Africa Canada Forum’s Annual Colloquium
October 14-15, 2014
For more information, please contact Kimberly MacMillan
Americas Policy Group's Annual Meeting
October 27-28, 2014
The venue is the boardroom at Oxfam's building (aka. our new office).
For more information, please contact Stacey Gomez
Exhibition by Oxfam-Québec in partnership with World Press Photo Montreal
August 27- September 28, 2014
Canadian Aid and Commercial Interests under the Harper Government
September 18, 2014 Quebec, Quebec
One World Film Festival
September 25-27, 2014
What role should Canada play in the Horn of Africa
October 1, 2014
Activist Conversation on Climate Change
October 2, 2014
21st Canadian Conference on Global Health: Partnerships for Global Health
November 2-4, 2014
2nd Conference of the blog Un seul monde (One World)
November 7, 2014
2014 Canadian Humanitarian Conference: Adaptation and Innovation: Canada’s Contributions to Humanitarian Response
December 4-5, 2014
Deadline to submit an abstract – September 15, 2014
Honduras deal: Another example of Canada's poor record on trade and human rights
July 9, 2014
Foreign aid NGOs optimistic for funding fix
July 31, 2014
Vague de contestation contre l'Agence du revenu du Canada
August 11, 2014
TLC y Derechos Humanos: los acuerdos de Canadá con Colombia y Honduras
August 12, 2014
Radio Canada International
Charities push back against Harper, refuse to be victims
August 12, 2014
Probe Harper's use of tax audits
August 15, 2014
Conservatives reject call for probe of charities audits
August 19, 2014
Change in federal foreign aid policy shuts out a lot of talent and expertise
August 22, 2014
The Vancouver Sun
'Stick to the knitting': Charities face similar scrutiny in UK, Canada
August 27, 2014
L'Accord de libre-échange Canada-Honduras: brasser des affaires à tout prix?
lHuffington Post Québec – Un seul monde
August 31, 2014
In Part 1 of this piece, published in our last Flash! in June, Julia shared some impressions of the MNCH Summit, including reflections on the format and content of the summit (Read Part 1>>). In the second part of the piece, she discusses some underlying funding issues that emerged during the summit.
Since when does size not matter?
In the context of the MNCH Summit, the Prime Minister was quoted as stating several times that what matters is not how much, but rather how funds are invested in development initiatives. So, in colloquial terms, size does not matter. With all due respect, I beg to differ. Size is not all that matters. That is very true. However, the MNCH agenda is one more clear instance where the solution is ‘within arms’ reach” and we need more resources to make it happen. So the size of Canada’s investment in this, and other international development priorities, does matter. If our ODA budget continues to decline, we will have less opportunities to play a leadership role in addressing key global challenges; we will have less and smaller Muskoka initiatives.
Let’s look at some of the numbers then. Canada committed $2.85 billion in 2010 to the MNCH initiative, and according to the government’s information, 80% has been disbursed to date and the rest will be spent by 2015. The North-South Institute has done some good analysis of the MNCH data which is publicly available, and found that approximately 16% of the disbursed amount, as per the available data, has gone directly to Canadian NGOs. 47% has gone to multilateral partners, such as UN agencies and other foreign non-profits. And a very small portion has gone to the private sector. However, 33% of the funds disbursed to date could not be analyzed by the North-South Institute. No surprise that when I asked some CSOs involved in the Muskoka initiative about how much funding had gone to NGOs so far, no one seemed to have a clear or ready answer.
During the Summit, Prime Minister Harper announced that Canada would commit $3.5 billion dollars more to MNCH from 2015 to 2020. If the pattern of current partners is maintained, and allow me to do some simple math here, then we could expect about $560 million dollars going directly to Canadian NGOs (or 16% of total). If Canadian organizations were to play a more prominent role in “Muskoka part 2” then we could see that number go up. There are currently 70 members in the MNCH network, so this would mean a mere 8 million per member over 5 years – surely an average that can be outdone easily by the sector! The recent series of consultations and roundtables being carried out across Canada on the MNCH agenda will hopefully identify opportunities for greater involvement of CSOs in the next phase.
For the overall Canadian ODA budget this is an important yet limited announcement. DFATD has said that MNCH will be Canada’s top priority in the post-2015 context. If over the 5 year period in question we have a capped ODA budget of 5 billion a year (which at this stage would be a best-case scenario), we are talking about 3.5 billion out of 25 billion – so 14% of Canada’s total ODA budget for five years. Even if this is a priority, we still have a lot of margin for other important work that DFATD does, and we should also pay attention to that bigger part of the pie now. CSOs should be a key stakeholder in discussing and shaping the investment of the other 86% of Canada’s ODA budget – n'est-ce pas?
