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

 

In search of coherence and effectiveness

Julia SanchezMy favorite celebration of the year is around the corner – New Year’s Eve. It is the one day of the year when I feel that people around the world are celebrating a common milestone. We are turning the page collectively, reminiscing about the year we leave behind and anticipating the new one that lies ahead. Some cultures of course celebrate the new year at different times, but having lived in India and Nepal where different religious and ethnic groups had different calendars, it just meant that there were that many more opportunities to celebrate a year gone by and welcoming the new one.

At CCIC, and more generally within our sector, this has been quite the year! It feels like we have been jumping from one peak to the next, making our way across a range of important shifts and milestones in Canadian international development. And if I have to choose one theme that has been ever-present as the year has evolved, I have to say the private sector and development takes the prize.

The year of stimulating debate and discussions around the role of the private sector in development was kick-started by the release of the joint NSI-CCIC report entitled “Investing in the Business of Development” which mapped the strategies and practices of OECD donor countries on the issue, and identified important gaps that need to be addressed before we see discourse turn into evidence and results-based practice.  Throughout the year this issue has remained at the centre of our policy work and, with the guidance of an advisory committee set up for this purpose, we have designed a study and survey to map the existing engagement modalities of civil society groups with the private sector with the aim of identifying case studies, best practices, lessons learned, gaps and new areas of work. The report of this study will be released early in 2014 and follow-up support action from CCIC identified.

Our work on the private sector and development has been happening while our government has intensified its discourse around the importance of the private sector in international development. Unfortunately, too much of the emphasis has been on the imagined role that Canadian multinational firms can play in alleviating poverty – in the face of mounting evidence that multinationals do little to promote local economies and alleviate poverty in the countries where they work, while the local private sector, as we learned a long time ago and have known since then, is really the motor of economic development in their own countries. The simplistic thesis that has been touted, that Canadian private sector companies, and especially Canadian mining companies, are the magic bullet that will redress the developing world’s ills, has been professed in speech after speech by our Prime Minister and by the two International Development Ministers we have had this year.

And the year ended on a high note in this regard with the announcement of the “Economic Diplomacy” policy by the Minister of Trade. In this policy, which is all about supporting Canadian businesses overseas to create jobs for Canadians, not once was corporate social responsibility (or anything like it) mentioned as an area that is important to ensure Canadian competitiveness abroad, or as an area where the government needs to engage with the private sector in order to nod at that other policy objective called development. And the only mention of development was reduced to the intent to “leverage development programming to advance Canada’s trade interests”. This being the first policy statement (and one of the few ever seen from this government and on any issue relating to foreign policy) of the newly merged DFATD, it was noticeably lacking in any attempt towards policy coherence – it is all about trade without any effort made to take into account the effects that trade has on development or diplomacy. It was, however, impeccably aligned – the press release states that the new trade policy “aligns Canada’s trade, development and foreign policy tools to advance commercial interests around the world” and will “ensure that all of Canada’s diplomatic assets are harnessed to support the pursuit of commercial success by Canadian companies and investors”.

I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on December 3rd at UQAM on the merger. The question put to the panelists was whether the merger could have positive consequences for international development. My simple answer: yes, in theory, but unlikely in the current context of narrowly focused promotion of Canadian private interests above all else. And I pointed to the new “economic diplomacy” strategy as the proof that should convince the skeptical and undecided. The merger came as a surprise to us all – and high-jacked months of our work as we tried to foresee the consequences of this move on the delivery of aid, the mandate of CIDA and the ODAAA. The bright side of course, is that we mobilized as a sector to push for preserving the ODAAA, sound legislation and an intelligent structure that would put development at par with the other foreign policy objectives. And, last but not least, we called for and international development policy framework to guide the work of the new merged department. We have not fared badly on the first three, with an ODAA that remained intact, and new legislation and a structure for the new department that, though not perfect, would not obstruct, and could even facilitate the implementation of sound and principled international development policy for Canada. What is missing though is the latter.  We have a lot of speeches, but no policy. And now the only policy we have from DFATD is the one for global markets and economic diplomacy. And this policy clearly contradicts any understanding of policy coherence and effective development.

