TWO WINNING SOLUTIONS TO THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST PROBLEMS

TWO WINNING SOLUTIONS TO THE WORLD’S TOUGHEST PROBLEMS

 

Go for the Goals

 

WHY IT MATTERS

To mark the 30th anniversary of the International Development Week, The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and World University Service Canada (WUSC) launched the Innovation and Impact Awards, recognizing an individual and a Canadian organization for the contributions they have made to global development and humanitarian assistance. We speak to the two winners whose work span food aid, sanitation, and the empowerment of entrepreneurs.


 

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of International Development Week – an annual initiative acknowledging Canada’s contributions to global humanitarian assistance. The theme for this year? ‘Go for the Goals’, referring to the UN’s 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), encouraging Canadians to tirelessly push for a better world, together.

 

Canada has countless examples of homegrown solutions to some of the world’s toughest problems, from health to housing. Growcer is a Canadian company addressing food insecurity by providing mobile growing systems to help individuals, communities, and organizations grow food locally and effortlessly — from the Arctic to the desert. Youth Challenge International empowers youth to create market-ready solutions to global problems by addressing issues around health, the environment and employment inequality. Several Canadian financial tech-for-good startups are helping Canadians out of debt, while Canada’s North continues to lead the way on a number of life-enhancing innovations.

 

In the last decade to achieve the SDGs, this type of ingenuity has become more crucial than ever. To celebrate those driving change, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), alongside the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in collaboration with the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award, launched the Innovation and Impact Awards, to recognize Canadian individuals and organizations with a unique, innovative practice in international development and humanitarian response.

 

Photo: Canadian Foodgrains Bank

 

Jim Cornelius, Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, is this year’s Individual winner, in recognition of the groundbreaking work he has done in food aid policy.

Canadian Foodgrains Bank aims for a world without hunger by providing food in times of crisis for populations in developing countries. With Cornelius at the helm, the organization has advocated for public policy changes to enable communities to better feed themselves, while educating Canadians about global hunger. The Foodgrains Bank works with about 40 countries around the world, and has helped over 800,000 people to date.

In the past, food aid had been a means of disposing of agricultural surpluses. According to Cornelius, when he first joined the organization, 90% of grains commodities were being shipped from Canada. Despite feeding people, these shipments were negatively affecting local markets and food producers. “I did a big study on local purchase for the Foodgrains Bank and intellectually, it made sense to shift from Canadian shipments to local purchases.”

This shift would provide countries with long-term food security with smallholder farms benefiting from higher customer demands, while the food itself was closer to local diets.

Cornelius and his team were challenging the status quo. “It wasn’t just a matter of persuading policy makers and ministers — we had to persuade the agricultural community in Canada not to oppose the change. We did all the intellectual work to make the case, and then we had to do the political work. It took us 10 years.”

In April 2008, Cornelius and his team were successful in convincing the Canadian government to change the food aid policy, and today, the majority of Canadian food aid is purchased in developing countries. “It’s about building relationships and sorting through the political dynamics — understanding how you get people to work together for a common cause.

One of the things we were blessed with is a simple mission,” Cornelius adds. “We are focused on hunger, and connecting people to that.”

 

Photo: iDE

 

Much like the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, iDE — the organizational winner for the Innovation and Impact Awards — has worked closely with the Canadian government, as well as governments overseas, to execute their social impact mission. This non-profit addresses poverty by helping to build businesses in lower-income countries, enabling economic growth.

Stuart Taylor, CEO, says, “iDE has always had business at its heart. Our mission is really about creating opportunities for people who are living in poverty to find a sustainable way out of that, and to create prosperity on [the individual’s] own terms.”

iDE’s first project was building donkey carts in a refugee camp in Somalia. “The UN [thought it was] crazy — ‘this is a refugee camp, why are you talking about business’? But people who are living in those extreme circumstances, often by necessity, are some of the most entrepreneurial people in the world. So the project was successful. [People] have the creativity, the ingenuity, and the tenacity to find solutions, and to really create change within their own communities.”