Aid is not on the way out – MNCH is proof that we need more of it
During the breakout sessions, I attended the one on “Innovative Financing and New Partners”. The panel included leaders of Grand Challenges Canada, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, the Salman Khan Foundation, the UN’s Financing the Health MDG and MDG Health Alliance, and the Becton, Dickinson and Company. Though the panel was introduced under the banner of “aid is on the way out so we need to look at alternative funding sources such as the private sector to tackle development challenges”, to my great surprise all the examples given by the panelists, of innovative projects that included some private sector participation, clearly showed that these were only rendered possible thanks to multiple and important investments from traditional aid sources.
By the end of the presentations by panelists, it was starkly obvious to me that in order to promote greater involvement of the private sector in solutions to some of the world’s challenges we need to have more and not less aid in the system. In this context, aid serves to lower risk, create incentives and facilitate processes that prepare the ground for the private sector to come in and apply its know-how to the production and marketing of goods that can help address some development problems. Without aid, these private sector actors and their innovations would not see the light of day. So, even for those that are convinced that the private sector is part of the solution moving forward, the call has to be for more aid and not less. At CCIC we remain committed to calling for more and better aid.
Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.
Please note that as of September 2nd, CCIC’s office will be located at 39 McArthur Avenue in Ottawa, in Oxfam Canada's building. Phone and fax numbers will remain the same. In addition to Oxfam, we will be joining other dynamic international development organizations who are sharing space, services -and creative ideas!- under the same roof, such as Results Canada, Plan Canada and the Humanitarian Coalition. We look forward to receiving you at our new location!
In early August, CCIC submitted its response to the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development’s (DFATD) Draft Civil Society Partnership Policy launched for consultation in June (see May-June Flash! for details). In addition to the online process, two face to face meetings were organized by the Minister’s office, one with members of CCIC and the second with the Regional and Provincial Councils. CCIC’s feedback emanated from an extensive consultation process with members, distilling into a 15 page submission their key areas of concern and CCIC’s own longstanding policy experience on civil society and development. The response focused on some of the following issues: making the policy more responsive to the principles, objectives and priorities of CSOs as independent development actors in their own right; addressing the needs of a diversity of CSOs, large and small, North and South, as well as a broader array of roles that CSOs play, including public engagement, research and advocacy; and generating an environment that will enable CSOs to realize their full potential – in terms of an enabling legislative and policy framework, responsive and diverse funding arrangements, and regular institutionalized dialogue. Following a marked deterioration in recent years in the relationship between CSOs and the government, CCIC is hoping that the final policy will foster a new, strategic partnership between Canadian CSOs and the federal government. By the deadline for feedback, the government had received a total of 25 submissions. CCIC is comparing other submissions it has received to identify common issues of concern. For its part, DFATD will provide a summary of submissions in the fall.
It’s more than just spam! On July 31st, CCIC hosted a workshop and webinar in Toronto regarding Canada's Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) attended by 35 participants. Susan Manwaring, a charity law expert, provided a comprehensive overview of the legislation with a particular focus on exemptions, compliance requirements and due diligence recommendations for charities and non-profits. The workshop ended with a rich question and answer period and the chance to ask Susan specific questions. The workshop underscored CASL’s complexities as well as its many ‘grey’ areas and provided members with important information necessary to develop their approach to ensuring CASL compliance. Due to strong member interest and the importance of this file, CCIC will continue to monitor CASL and will arrange necessary follow up activities.
The United Nations is one small step closer to developing a development framework to replace the MDGs when they expire in 2015. In July, the Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, which was established following the Rio+20 conference to develop a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) “coherent with and integrated into” the post-2015 development agenda, agreed on its Outcome Document. After 13 work sessions, the OWG has finally submitted its findings ahead of the start of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) in September. The Outcome Document proposed 17 SDGs and 169 targets for the 2015-2030 period, many of which update and reorient the MDGs. For example, rather than halving poverty and hunger, a goal has been proposed to end poverty in all forms while another focuses on food security, improved nutrition and sustainable agriculture. The proposed goals also expand on the MDGs, including in areas still deemed controversial by some member states. Some of the new proposed SDGs cover inequality and inclusion, sustainable consumption and production patterns, combating climate change, and peaceful and inclusive societies. The OWG document, alongside the August report of the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, will now inform the UN Secretary-General’s synthesis report, due before the end of 2014. On the basis of that report, states will enter a phase of formal intergovernmental negotiations to develop a common sustainable development framework for post-2015, concluding in an intergovernmental Heads of State Summit in September 2015.
