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PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE

A new policy and funding framework coming our way! 

Julia SanchezThere is a saying in Latin America that, according to Wikipedia, is the equivalent of “like a breath of fresh air” but is literally “like the rains in May”. When something happens that is eagerly anticipated or that is sorely needed, something that will make an important difference looking forward, the saying goes that it is “como agua de Mayo”. The saying captures how welcome the rainy season is when it finally comes following hot dry months; and how a good rainy season, at the right time, will determine a good crop.

With May around the corner, word has it that things are almost ready for the launch of the policy and funding framework review process as referenced in Minister Bibeau’s mandate letter. We understand that a scoping paper will be made public which will put forward proposed priority orientations for the government in international development. Inputs will be invited via a web portal and accompanied by a series of thematic round table discussions. Canadians and Canadian organizations will be solicited for inputs, as will parliamentarians, developing country partners and international organizations. Toward the end of the summer / early fall, Minister Bibeau would be in a position to announce the government’s new priorities based on this process.

CCIC has welcomed the review as a much needed process to modernize and clarify Canada’s engagement with the evolving international cooperation global context. Agenda 2030, the Paris Agreement on climate and the growing humanitarian needs, to name a few, demand that we revisit our priorities and approaches. Given the dearth of public policy and the inadequate nature of the current funding mechanisms, the Canadian government is ill-equipped to provide the leadership and impetus needed to put Canada back on the global stage - as is clearly the ambition of this new government. As documented during Canada’s last OECD peer review, and now compounded by the adoption of new global agendas, we are lacking a clear strategic framework for global development cooperation. This requires an overarching statement in which our different thematic priorities and accompanying guiding documents can sit and a clear strategy for ensuring coherence between these policies and our broader foreign affairs and trade policies. The absence of such a framework has resulted in a policy vacuum over recent years on most key thematic and operational areas.  The policy and funding framework review process should address these important gaps, or at the very least provide a solid foundation on which to (re)build a robust policy suite over the coming months and years.

CCIC has provided informal and formal inputs to Global Affairs Canada on the process to date, suggesting ways that civil society organizations and government can collaborate to make the most of this review. We have emphasized the importance of designing an inclusive process that will allow all key stakeholders, from across the country and internationally, to have a say in the review process. And we have also underscored the importance of having an open and transparent process which allows for meaningful engagement from stakeholders and that will result in a greatly enhanced policy and funding framework. After the set of webinars we held with our members in late April on the review process, we prepared a short submission which addressed these key points and more. And we are now ready to mobilize and support our sector to engage with the review process as fully as possible.

Stay tuned for webinars and a chance to input and comment on CCIC’s own submission to the review process as well as opportunities to coordinate with others around your own submissions, as needed. We also expect that CCIC will be called upon to help coordinate civil society participation in the thematic round tables so as to maximize the effectiveness of these dialogue platforms. This is a value-added role that we believe we can play so as to focus our collective inputs and have greater impact on the process.  The importance of the review process to be launched in May cannot be overstated – it is of crucial importance that our sector, as a key stakeholder, participate as fully as possible in the process to influence the outcomes. This is important from a policy perspective, but also from a funding perspective. As noted in Budget 2016, the outcomes of this review process will inform Budget 2017. The stakes could hardly be higher!

At CCIC we look forward to working with many of you on this strategic opportunity for Canada’s international development priorities moving forward. I have my umbrella and rubber boots out, ready to welcome the rain – I hope you do too!

In solidarity,

Julia
Twitter: @JSanchezCCIC

Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Job openings in the sector!

Jobs in the sectorPassionate about international development and humanitarian assistance and looking for exciting openings in the sector? Make sure that CCIC's employment page is part of your favourites! Our employment page is one of the busiest! Veterinarians without Borders, CUSO International and UNITERRA, among others, are recruiting. And if your organization wants to post an ad, please send it to: jobs@ccic.ca.  You can also follow CCIC on LinkedIn, where we promote jobs, reports and events!