On another front, the role of civil society and the funding for civil society initiatives has remained in the backburner of priorities for the current and the previous Ministers. Despite all the engagement on the global level on issues of development effectiveness and the enabling environment for civil society, our government refuses to see the link between a vibrant civil society that engages with global poverty issues at home and the state of civil society abroad. Funding for civil society initiatives continues to be for all intents and purposes inexistent. The grand announcements made by Minister Oda during her launch of the new and improved Partnership with Canadians Branch have been totally abandoned by her two successors to date. Organizations that have been key players in successful initiatives of Canadian global cooperation have been left out in the dark. And along with them, their partner organizations in the south and the programs and beneficiaries that benefitted from the support provided by Canada through NGOs. Public education programs across Canada have been reduced to almost nil, and dialogue, debate and consultation reduced to token and selective efforts. The big desk that Minister Oda  had, with so many projects awaiting her approval on that desk, has been passed down to Fantino and now perhaps to Paradis. There are dozens of projects awaiting approval by the Minister, or so we hear. And little moves, and when it moves, it moves ever so slowly. Effectiveness? Efficiency? Accountability? Transparency? Predictability? Not yet.

Of course there are some good stories, and these all have one common characteristic: organizations working together for change. The MNCH network has managed to take advantage of a priority interest of this government to co-design a powerful strategy with the government and to provide some leadership for Canada on an important issue (maternal and child health). CFGB, a partnership of Canadian churches and church-based agencies working to end global hunger, has managed to maintain food security at the top of the agenda, providing both policy advice and implementation capacity. The volunteer sending agencies, after an agonizing couple of years marred with unpredictability and impossible delays, have managed to secure a one year extension to their funding while the government continues to assess the merits of the program and its future funding. The provincial and regional councils have been invited to submit proposals for new grants to continue their capacity building and awareness raising activities at the local levels. And the expected announcement that CIDA would not renew the youth internship program has been slow in coming, after a concerted effort of a number of organizations working together to highlight the value of the youth internship programs to decision makers. And there are more stories like this, of organizations working together around a common agenda and making important headway despite the difficult context.

As I look at the year ahead, I see more opportunities like these and see the critical role that CCIC can play as convenor and platform for its members and other organizations to find those areas of common interest with which we can leverage change as a community. Our members, and the sector at large, do not need CCIC to support them in significant ways on specific thematic areas of work, but they do need a CCIC that leads the way on issues that are of common interest to all, such as the role of civil society in development (in the global south as well as in Canada) including policy dialogue; the enabling environment for civil society; the recasting of our narrative as a sector and around international development; the code of ethics and operational standards for the sector; development effectiveness; and more.  

Thank you for your continued engagement and support, have a wonderful end-of-year break, and I look forward to more engaged and impactful work together in the year that lies ahead.

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

Happy Holidays from CCIC’s Team!

Happy HolidaysWe wish you a nice and relaxing Holiday Season and a Happy New Year with your family and friends! We are looking forward to the upcoming year, full of exciting activities and opportunities to engage Canadians around international cooperation and social justice! CCIC will officially be closed from December 25th to January 1st. Back soon with more energy; thank you for reading us every month!

 

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Do more, do better, join CCIC!

CCIC Membership CampaignCCIC is proud to gather such a vibrant and engaged community of CSOs. Our members represent a very good diversity of cutting-edge and experienced Canadians organizations involved in international development. To remain strong and united, we need to bring other key players on board. That is why CCIC has launched a Membership Campaign, with the bulk of outreach activities taking place before the end of 2013, but efforts continuing into 2014! If you are interested in the work done by CCIC and its members, have a look at our new promotional brochure and insert, talk to like-minded organizations that are not part of CCIC yet, and invite them to join! For more information, please contact Chantal Havard.

 

 

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New on CCIC’s blog

CCIC BlogCCIC’s Policy Analyst Fraser Reilly-King has published an article that reflects on Canada’s performance in relation with the “Fast Start Climate Finance”, agreed under the 2009 Copenhagen Accord. Read more about it here.

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Echoes from the CCIC Fall Conference: Canadian leadership for a better world: a policy agenda for international cooperation in 2015 and beyond

CCIC Fall ConferenceOn November 21 and 22, a dedicated and dynamic group of representatives from CCIC member organizations, academics, policy staff and other stakeholders in international development, have dedicated 2 days to envision what role Canada should play on the international scene, in the context leading up to 2015 and the post-MDGs, and in preparation for the next federal election. The discussion was kick-started by a thought provoking paper by the McLeod Group, “Making Choices”, and stimulated by solid presentations from veterans of international development, natural allies and expert outsiders! Participants sharpened their pencils and came out with a pretty good consensus on what Canada should be promoting on the international scene, and what contribution Canadian CSOs can and want to make in this new framework for international development and social justice. The outcomes of the conference will inform a public and policy engagement strategy for the next 2 years. There will be many occasions to contribute and be involved, so stay tuned!

