|CCIC monthly e-bulletin: May-June 2016|
Could there be a better way to spend the summer…?
Consultation season is full on – as indicated in a recent article, there is a high number of consultations being conducted at present by the Federal Government, on a whole host of topics.
On May 18th, we finally saw the much awaited launch of the International Assistance Review process. Minister Bibeau announced, from Copenhagen were she was attending Women Deliver, that she would be consulting Canadians, Canadian organizations and international partners on the future directions of Canadian aid programming for the coming years.
The review process is multi-faceted and includes 7 high-level consultations being held in different parts of Canada, portions of which are being webcast so that people can join in from wherever they may be. The high-level consultations are in-person sessions typically composed of an expert panel (webcast), breakout discussion groups for participants invited to attend in person, and a report-back session with political participation (Minister or other) that is also webcast. Each of the high-level consultations is on one of the 6 key thematic orientations proposed in a discussion paper that forms part of the consultation process. The 7th high-level consultation is one that touched upon on all the consultation themes, and was held in Halifax. Other high-level consultations are being organized in Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Ottawa.
In addition, there are a series of working-level consultations being organized or co-organized by Global Affairs Canada on specific aspects of the six themes, and also a whole host of consultations organized by civil society and other groups, including CCIC, the provincial councils for international cooperation, and more. The large majority of these sessions, both formal and informal, will be taking place within the month of June.
The consultation also includes a web portal that has a link to the background paper, and provides information on the various ways that individuals and organizations can participate in the process. Written submissions are being encouraged from interested parties –all must reach Global Affairs Canada by the end of July at the latest.
CCIC is putting all hands on deck, and more, to support its members in responding and engaging with the consultation process, and also in the preparation of our own submission. We have held a couple of webinars to share information with our members on the consultation process and to discuss what CCIC is doing -and can do- to support the sector to respond in the most coordinated and effective way possible. We have surveyed our members to identify who is planning to make submissions and on what themes. We have created a google doc which has updated information on the different high-level and other consultation sessions being held. We are sharing information on how to log on to the webcast portions of the high-level consultations and have coordinated a couple of preparatory conference calls for members attending some of these high-level consultations.
CCIC is also trying to attend all the high-level consultation sessions and has developed a template to report back on each session to members. We hope that especially those members that are preparing their own submissions (which we hugely encourage) can benefit from these summaries of the discussions, and they are of course useful for the preparation of our own submission too. We have also produces an analysis of Global Affair’s background paper, and an outline for our submission which we have sent out to our members for inputs. Finally, from all this information, we are producing key messages and these, as well as all other materials we gather, are being shared with members via a weekly communications template designed especially for the occasion.
This consultation process is a welcome and timely development, especially in the context of implementing Agenda 2030. CCIC has welcomed it from the beginning, and is doing everything within its means to support and encourage its members to engage in the process in multiple ways. We are also preparing a comprehensive submission which builds on the solid policy work developed by the sector during the last years, both at CCIC and through the many policy coalitions that we engage in regularly. We firmly believe that this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity for our sector to come together and advocate with a united voice for more and better aid. And for a more globally engaged and committed Canada.
So is there a better way to spend the summer months of June and July? – well, for those of us who did not have firm summer plans already booked and paid for, no, there is no better way. We affirmed during our 2015 campaign that Canada can do better, and now is our chance to be part of shaping that better Canada directly. Happy consultations and happy summer!
Do you have any reactions to this column? I’d like to hear from you! Please send any comments to Julia Sanchez.
