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

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT-CEO

 

June 27th, 2013: Adieu CIDA

Julia SanchezIn the next Flash – coming out in late August – I plan to share my takeaways from the CCIC Annual Forum and also reflect on the great interactions I have had in the different provincial and regional council meetings that I have been privileged enough to attend. But today, I feel it important to mark the moment with a solemn pause and brief “adieu” to CIDA.

Despite the insistence from officialdom that all will remain the same, that things will only get better, and that this is not a take over nor a merger but rather an amalgamation, and despite the stubborn insistence of too many people that this could be a good thing in the end, and that it in any case does not have to be a bad thing… this is a sad day.

From a Civil Society perspective, this is a sad day.  It is one huge milestone (tomb stone?) on the road to a radically changed environment for international cooperation in Canada – one that takes us away from most of the principles and practices that have been constructed painstakingly through difficult lessons, tough negotiations and harsh learnings. One that turns away from so much of what has made Canada a unique leader on the international scene.  And increasingly it frames Canada’s role in the world in a narrowly defined arena guided overwhelmingly by our self-interests around economic and geo-political concerns. Difficult to find traces of our engagement with the world grounded on respect and promotion of a human rights agenda, of good governance, and of solid and equitable partnerships. Of predictability, mutual accountability or local ownership.

And it is particularly a sad day because all of this is happening without any significant involvement from the development community at large. All of the policy discussions and planning for the “folding” of CIDA into DFAIT has been done behind closed doors and at the highest political levels possible. No real space has been provided for significant inputs from any of CIDA and DFAITs stakeholders during this critically important process. Not for Canada’s development community (bureaucrats, academics, civil society groups, think tanks, etc.) and not for partner countries or international organizations. And most importantly, the Canadian public has not been invited to participate in any kind of dialogue, consultation, debate or discussion around how it sees Canada’s contribution to addressing the world’s most pressing poverty and injustice needs.

The announcement was made in March to everyone’s surprise (nobody new about this – even at the highest levels of CIDA until hours before the announcement), mixed in with the 2013 budget and the latest omnibus budget bill, though we are told incessantly that this decision has no budget implications. It was tossed around ever so briefly at a couple of parliamentary hearings by the standing committee on foreign affairs, returned unstirred to the finance committee, and passed by the lower and upper houses without any sifting or seasoning. After the Royal Assent granted on Wednesday, we saw how swiftly websites were replaced, e-mail addresses changed and building signs updated – displaying an efficiency rarely seeing in the execution of funding decisions that would positively impact millions of the most vulnerable people in the planet.

Why am I using cooking verbs all of a sudden? Not because I think this was baked a long time ago, and there was limited value in us trying to knead it once it emerged, but because when I read about CIDA being folded into DFAIT, I thought of the delicate process of folding fluffy egg whites into a lemon and sugar mix when making my favourite summer dessert. But this has felt nothing like that careful and delicate process – on the contrary it has evoked beating and whipping more than folding. Let’s see if after a good summer holiday the implementation phase of the merger is sautéed to a different tune.

Oh, and Happy Canada Day to all!

In solidarity,

Julia

Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear about it! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.

Séparateur

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SECTOR

One step closer to CIDA/DFAIT merger

Throughout May and June, CCIC and it's members have been actively following developments around the CIDA-DFAIT merger. The draft legislation was referred by the Finance Committee to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for review, with presentations from several witnesses, including CCIC Chair Jim Cornelius. In response to this feedback, all the opposition parties proposed some key amendments to strengthen the legislation and make it more coherent. Regrettably the government accepted none of them. The legislation is now being reviewed at the Senate and should receive royal assent in the fall. Many CCIC member organizations -and others- have also been actively engaged in following the legislative process, and have been calling for a clear policy framework for the new Department that puts poverty reduction at the core of its work. In the coming weeks, we will share an overview of many of these initiatives. Looking ahead, CCIC is developing a comparative matrix on the practice of other countries that have merged their development agencies within their Ministry of Foreign Affairs, plans to meet members of the transition and implementation teams and will continue to push for a national framework for policy coherence for development.