Overwhelmed by the enormity and complexity of the post-2015 process? Unsure what Canada’s priorities are ahead of the start of intergovernmental negotiations? With support from the Beyond 2015 campaign, CCIC will soon publish a briefing paper that lays out the array of different processes that have led to the start of the official negotiation process, trying to situate each within the broader context and identify key inputs and future roles, where they exist. The Briefing will begin to identify emerging government priorities and positions for post-2015, how these discussions are being managed internally within the government, and plans for consultation. The briefing, which is more factual than analytical, will be revised on a periodic basis to reflect new developments both at a procedural and substantive level. English and French versions will be available online mid-September. CCIC has scheduled meetings in Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal to discuss plans and solicit ideas on work around post-2015. Stay tuned!
Through testimony at parliamentary hearings, public events, as well as media work, the Americas Policy Group (APG) and its members have sought to highlight the human rights implications of the Canada-Honduras Free Trade Agreement (CHFTA). Despite the concerted efforts of the APG, as well as other civil society organizations to halt the trade deal, the act to implement the CHFTA received royal assent on June 19, 2014. The APG will continue to monitor the trade deal, as it comes into force, seeking to hold the Canadian government to account for its human rights obligations.
ACF’s Annual Colloquium will be hosted in Ottawa on October 14-15. The theme of the conference is “Building Partnerships to tackle Inequality: opportunities and challenges for African and Canadian CSOs”. The coordination committee that is helping to make this event a success is comprised of L’Œuvre Léger, Oxfam Canada, Inter Pares and CCIC. We are currently compiling a list of possible international speakers. Please contact Kimberly MacMillan if you have any suggestions. And look out for registration to open in September!
CCIC is grateful to guest bloggers who contribute to making our blog a place for lively discussions and debates on important issues affecting international development and Canada’s role in the world. Since FLASH! was last published, we have shared two new posts: the first one was written by Liam Swiss, after the publication of new list of focus countries for Canadian bilateral aid by DFATD; and the second by Natalie Poulson, on the last replenishment conference of the Global Partnership for Education.
(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.)
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an influential network of organisations at the local, national, regional and international levels, and spans the spectrum of civil society. CIVICUS has worked for nearly two decades to strengthen citizen action and civil society throughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens' freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS seeks to amplify the voices and opinions of ordinary people. It recognizes that for effective and sustainable civic participation to occur, citizens must enjoy rights of free association and be able to engage all sectors of society. Each year, CIVICUS publishes a State of Civil Society Report on a specific issue related to civil society; this year’s report is about global governance and lack of accountability within international decision-making. Originally based in Washington, DC, USA, CIVICUS established its global headquarters in Johannesburg, South Africa, in 2002. To celebrate South Africa's 20th anniversary of freedom and democracy, CIVICUS and its partners will gather change makers from around the world in Johannesburg for International Civil Society Week from 19-25 November 2014.
Please note that this section will be back next month!
The exhibition Regards will be presented at the Espace Oxfam-Québec, during the World Press Photo Montreal from August 27th to September 8th. Regards features exclusive photos taken in Benin by William Daniels, photographer and recipient of two world press awards. Oxfam-Québec will also present its work in Haiti through the eyes and camera of the Ouisurf team, who has been in Jacmel in 2014. Oxfam-Québec and World Press Photo Montreal have collaborated for two consecutive years.
Inspired by the power of microfinance to pull even the poorest people out of poverty, RESULTS Canada has created its first original film. This 15-minute film features experts in the field -such as Muhammad Yunus and Katleen Felix - and delves into the importance of microfinance as a proven, cost-effective solution to ending global poverty.
From July 30-August 10, KAIROS organized a learning tour to the Philippines to learn more about how Canadian mining operations are impacting communities. The Philippines Learning Tour reviewed evidence of numerous alleged human rights violations associated with Canadian mining operations on the island. Documented violations include kidnapping, arrest, illegal detention, torture, displacement, loss of livelihood, intimidation, threats and harassment.
This year’s UNDP Human Development Report focuses on 'Sustaining Human Progress: Reducing Vulnerability and Building Resilience' an issue that is gathering increasing attention among the development community. This means promoting people's choices and protecting human development achievements, and taking the view that unless vulnerability is systematically addressed, by changing policies and social norms, progress will be neither equitable nor sustainable.