Highlights of CCIC’s Annual Conference 2016
CCIC’s Annual Conference 2016, entitled “'Fit for purpose: CSO transformation for Agenda 2030” brought together 230 passionate people from the international development and humanitarian assistance sectors for two days of discussions, debates and learning opportunities. The May 10 public event was focussed on Canada’s role in the humanitarian field, with an expert panel and responses from politicians, as well as a humanitarian fair; 400 people responded to the invitation. On May 11 and 12, conference participants explored what they need to do differently (in terms of policy, programming and partnerships) to meet the challenges laid out by Agenda 2030. Keynote speakers included David Nabarro, Special Adviser of the UN Secretary-General on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and Climate Change, and Mayor of Calgary Naheed Nenshi, among others. The conference program included many member-led sessions, such as the Blanket Exercise by KAIROS - a tool to share the historic and contemporary relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada. The conference generated a lot of traffic and interest on social media, as you can see on storify. Best photos from the conference and public event can be found here. And the conference report will be available soon on our website!
2016 CCIC Awards
Dignitas International is a medical and research organization dedicated to improving health care for people facing a high burden of disease and unequal access to services. Dignitas delivers frontline medical care, conduct research, share its findings broadly and advocate for equitable global health policy and practice. Leveraging more than a decade of experience working in rural communities to address HIV in Africa, Dignitas recently launched a diabetes program for First Nations communities in Northern Ontario.
The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID) is a national, bilingual, interdisciplinary and pluralistic association devoted to the promotion of new knowledge in the broad field of international development. Its mission is to promote and support international development studies in Canada and abroad. CASID is also CCIC’s first Associate Member. For more information regarding Associate Membership please contact Michelle Bested.
MEMBER PROFILE: SUCO
MEMBERS IN ACTION
CCIC and many members, including USC Canada, Canadian Foodgrains Bank, World Federalist Movement – Canada, and the United Church of Canada, early in June released a letter asking Prime Minister Trudeau to rejoin the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). In 2014, Canada was the only country in the world to withdraw from the UNCCD. On World Day to Combat Desertification (June 17), Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, “recognize[d] not just the link between land degradation and climate change, but also the risks that desertification poses to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals” and announced they will be “taking positive steps to rejoin the global effort”.
In the past five years, many Canadian SMOs working in international development have been marginalized as the government implemented Canada’s aid priorities, despite their record of effective programming. This paper commissioned by the Inter-Council Network presents a profile of Canadian SMOs involved in development cooperation, the impact of changing funding modalities on SMOs since 2010, and the characteristics of SMOs as development actors, as evidenced by third party evaluations. The paper also makes a case for new initiatives to re-‐engage SMOs in Canada’s development efforts based on this record and core competencies.
The Award Trustees and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) recently announced that nominations are open for the 2016 Lewis Perinbam Award for International Development. The Lewis Perinbam Award recognizes significant volunteer efforts that do the following: improve people’s lives in the developing world; engage and inspire Canadians to undertake volunteer action; and offer new ways of thinking about addressing development challenges. Nominations will be accepted until October 11, 2016. Winners will receive a monetary award of $5,000 towards their volunteer work. Click here to access the nomination form.
The World Social Forum (WSF) is quickly approaching (August 9-14, Montreal) and many CCIC members will participate and organize activities. Tens of thousands of people from civil society groups, organizations and social movements, all dedicated to building a more sustainable and inclusive world, are expected in Montreal for this important rendez-vous. The WSF International Solidarity Committee now has its own website which presents all activities organized under the different streams in English, French and Spanish. CCIC and AQOCI are co-organizing a workshop on the Global Goals, which will feature speakers from the Global South and a representative from the UN: Sustainable development goals : a tool for the promotion of a more equitable world? AQOCI and its members are actively involved in the preparation of the WSF.
Faced with what the UN describes as “the greatest humanitarian challenge of our time,” Development and Peace invites the Canadian public to sign a petition calling on the Canadian government to do everything in its power to protect civilians in Syria and to end the conflict through diplomatic means. This includes strengthening Canada’s diplomatic role to contribute to finding a lasting peace through political rather than military means, and bringing the voice of Syrian civil society to the negotiating table; ensuring access to humanitarian aid so that it can reach the most vulnerable people in Syria; and promoting both social cohesion and self-sufficiency among Syrian refugees and their host populations in neighboring countries.
