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

 

Needed: Canadian Leadership for a Better World!

Julia SanchezThe office was half-empty this summer at CCIC. All of us took some long-overdue time off. But we also had enough momentum to push through some important pieces of work that summarize the great accomplishments of the last 12 months and more, achieved in partnership with our members and others.

For one, we completed the reports of the AGM and of the Annual Forum, which will be posted as of next week in the forum section of our website.  The Forum was an important gathering of our members and some allies to collectively reflect on and discuss the future of our sector. We were invited to project ourselves into the future, and imagine what our sector will look like then. Our distinguished guest for the event, Michael Edwards, provided a background paper which was stimulating and provocative, and sparked a flow of ideas from the participants in the forum that have left us with a lot “to chew on”.

Thankfully, we were accompanied in this exercise by a contingent of emerging leaders from our sector who were sponsored by CCIC and member organizations to take part in a special pre-forum orientation session (co-facilitated by the Mennonite Central Committee) and then, after taking part in the sessions of the Forum, shared their takeaways from the forum and hopes for the sector’s future. The group has decided to work together in a more formal way, and is currently recruiting new members and planning capacity building activities together. (see other article below) We at CCIC are very excited about the momentum that this initiative is gathering, and feel that we are at the threshold of an important shift within CCIC as well.

And at the annual forum, we also made time to discuss two key aspects of what holds our collective together – the code of ethics and operational standards and our joint efforts in advocating for more effective and coherent development assistance. The presentation and discussion of the results of a survey done of members with respect to the code of ethics was the last step in a study commissioned by CCIC to gauge difficulties with compliance with the code and possible ways forward. The input provided by participants in this session has now been analyzed and incorporated into a final report which will be made public in the coming weeks. We are now narrowing down the different options that were discussed in terms of ways forward, and will embark in a more detailed analysis of those options.

The merger discussion was a high point at the forum for it allowed us all to see how quickly and effectively we can mobilize and “sing from the same hymn book” on certain key issues. We managed to involve a large number of members around different loosely coordinated activities meant to raise quick awareness of potential pitfalls in the amalgamation process between DFAIT and CIDA.  Although perhaps we averted the ODAAA being scraped in the process, so far the government has gone ahead with its plans without taking into account the strong (and very similar) recommendations emerging from a wide variety of civil society actors. Still no formal space has been opened up for dialogue around the merger and its consequences Despite this difficult context, how do we build on the momentum achieved in the spring and summer, and channel our collective energy and potential in a forward looking direction?

I suggest it is time we use our mobilization capacity, the strength in our numbers, the voices of the millions of supporters that we have collectively, to move thing forward ourselves. It is clear that we need a new and stronger vision for Canada’s role in the world. We need a coherent and effective policy framework for development that goes far beyond small and short-term projects, narrow interests, and unpredictable funding. We need to be prepared as a country to engage, and show leadership, in the next decades around the big challenges that our planet faces – inequality, climate change, food insecurity, humanitarian assistance, peace and security, etc.

So allow me to invite you to this year’s fall policy conference which will tackle the changes that need to come in the international development arena in Canada. We have an opportunity, in the lead-up to the elections of 2015, to raise the profile of Canada’s role in the world as a theme Canadians care about. We have a lot to do – agreeing on our strategies of how to engage Canadians, the media and all political parties in a vivid conversation about the world we want and how Canada can lead in making that world a reality.

Mark your calendars! -  CCIC fall policy conference “Canadian leadership for a better world: a policy agenda for international cooperation in 2015 and beyond”, Nov 21 and 22nd in Ottawa. More details coming soon – stay tuned!

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.

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NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SECTOR

Faith, Belief and Development: A Forum on the Role of Religion in International Development

On August 27th 2013, the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) help a development forum on faith and religion at the Université du Québec en Outaouais (UQO). 63 people from government, NGOs, the private sector and universities attended the forum which was highlighted by two keynote speeches given by Professor Tamsin Bradley of the University of Portsmouth in Britain and Karen A. Hamilton General Secretary of the Canadian Council of Churches. Following the afternoon workshops and roundtable discussions involving both scholars and NGO practitioners, a consensus emerged around the need to understand the influence of both faith and organized religion on development practices and policies and the need to train practitioners in the field and in Canada on how to deal with religion and faith on the ground and in Canada. A majority agreed that more events involving both practitioners and scholars are needed to address these issues.

