The British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC) and the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC), in partnership with Action for Sustainable Development and Forus, today announced the release of a new working paper, Transformative Action to Realize the 2030 Agenda Through Effective Coalitions.


While implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is primarily the responsibility of governments, the scale and ambition of the agenda calls for contributions from across society. Based on a review of multi-stakeholder coalitions from around the world, this working paper provides a series of good practices and evidence-informed recommendations that can be used to strengthen coalitions that accelerate and transform action for sustainable development.


Dr. Zosa De Sas Kropiwnicki-Gruber, the Senior Policy Analyst and Gender Specialist at BCCIC explained that the working paper is designed to support learning through practical recommendations and key messages supported by concrete examples and insightful lessons-learnt from coalitions on four continents: “When analyzing the partnerships that diverse actors are forging in and through SDG coalitions, there is a great deal that we can learn about how to work together effectively, inclusively and innovatively towards the common goal of a more just, equitable and sustainable world.”




Shannon Kindornay, Director of Research, Policy and Practice at CCIC, explains that “this research is really trying to help inform how these coalitions function so they can put their best foot forward to be inclusive, to be equitable and to really ensure that the voices of those being left behind are being heard.”




Deirdre de Burca, Advocacy Coordinator at Forus describes the layout and functionality of the report as “a handbook for people and organizations that are interested in partnering in new and interesting ways.” De Burca adds that “It doesn’t matter if you’re a government, if you work for a private sector company, if you’re a member of a trade union, if you’re a member non-governmental organization – no matter what background you’re from or what sector you work in, this document has something for you.”




“National coalitions like those that we’ve looked at through the report can provide a really strong infrastructure to bring together voices, and be a strong united voice, in terms of advocacy, campaigning, and the change we need to see in the coming years,” says Oli Henman, Coordinator at Action for Sustainable Development. What ultimately excites Henman about this report, and about the work of coalitions as a whole, is that the sustainable development sector is moving away from a hierarchical structure to one that is horizontal and that makes room for more voices.




Although any reader looking to develop partnerships towards the SDGs would benefit from reading this document, the intended audiences are civil society organizations, coalitions themselves and governments. This new working paper, released today, offers concrete examples of transformative coalitions in action and was produced in collaboration with BCCIC, CCIC, Action for Sustainable Development and Forus.


Transformative action to realize the 2030 Agenda through effective coalitions

Transformative action to realize the 2030 Agenda through effective coalitionsPDF

While implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is primarily the responsibility of governments, the scale and ambition of the agenda call for contributions from stakeholders across society including parliamentarians, citizens, civil society organizations, the private sector, academia, and the media. Based on a review of multi-stakeholder coalitions from around the world, this working paper provides a series of good practices and evidence-informed recommendations that can be used to strengthen the governance of coalitions in order to trigger accelerated and transformative actions for sustainable development.

Top 10 Greening Tools for the International Co-operation Sector

Top 10 Greening Tools for the International Co-operation Sector

While the COVID-19 pandemic has proven to be particularly trying and requiring adjustments in all aspects of our day-to-day, some have noted the potential – as we shift towards recovery – for a greener, more sustainable world to emerge. In Canada’s international cooperation sector, organizations have shifted their functioning; from working in offices and commuting to working from home and making extensive use of technologies such as ZoomAs we witness strikingly innovative times and shifts towards greener and more sustainable practicesan opportunity exists to reflect and plan to ensure positive changes remain in the long-term. As part of an ongoing research initiative, Greening CSOsCCIC  gathered resources and tools that can support organizations in greening their operations and programming In preparation for publication of a searchable online repository in October 2020we are presenting a few items to help our members get started on greener and improved operations and programming now 


Committing to greener operations and good practices starts here! 


Take a peek below at CCIC’s top 10 list of tools and resources to start your organization’s journey to greener operations. 


Advocating for a green world  

  1. Engaging with the Green Climate Fund – A Civil Society Toolkit (German Watch) 

The toolkit is published by a civil society consortium for stakeholders interested to engage with the Green Climate Fund (GCF). Encouraging as well as building civil society readiness for the GCF has emerged as a necessary step in contributing to a successful fund. This toolkit aims to provide civil society actors and their organizations, as well as any other stakeholders interested in the GCF, with relevant information, knowledge, and guidance on how to get involved with the fund. Lessons from this toolkit can be applied to a variety of other funding and advocacy mechanisms available to Canadian civil society.  


Green programming  

2. Guide pour l’organisation d’événements écoresponsables (HECOresponsable 

This short guide aims to support event organizers in their planning and management of events that are environment and climate conscious.  


3. Adaptation Layer (weADAPT) is an online space focusing on climate adaptation issues, which enables practitioners, researchers and policy makers to access credible, high quality information and to share experiences and lessons learnt on a range of issues around climate adaptation while developing and offering access to policy-relevant tools and guidance for adaptation planning and decision-making. Adaptation Layer is a weADAPT-Google Earth interface to locate who is doing what and where in the field of adaptation to climate variability and change. This tool allows one to browse case studies, projects, videos, downscaled climate projections and experiences of adaptation by a spatial reference, and search by key terms, providing an instant view of what is already going on and where.  