The Global Initiative for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights released a new Guide to provide an analysis of how to best incorporate the right to active, free and meaningful participation in development. The Guide also includes several case studies and provide lessons learned on how to better incorporate the right to participation into human rights-based development.
This 6,37 minutes video, produced by the Asia Pacific Forum on Women, Law and Development, makes the case for why we need a new development model to address the double crises of inequality and environmental collapse. The video explains Development Justice and the shifts civil society in the Global South demands.
While trade is more prominent in the current drafts of the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) than it was in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the proposed trade targets do not yet provide a framework to tackle the most pressing trade problems, in particular how countries can insert themselves into global value chains. This briefing by the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) looks at how trade might fit in new global goals for sustainable development, when the MDGs expire in 2015.
At the end of June, the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) issued its annual report, this year focused on “Investing in the SDGs: An Action Plan,” offering suggestions for how business can help promote the SDGs in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean. In August, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing released their own report. Both are likely to be important inputs into the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, which will take place in July 2015 in Ethiopia.
The British Independent Commission for Aid Impact has released a report assessing the UK Department for International Development’s work on the private sector. Among other things, it notes that the agency’s ambitions have yet to translate into “clear guidance for the development of coherent, realistic, well balanced and joined-up country-level portfolios,” and it is hard to determine the impact that DfID’s approach is having relative to other aid agencies.
This document, prepared by the Working Group on Investment of the Americas, analyzes the international investment agreements’ regime from a human rights perspective and proposes a series of principles for the construction of alternative frameworks for international investment. The document ends with a call for the discussion and construction of a basic common agenda.
At the end of June, the UN’s Human Rights Council adopted a resolution entitled, “Elaboration of an international legally binding instrument on Transnational Corporations and other Business Enterprises with respect to Human Rights” (A/HRC/26/L.22), which will kick-start an intergovernmental process to elaborate a legal instrument, grounded in international human rights law, to regulate the activities of transnational corporations.
The UNDP has released all of the documents related to a conference it organized in July on an array of issues related to global development cooperation from the perspective of new actors and donors.
This report published by The Institute of Public Administration of Canada (IPAC) presents 12 case studies from IPAC’s international program, Deployment for Democratic Development, or DDD. The DDD program funded and managed by DFATD, has been running since 2007 and will continue until 2015. They have now initiated 85 DDD projects in 35 countries.
The Building A Better Response project aims to build the capacity of national and international NGO personnel to engage with the humanitarian architecture in a manner that improves overall coordination and response to the needs of affected populations.
In July, Médécins Sans Frontières released a report reviewing the humanitarian aid system’s response to displacement emergencies in conflict contexts in South Sudan, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and Jordan in 2012-13. It observes a system that is still slow and cumbersome to respond, that avoids or downgrades its involvement in acute emergency situations and where logistics pose significant challenges, and that increasingly relies on local organizations, without the necessary skills or capacities, to respond to these situations. In this context, MSF wonders whether to scale up its operations to fill the gaps, or encourage others to follow suit.
The International Institute for Sustainable Development has launched a new series of policy briefs on investment in agriculture. The first in the series, The Global Response to Foreign Investment in Agriculture, explores the dozens of initiatives and principles that have been developed to assist governments, investors and communities respond to investor interest in agriculture.
At the behest of the UN Committee on World Food Security in October, the High Level Panel of Experts on Food Security and Nutrition (HLPE) has now released a note to inform the future work of the Committee and a broader community of individuals interested in food security and nutrition issues.
Agenda 2063 is both a Vision and an Action Plan. It is a call for action to all segments of African society to work together to build a prosperous and united Africa based on shared values and a common destiny. Visit the website for updates on resources and consultation processes.
The world has changed radically since the emergence of official development assistance. How should aid change? Against the backdrop of discussions about the post-2015 development agenda, and in partnership with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Development Network (GDN) invites you to submit a written essay before September 15, 2014 with your innovative ideas and fresh thinking about the future of development assistance. Up to 20 winning entries chosen by an international jury will receive US$ 20,000 each.
The 2014 Canadian Humanitarian Conference titled “Adaptation and Innovation: Canada’s Contributions to Humanitarian Response” will be held in Ottawa in December 4-5, 2014. It will set the stage for a national conversation showcasing Canadian expertise in humanitarian response and related fields. If you wish to submit a paper for the conference that could also be published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies afterwards, you may send you abstract by September 15, 2014
IDRC invites applications for its 2014-2015 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 September 23, 2014.
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.
Canadian Council for International Co-operation