|CCIC monthly e-bulletin: March 2016|
How transformational is this new era for international development?
We will continue undoubtedly to debate how transformational or not the Sustainable Development Goals really aspire to be, are and will be over the coming 15 years and more. An honest short answer is probably: quite transformational but not transformational enough. “Quite” in that it does present us with an agenda that is significantly different than the one it replaces, and does point fingers at key issues that have been ignored or denied for too long, and that are fundamental for sustainable development. Climate change, inequality, universality. So lots to be excited and motivated about for a community dedicated to promoting global peace and prosperity.
“Not enough” in that it is hard to discount what critics are saying about the need to totally transform our current economic and political structures and production patterns if we are to do away with the perverse effects of precisely climate change and inequality. It is like once we have acknowledged the elephants in the room, how can we aspire to do away with their negative impact without attacking them in the most radical way possible?
But let me park the philosophizing about what is and could be for now - what about the more practical question of how prepared we are as international development stakeholders to keep pace with and meet the challenges posed by Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the upcoming conclusions of the first ever World Humanitarian Summit? And what about the opportunities to change the course of Canada’s engagement with the world as contained in the promise of the new government that “Canada is back” – are we ready to take that on? Are we equipped to turn these opportunities into the most transformational agenda possible?
These are the questions that inform CCIC’s annual conference for 2016 entitled “Fit for purpose? CSO transformation for Agenda 2030” to be held in Ottawa from May 10th to 13th (see details here). We are starting from the premise that the answer to that question, of whether we are ready or fit-for-purpose is “no, not really” if nothing else because of the significantly different nature of the new global and national context, agendas and commitments. In November last year, a group that I am involved in published a paper where we concluded that the Canadian global sustainable development eco-system had its work cut out for it before it could take on, let alone play a leadership role in addressing, the new global challenges. And this includes government at all levels, academia, the private sector, philanthropists, and yes, even civil society.
At this year’s conference, we will roll up our collective sleeves and get to work on identifying the new policy, program and partnership assets that we need as we look forward to remaining a key and relevant stakeholder for Canada’s engagement in the world. We will explore the domestic and international implications of the new agendas, and work together on defining the capacity-building and enabling environment elements that we need to prioritize over the coming months to maximize our impact and effectiveness in this new era.
If you are prepared to be challenged, to challenge others in the spirit of solidarity, to venture into your zones of discomfort, and emerge re-energized and excited about the future of your organization and our sector, this conference is for you! Make sure you register early, take advantage of the early-bird and group discount rates, and clear your agenda for a week of stimulating events and networking, including: a free public event on the World Humanitarian Summit and the Emerging Leaders Network pre-conference, both on May 10th; 4 high-level plenary panels and 12 parallel workshops and events with over 30 international and national speakers during our conference on May 11th and 12th; CCIC’s Gala Awards Dinner on May 11th; and a post-conference consultation with Global Affairs Canada on May 13th.
I am excited about the new prospects for our planet, international cooperation and the evolving role for our sector in all of this – and I look forward to sharing and increasing that excitement with you during the many events at our annual conference this May!
Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.
Job openings in the sector… and CCIC on LinkedIn!
You are passionate about international development and humanitarian assistance and looking for exciting openings in the sector? Make sure that you visit CCIC's employment page! The University of Waterloo, World Renew and the International Development Research Centre, among others, are recruiting. And if your organization wants to post an ad, please send it to: email@example.com. Our employment page is one of the busiest! Also, make sure that you follow CCIC on LinkedIn, where we promote jobs in the sector, reports and trainings.