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Rethinking Canadian Aid

Around 20 academics, CCIC, the North-South Institute and AidWatch Canada met at the end of the month at Dalhouse University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to hear and discuss a broad array of presentations around “Rethinking Canadian Aid”. A series of academic papers were the basis of each presentation and will be turned into a book in the Spring of 2014. The group also discussed the possibility of establishing a research network around development cooperation, bringing together academics and some practitioners. Open Canada featured some of the papers on their website.

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APG Fall meeting

CCIC's Americas Policy Group will hold one of its tri-annual meetings on October 16th and 17th, 2013. The first day of this meeting will be organized in collaboration with the Canadian Labour Congress and Common Frontiers, and will focus on Colombia. In the face of diminishing funds for unions, NGOs and solidarity organizations carrying out development and solidarity work on Colombia, members of the three coalitions felt that this was a timely opportunity to meet and identify areas for deeper collaboration. The second day of the meeting will focus on Mesoamerica. APG members will strategize around issues such as the upcoming elections in Honduras, the impending signature of the Canada-Honduras FTA, and the ongoing violence and impunity in Guatemala.

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WUSC is investing in emerging leaders. Will you?

WUSC FOrumWUSC is looking to help bolster CCIC’s new Emerging Leaders’ Network, established at the 2013 CCIC Annual Forum. In anticipation of its upcoming International Forum on the Great Development Debates, WUSC has added a professional development training session for the Emerging Leaders’ Network members on the first day of its three day Forum (Nov 1-3). The focus of the training has yet to be established, but will correspond to the interest areas of participants who register for the workshop. The workshop fulfills one of the ambitions of the Network – to establish a set of training opportunities throughout the year for young professionals in the sector. Participants at the Workshop will also get a reduced rate ($170 for early bird registration before Oct. 2nd) to attend the rest of the WUSC event. Are your young professionals registered? The Emerging Leaders’ Network is currently open to any young professional working within CCIC member organizations, or members of the Provincial and Regional Councils. If you meet these criteria, and want to join the Network, contact Fraser Reilly-King.

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New member of the Policy Team at CCIC

CCIC welcomes Kimberly MacMillan as coordinator of the Africa-Canada Forum (3 days) and co-coordinator of the Asia-Pacific Working Group (2 days). Kimberly is a recent graduate of the International Development and Globalization program at the University of Ottawa and has a breadth of work, volunteering, and internship experiences in Canada and abroad.  Her past experiences include collaborations with DFATD, CECI and Engineers without Borders.  We believe that the mix of experience, skills, knowledge, motivation, and enthusiasm that she brings will be an important asset for CCIC’s team and for the two regional working groups that she will be coordinating. Kim will start work on October 1. Her email address is kmacmillan@ccic.ca.

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Access to Justice: a call to action from the Canadian Network on Corporate Accountability (CNCA)

CNCAThe CNCA is launching the “Access to Justice” campaign this fall, asking two things from the Canadian government: an independent ombudsman for the Canadian extractive sector that can investigate complaints brought by communities overseas where companies operate, and legislated access to Canadian courts for people who believe they have been seriously harmed by the international operations of Canadian companies. Most mining companies in the world are, at least in some way, Canadian. CNCA members and supporters think that those who believe they have been harmed by Canadian mining operations overseas need to be able to seek justice in Canada. For more information on the campaign, and on how to get involved, contact CNCA coordinator Emily Dwyer.

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Open government, open data

Open GovernmentIn mid August, the Canadian government launched a three week consultations with Canadians on their Open Government Action Plan, one year on from signing on to the Open Government initiative. The Action Plan includes 12 concrete commitments for advancing Open Government within three work streams: Open Data, Open Information and Open Dialogue. The consultations will inform the government’s report on implementing the Action Plan in its first year.  The end of August also saw Citizen Attaché Citoyen, a not-for-profit, launch a successful hackathon in Ottawa with six different groups developing tools to analyse and visualize Canada’s international aid data. The hackathon came as the UK Department for International Development (DfID) handed over hosting the International Aid Transparency Initiative to a consortium composed of UNDP, the governments of Sweden and Ghana, Development Initiatives and UNOPS. Next month Publish What You Fund releases its third annual Aid Transparency Index, tracking progress by donors in making their aid information more transparent.