It was iDE’s initiative, WASH, that earned them the Innovation and Impact Award. WASH was created to improve sanitation coverage through Sanitation Marketing: “[It’s about] paying attention to things like even what colour is [the latrine]? Is it titled, what’s the design? [We’re] rapidly prototyping so we know that the product that we’re putting on the market is really speaking to people’s desires,” Taylor says. “It has to be affordable, but sometimes people will pay a little bit more for something that speaks to their aspirations. We can sometimes forget  — or maybe wilfully ignore that.”

In Cambodia, iDE saw great success, with the sale of 309,692 latrines as of 2019.

iDE also provides innovative social assistance to support those wanting to make an investment, including a psychometric test. “It gives us a sense of this person’s likelihood of being able to pay their monthly instalments,” Taylor explains. “It’s really looking at their attitude toward money. It’s based on an evolving and live statistical model that gives us a probability. It makes assistance so efficient because you don’t need bank statements and guarantors. It gives almost an instant response.”

iDE is a pioneer in market-based development. Today, the organization has impacted more than 23 million people globally through its numerous programs, with longstanding presence in 11 countries. 

International Development Week gives us the opportunity to celebrate Canadian contributions just like these. By presenting the Awards, CCIC and WUSC foster the growth of a more relevant, responsive, and effective global development sector — with innovation at its core.

 

 

Nickie Shobeiry is a freelance writer focusing on stories of social impact, entrepreneurship and the arts.
Impact and Innovation Awards – Winner Announcements

Impact and Innovation Awards – Winner Announcements

The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in collaboration with the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award, are pleased to announce the recipients of the Impact and Innovation Awards in Honour of Lewis Perinbam.

Jim Cornelius, the Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank, and iDE Canada are this year’s individual and organizational award winners. Both have shown the commitment and spirit to create long-lasting impact through new ways of addressing the world’s most complex challenges.

“During a long and fruitful career, Jim has demonstrated that Canadians of good will, from all walks of life, can effectively address food security, one of the world’s most basic needs, with imagination and empathy,” says Jean-Marc Mangin Chair of the Trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award. “In particular, Jim’s leadership at the Canadian Foodgrains Bank mobilized many Canadians, notably rural Canadians, in this struggle. Jim’s work reflects well on the legacy of Lewis Perinbam as his work demonstrates that Canadians are uniquely positioned in imagining new innovative and hopeful approaches to the wicked challenges that the world is facing.”

Ian Hamilton, Chair of the organizational award selection committee, said iDE Canada showed tremendous innovation through the Sama Sama project in Ghana.

“iDE Canada’s project has successfully addressed a massive sanitation challenge using a scalable and sustainable business model and blended financing solution,” said Hamilton. “They have tested new approaches to addressing the hardest to reach in rural areas where transportation is a challenge; addressed skills gaps during production through training; and iterated their approach to navigate an environment where over 26 languages are spoken. iDE has truly greeted challenges with inventive solutions, grounded in the local context and based on the needs and inputs of those using their product.”

 

About Jim Cornelius

 

 

Jim Cornelius has served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank for more than 20 years.  In that time, he not only led the organization, but in many ways also led the broader sector and food security community. Jim was instrumental in building innovative partnerships and uniting diverse stakeholders in strengthening Canada’s food aid responses. He also played a leadership role in facilitating the international development sector’s ongoing positive collaboration with the government. Not only has Jim supported the development of an impactful and aligned community in support of international development, he has also dedicated his time to mobilize Canadians in support of global challenges.

 

About iDE Canada

 

 

iDE Canada creates income and livelihood opportunities in development countries around the world. iDE Canada with partners across iDE has developed an innovative model to solve the significant challenge of sanitation in rural Ghana.  Driven by local engagement and leadership, the organization established a standalone business focused on selling sanitation products and services in a challenging market.

 

Honouring Lewis Perinbam:

Lewis Perinbam, O.C, (1925-2007) was a pioneer in building the international development sector in Canada. He was the founding Executive Director of CUSO, the first full time Secretary General of the Canadian National Commission of UNESCO and the Executive Director of World University Service of Canada (WUSC). He joined a fledging Canadian International Development Agency in 1969 and became the founding director general of the NGO division. He later became the Vice-President of the Canadian Partnership Program where he launched several programs that made Canada a leader in civil society-government collaboration. He led the 2000 Task Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the Public Service which generated deep change throughout Government. The awards recognize his outstanding contributions and provide a reminder and a call for action that ambitious system-wide innovation is always possible.