When it comes to our aid budget, Canada is back – but still far back
Is Canada really back? This was the reaction from many in the international development community –including CCIC in its news release- following the announcement in Budget 2016 of a disappointingly modest increase to our aid budget of $256 million over two years. After five years of significant decline in Canada’s investments for addressing global development challenges, expectations were high to see the government reverse that decline. While the amounts are a move in the right direction, they are not enough to position Canada as a leader on the global stage. Furthermore, new funding for peace and security falls within the existing aid envelope, potentially along with the recent announcements on climate change and humanitarian assistance for Syria and Iraq, leaving even less space for future investments in poverty. As in past years, CCIC contributed the chapter on international development to the Alternative Federal Budget. Beyond funding, Budget 2016 also included a re-affirmation that, over the next year, the government will conduct a review of the international assistance policy framework. This will include consultation with Canadians and international aid organizations, and represents a critical opportunity for rationalizing the need for more and better investments in the context of Canada's renewed engagement with the world and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Tremendous success of CCIC Women Leaders' Forum!
MEMBER PROFILE: The Canadian Red Cross
MEMBERS IN ACTION
Faces of Humanity, a new campaign led the by Canadian Red Cross, engages Canadians on humanitarian issues by highlighting the actions taken by different people across the country. Canada’s humanitarian story is examined through the personal accounts of Canadian Red Cross aid workers who fought Ebola in West Africa; responded to the devastating earthquake in Nepal; or supported refugees fleeing the war in Syria. Twenty events will take place, ranging from public launch events where Canadian Red Cross aid workers will tell their humanitarian stories, to exhibits presenting the important work being performed by humanitarians.
The Ontario Council for International Cooperation recently launched Transformations, a collaborative photojournalism project intended to increase dialogue and further understanding of how international partnerships can address complex global challenges. In this exhibit, you learn how women in rural Nepal have re-built their homes and lives following the devastating 2015 Nepal earthquake, and are transforming their communities through long-term socio-economic development programs. The stories presented were documented by OCIC and Allan Lissner, Praxis Pictures, during a visit to Nepal in December 2015.
The Canadian government has listened to the voices of activists who have called for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. A public inquiry into this human rights tragedy has been called by the federal government, in the early days of the new government. Throughout the inquiry process, Amnesty International believes it is important to send a message to Indigenous women and families that people across this country—Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike—are standing in solidarity with them. Amnesty therefore launched a petition to encourage the Canadian public to act to end violence against women, girls and two-spirit people.
As we mark five years of the outbreak of the tragic war in Syria, World Vision launched a letter writing action directed to Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion. The main asks to the Canadian government are: to promote peace through financial and political support to the efforts of the UN Special Envoy to Syria and the International Syria Support Group; to include youth and children in the peace process in a meaningful way; to continue our humanitarian assistance to those affected and prioritize long-term flexible aid towards Syria; and to continue to call for unhindered humanitarian access to those affected by the conflict.
In response to the deadly terrorist attack in Burkina Faso last January -which took the lives of six Quebec City natives- and to address an increasing climate of insecurity for Canadian volunteers, interns as well as local staff working in developing countries, the Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) organized a special assembly with its members on February 26. The meeting was very well attended and provided an important opportunity for organizations to discuss the existing security measures for people working and volunteering abroad; the need to review, update and standardize the training provided to future volunteers and how resources can best be shared; the role of AQOCI in supporting its members through this reflection. Quebec Minister for International Relations Christine St-Pierre was present and confirmed that her government would provide funds to the Canadian Research Institute on the Humanitarian Crisis and Aid to develop, in close collaboration with AQOCI, a special training program on security issues when working overseas.
The RESULTS Canada National Conference is a biennial event that brings together Canadians, global experts, seasoned advocates and key decision-makers to learn, inspire and empower participants to create a more just world. The 2016 conference speakers include Julie Delahanty, Executive Director of Oxfam Canada, Amanda Sussman, author of The Art of the Possible: A Handbook for Political Activism, and Desmond Cole, Toronto Star columnist and co-host of CANADALAND: Commons. For more information, you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
WORTH A LOOK
Things have been busy at CCIC's blog -Development Unplugged in the past few weeks, with the publication of five new articles. A post by Liam Swiss talks about the role of remittances in development and how the Canadian government could make it more efficient; another article on the universality of the SDGs by John Sinclair focuses on the level of financial commitment required to implement the Global Goals in a meaningful way; two articles published on International Women's Day discuss the need to include more women in the renewable energy force and presents a success story on women economic empowerment in Bolivia; and finally a post published on World Tuberculosis Day makes the case for a more sustained effort to eradicate this disease. Make sure that you stimulate your neurons by visiting –and by contributing to! - Development Unplugged on a regular basis! Articles can be submitted to Chantal Havard.