CCIC Annual Conference one week away!

CCIC ConferenceThe 2016 CCIC Conference 'Fit for purpose? CSO transformation for Agenda 2030' is quickly approaching. Join us in Ottawa for two days of challenging discussions and inspiring presentations! Check out the complete agenda to decide which sessions you will attend and which speakers you would like to meet. Spaces are limited, so register now! If you have any conference questions please contact sthaw@ccic.ca.

Free CCIC Humanitarian Public Event - Bring a friend or two!

Free CCIC Humanitarian Public eventOn May 10th CCIC will be hosting a free public event in Ottawa 'Canada at the World Humanitarian Summit: Opportunities for Leadership & Legacy'. This evening will feature a humanitarian fair, humanitarian expert panel, political response panel with representatives from the different parties as well as a networking reception. Register now and spread the word!

New OECD numbers signal Canada’s back – but is it really?

OECD numbers signal Canada's back - but is itProvisional aid numbers for 2015, released in early April by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), show that Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) increased in 2015 in real terms from $4.240 billion the previous year to $4.965 billion. The ODA to Gross National Income (GNI) ratio, which had hit 0.24 in 2014 – a low in the past two decades – bounced back to 0.28 percent. Although it is encouraging to see Canada bounce back relative to last year, unfortunately this recovery is overstated. As noted in CCIC’s January Update on Canadian ODA, our ODA in 2015 grew because of one-off increases to Canadian aid – a concessional loan to Ukraine, a double payment to the World Bank because of a technical change to how we make our payments, and support for the crisis in Syria. However, despite these increases, the international assistance envelope (IAE) – a more accurate measure of our real aid commitments to reducing poverty in developing countries – was still flat-lined that year. While overall aid numbers also rose in 2015, groups in Europe responded to the figures with concern, profiling the massive increase to in-country donor refugee costs – included in ODA - which doubled relative to last year.

Canadian aid becomes more transparent

Canadian Aid becomes more transparentPublish What You Fund’s new 2016 Aid Transparency Index, launched in Washington in April, shows that 25% of global aid now meets global transparency standards – assessed against 39 indicators. Despite progress over the last five years, most of the 46 aid donors included in the study have failed to uphold this commitment. Relative to previous years, Canada’s performance was still deemed “good”. But results are mixed. Global Affairs Canada is 2nd, after UK aid agency DfID, among the G7 countries and increased its transparency relative to 2014 from 71.7% to 76.3%; but it continued to drop in ranking (from 8th (in 2012) to 11th (2014) to 12th in 2016) and unlike other donors (UNICEF, Global Fund, AfDB, IADB) has yet to transition into the “Very Good” category. With Canada becoming chair of the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI) in April, it will likely want to make that shift by 2018.

Closing the loop on We Can Do Better 2015

We Can Do BetterFor all of us involved in international development and other global issues, 2015 was an exciting year, with the adoption of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and a federal election at home. It was also the year where many organizations and individuals came together under the "We Can Do Better 2015" campaign, to advocate for tackling inequality and climate change, promoting human rights, women's rights and gender equality, and promoting sustainable development, at home and abroad. The campaign was launched on the Hill in February 2015 and culminated in October 2015 with the election of a new government. A survey was circulated to CCIC members to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the campaign, and a webinar will take place early May to share the results and lessons learned on this important campaign. For more information please contact Chantal Havard.

CCIC at the InterAction Forum

CCIC was represented at this year's InterAction Forum in Washington DC by Policy Officer Gavin Charles. Between plenary sessions on global migration and the impact of digital technologies on international CSOs, and workshops on global trade agreements and evaluating innovative financing, it was a busy week! Our colleagues at InterAction put on an excellent event, and CCIC looks forward to returning the hospitality when we welcome InterAction President Lindsay Coates to our annual conference in May. Gavin also found time to compete in InterAction's annual organization fair and scavenger hunt, and CCIC emerged victorious – winning free registration for next year's Forum! We'll be back!

