February 4-5 2015
Further details to follow
Save the Date: CCIC Annual Conference
May 12-14, 2015
Palais des Congres, Gatineau, Quebec
For more information, please contact Michelle Bested
21st Canadian Conference on Global Health: Partnerships for Global Health
November 2-4, 2014
International Lawsuits against Multinational Companies
Novembre 3, 2014
Beyond Humanitarian Assistance: The Challenges of Speaking Out About the Atrocities that Humanitarian Actors Witness
Doctors without Borders
November 4, 2014
Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale
November 6-16, 2014
Mining Extraction and Justice "The Global Cry of the People"
Novembre 7, 2014
Another shutdown: NSI and the grim future of Canadian NGOs
September 29, 2014
This month had me traveling to Taipei to participate as a keynote speaker in TaiwanAid’s second Asian NGOs International Development Conference, immediately followed by a trip to Lima where CECI and WUSC were hosting the International Volunteer Cooperation Organizations (IVCO)’s annual conference.
In Taipei, it was great to be amongst colleagues from Taiwan and the region discussing the post-2015 process and implications for civil society. It was also interesting to participate in discussions about challenges that are emerging for the relatively new Taiwanese cooperation sector – including on financial dependency, south-south cooperation and more – and to get a better sense of the dynamics of Taiwan within the multi-lateral and global system, in its unique relationship with China and the rest of the world, and how this affects the way it rolls out its cooperation efforts.
I was invited to speak about the post-2015 process from a Canadian perspective, and in preparing was quickly reminded of how much we have done, relatively speaking, compared to new players like Taiwan – although they are of course not part of the UN system! Our work summarizing the process to date and (Canadian positions and priorities), was useful at this event to set the scene and bring conference participants up to speed, before we got into exploring some of the new promises that the future framework offers.
Some of the questions and comments that I found most interesting had to do with whether the human rights based approach, which civil society has pushed for at the global level, was a western construct or not. And also on the intersection between culture and tradition, in terms of the universality of the future goals. These comments often came from younger participants – university students or recently graduated – and where the condition of women in Muslim countries seemed to be a point of sensitivity.
Despite the long journey to get to Taipei - and the doubts I had before going there of how much I could really contribute to the conference given my limited knowledge of Taiwan and its development objectives and state of civil society – I found the trip extremely rewarding and was reminded how important it is to continue working at a global scale and in bi-lateral ways with civil society groups around issues of common interest.
In Lima, the IVCO conference focused this year on the theme of convergence, and I was invited to speak to the study that CCIC worked on last year around member engagement with the private sector. This was an invitation that was not hard to accept – being of Peruvian origin myself, having started my career in international development as a volunteer with CECI, and having participated actively in the process of creating the joint volunteering program between CECI and WUSC (Uniterra) ten years ago, it felt like I was “coming home” in more ways than one.
While much of my focus at the conference was on the particular convergence with the private sector around development, there was a session early on in the conference around the group’s advocacy efforts to include volunteering in the post-2015 discussions, which I found particularly interesting. Seeing the results of collective policy and advocacy work always gives me a high. It is when civil society groups come together (and in this case with other actors as well, such as government and multi-lateral volunteer sending agencies) and succeed in pushing forward an agenda item, that the value of collaboration reaches a higher ground.
Volunteering agencies internationally have worked very hard to articulate and obtain recognition of the role that volunteering can play in delivering development results - and how volunteering is, and needs to be, an integral part of delivering any set of future global goals. In particular, I was impressed by the active role that Canadian volunteer agencies have played in moving this agenda forward.
In November, CCIC is convening the diverse Canadian coalitions working on policy issues in the international development sector, and we will be looking at ways to enhance our collective effectiveness in policy influence. Examples like this one, where groups have come together and made an imprint on a large and complex process by being focused and strategic, are definitely an inspiration.
Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.
The 2014 global rankings for the Aid Transparency Index (ATI) are out. While Canada moved ahead by 9 points to 71.67% relative to 62.58% in 2013, its overall ranking dropped by three spots, from 8th to 11th, outpaced by more comprehensive publishing by other donors. That said, it still came 4th out of 50 bilateral donors. This year’s winner was the UN Development Program, which jumped from 4th to 1st. China ranked last. The report noted that “[Canada] performs less well on the provision of financial data on individual activities and performance information (results, conditions and impact appraisals); [nor does it] currently provide links to project documents in its IATI files.” Among other things, the ATI recommended DFATD encourage other government departments to report to the International Aid transparency Initiative (IATI). The interactive website includes profiles for all 68 organisations, detailed analysis and the conclusions and recommendations that follow from the findings this year.