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The Anti-terrorism Act, and its implications for international development work

On November 6th, 2013, The Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC), the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG), and Peacebuild, organized a one-day discussion forum for Canadian NGOs. The purpose of the event was to enhance understanding of the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA), particularly the process of listing terrorist entities, and the implications and possible risks associated with intentional or unintentional interactions with those entities. During the one day discussion forum co-sponsored by the Centre for International Policy Studies (CIPS) and the Fragile States Research Network (FSRN) of the University of Ottawa, civil society organizations interacted with charity lawyers and recent CIDA and DFAIT civil servants to better understand the AA and its impacts on organizations working internationally in development, humanitarian and peacekeeping. One of the key takeaways includes the need for Canadian CSOs to work with others to create a standardized due diligence guidelines.  If your organization would like to be part of these follow-up activities, please contact Julia Sanchez.

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New member of the Policy Team at CCIC

Stacey Gomez began her role as interim Coordinator of CCIC’s Americas Policy Group in November. Through various organizations, Stacey has played an active role in campaigns calling for aid effectiveness and corporate accountability. Stacey holds an MA in Development Studies at York University. Her MA research examines the impacts of resource extraction conflict on the lives of Indigenous women in Guatemala. She can be reached at sgomez@ccic.ca.

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Trade at the expense of human rights?

Trade at the expense of Human RightsThe Americas Policy Group and Common Frontiers issued an open letter condemning the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement, signed on November 5, 2013. The lack of democratic and legal guarantees in Honduras – as well as the levels of repression and impunity – is highly troubling. In such a context, Hondurans can neither question the impact of trade and investment on their lands and livelihoods, nor reap the benefits of any potential economic growth. Until there is a verifiable improvement in the country’s democratic governance and human rights situation, the Canada-Honduras FTA is poised to do more harm than good.  Instead of amplifying trade and investment in Honduras, Canada should be using its leverage in a positive manner, calling on Honduran authorities to take immediate measures to halt the intimidation, arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances, torture and killings of individuals and groups; and to fully restore freedom of expression so that journalists, opposition parties and critics can safely express dissenting opinions.

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Latest news from the Africa Canada Forum

Over the past two months, regional meetings were held in Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto, as well as in Quebec City, with current and potential members of the Africa Canada Forum (ACF). The purpose of these meetings was to introduce the new ACF coordinator, Kimberly MacMillan, to the members and to consolidate information collected to create the 2014 ACF work plan. ACF has launched a new bimonthly bulletin to inform members on the activities of the working group. It will profile organizations, announce ACF events and publications, and share publications, research and articles on issues of interest. The aim of the bulletin is to strengthen the ACF network through information sharing. To subscribe to the ACF bulletin, you can contact Kimberly MacMillan.

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October 29 webinar on the Human Rights Challenge for Ethnic Minorities in China: Examples from Eastern Turkestan, Mongolia, and Tibet

Three of the largest minority groups - the Uyghurs, Tibetans and Mongolians - have maintained a decades-long struggle for increased autonomy or political control over their territories and cultural traditions, and efforts by the Government of China to limit and control these struggles have resulted in wide-ranging human rights violations. Kayum Masimov (Uyghur Canadian Society), Enghebatu Togochog (Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center), Tashi Wangdi (Member of the Tibetan Government's task force for negotiations with the Government of China) and Alex Neve (Amnesty International Canada) provided their insights on the human rights challenges facing these minorities. This webinar discussion was co-sponsored by Amnesty International Canada, the Canada Tibet Committee, the Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, and the Uyghur Canadian Society with the collaboration of the Asia-Pacific Working Group. The recording of this webinar is available on request by contacting Denis Côté.

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Québec National Assembly adopts a unanimous motion asking federal government to launch calls for proposals

Québec FlagOn October 31, in support for the work being done by the Association québécoise des organismes de cooperation international (AQOCI) and its members, the Québec National Assembly presented a motion asking the federal government to stop inaction and launch the much awaited calls for proposal for Volunteer Sending Agencies (VSAs) and other international development programs. The motion was supported by all parties. A few weeks later, Minister of International Development Christian Paradis announced a one year extension of the current contribution agreement with VSAs while the government reviews the program; an announcement that was welcomed by thousands of Canadian volunteers working overseas and their partner organizations.