Busy spring for the Regional Working Groups

The Regional Working Group Officer, Isabelle Bourassa, has been organizing the annual meetings of the three working groups, reaching to members to know more about their key projects this year and coordinating dialogue meetings with Global Affairs Canada. The Americas Policy Group held its first annual meeting in Montreal on April 4 and 5th. The members present over teleconference or in person contributed to the quality of the programing with hot topics sessions on Colombia, Honduras and North American Leader’s Summit. Everyone effectively contributed to the APG strategic planning for this year, a crucial year in terms of policy recommendations for the new government. The Asia-Pacific Working Group and the Africa-Canada Forum will hold their annual meetings in June (the exact dates will be confirmed later this week). Please send your suggestions and ideas to Isabelle Bourassa so we can have productive annual meetings and continue our fruitful collaboration.

ACORD, Final recipient of the Betty Plewes Fund

ACCORDThe CCIC Board of Directors is pleased to announce that ACORD was recently awarded the final installment of the Betty Plewes Fund. ACORD works in 17 African countries to promote social justice and poverty eradication. The Betty Plewes Fund was created in the spring of 2000 by the CCIC Board of Directors to honour the contribution made by Betty Plewes while President-CEO of CCIC.  The purpose of the Fund was to provide an award to an African non-governmental organisation, engaged in research and policy development on issues of priority to women. It was intended to recognise the work of an African organisation, and to provide flexible and reliable support for initiatives that might not otherwise receive funding from other sources. See the full press release here.

World Humanitarian Summit Consultation

With the World Humanitarian Summit less than one month away on May 23-24, CCIC continues to engage with members and non-members to discuss Canada's responsibilities and opportunities. The themes of the Summit – ranging from gender equality and forced displacement to climate disasters and humanitarian financing – represent many of the most pressing issues facing international humanitarian systems. Earlier this month, CCIC participated in a civil society consultation with the International Humanitarian Assistance division of Global Affairs Canada on humanitarian issues, including Canada's role at the summit. The leader and commitments of the Canadian delegation for the Summit are still unclear. CCIC continues to join with others in the Canadian humanitarian community in pushing for strong and high-level Canadian participation, and commitments that last and grow beyond the Summit and reflect the enormous global need, including a clear humanitarian policy and increased baseline funding.

House of Commons Committee Update

The House of Commons Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development has undertaken a study, proposed by NDP Foreign Affairs Critic Hélène Laverdière, on Canada's support for women, peace and security­. The committee has also agreed to conduct formal studies on a prospective Canadian Development Finance Initiative (DFI) and Canada's current countries of focus for international development. Finally, the committee called Minister of Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion and Minister of International Development and La Francophonie Marie-Claude Bibeau to testify concerning their mandate letters on April 14 and April 21 respectively. The Minister of International Development answered questions on topics including humanitarian principles, programming priorities, Sustainable Development Goals, and extractive sector accountability. The minutes, transcript, and a televised recording of the hearing may be found here.

Welcoming new Working Group Program Assistant!

Laura AvalosWe are pleased to announce that a program assistant to the working groups will be joining the CCIC team on April 29th. Laura Avalos has strong experience in the NGO sector, has worked with the Working Groups on different projects in the past and she will be an asset to APG in organizing events and meetings. She will support the Regional Working Group Officer in the coordination, logistic and administrative work. Welcome Laura!

World Social Forum 2016 : Meet the world in Montreal!

World Social ForumSocial movements, activists and progressive groups from around the world will meet in Montreal, from August 9-14, for the World Social Forum! This unique event is an opportunity to network, exchange ideas, practices and strategies to create a better world, with less poverty and inequality and more inclusion. CCIC organized a webinar on April 21 to inform its members on how to get involved and make the most of the Forum, with a presentation by Denis Côté, from AQOCI. Useful information was shared on the Forum agenda, venue, themes, process, registration and key dates. The presentation was circulated to CCIC members; if you want a copy please contact Chantal Havard. You can register as an individual or organization to the Forum, and submit a workshop idea or other activities….but make sure that you do it soon! You can register here; and for more information on the WSF, visit the WSF site. CCIC will be present!