Séparateur

Rochon replaces Biggs as top development bureaucrat

Paul Rochon

On July 8, Paul Rochon, currently Associate Deputy Minister of Health and special advisor to the Minister of Finance on negotiations for a Canadian securities regulator, will become the Deputy Minister for International Development under the new Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. He will replace current Canadian International Development Agency President, Margaret Biggs who was appointed to the position in 2008. She will move to a temporary role as a senior adviser to the Privy Council. Ms.Biggs has always maintained an open and constructive dialogue with CCIC and we wish her the very best in her new career. We welcome Mr. Rochon and look forward to meeting and working closely with him in these crucial times for international cooperation.

dividing line

A first step towards more transparency for Canadian mining

On June 12, in advance of the G-8, Canada announced that it will establish new, mandatory reporting standards for payments made to foreign and domestic governments by Canadian extractive companies. Leaders of the world's eight richest countries pledged after their 2011 meeting to consider new rules that would allow for greater scrutiny of companies' payments to governments. The federal government indicated that it will consult with the provinces and territories, First Nations and aboriginal groups, industry and civil society organizations as it sets up its reporting regime.

Although this move towards increased transparency was generally well received by industry and civil society organizations, many CSOs representatives stressed that companies still need to be held accountable for their labour practices, ecological impacts and respect for human rights, including respect of free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) when operating on indigenous lands. On June 14, the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group released for public comment its draft recommendations on implementing mandatory reporting standards for Canadian mining companies.

dividing line

Panel of Eminent Persons proposes post-2015 framework

On May 30th, the High Level Panel of Experts on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (HLP) released their final report, framing an “ambitious, yet achievable” development framework for what will succeed the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), established in 2000 and intended to be achieved by 2015. The response to the report was mixed. Many had a lot of positive things to say about how the report built on the MDGs, but also substantially moved the conversation forward (see for example Claire Melamed’s great overview). But there were several reservations on a range of issues, including: whether or not the Report will get any traction; how inequality was not one of the primary goals; how the report still fell short of being people-centred and responding to the realities of the lives of the poorest; how the Report marginalizes the focus on Least Developed Countries; and how the recommendations were still not transformative enough. Beyond 2015 has released its own analysis of the report, along with a list of organizational responses. For two Canadian takes on the issue, see Kate Higgins and Fraser Reilly-King.

dividing line

Help pilot HRBA methodology and equitable partnership tools

Since January 2013, CCIC has been working with Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education – and the Coady International Institute to design some modules on Human Rights Based Approaches (HRBA) and Equitable Partnership. From October 15 – 18, we are running a 3 ½ day workshop at the Coady institute in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, and are looking for program level staff to participate in the pilot workshop, test the material we have developed, learn from the experience and help us finalize the modules and the “Train the Trainer toolkit” that will allow us to scale-up this training opportunity in the future. If your organization is interested in HRBA or improving your partnerships, or if you already take a rights-based approach to programming and have some experience to bring and some tools you want to share, please apply to participate in the workshop. Deadline for applications is August 9.

dividing line

Bill S-14 adopted, despite concerns that it could hinder humanitarian efforts

Bill S-14, the Fighting Foreign Corruption Act, was introduced in the Senate on February 5 to amend the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act (CFPOA), and received Royal Assent on June 19. The two key points of interest of Bill S-14 for our sector are the inclusion of not-for-profit organizations in the dispositions of the Corruption of Foreign Public Officials Act, and the prohibition of facilitation payments to foreign officials. These typically are small sums of money paid to government officials in order to do some task they are already required to do, such as processing a valid visa in a timely manner, allowing the delivery of food supplies or access to urgent medical care. Facilitation payments are sometimes used by humanitarian actors, often in situations of life and death. Whether or not facilitation payments should be allowed/prohibited is being addressed differently by donor countries. While the UK has prohibited it in its anti-corruption legislation, the US has chosen a more flexible approach that allows these payments in certain circumstances. The Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Red Cross and other stakeholders who participated in hearings on Bill S-14 at the Senate asked that any discussion around repealing of the facilitation payments exception be discussed separately, given its potential impact on delivery of live-saving humanitarian assistance, after further study, and once a stronger international consensus has developed. Unfortunately the Bill was adopted without any amendment, and the facilitation payment exception was repealed.

dividing line

Calling all emerging leaders!