4. Green Recovery & Reconstruction Toolkit for Humanitarian (GRRT) (Environment and Disaster Management) 

The GRRT is a toolkit and training program designed to increase awareness and knowledge of environmentally responsible disaster response approaches. It consists of 11 training modules through which participants will learn about the intersection of the environment and post-disaster recovery and reconstruction. Although disasters wreak havoc, the rebuilding efforts that follow represent a significant and important opportunity to restore communities in a more environmentally and socially responsible way. Humanitarians, conservation practitioners, government officials, local communities, and donor organizations can take steps to ensure communities prepare for disasters and build back safer by actively addressing environmental sustainability, reducing risk and vulnerability to future disasters, and adapting to the effects of our changing climate. 


5. Climate Change Curriculum Guide (The Jane Goodall Institute of Canada) 

This curriculum guide provides information, suggested activities and advice about climate change for organizations teaching students about climate anxiety. The guide also provides examples of youth who are taking action to tackle climate change. 


Operating greener  

6. How to form a green team: A practical guide to create or form a green team at work (WWF-Canada) 

The Living Planet @ Work green team guide provides a 5-step guide and practical tips on how to create and operate a green team to maximize potential for positive impact within your organization.  


7. Greening Offices: 25 Tips to Get You Started (Cultivating Capital) 

This article provides 25 tips designed to jump-start your organization’s sustainability efforts, as well as links to additional sources to get started on your journey to greener operations. 


8. CUPE’s green workplace guide (Canadian Union of Public Employees) 

The booklet shows workers what steps they can take to make their workplaces and communities environmentally sustainable.  


 9. Reducing your carbon footprint (KAIROS) PDF 

A reduction of carbon emissions throughout the world is important, however much of what is discussed in this regard does not focus on the individual action level. In this simple and well-versed guide to reducing carbon emissions day-by-day, KAIROS provides guidance on what each and everyone of us can do, individually to reduce emissions.  


10. BOMA BEST Sustainable Workplaces – Certification (BOMA Canada)  

This highly accessibleaffordable and bilingual certification helps organizations be more sustainable while enabling them to measure and monitor their environmental performance. Once certified, organizations can easily implement additional policies, procedures and programs aimed to reduce their environmental impact, engage employees, create a healthier work environment, support sustainability goals, and become a leader in corporate sustainability efforts. Areas of development included in this certification are: communication, e-waste, energy, indoor air quality, recycling and waste diversion, sustainable travel and commuting, water, sustainable spaces, and procurement. 


The tools above represent a small sample of what is to come in CCIC’s repository of green tools – Stay tuned for more 

Feeling overwhelmed or unsure of where or how to start your organization’s greening journey?

Take a look at Top Reviewed Ten’s “50+ Go Green Initiatives that Might Save the World” for a noteworthy compilation of 50 green initiatives and efforts by individuals and organizations to fight climate change around the world. You will be sure to find inspiration there for future endeavours that are environment and climate-change conscious, while exploring new avenues for greening!  

CCIC Calls on Canada to Invest 1% of its total COVID-19 Response to Global Needs

CCIC Calls on Canada to Invest 1% of its total COVID-19 Response to Global Needs

COVID-19 has exposed inequalities at home, and around the world.  The pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing gaps in access to resources, health, and food and has disproportionately impacted already-marginalized groups.  These disparities are only becoming more lethal as the world waits to act.  It is estimated that COVID-19 will push 71 million people into extreme povertyand265 million into acute food insecurityand result in  117 million missed child vaccinationsand31 million additional cases of gender-based violence.  The world must act now to protect the lives of the most vulnerable and ensure no one is left behind.  

COVID-19 has also exposed the interconnectedness of our world.  The virus has demonstrated that the world’s health system is only as strong as the weakest among us, and that our collective well-being is bound up in one another, as COVID-19 anywhere is a threat to us all, everywhere.   

Canada has mobilized to stop the spread of COVID-19 at home, but the effects of the virus are felt around the world They are particularly felt in the global south where the spread of the virus is accelerating, and where existing inequalities are exacerbating the negative impacts of the disease. For instance, due to impacts of COVID-19 on access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services, the deaths of an additional253,500 children and 12,200 womenin the next six months are expected in the least severe scenario projections.  The reality of school closures has also impacted families around the globe. One and a half billion children and youth  have already missed out on an education, and may never return as a result, due to school closures.  

For decades, Canada has championed human rights and gender equality, both at home and abroad.  During one of the gravest crises in a century, Canada can play a leading role in building aequitable and just global recovery.  A bold and ambitious investment in such a recovery, would show the world fair and generous Canadian leadership, and would also be an investment in a stronger, healthier, more resilient Canada Through this pandemic, if anything, we have all learned that we are better and stronger when we are together.   

While Canada must prioritize the security and wellbeing of Canadiansit must also do its fair share to ensure an effective COVID-19 response globally.  There is an urgent need for an immediate investment to mitigate the potentially catastrophic impacts of COVID-19 in the world’s most vulnerable countries.  To work towards ending COVID-19 everywhere, and as part of an investment in a just recovery, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) calls on Canada to commit at least 1% of its total COVID response – or $2 billion in new and additional funds – to a global response that tackles the spread of the virus and its secondary impacts in the poorest countries.   

