and to passing the necessary national legislation in order to bring the treaty into force as soon as possible, including the regulation of Canadian arms brokers.  Members of the Canadian Control Arms Coalition include Amnesty International, Oxfam Canada, Oxfam Québec and Project Ploughshares (featured in this month’s Member Profile).

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MEMBER PROFILE: Project Ploughshares

Project Ploughshares

Kenneth Epps, Project Ploughshares consulting with Marlon Glean
of the Grenada delegation to the Feb UN PrepCom on the Arms Trade Treaty

 

This month CCIC interviewed Project Ploughshares Executive Director John Siebert. Find out more about the unique contribution to global peace that the organization has provided over the last 38 years, as well as its key role in the successful adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the UN Assembly last March.

 

CCIC - Project Ploughshares was founded 38 years ago, and your vision is to achieve “a secure world without war and a just world at peace”. How does your organization contribute to that?

Research and policy recommendations on disarmament and peacebuilding have provided the pretext for setting all sorts of tables for people to talk with each other across sectors and geography. Project Ploughshares made a commitment early in its work to find policy options to advance its primary goals that could actually be implemented by governments—in Canada and abroad. Working with others of good will and shared intent has been primary to this effort, whether people were in government, academe, civil society or the private sector. While having ready access and respectful listening from Canadian officials on security matters in Foreign Affairs and Defence came to be accepted, more recent experience reminds that this access was earned over time by Ploughshares and other NGOs and cannot be taken for granted. In East Africa Ploughshares has provided international cover and funding for local NGOs and academics to engage their own governments on security issues, sometimes for the first time. Solid research reports and targeted engagement opens doors to conversations. What happens after that comes down to the determination and skill of local civil society actors to pressure their own governments over time.

Read the full interview...

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CCIC MEMBERS IN ACTION

New book on microfinance

Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) – in partnership with Carleton University’s School of Public Policy and Administration and The MasterCard Foundation – is hosting the next in a series of Seminars on Innovative Financing for Development. This workshop will launch The New Microfinance Handbook, which addresses the need for increased financial inclusion by examining the financial market system and promoting a thorough understanding of client needs.

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Call for Nominees for the Lewis Perinbam Award

The Award Trustees and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) are pleased to announce the 2013 competition for the Lewis Perinbam Award in International Development. The award recognizes:

  1. significant volunteer efforts that improve people’s lives in the developing world;

  2. Engaging and inspiring Canadians to undertake volunteer action;

  3. New ways of thinking and/or addressing development challenges.

The monetary value of the award is $2,500, but its true value lies in bringing international development home to Canadians, by highlighting the dedication and accomplishments of its citizens. Nominations will be accepted until Wednesday, June 5th 2013.

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WORTH A LOOK

Aid, health and education

This month, the UN University World Institute for Development Economics Research released a series of papers looking at “Healthcare: Barriers to effective aid,” “Making aid work for education in developing countries,” and “Aid for agriculture and rural development”.

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More thoughts on Beyond 2015

Various articles on the post-2015 development agenda continue to circulate. These include “A Matter of Justice: Securing Human Rights in the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda” by the Center for Economic and Social Rights, and Will the High Level Panel answer the world’s call for a progressive post-2015 framework? by Saferworld.

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Tax justice gaining traction in Canada

The Great Revenue Robberty

Just as news surfaced about 450 Canadians’ holdings in offshore account, Canadians for Tax Fairness have launched a new book entitled “The Great Revenue Robbery: How to stop the tax cut scam and save Canada.” The book includes chapters by the Dennis Howlett, Peter Gillespie, Jim Stanford, Toby Sanger and Joe Gunn.

 

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The Atlas of Global Development

Atlas

The Atlas consolidates and visualizes the latest World Development Indicators. Atlas - World Bank publications.

 

 

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Global Health in 2013: Are We Having an Impact?

October 27-29, 2013 – Westin Hotel, Ottawa. You are invited to submit an abstract for the 2013 Canadian Conference on Global Health. Abstracts for oral, poster presentations and for workshops or symposia are welcome in English, French and Spanish! Also, new this year, documentary and video submissions will be considered. Submissions should be directly related to the conference theme. Submit online now! (Please read the instructions below before submitting).

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If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Chantal Havard. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than one paragraph.