Canadians Support More Spending on International Aid

Canadians Support More Spending on International Aid

Ottawa, February 5, 2020 – The numbers are in: A majority of Canadians want their country to do more to help the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people.  

This year, for the 30th edition of International Development Week (February 2-8), the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) commissioned a public opinion survey to find out where Canadians stand on the issue of assistance to developing countries. 

The polling, conducted by Abacus Data, shows that 74% of respondents want Canada to either play a leading role, or at least match the contributions of similar developed countries.  

Official Development Assistance (ODA) helps the world’s poorest, most vulnerable people meet their basic needs, such as water, food, shelter, medical assistance, and education. It provides emergency goods and services in response to natural disasters and other humanitarian crises. Canada’s contribution to ODA currently sits at 0.28% of Gross National Income (GNI). That is 28 cents for every $100 of revenue.   

“When Canadians find out what proportion of our national wealth goes to ODA, they are usually surprised at how small the number is,” said Nicolas Moyer, President and CEO of CCIC. “While we also have our issues to deal with at home, we are a wealthy nation and we can, and should, at least do our fair share to help others around the globe,” he added. 

In 1969, following Canada’s leadership, the countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) pledged to assign 0.7% of their Gross National Income (GNI) to development assistance. Since then, Canada has never come close to meeting that goal. In fact, the current 0.28% figure is the lowest in 50 years. 

Looking at why Canada should increase its level of ODA, a number of compelling reasons resonate with Canadians. Chief among them, and not surprisingly in the context of the current coronavirus epidemic, is how investing in health systems abroad can reduce the spread of infectious diseases. Indeed, 88% of respondents support this argument.  

Another advantage that ODA yields is of an economic nature. By providing aid, Canada helps to develop skills, attract investments, and build relationships that lead to new trading partners. Polling shows that 87% of Canadians think this is an excellent or good reason to increase ODA. Vietnam, where Canada has contributed more than $1.5 billion in development assistance, offers a clear example of this. In 1993, Canada’s annual two-way trade with Vietnam was $50 million. In 2018, it had grown to $6.5 billion. 

While these reasons make a convincing case for more ODA, the sense that, as one of the world’s largest economies, Canada has a moral obligation to help others also holds a lot of sway with Canadians of all political leanings.  

“Above all, we know that aid works, that it has tangible, measurable impacts on the lives of individuals and families that are trying to improve their circumstances and raise their hopes,” said Moyer. “That really is the best argument.” 

 

For more information about what CCIC and its members are doing during International Development Week 2020, please see here. 

For a memo outlining the Abacus Data polling results, please see here.

 

 

About CCIC: We are Canada’s national association of international development and humanitarian organizations. We represent 2,000+ Canadian organizations working to reduce poverty in developing countries and help survivors of humanitarian disasters. We advocate for an effective use of Canadian aid to assist the poorest, most vulnerable people in the world. 

International Development Week 2020 is February 2 to 8! It’s time to go for the goals!

International Development Week 2020 is February 2 to 8! It’s time to go for the goals!

What is IDW?

 

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Canada’s International Development Week (IDW). It is an annual occasion to celebrate the impact and successes of organizations and individuals working to help people and communities in developing countries, where poverty, conflict or natural disasters make for precarious living conditions. 

For 2020, the theme for IDW is “Go for the Goals.” In 2015, Canada committed to the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and collaboration toward a better world for all. The 2030 Agenda, with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), is a global action plan to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.  

 

 

What Is CCIC Doing for IDW?

 

During IDW, we will lead efforts to raise awareness of how and where Canada’s development and humanitarian aid is helping vulnerable communities and saving lives. Follow our social media platforms to get all the news and engage with fellow Canadians. 

Our members will also organize a myriad of events and activities to showcase the amazing work they do around the world. Check here for the latest updates. 