Take a quick moment and consider your team – is there someone who fits the following criteria: a young person (loosely defined as under thirty); committed to the sector, passionate about their role in it, and envisages themselves in its future; interested in networking and collaborating with fellow young professionals? If so, we hope this person might become part of CCIC’s Emerging Leaders’ Network! CCIC’s group of Emerging Leaders made its debut at the Annual Forum in May 2013. Read a blog post by Sarah Parkinson reflecting on the experience at the forum. Since then, participants have been planning for future activities and objectives and had their first conference call in June. Please help us reach potential Emerging Leaders by passing on this message and discussing it among your colleagues. Participants can be from across the country, and come with a range of skills and experience. Interested individuals should get in touch with Fraser Reilly-King, who will connect you with the Network.

dividing line

World Bank President in Ottawa

Jim Yong-KimOn June 10th Jim Yong Kim, the President of the World Bank, spent the day in Ottawa and, thanks to NSI’s Joe Ingram, his first stop was at a meeting with Civil Society representatives. Self-identifying as the “first development person and person of color to head the World Bank”, Mr. Kim left many of us present at the meeting with a strong sense that a reflective and visionary person, with ample experience to draw from, is heading an organization that remains a key player on the development scene worldwide. Mr. Kim spoke passionately and knowledgably about tackling what he identified as the most challenging problems of our times: climate change and fragile states. His health and university backgrounds came through when he shared on the bank’s focus on ending poverty, working on the basis of evidence generated by solid research, and ensuring that health, education and social protection form the base for economic growth and ultimately development. Mr. Kim responded to questions about the negative image of the World Bank in many developing countries, inequality and inclusion (of the poor, of youth), the role of the private sector, impact measurement and more. He stressed the need to perfect what he calls “the science of delivery” to ensure that incentives are aligned with impact. And his final words were about the important role CSOs play in holding the World Bank to account (while he shared that his first trip to Washington DC had been to the “50 years is enough” protest – which he now was happy did not succeed in closing down the bank!) and about the need to be humble and work with others (in particular the private sector in developing countries) in addressing the most pressing development challenges facing us today.

dividing line

Asia Pacific Working Group Annual Meeting with CIDA Asia Branch

Asia Pacific Working Group (APWG) members met with CIDA Asia Branch staff on May 29th to discuss various issues, including the CIDA-DFAIT merger and its potential impacts on development programs and projects in the region, coordination with CIDA’s Partnership with Canadians Branch, as well as CIDA’s current priority countries and themes — with a focus on the role of the private sector. The meeting was a success with more than 35 participants divided equally between APWG members and CIDA staff. After the roundtable meeting, APWG members were invited to discuss specific country programs in 5 breakout groups. A summary report of the meeting will soon be available on the APWG webpage. To stay informed of upcoming activities, you may subscribe to the APWG’s Weekly Bulletin by filling in this form.

dividing line

Americas Policy Group Annual Spring Meeting

CCIC’s Americas Policy Group (APG) held one of its tri-annual meetings on June 4-5, bringing together members from coast to coast. The meeting consisted of both learning sessions and strategic work planning sessions. Guest speakers analyzed the reasons behind Canada’s bid to join the Pacific Alliance -- a new trading block that consists of Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Members also updated each other and strategized around the Canada-Colombia FTA human rights impact assessment process in Colombia, the genocide case against former Guatemalan president Efrain Rios Montt, and the Subcommittee on International Human Rights’ hearings on Honduras.

dividing line

New on CCIC’s blog

CCIC’s blog always welcomes contributions and new voices from the sector, and last May was an excellent month in this regard with the participation of four guest bloggers who were either volunteering or participating as Emerging Leaders in our Annual Forum 2013.