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Fifth ODA Accountability Act Report up, ODA spending down

Several weeks after it was tabled in Parliament, the government has posted the Fifth Report on the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act. Because the Report covers the previous fiscal year, 2012-13, the reporting still separates DFAIT and CIDA (both in terms of activities and spending). The report gives an early glance at aid spending for FY2012-13 ahead of the March ODA Statistical Report. In short, ODA dropped by 3% from $5.51 billion in FY2011/12 to $5.35 billion in FY2012/13 (cf. 5.49 billion in FY2010/11), and less than the 3.6% drop to the International Assistance Envelope announced in Budget 2012. However, in terms of real ODA (ODA minus Canadian debt cancellation, the first year of supporting refugees from developing countries in Canada, and the costs of developing country students studying in Canada), the drop was double that - from $5.02 to $4.71 billion, a decline of $310 million or 6.2%. Much of this drop was due to under-spending existing budget lines by CIDA.  In fact, the Agency’s spending is down by almost $479 million to $3.45 billion compared to at $3.93 billion in FY2011/12 (a peak in CIDA spending), and $3.58 billion in FY2010/11. The government’s five thematic priorities (food security, growth, children and youth, advancing democracy and security and stability) have also been more readily integrated in the reporting with the top four aid allocators (CIDA, Finance, DFAIT and IDRC) reporting against them. Finance has also aligned the release of its report on activities at the World Bank and IMF (previously due in March 2013) with the release of the ODAAA report, although this report was only issued in early December.

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Canada still absent in defining post-2015 agenda

Canada needs to be more proactive in setting the post-2015 agenda, the successor to the Millennium Development Goals, was a key conclusion at an event in mid-November of United Nations and development experts co-hosted by the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), The North-South Institute and the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies. While panelist and UN Development Program Special Advisor on the Post-2015 Development Agenda Olav Kjørven lauded Canada for its work around maternal newborn and child health, he said that Canada has been seen, but not heard, at many post-2015 meetings, holding back on its proposals for what the post-2015 framework should contain. CCIC President-CEO Julia Sanchez focused on the role the civil society should play in any post-2015 framework, citing the experience CCIC has had in working through the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, a multi-stakeholder forum in which civil society has a permanent seat at the table. Starting in March, the UN will begin drafting a set of goals to be completed by September 2014 ahead of the UN General Assembly.

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Global report to focus on partnership

On the periphery of the European Development Days, the Reality of Aid (RoA) network held its global meeting to discuss plans for the 2014 biennial report on “Partnerships for the eradication of poverty and inequality” and the post-2015 framework. Building on a hugely successful report on Aid and the Private Sector in 2012, RoA will use the backdrop of the changing global development landscape and the looming post-2015 development framework to explore three things : the principles and practices that can guide future partnerships at the global and national level; how partnerships are changing in the context of South-South Cooperation, public private partnerships and a changing relationship between southern and northern civil society; and the space and role for inclusive rights-based partnerships in a post-2015 framework. CCIC is Vice-Chair of the Network and the Coordinator for non-European OECD countries.dividing line

Petition to maintain the International Youth Internships Programs alive

Petition A number of organizations and individuals have been mobilizing in the past few months for the survival of the International Youth Internships Programs (IYIP and IAYI) at DFATD, whose current funding is ending in March 2014. These programs have received highly positive reviews and evaluations over the years, and have proven to be an effective –and cost-effective!- way to increase employability among young Canadian professionals, while contributing to building capacities of local partners. Past interns have created a petition asking for the program to be renewed, and we invite you to sign it and circulate it in your networks!

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Coalition Profile: Halifax Initiative

(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.)

Halifax Initiative Halifax InitiativeHalifax Initiative

Halifax Initiative is a coalition of development, environment, labour, human rights and faith groups deeply interested in the international financial system and its institutions. The Halifax Initiative was formed in December 1994, in the context of an international movement of non-governmental organizations focused on evaluating the role and record of the International Financial Institutions (IFIs, namely the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund) at the time of their 50th Anniversary. Canadian NGOs formed the Halifax Initiative (HI) to ensure that demands for fundamental reform of the international financial institutions were high on the agenda of the G7's 1995 Halifax Summit. Since 1994, the Halifax Initiative has worked through research, education, advocacy and alliance-building in an effort to fundamentally transform the international financial system and its institutions to achieve poverty eradication, environmental sustainability and an equitable re-distribution of wealth.