On February 6, we will coordinate our second Hill Day, where members will go to Ottawa to meet with Members of Parliament from all parties to discuss the challenges, achievements, and aspirations of Canada’s international development community. 

In the evening, we are partnering with CanWaCH to host a reception in Ottawa for CCIC members and the public. That is when we will present the inaugural Impact and innovation Award to an individual and an organization for their respective contributions to our sector. We look forward to highlighting the remarkable accomplishments of these two leaders. The awards were created in collaboration with World University Services Canada (WUSC) and the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award. 

International Development Week is a unique opportunity for CCIC, its 80+ members, and their supporters to focus on our shared, steadfast mission to Leave No One Behind!  

Innovation and Impact Awards

Innovation and Impact Awards

 

The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), in collaboration with the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award, is pleased to launch the Innovation and Impact Awards. Innovation is at the core of CCIC’s work and is captured in our strategic directions. We aim to inspire and support the growth of a more relevant, responsive and effective global development and humanitarian assistance sector that, through innovation, can create sustainable impact.  As such, CCIC and the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award would like to celebrate and recognize Canadian individuals and civil society organizations (CSOs) that are doing impactful and innovative work.

 

Context:

 

CCIC defines an Innovative Practice as: a new or more impactful means of, or approach to, addressing development challenges and improving the lives of the world’s most vulnerable.  An innovative practice can take many forms, it can be an innovation that is new to a particular context, but tried and true elsewhere.  In addition, the innovative practice could be an approach, technology, business model, policy practice, partnership and more.  To achieve impact through innovation, an Innovative Practice should align with The Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact.

These Awards will be granted to an individual and an organization that have demonstrated learning and impact from an innovative practice in international development and/or humanitarian response. The Awards recognize individuals and organizations that are using innovative and impactful means to: (1) address humanitarian, development, and/or peace challenges to build a more just and inclusive world; (2) inspire Canadians to undertake volunteer action on these issues; and/or (3) offer new ways of thinking about development, humanitarian and peace-related challenges.

 

Honouring Lewis Perinbam:

 

Lewis Perinbam, O.C, (1925-2007) was a pioneer in building the international development sector in Canada. He was the founding Executive Director of CUSO, the first full time Secretary General of the Canadian National Commission of UNESCO and the CEO of World University Service of Canada (WUSC). He joined a fledging Canadian International Development Agency in 1969 and became the founding director general of the NGO division. He later became the Vice-President of the Canadian Partnership Program where he launched several programs that made Canada a leader in civil society-government collaboration. He led the 2000 Task Force on the Participation of Visible Minorities in the Public Service which generated deep change throughout Government. The awards recognize his outstanding contributions and provide a reminder and a call for action that ambitious system-wide innovation is always possible.

 

Nomination Procedure:

 

  • Nominators must complete the online form here to provide rationale for the nomination.

  • Nominators must demonstrate evidence for how the nominee has fit the criteria and has implemented an innovative practice that has resulted in greater impact and/or learning.

  • Nominations can be peer or self-nominated and must be received by January 6th, 2020.

 

Criteria for Selection:

 

To nominate an organization for this award, please see the criteria below. Nominations must be received by January 6th, 2020.

 

In order to be considered for the award, the nominated organization must:

Be implementing or has recently implemented an innovative practice for development impact, based on the definition above and in line with the Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact;

Be implementing or has recently implemented an innovative practice to address the needs of the most vulnerable;

Have, through implementing this innovative practice, demonstrated impact, iterated to learn quickly and/or learned from failure.

 

To nominate an individual for this award, please see the criteria below. Nominations must be received by January 6th, 2020. The award recognizes Canadian citizens and permanent residents who:

Improve people’s lives in the Global South;

Engage and inspire Canadians to undertake volunteer action in addressing our shared global challenges; and/or

Offer new and innovative ways of thinking about and addressing development, humanitarian and peace-related challenges (in line with the Whistler Principles to Accelerate Innovation for Development Impact).

 

Award:

 

The winner of the individual Award will be given a prize of $5,000 to acknowledge their contributions.

The organizational winner will not be awarded a financial prize.

Both winners will be announced and highlighted during the International Development Week in February.

 

 

Nominate an Individual or an Organization