CCIC joins with other members of the Canada Network on Corporate Accountability in expressing their disappointment that the Extractive Sector Ombudsman Bill, Bill C-584, failed second reading this month in the House of Commons by 150 votes to 127. Under the Open For Justice Campaign, of which CCIC is a member, 90,000 Canadians had voiced their support for creating an Extractive Sector Ombudsman to oversee the international activities of Canadian mining, oil and gas companies, and for legislation that would give access to Canadian courts for those who believe they have been harmed by such operations. Despite all opposition leaders and parties voting in favour of the bill, ultimately the bill suffered defeat to the majority government when it voted as a block. The government has not announced any revisions to its corporate social responsibility strategy since it opened it up to consultations last year, nor has it replaced its CSR counsellor, Dr. Market Evans, since she resigned a year ago in October 2013.
2015 is going to be a big year for the world, for Canada and for the United Nations. A set of Sustainable Development Goals will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2015, as the MDGs expire. September 2015 also marks the 20th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform of Action from the UN’s Fourth World Conference on Women. Just prior to that, the UN will organize the Third Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa in July 2015. And at the end of the year, Heads of State will meet in Paris for the 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. In anticipation of all of these events, CCIC met with its members and members of the Provincial and Regional Councils in August and September to get feedback and input on a campaign CCIC will be launching in 2015. Through it, we will press for key Canadian action around these issues, and post-2015 agenda that is fit for task for the next 15 years – a truly inclusive, sustainable and equitable world for both people and the planet. Watch this space!
At the beginning of October, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) posted their first Official Development Assistance (ODA) Accountability Act Report as a merged Department. The report signaled the second consecutive year of freefall in Canada’s aid budget. The provisional numbers show that the International Assistance Envelope is more than $300 million below what it was supposed to be per Budget2012, and that overall ODA allocations fell by approximately $450 million between 2012/13 and 2013/14 to roughly $4.9 billion - following a drop of $185 million between 2011/12 and 2012/13. The release of the OECD’s Development Cooperation Report this month re-confirmed that Canadian aid dropped in 2014 by 11.4 percent, the second biggest proportional cut of any other OECD country. The aid figures won’t be definitively confirmed until the release of the official International Assistance Statistical Report that comes out in March 2015. Beyond the numbers, this year’s Report provides a substantially more coherent and cohesive overview of Canada’s approach. The 12 Federal Departments and Agencies shifted away from individual departmental reports, as in past years, to providing a whole-of-government report within the parameters of the five thematic priorities: stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, advancing democracy and promoting stability and security.
CCIC welcomes the contribution of its member organization Canadian Friends Service Committee (the Quakers), who shared an excellent article on Canada’s refusal to sign the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. Organizations and individuals interested in publishing an article in CCIC’s blog can contact Chantal Havard.
(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.)
Many of you will remember wearing the white wristband, back in 2005-2006, and going to Parliament Hill with hundreds of supporters to ask the Canadian government to be a leader in reducing global poverty, and to implement a plan to eliminate poverty in Canada? These were the key asks of Make Poverty History Canada, as part of the global campaign launched in 2005. MPH Canada has mobilized thousands of Canadians around its platform and 50 000 are still actively engaged. In the past few years, MPH has functioned with limited resources and has focused its actions on e-engagement and calls to actions. The Make Poverty History Campaign has been hosted for the past 2 years with Results Canada, with its own steering committee and Board. Based on the positive experience and complementarity between Results Canada and MPH, a new MOU was recently signed. CCIC has been involved in MPH since its inception and is part of the steering committee and Board. Make Poverty History was recently involved in the Chew on this! Campaign, calling for a Federal Anti-Poverty Plan to eradicate poverty and hunger in Canada.
This month CCIC met with Jasmine Gill, Executive Director of World Literacy Canada. Jasmine shared her views on World Literacy Canada’s programming, explained the approach World Literacy Canada uses to foster women’s empowerment and described the impact of one of their main project, the Sally Swenson Scholarship… among other things!