Over the past two decades, the coalition has focused on the Tobin Tax and the Financial Transactions Tax, structural adjustment policies and conditionalities of the World Bank, sovereign debt, the G20, export credit agencies, environmental policies and corporate accountability. In recent years, HI has focused increasingly on climate financing, tax justice and access to justice issues, moving away from a traditional focus on the IFIs. In October, it participated in the launch of the “Open for Justice” campaign, and in December, organized a seminar on tax justice with experts from around the world. CCIC is a member of the Halifax Initiative and sat on its Coordination Committee until 2011.

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MEMBER PROFILE: Equitas

Equitas IHRTP

Mouse over to view the IHRTP group in the 80s and today


This month CCIC had a dynamic discussion with EQUITAS Executive Director, Ian Hamilton. Ian told us about the early days of the organization, the annual International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) and a workshop manual on human rights-based approach and equitable partnerships developed by EQUITAS in collaboration with Coady and CCIC... among other things!


CCIC - Can you tell us about the context that gave birth to EQUITAS in 1967?

Equitas was established at a time when international human rights standards were little known in Canada.  Human rights were not part of the curriculum of schools and universities (even Law Faculties).  The Ontario Human Rights Commission had just been set-up, but other provinces and the federal government would not follow suit until much later.  At the international level, the UN had just adopted the two international covenants on civil and political rights and economic, social and cultural rights, but the human rights discourse was still very new and, in Canada, tended to focus exclusively on civil and political rights.

The catalyst for setting up the organization was the arrival at McGill University of one of the drafters of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, John Humphrey. In 1967, a group of engaged Montrealers joined with Mr. Humphrey to establish an organization to meet the need for Canadians to learn about human rights - the Canadian Human Rights Foundation (as Equitas was originally named).  The name was changed to Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education in 2004 to reflect our emergence as an organization working worldwide, but still focused on the role of human rights education in bringing about positive social change.

Read the full interview...

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CCIC MEMBERS IN ACTION

WUSC/CECI 2013 International Forum

International ForumNovember 1-3rd saw the 2013 International Forum co-organized by WUSC and CECI. This three-day forum brought together over 450 participants including representatives from NGOs, government, academia, and students from across the country and around the world to discuss the “Great Development Debates.” The event focused on a wide range of issues, including gender issues with refugee populations, finding market solutions for the poor, addressing food insecurity through small-scale farming vs. GMOs, and the portrayal of poverty in fundraising campaigns. The event included an awards gala to celebrate outstanding Canadians in international development, lively debates and panel discussions, and a student-led debate exploring youth perspectives on the future of development.

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Farm Radio International featured in the New York Times

In Tanzania farmers reap the benefits of radioAn article was recently published in the New York Times entitled “In Tanzania, Farmers Reap the Benefits of Radio”. The article featured FRI’s work with small-scale private farmers of Africa, particularly in Tanzania, where farmers represent 75 percent of the country’s population of 48 million. Today, FRI runs programs in 38 radio stations to deliver agricultural knowledge across seven African countries.

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WORTH A LOOK

New CCIC Report: Two Years on from Busan: Looking Back, Looking Forward

In late 2011, political leaders, government representatives, civil society organizations, and private sector representatives met in Busan, South Korea for the Fourth High Level Forums on Aid Effectiveness (HLF-4). The importance of the Istanbul Principles, Equitable Partnerships, and Human Rights-Based Approaches (HRBA) were all highlighted at the forum, but how have these agreements and priorities impacted civil society organizations? Two years after Busan, CCIC and InterAction (USA) collaborated on a survey to see how their members have responded to these issues, as well as emerging issues around the Enabling Environment for civil society in North America and abroad. A report of findings from this survey has already informed the development of CSO training modules on Equitable Partnerships and HRBA and will be shared at the global level with the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation in the spring of 2014. We hope this report will also support Canadian CSOs in articulating “next steps” on these important issues. You can find the whole report here.

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Great overview of private sector and development debates

The CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness has produced a comprehensive backgrounder that provides an overview of recent key papers on the issue of aid, development and the private sector. From these, the backgrounder distills the new approaches donors are taking to the private sector, modalities they are using to engage the private sector, and key areas where donors are falling short. Essential reading for anyone interested in these issues.