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How are Canadian CSOs engaging with the private sector? You tell us!

CCIC SurveyHow are Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) engaging with the private sector for better development outcomes– in terms of partnering with the private sector, promoting private sector development, or pushing for better corporate behaviour? And which private sector are we talking about? Working through a steering group of organizations with a range of experience in engaging the private sector, in September CCIC launched a comprehensive survey to help us map the answers to some of these questions. We are also hoping the survey will identify key lessons learned, effective tools and practices, opportunities for sharing and collaborating, and consensus areas for future policy recommendations. If you are a Canadian CSO, please encourage your Director of Programs – or someone who may have a good overview of the range of programs you conduct on or with the private sector – to complete the survey by Friday October 4. The responses will form the basis of a report expected in November 2013.

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New on CCIC’s blog

No new articles since the last FLASH, but our regular contributors are sharpening their pencils! Jump on the opportunity to post an article on CCIC’s blog, on an issue that is of interest to your organization and our sector; you can do so by contacting Chantal Havard. And keep reading, contributing to and commenting on the Ottawa Citizen’s blog on Aid and Development, where CCIC’s Policy Analyst Fraser Reilly-King is a frequent contributor. Let’s use all the platforms that we have to promote better understanding of, and informed debate on, issues related to international development!dividing line

Coalition Profile : Voices-Voix

(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.)

Voices-Voix

In the spring of 2010, a number of Canadian CSOs came together, concerned about the shrinking democratic space for dialogue on public policy and in response to what appeared to be politically-motivated funding cuts and diminished commitments by the federal government to human rights and international development. The result was a broad-based, non-partisan civil society coalition called Voices-Voix, committed to defending the rights to dissent, advocacy and democratic space. CCIC is a member of the Steering Committee. 

Since its founding, Voices-Voix has been documenting the declining space for civil society, and has published over eighty case studies, half of which are about civil society organisations, activists and human rights defenders. By documenting cases and disseminating information, it hopes to encourage respect for our democratic rights and values, including free speech, transparency and equality. Recently, in collaboration with Osgoode Hall Law School, Voices-Voix launched the new Research Network on Dissent, Democracy & the Law. The Network's Editorial Board will contribute to Voices-Voix's documentation of the narrowing space for dissent in Canada.

On October 24th, Voices-Voix, in collaboration with Amnesty International Canada and CCIC, will be hosting a public event in Ottawa with Maina Kiai, Special Rapporteur on the Rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, who will be in Canada in a personal capacity. The previous day he will be the keynote speaker at an event organized by Voices-Voix at McGill University in Montreal on “Civil Society: Dissent, Democracy and the Law”.

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MEMBER PROFILE: World Federalists Movement Canada

Project Ploughshares

Canadian and international World Federalists meeting, July 2012, Winnipeg.


This month we had the pleasure to talk with Fergus Watt, Executive Director at World Federalists Movement Canada. We found out more about this small but dynamic organization, member of a global network, whose areas of focus include peacekeeping, the post-2015 discussions and the responsibility to protect, among others.

CCIC - World Federalists Movement-Canada is part of a broader global network; could you tell us a bit about the history of that network?

The World Federalist Movement – Canada (WFMC) is a not-for-profit research, education and advocacy organization. In Canada WFMC is closely affiliated with a sister organization, the World Federalist Foundation, also based at our Ottawa office. World federalists are dedicated to achieving more just and effective global governance through the application of the principles of democratic federalism to world affairs.

WFMC is the Canadian member organization of the international World Federalist Movement – Institute for Global Policy (WFM-IGP), co-located at The Hague and in New York, near the United Nations. The World Federalist Movement was founded as an international peace movement shortly after the creation of the United Nations, in the Swiss city of Montreux. Federalists recognized that the post-World War II institutional architecture would not be sufficient to achieve its purposes, i.e. a world that would act collectively against armed aggression, the denial of universal rights, and other global threats.

Read the full interview...

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CCIC MEMBERS IN ACTION

Local economic development: Is there a role for microfinance?