Development and Peace and Mining Watch Canada called on Prime Minister Trudeau to give special attention to an open letter signed by 200 Latin American and international organizations, urging for sweeping change to Canada’s foreign policy regarding the global mining sector. “Under prior administrations,” the letter observes, “Canada’s human rights performance deteriorated considerably, not only in the eyes of the international community, but also from the perspective of the individuals, peoples and communities that live with the negative impacts of Canadian extractive projects.” They express hope for change based on past support from Liberal Members of Parliament – including the Prime Minister - “towards the adoption of a legislative framework that would hold state agencies and companies to account for abuses related to Canadian mining companies’ overseas operations.”
Amnesty International launched a petition calling the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to urgently protect civilians in Syria. This call takes place in the context of several areas remaining under siege in Syria, with nothing moving in or out for months and even years. Reports say that starvation is being used as a weapon of war by both the Syrian government and armed groups, which is considered as war crimes.
WORTH A LOOK
If you haven’t visited CCIC’s blog in the past few weeks, you’ve missed exceptional and exclusive content! Latest articles include a series around the World Humanitarian Summit; an article on how to measure the SDGs; how Canada needs to reinvest in peacebuilding operations; Canada’s support to Least Developed Countries; and a final post on the 3 main takeaways of the World Humanitarian Summit. Contributions are always welcome and should be submitted to Chantal Havard, Communications Manager at CCIC.
If you want to engage your members and supporters on Agenda 2030 but don’t know exactly where to start, this website is for you! It includes many useful resources on the SDGs, including a press kit, important links, facts and figures, social media content, and much more! Together 2030 also offers information, resources and ready to use material for engagement around the Global Goals.
Voices-Voix launched a new Declaration calling on the Government of Canada to: actively promote political diversity, advocacy and dissent; foster an enabling environment for civil society organizations; strengthen parliamentary accountability and democratic processes and institutions; be transparent and accountable; and respect indigenous rights and self-determination. Organizations are invited to endorse the declaration. Voices-Voix is a non-partisan coalition of Canadians and Canadian organizations committed to defending our collective and individual rights to debate and dissent. It was created in 2010.
Equitas recently launched “Implementing human rights projects in the Middle East and North Africa: Lessons learned and good practices”, one of the main tools developed through the Mosharka project. This publication captures the lessons learned and good practices for engaging young people in the promotion of human rights, including working towards implementing recommendations from the Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The Mosharka project started in November 2012 with the goal of building networks and capacity, in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, for engaging and mobilizing youth to promote human rights as well as increasing their democratic participation.
The world is facing the largest displacement crisis since the Second World War, and the gap between humanitarian needs and available aid is widening. Concerned by that, Bond (CCIC’s equivalent in the UK) launched a new humanitarian hub to bring the different stakeholders together, present case studies on the humanitarian work conducted by NGOs, share useful resources as well as the latest humanitarian news and views.
François Audet, director of the Canadian Research Institute on Humanitarian Crisis and Aid (OCCAH), edited a special issue on humanitarian aid published in the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. The publication covers a wide range of issues, including hunger, mining, and land grabbing. One article also analyses the transformation of Canadian humanitarian assistance in the context of the country’s changing international behavior.
This revised edition of the book not only analyzes Canada’s past development assistance, it also highlights key opportunities in the context of the recent change in government. Designed to reach a variety of audiences, the book showcases contributions by twenty scholars and experts in the field, who offer an incisive examination of Canada’s record and initiatives in Canadian foreign aid, including its relatively recent emphasis on maternal and child health and on the extractive sector, as well as the longer-term engagement with state fragility.
CCIC IN THE NEWS
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How to prepare and deliver a five-minute IGNITE speech
Report Launch - Canadian International Development Platform: Data Report 2016
Implementation of the SDGs: Accountability and the Role of CSOs
Natural Resource Governance and Economic Diversification in Africa: Strategies, Lessons, and Challenges
2016 World Social Forum
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.