MEMBER PROFILE: Unifor

UNIFOR
Mohamad Alsadi, Director, Human Rights and International Department at Unifor, with the Canadian labour delegation to Bangladesh joined by the Canadian High Commissioner Benoît-Pierre Laramée in a meeting on Feb 17, 2016, with the Ministry of Labour officials to discuss labour rights and workers health and safety issues.

This month CCIC met with Mohamad Alsadi, Director, Human Rights and International Department at Unifor to discuss May Day, Unifor's social justice fund, the #1 priority for the Canadian government and much more…

May 1st is May Day, or 'International Workers' Day'. Why should Canadians care about May Day and what link is there with international development and humanitarian assistance?

May Day is international workers day and its roots are in North America around the fight for the 8 hour day.  There are a great many special days on our modern calendars but there is no substitute for May Day that celebrates both worker rights and international solidarity.  The eight hour day movement that gave rise to May Day was very strong in both the USA and Canada in the late 19th Century.  A peaceful demonstration in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in support of workers on strike for an eight hour day was brutally suppressed by police on May 4, 1894.  The International Workingmen’s Association declared May 1 to be “international workers day” in all countries to show their solidarity with the workers of North America, and every year since millions of working people around the world have marched in support of worker rights.  We could not be happier that CCIC and Flash are helping to keep the meaning of May Day alive for a new generation of workers.

      Read More

MEMBERS IN ACTION

#ImAFeminist – Oxfam Canada

Oxfam Canada recently launched the campaign #ImAFeminist, inviting the public to share its views on gender equality and what it means to be a feminist in 2016. The campaign is based on a recent report published by Oxfam Canada which demonstrates that women are more likely to be poor, to experience violence and to be affected first and most in situations of economic and environmental crisis.

Searching for the lost billions – Oxfam Québec

In the context of the Panama Papers, Oxfam-Québec recently launched a campaign and public consultation called À la recherche des milliards perdus which aims to put an end to tax havens and use the lost billions for development purposes. Alain Deneault, the campaign spokesperson and author of the book Une escroquerie légalisée, was recently interviewed at the well-known CBC TV show Tout le monde en parle.

Call for Canada to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia – Amnesty International

Referring to the bloody conflict that has been raging in Yemen for a year and made thousands of victims and millions of displaced people, Amnesty International Canada calls on the Minister for Foreign Affairs Stéphane Dion to suspend arms transfers to Saudi Arabia. AI says that there is overwhelming evidence that the Saudi-led military coalition is failing to protect civilians, and that some attacks may amount to war crimes. According to AI, the conflict in Yemen is fueled by arms sales from a dozen countries including Canada. Amnesty asks that no country should be directly or indirectly supplying weapons, munitions, military equipment or technology that would be used in the conflict until the violations stop.

WORTH A LOOK

New in Development Unplugged

A lot of food for thought in Development Unplugged's recent articles! Find out more on the need to reconcile economic security, environmental protection and social justice, and on how the timing is right for Canadian CSOs to reinvest in political advocacy. Following up on federal budget 2016, CCIC wrote an article on how disappointing it is to see little investment in international development, and the Global Compact Network Canada shared its views on the private sector's contribution to the Agenda 2030 . Finally, two articles present inspiring impact stories from the field, one by World Vision Canada and the second by the Canadian Red Cross.

2014-15 Statistical Report on International Assistance out now!

At the end of March, the Canadian Government released the 2014-15 Statistical Report on International Assistance. As in previous years, the report provides a useful update on trends in Canadian ODA, identifies the top aid actors, priority regions, countries and recipients, and key thematic areas of focus. Like the OECD statistics, the report shows that Canadian ODA jumped from Cdn$4.84 billion in FY2013/14 to Cdn$5.68 in FY2014/15.