On October 1st, the Canadian Cooperatives Association and Inter Pares, in collaboration with CCIC, are hosting a one day conference on “Local economic development: Is there a role for microfinance?”, as a follow-up to last November’s event at IDRC with Milford Bateman. This conference will bring together researchers, practitioners and decision makers committed to understanding the role of microfinance in promoting local economic development and ultimately improving the lives of the economically disadvantaged. To confirm your attendance and for further details, please contact Erin Sirett by Sept. 26th.

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WUSC Annual Rendez-vous, Nov. 1-3 in Ottawa

If you have a passion for international development and global change, here is a chance to learn, network and exchange ideas with people just like you. WUSC and CECI - Centre d'étude et de coopération internationale invite you to join hundreds of development leaders, professionals, students and academics from around the world at the 3rd Annual International Forum in Ottawa. This year’s theme will tackle the Great Development Debates of our time and participants will have a chance to listen to some of the sharpest and most compelling voices on such timely and crucial questions as: Can markets work for the poor? How can we ensure the world will be able to produce and distribute enough food to feed 9 billion people? Beyond the double burden: can women change the world alone? Should middle income countries continue to receive international development assistance? The Forum is taking place at the Delta City Centre Hotel in Ottawa and more information is available at forum.wusc.ca.

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WORTH A LOOK

CCIC 2012-2013 Annual Report now available!

CCIC Annual Report2012-2013 has been an exciting and busy year at CCIC; our latest annual report provides a good overview of the highlights and key issues of the past year –such as our work on the private sector and development, the CIDA/DFAIT merger, the Reverse the Cuts Campaign and the post-MDGs conference organized with CASID- in a very pleasant design. The year in numbers summarizes well how active we’ve all been and how many people follow our work. Comments on this publication and others are always welcomed and can be sent to Chantal Havard.

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UNCTAD Trade and Environment Review 2013: Make agriculture truly sustainable

UNCTAD Report

The UNCTAD Trade and Environment Report 2013 warns that continuing rural poverty, persistent hunger around the world, growing populations, and mounting environmental concerns must be treated as a collective crisis. It says that urgent and far-reaching action is needed before climate change begins to cause major disruptions to agriculture, especially in developing countries. More than 60 international experts contributed to this report subtitled Wake up before it is too late: Make agriculture truly sustainable now for food security in a changing climate.

 

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Counter-terrorism laws can hurt humanitarian action

The growing body of counter-terrorism legislation is having a direct impact on humanitarian action, restricting funding, stalling project implementation, and resulting in an increased climate of self-censorship by aid workers, according to a new, independent study commissioned by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

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Policy Briefings on shaping development post-2015 by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS)

The Institute of Development Studies (IDS – University of Sussex) recently published seven issues as part of its Policy Briefing Series which provide high quality analysis and practical recommendations for shaping development post-2015.  Issues include gender equality, water and sanitation, nutrition and social protection, to name just a few.

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Humanitarian Bulletin Board: A new useful tool by the Humanitarian Coalition

Humanitarian CoalitionThe Humanitarian Coalition has launched a Humanitarian Bulletin Board this month, which offers a space to post interesting news, events and opportunities in the Canadian humanitarian sector. Have a look of what has already been posted and if you wish to post a link on the Humanitarian Bulletin Board, simply email the Humanitarian Coalition.

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The Earned Income-Generating Activities among Canadian Charities report by Imagine Canada

Imagine Canada has published its first earned income report based on a summary of findings from their Sector Monitor program. A key achievement of the report is that it highlights how important earned income already is for the charitable sector. The sector has long been aware of this importance, but this report adds quantifiable data as a foundation. It also adds valuable detail regarding what types of charities are most involved in earned income generation and how they use the revenues they generate.

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The Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide: All you need to know about Facebook, Twitter & others

Nonprofit Social Media Decision GuideIdealware has launched its updated version of its Nonprofit Social Media Decision Guide. This guide will help organizations like yours determine what results and benefits you can reasonably expect from social media, and to guide you through the process of identifying the right channels for different goals. This updated version includes a new research on how non-profit organizations are using social media to meet their missions, and updated our overview of key differences between the channels most often used by nonprofits to reflect their current functionality.

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Bringing climate statistics to life

This month the OECD launched Climate Change eXplorer, a data visualisation tool that allows the user to visualise over 40 different data sets related to animated climate change "bubble" plots for the period 1990-2010. The user can choose which data sets to show on the axes, as well as the data set used to determine the size of the bubbles. 

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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.