If you have not already done so, we encourage you to read their interesting and personal reflections on the issues discussed at the Forum. In June, we also published an article by Fraser Reilly-King on the Post-2015 report from the High Level Panel of Experts, which was first published in the Ottawa Citizen blog on Aid and Development. If you want to post an article on CCIC’s blog on an issue that is of interest for your organization and our sector, please contact Chantal Havard.

dividing line

Coalition Profile

(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 Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability

CNCA

CCIC has been a member of the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA) since its inception in 2005. The CNCA unites civil society groups across Canada who are advocating for federal legislation to establish mandatory corporate accountability standards for Canadian extractive companies operating abroad, especially in developing countries. The network aims to enhance the effectiveness of its members’ activities through information sharing, policy analysis and research, joint advocacy for legal and policy reform, and by promoting public awareness of these issues. Starting this fall, the CNCA will be launching an Access to Justice Campaign calling for the creation of mechanisms in Canada to allow those negatively affected by the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies to seek justice in Canada. Specifically, the campaign is calling for federal legislation to allow non-Canadians to bring civil lawsuits before Canadian courts, and for an independent and mandatory out of court mechanism (Ombudsman) to receive complaints and verify the compliance of Canadian extractive companies with corporate accountability standards. As a member of the CNCA, CCIC participates in CNCA planning meetings, advocacy initiatives and capacity-building workshops, and monitors opportunities to broker in-house dialogue among members working on all sides of Canada’s CSR programming.

dividing line

MEMBER PROFILE: Action Canada for Population and Development

Project Ploughshares

SWOP Launch 2011 (ACPD’s Director of Parliamentary Affairs, Dina Epale,
moderating
launch of UNFPA’s 2011 State of the World Population Report)

This month CCIC met with Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director at Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD). ACPD was founded in 1997 and has been much engaged in the promotion of reproductive and sexual rights and health as human rights. Read about ACPD’s involvement in the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), share their comments on the High-Level Panel report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and much more.

Your mission states that “ACPD (.....) seeks to enhance the quality of life of women, men and young people by promoting progressive policies in the field of human rights and international development with a primary focus on reproductive and sexual rights and health”. How and how much have you been able to achieve that since the organization was founded in 1997?

ACPD has played a leadership role in advancing gender equality, adolescent sexual and reproductive rights, abortion rights, maternal mortality and morbidity as a human rights matter, comprehensive sexuality education, among other human rights issues related to individuals’ sexual and reproductive health and rights within the UN system. ACPD has been working actively within the UN human rights system since 2002. Notably, ACPD was the first NGO to advocate in a sustained fashion for the UN Human Rights Council to take up the issue of maternal mortality and morbidity, which led to the groundbreaking resolution on “Preventable maternal mortality and morbidity and human rights” in June 2009 – the first intergovernmental recognition of maternal mortality as a human rights issue.  ACPD has also led and participated in advocacy efforts to integrate reproductive and sexual rights issues into a number of other UN resolutions, including successfully advocating for policy commitments on these issues to be made in resolutions on HIV and the right to health, violence against women, adolescents and youth, among others. To do this, ACPD engages in direct advocacy with a range of governments to grow support for specific proposals...

Read the full interview...

dividing line

CCIC MEMBERS IN ACTION

CCIC members rock! Meet the four winners of CCIC’s 2013 Innovation and Effectiveness Awards

One of this year’s new activities at the CCIC Annual Forum 2013 was the 2013 Innovation and Effectiveness Awards, and CCIC has recognized four winning organizations/projects.

In the CSO Effectiveness category, CCIC congratulates:

Barbara Wood, Executive Director of CoDev, receiving a CSO effectiveness Award

Barbara Wood, Executive Director of CoDev, receiving a CSO effectiveness Award

Co-Development Canada, for its support to the project with SINTRACUAVALLE, the union of public sector water workers in Valle de Cauca in Colombia. Over the past twelve years, SINTRACUAVALLE members have successfully blocked the privatization of public water resources five times, yet privatization attempts continue. CoDev is now working with SINTRACUAVALLE to carry out a citizen engagement and awareness campaign to increase support for public ownership of water resources.