Innovating for pro-poor services: why politics matter

The Overseas Development Institute (ODI) launched a policy brief and research report which demonstrate how innovations can alter the balance of power in societies and markets and provoke systemic political change. The authors address when and why politics matters for innovation, and what this means for donors, foundations and impact investors backing innovations for development.

New book - Canada and the Third World: Overlapping Histories

Most Canadians know little about the historical foundations and complex nature of their country's entanglements with non-Western societies. Canada and the Third World provides an introduction to Canada's historical relationship with the Third World. The book asks four central questions: how can we understand the historical roots of Canada's relations with the Third World? How have Canadians, individuals and institutions alike, practiced and imagined development? How can we integrate Canada into global histories of empire, decolonization, and development? And finally how should we understand the relationship between issues such as poverty, racism, gender equality, and community development in the First and Third World alike.

New South Centre Paper focuses on Extractives

The South Centre has released a timely Research Paper of particular relevance to Canada: The Rise of Investor-State Dispute Settlement in the Extractive Sectors: Challenges and Considerations for African Countries. This report situates the rise of international investment treaties, and the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) cases that come with them and often restrict the policy and legal space in countries, against the ‘Africa Mining Vision’, which introduces policy and regulatory frameworks intended to maximize development impacts in regions. This paper considers the potential challenges that could arise out of these two competing sets of rules, and the space for industrialization and development.

CCIC IN THE NEWS

Human rights groups ask Trudeau to end ‘immoral’ arms deal with Saudi Arabia
The Globe and Mail | April 27, 2016

Is Canada really back on the global stage?
The Catholic Register | April 22, 2016

Canada should close the foreign aid gap: Editorial
Toronto Star | April 18, 2016

Statistics hide real fall in Canada’s foreign aid, say critics
Toronto Star | April 15, 2016

Think global, think local
The Hill Times | April 13, 2016

Canada’s aid spending rises slightly in review, but still short of UN target
The Globe and Mail | April 13, 2016
 
Face-time good, funding underwhelming, say aid groups
The Hill Times | April 13, 2016

Canadian civil society report on implementation of ODS sets an example of participation and monitoring
IFP | April 7, 2016

CCIC PRESENTS


Fit for Purpose? CSO transformation for Agenda 2030

CCIC Annual Conference & AGM
May 11-12, Wabano Centre for Aboriginal Health

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

 

Canada at the World Humanitarian Summit: Opportunities for Leadership & Legacy

FREE CCIC Public Event co-hosted with the Canadian Association of International Development Professionals (CAIDP) and the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies (SIDGS)
May 10, Library & Archives Canada
Register here!

Public lecture on “Whose rights are we protecting? How the investment regime is trumping the obligations of states and the rights of citizens”
University of Ottawa
June 7, 2016 | 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Save the date!

EVENTS

Reclaiming the Blue Helmet: Canada's Role in Peacekeeping and UN Accountability
Ottawa, Ontario
May 2, 2016

University of Ottawa hosting Nobel Peace Prize Winner Leymah Gbowee
Ottawa, Ontario
May 6, 2016

What Role Should Canada Play in the Global Arms Trade? – The Panel
Ottawa, Ontario
May 9, 2016

Islamic Relief Canada Roundtable Discussion on Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting
Toronto, Ontario
May 9, 2016
For more information: media@islamicrelief.ca
Please find the full report of Islamic Relief Canada’s latest field study on FGM/C here.

CAIDP's Annual Conference - Renewal: A New Era for International Development Professionals
Ottawa, Ontario
May 9-10, 2016

2016 CALACS Conference: Hybrid Communities, Societies, Spaces, and Subjectivities
Calgary, Alberta
June 1-3, 2016

CASID Annual Conference 2016: Energizing communities
University of Calgary, Alberta
June 1-3, 2016

2016 World Social Forum
Montreal, Quebec
August 9-14, 2016

2016 Canadian Humanitarian Conference: Canada’s role as a humanitarian actor on the global stage
Ottawa, Ontario
October 6-7, 2016


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.

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