This investment should lay the groundwork for additional investments in international development to ensure that Canada supports our neighbours around the world in recovering better.   

The world needs Canadian leadership right now, the health and well-being of the world’s most vulnerable and Canadians at home, depend on it.    

Keeping an eye on COVID-19: Operation Eyesight’s approach to leveraging its network in times of crisis

Keeping an eye on COVID-19: Operation Eyesight’s approach to leveraging its network in times of crisis

COVID-19 is a health crisis whose impacts will devastate economies and increase inequality around the world. In addition to concerns here at home, there is also a striking and urgent realization that health systems in developing countries are not equipped with the means necessary to cope with the current and rapidly evolving impact of the pandemic. Recent figures outline a rise in numbers of cases throughout Latin America, Africa and South Asia, and, give way to fears of subsequent waves of pandemic peaks, particularly as China battles a second resurgence in COVID-19 cases. Many of Canada’s civil society partners operate in countries around the world where health systems need support and have the ability to respond quickly and with flexibility. With partners overseas working at reduced capacity in the face of the pandemic, Canadian partners are playing a much-needed role in preventing the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the negative socio-economic impacts of the virus on communities and vulnerable populations. 


In this context, CCIC member, Operation Eyesight, is pivoting its work, that typically focuses on eye health, to leverage its network of partner hospitals around the world to support effective, community led responses to the pandemic. 


Flattening the curve 

Operation Eyesight is harnessing its relations with government and partner hospitals in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia to help “flatten the curve.” Operation Eyesight, with program teams already located in partner countries around the world, is in a unique position to maintain its commitment to sustainability and empower communities on a larger scale.  On April 13th, the organization launched its COVID-19 response that will leverage local resources and expertise, easing the delivery of service for those in need. Kenyan staff are helping Kenyan citizens, working in ways that are locally grounded, and as such, effective. 

Operation Eyesight’s response is also focused on addressing the increased challenges women and girls face as the primary caretakers in most families. With good hygiene and handwashing as the first line of defence against COVID-19, Operation Eyesight continues to focus programming on clean water, safe hygiene promotion and sanitation through access to hand washing stations, soap and hygiene kits. Shortages of medical supplies are also a significant challenge – in Canada – but also in other parts of the world. Operation Eyesight is ensuring essential supplies such as sanitizers, soap and medication for eye infections remain accessible. Finally, as a novel virus that is rapidly evolving and with new research emerging daily on the impacts of and measure to prevent COVID-19, healthcare workers and frontline staff need access to the most up-to-date information at all times. Operation Eyesight has begun educating front line health workers on infection, prevention and control measures. It is also supporting the distribution of educational materials related to COVID-19 to keep front line health workers and the most vulnerable informed.  


Hospital partners have improved capacities to respond 

Operation Eyesight works with 55 partner hospitals in 6 countries to train frontline workers, nurses and community health workers on prevention, infection and control measures for Covid-19.  The organization plans to reach 600 000 individuals in Kenya, Ghana, Ethiopia, India, Zambia and Nepal through their health awareness and educational activities with a focus on women, girls and persons with disabilities. They are also ensuring Vision centres and hospitals are implementing strict sterilization protocols to make them COVID-19 free. 


Supporting the prevention of community transmission  

Through door-to-door distribution of health materials in local languages as well as hygiene kits, Operation Eyesight and its partners are working to prevent community transmission of the virus. In addition, they plan to install hand washing stations at water points, schools and vision centres across Kenya, Ethiopia, Ghana, India and Nepal. These will not only help families in need but also serve as demonstration units for the broader community to build their own. In Zambia, they plan to rehabilitate 60 boreholes to bring a clean source of water to rural areas.  


A community health worker distributes hygiene materials in India.


Empowering communities to become leaders    

In communities across 6 countries, Operation Eyesight will provide training to over 1500 community health workers to educate communities, with a particular emphasis on women, girls and people with disabilities. Village level water, sanitation and hygiene committees will be formed to train members to adopt appropriate hand washing and social distancing practices critical for the prevention of COVID-19. This approach aims to empower communities in their own response to the pandemic and prevent hospitals and health systems from being overwhelmed.  

Canada’s international development and humanitarian sector is quickly pivoting to meet new demands. Organizations like Operation Eyesight are demonstrating Canadians’ commitment to assisting those in need around the world. Quick and determined action and shifting operations are not only helping the most vulnerable abroad but act as a symbol of Canada’s response to a challenge that is faceless and knows no borders. Canadian civil society organizations are key to the global response to COVID-19. Their ability to quickly shift gears, leverage relationships and openness embody the innovation required to address the current climate and ensure that we recover better going forward.  




*By Arianna Abdelnaiem, Research Assistant at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC). 


* This blog is the second in a new series by CCIC that showcases leadership and innovation in Canada’s international development and humanitarian sector to the COVID-19 pandemic.