For decades, Canadian charities have given voice to concerns of Canadians who want social progress, better health and a clean and safe environment. A group of charities, including CCIC, launched a petition asking the new federal government to keep its commitment to fix our broken charitable laws, and end political audits of charities started under the previous government.
On International Women's Day, Oxfam Canada launched a new report entitled Make women count, which demonstrates that even if women are doing more and more work and growing the economy in Canada and around the world, they are seeing unequal benefits, and global economic growth is not leading to greater gender equality. The report looks at how women are affected by rising inequality and what can be done to mitigate the impacts and address inequality in a way that works for women.
Amnesty International recently launched its annual report, which documents serious violations of economic, social, political and civil rights in 2015 in too many countries. Many governments have brazenly broken international law and are deliberately undermining institutions meant to protect people’s rights. Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International, warns “not only are our rights under threat, so are the laws and the system that protect them”.
Cross-border investment flows are currently governed by over 3,000 bilateral and regional investment treaties. However, the growing number of investor claims against sovereign states, challenging public policy decisions and regulatory measures, has provoked deep concerns about the potential costs of such treaties and many countries to revisit these initiatives. This free ebook takes stock of current developments and explores alternative approaches to reform investment treaties.
This how-to guide for resisting mining and other extractive operations published by Mining Watch provides strategies and tactics for preventing extraction, and for reducing damage if extraction is already underway. It guides community leaders in organizing and taking action locally, regionally, nationally, and internationally, to resist the "devastating assault of extractive operations".
The World Bank recently launched its World Development Report 2016 on digital dividends. Digital technologies have spread rapidly in much of the world. Digital dividends—that is, the broader development benefits from using these technologies—have lagged behind. In many instances, digital technologies have boosted growth, expanded opportunities, and improved service delivery. Yet their aggregate impact has fallen short and is unevenly distributed.
This publication by the Institute of Development Studies offers numerous suggestions of what sexuality and gender justice could be in a plurality of contexts: from activists working with women in Assam’s tea gardens in India or young lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender leaders in Vietnam, to lawyers fighting the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda or the criminalization of cross-dressing in Malaysia, to academics carefully re-reading Islamic Sharia or researchers assessing HIV prevention programs in South Africa.
This report by the Overseas Development Institute explores the current childcare policy failures across a range of case-study countries, including Viet Nam, Gaza, Mexico, India and Ethiopia, and highlights examples of progress in countries which are successfully responding to these challenges. Based on these findings the authors make six key policy recommendations to extend and improve care-related labour market policies; promote more integrated approaches to social protection; and to invest in better data.
CCIC IN THE NEWS
In defense of the defunct Office of Religious Freedom
The Global Goals: From Promise to Practice
Cut out third parties, give aid directly to recipients: Ethiopian diplomat
Canada on the Global Stage – Development and Aid
May 10, 2016 Evening Public Event co-hosted with University of Ottawa and CAIDP
May 11-12, 2016 CCIC Annual Conference and AGM - Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health
May 13, 2016 Global Affairs Canada Consultation
Smart Global Development conference
Taken to the Tribunals: Why International Investment Treaties are Bad for the Environment, Indigenous Peoples’ Rights, and Democracy
Le financement du développement et les objectifs de développement durable : quel modèle, pour qui, et par qui?
Hill Times Event on global food security and climate change
CIVICUS International Civil Society Week: Active Citizens, Accountable Actions
CAIDP's Annual Conference - Renewal: A New Era for International Development Professionals
2016 CALACS Conference: Hybrid Communities, Societies, Spaces, and Subjectivities
CASID Annual Conference 2016: Energizing communities
2016 World Social Forum
2016 Canadian Humanitarian Conference: Canada’s role as a humanitarian actor on the global stage
If you have an item for Flash!, you may send it to Chantal Havard. Please note that items should be no longer than 150 words.