Karen Takacs, Executive Director and Anne Gatsinzi, Program Assistant at Crossroad International, receiving a their Award from Fraser Reilly-King

Karen Takacs, Executive Director and Anne Gatsinzi, Program Assistant at Crossroad International, receiving a their Award from Fraser Reilly-King
Crossroads International, for its engagement in the fight against domestic violence in Ghana. Following-up the passing of the Domestic Violence Act in 2007, which was a landmark victory for women in Ghana, Crossroads International and local partner Women in Law and Development Africa developed a multi-year project to increase access to justice for women who have experienced domestic violence, and to promote women’s rights more broadly


And for CSO Innovation, CCIC congratulates:

 

Elly Vanderberg, Acting Vice President International and Canadian Programs, received the Award for World Vision

Elly Vanderberg, Acting Vice President International and Canadian Programs, received the Award for World Vision

World Vision Canada, for its Innovation Management Framework, aimed at creating a process that supports the identification  of innovative ideas. WV recognizes that innovation is not just about having ideas as it is not just about a process, but is both an art and a science.  To identify, move forward and scale up innovations, organizations - across sectors - must come together, collaborate and build on ideas that can have lasting impact in the field.

David Mowbray, Manager, Training and Standards at Farm Radio International, receiving the Award from Chantal Havard

David Mowbray, Manager, Training and Standards at Farm Radio International, receiving the Award from Chantal Havard
Farm Radio International, for its unique and proven approach to helping small-scale farmers in Africa. Participatory Radio Campaigns (PRCs) were developed by FRI as a way to help farmers learn about, evaluate, and introduce new agricultural practices. PRCs feature the voices, stories and perspectives of ordinary farmers through a mix of radio formats, including panel discussions, vox pops, village debates, phone-in shows, mini-dramas and music.

dividing line

WORTH A LOOK

Beyond Aid: A Plan for Canada’s International Cooperation

This research report by the North-South Institute looks at Canada’s engagement with the developing world, arguing that a broader vision that includes aid and non-aid policies is needed for Canada to achieve better Policy Coherence for Development and be an effective international development actor.

dividing line

Resilience and the inequality of risk

Oxfam reportThis report by Oxfam International shows that vulnerability to risks like climate change, hazards and insecurity are higher in countries with greater income inequality. Thus resilience-building work must address the underlying causes of vulnerability, not just the symptoms.  The report argues that our approach to poverty reduction must shift dramatically to better support poor people to cope, and ultimately thrive, in the face of shocks, stresses and uncertainty.

dividing line

Reflecting on the MDGS and Making Sense of the Post-2015 Development Agenda

NSI's new report examines the Millennium Development Goals and identifies the processes, issues, architecture and emerging challenges that are influencing the post-2015 debate.

dividing line

Global Social Justice Journal

The Centre for International Studies at Cape Breton University announces the publication of the inaugural issue of its peer-reviewed Global Social Justice Journal. The purpose of this new publication is to transcend the academic/social activist divide by disseminating peer reviewed research on normative global social justice issues including economic globalization, human rights, indigenous peoples, the environment, education, gender, class, political culture and race.

dividing line

Tax Evasion and the Use of Tax Havens

This report published in May 2013 by the Standing Committee on Finance examines tax avoidance and tax evasion in Canada, as well as the methods used domestically and internationally to detect and prosecute — and thereby reduce — aggressive tax planning so that taxpayers pay their fair share of tax.

dividing line

4th year undergraduate Carleton students available for internships in NGOs

Carleton University students participating in a 4th year undergraduate seminar in the 'development' specialization (part of Kroeger College, the undergraduate program for students interested in public policy) are available and keen to work in the NGO sector. The seminar (12 weeks from September-December) provides a learning opportunity for the students while contributing something useful to an NGO. Benefits to the NGO include "free" labour of a group of bright, enthusiastic students and completion of specific tasks. Organizations are asked to include some staff time to supervise students and some upfront time is required with coordinator, for planning. Unless the specific task(s) require on-site work, the students will work independently, off-site. If interested, please contact: Bessa Whitmore.

dividing line

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.