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Open data, transparency and international development

A summary report of a meeting convened by The North-South Institute in October, 2013, was released recently. Panelists discussed the importance of open data and transparency in relation to Canada’s development objectives, the changing open government narrative, challenges in delivering on transparency, and lessons learned from the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) experience. In November, a number of organizations also launched www.aidtransparency.ca, a virtual hub for discussion on aid transparency issues.

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Canada Climate Opinion 2013

Canada Climate Opinion 2013At the beginning of November, Canada 2020/Université de Montréal released its National Survey of Canadian Opinion on Climate Change. Among other things, it found that 84% of Canadians strongly or somewhat believe the federal government should take the lead on combating climate change; 76% of Canadians strongly or somewhat believe Canada should sign an international climate agreement, even if it means doing so before China and the U.S.; and 71% of Canadians believe that protecting the environment should be a top priority for the Conservative federal government.

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“Leadership in Fair Trade”: upcoming conference and magazine

The Canadian Fair Trade Network is organizing its 2nd Annual Conference in Toronto, from January 9-11, 2014. The CFTN conference will bring together those interested in, and working in, fair trade in Canada. It will be a meeting of businesses, NGOs and advocates of fair trade. The event is free of charge. For more information and how to register, please go here. Also, fair trade promoters and supporters can get a hold of the newest edition of the Fair Trade magazine, a publication created by CFTN: free copies can be ordered here.

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Get Involved!

Get Involved

Oxford University Press Canada recently released 'Get Involved', a website aimed at increasing student knowledge of, and involvement in, Canadian political processes, linked to the release of the seventh edition of Stephen Brooks’ “Canadian Democracy”.


 

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No need to dig - Africa (The Economist)

An article released by The Economist titled No need to dig, highlights a study released by the International Monetary Fund, which reveals that many of Africa’s fastest growing economies have not relied on oil or mining. The study followed six African countries that met indicators related to GDP growth and GDP per capita. The findings highlighted that stable and purposeful policy making helped these countries grow because they took steps in the 1990’s to control public finances and curb inflation. The study determined that all six countries are better governed, have less corruption, have better bureaucrats, enjoy more stable politics and are better regulated than their African peers. As a result, the climate for private business has improved. And, all six countries have been supported through reliable aid flows (in the form of grants and cheep loans) and more FDI than their other African counterparts. And, finally debt relief has helped to! It’s interesting to see evidence of countries growing their economies outside the reliance on resource extraction and exports.

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New report highlights more than 400 threats to civil society around the world

A new report released by CIVICUS reveals a pattern of sustained attacks on civil society organisations (CSOs) around the world. CIVICUS has tracked 413 threats to civil society in 87 countries since the beginning of 2012. Worryingly the report shows that several governments are attempting to weaken civil society organisations by enacting laws which prevent them from accessing the funding they need to survive and prevent them from conducting legitimate activities involving expressions of democratic dissent.

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Evaluation conducted by the Government of Canada on the impact of cooperatives in development confirms positive results

During the International Year of Cooperatives, the Government of Canada, through the Canadian International Development Agency (now part of the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada) wished to contribute to a better understanding of the cooperative model on development. Consequently, it carried out a wide-ranging evaluation that shed light on the impact of cooperatives around the world and on the factors underlying their success. To conduct the evaluation, the Government of Canada called on three of the major Canadian organizations involved in promoting cooperatives in the field of international development, Développement international Desjardins (DID), the Société de coopération pour le développement international (SOCODEVI) and the Canadian Co-operative Association (CCA). The results of this study clearly highlight the positive impact that cooperatives can have on reducing poverty. This is private sector in action in favor of development!

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Kids Go Global

Kids Go GlobalKids Go Global is a web-based platform that connects school children with NGOs to foster global citizenship. You have the opportunity to market your projects directly to youth and build a relationship with them using your existing educational materials, YouTube clips and newsletter or blog articles.  This is a new initiative between the Rozsa Foundation, Trickster Theatre and NGOs like yours.  There is no cost to you – the goal is to help you connect with students to raise funding for your projects. 

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IDRC invites applications for its Canadian Partnerships Small Grants

IDRC
IDRC invites applications for its 2013-2014 Small Grants for Innovative Research and Knowledge Sharing. Provided through the Canadian Partnerships program, these grants support research, knowledge-building, and knowledge-sharing projects. They also fund events and small dissemination activities and products. These grants are open to local, regional, national, and international organizations, incorporated and headquartered in Canada that produce or share knowledge for development. Individuals may not apply. Organizations new to IDRC are encouraged to apply. The deadline is January 6th, 2013. 

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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.