CCIC: World Literacy Canada has been a leader in delivering literacy education for nearly 60 years. In your opinion what has made World Literacy Canada's programming so successful and unique?
World Literacy Canada's programs are very effective because they are grassroots, that is, community-based in their approach. We work directly with our beneficiaries to design and deliver educational programs that are responsive to the needs of the community as a whole. In India, where we have a program office, our adult literacy programs are created and governed with the participation of women's groups in each community. In Canada, we work to provide opportunities for children in under-served communities to contribute their voices to the global community. Our mission is to deliver and support the education of women and children as a means to enhance gender equity, to eliminate poverty and to increase the well-being of the communities in which we work. Our programming successfully supports our mission because of its direct and efficient approach, responsiveness to community concerns and the strength, commitment and dedication of all involved to further the cause of literacy.
More than one billion people depend directly on animals for food, jobs, income, transport, social status, cultural identification and financial security. For 70 percent of the world’s poorest people — those most vulnerable to the devastating effects of disasters — livestock are essential for their livelihoods and food security. The lives of animals and people experiencing disasters are inextricably linked. World Animal Protection has been saving animals involved in disasters for 50 years, including in the Philippines after the Typhoon Haiyan in 2013, in Haiti after the earthquake in 2010 and in Myanmar after the cyclone Nargis in 2008.
Development and Peace has launched a new campaign to raise awareness on the crucial role of small family farmers in the Global South in feeding the world and the growing threat to their right to save, exchange and use their seeds. Under the slogan, Sow Much Love, the campaign encourages Canadians to take action to support small family farmers in defending their rights in the face of the increasing privatization of seeds. The campaign culminated in October during a week of action that coincided with World Food Day on October 16th, 2014.
CCIC is thrilled to welcome three new members!
CODE is a Canadian NGO with 55 years of experience in advancing literacy and education in Canada and around the world. CODE’s programs encourage development through education through support to libraries, professional development for teachers, as well as national and local book publishing in 17 languages.
PeaceGeeks works to empower grassroots organizations by building technology partnerships to significantly improve or transform their efforts to promote peace and human rights in developing and conflict-affected areas. PeaceGeeks strives to see a world where every NGO can leverage technology to achieve lasting peace.World Animal Protection works to protect animals affected by disasters- reducing suffering and helping governments and communities to recover and rebuild. World Animal Protection provides training for people to care for animals before, during and after disaster recognizing the fundamental link between the lives of people and animals.
Minister Paradis sat down with Diplomat’s editor, Jennifer Campbell, to discuss his current job, including the CIDA-DFAIT merger, priorities leading up to the next election, MDGs, the 0.7 percent of GDP engagement, new countries-of-focus list, the aid transparency file, and more!
iPolitics recently published a 12-part series on Canada's foreign policy on the extractive sector with a special focus on Guatemala.
The OECD launched its key annual reference report highlighting statistics and trends in international aid. Ahead of the adoption of a set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the Millennium Development Goals in September 2015, the OECD launched the second in trilogy of reports linked to “Managing Interdependence” post-2015. This year’s report focused on mobilizing the necessary resources to finance the SDGs; last year’s focused on what needs to be done to achieve rapid progress on the MDGs; the final will address implementation, reporting and accountability of the new goals.
How much is spent on humanitarian assistance? Where does it go? How does it get there and what is it spent on? The Co-Executive Directors of Development Initiatives, Judith Randel and Tony German, were in Ottawa at the end of October to launch the 2014 Global Humanitarian Assistance Report. In its 14th year, the Report provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive picture of global humanitarian financing. If it proves too much to handle, download the summary infographic.
The United Nations has just released the latest report by UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Freedom of Association and of Peaceful Assembly, Maina Kiai, looking at these freedoms in the context of multilateral institutions.
A new book entitled Globetrotting or Global Citizenship: Perils and Potential of International Service Learning edited by Rebecca Tiessen and Robert Huish has been published by the University of Toronto Press. This book explores the broad range of international experiential learning options available to Canadian students, as well as the opportunities and the ethical dilemmas that come with them. Combining practical advice with critical examinations of international experiential learning, this essay collection is designed to help the reader to move beyond photo-ops and travel opportunities and towards striving for a deeper global citizenship.
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