July 8, 2021 – The international cooperation sector’s Anti-Racism Task Force for Accountability published its baseline report on anti-racism today.
The report outlines key recommendations based on surveys completed by organizations that have signed onto the Anti-Racism Framework for Canada’s International Cooperation Sector, developed by an advisory group convened by Cooperation Canada. Through data collected from these surveys, the Task Force studied existing institutional commitments to anti-racism in administration and human resources; communications, advocacy and knowledge management; and program design, monitoring, evaluation and learning, and operations among 70 signatory organizations within the sector.
Given a general lack of data on racial justice in our sector and beyond, this report is an important step in informing institutional and collective efforts in propelling anti-racism within the international cooperation sector.
Findings include that organizations have “largely been reactive rather than proactive on issues related to racial inequality,” and that “there is a widespread lack of coherent, accountable and specifically antiracist efforts across signatory organizations.” Encouragingly, data collected indicate that 88% of signatory organizations have staff and/or volunteers who work and participate in equity, inclusion and anti-racist groups.
In addition to establishing benchmarks, the report outlines seven tangible recommendations on how organizations in the sector can make meaningful anti-racist , starting with the development of a coherent organizational anti-racism strategy.
Key findings and recommendations were shared on June 21, 2021, during the “Anti-Racism Report Launch: Where We Are, Where We’re Going” session at the Cooperation Forum.
Moving forward, organizations will be able to sign onto the Framework on an ongoing basis and become signatories on March 21 of each year, having submitted the annual survey that will inform annual progress reports. The Task Force for Accountability is hosted by the Anti-Racism in Cooperation (ARC) Hub, the institutional and collective capacity of signatory organizations to make progress against the commitments outlined in the Framework.
This Framework is not perfect or final, nor is it the destination. It will, however, provide a common ground, guiding instruments, and a momentum for a more anti-racist international cooperation sector. You are invited to sign on to the Framework, reach out to others to do the same, and engage with us moving forward. This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to begin this work with you.
Read the baseline report here.
Cooperation Canada is proud to announce the launch of the Anti-Racism Framework for Canada’s International Cooperation Sector, developed by our independent advisory group after months of consultations. Below is their statement:
We are tremendously grateful to colleagues, allies and critics of our sector who have contributed to the elaboration of the Anti-Racism Framework. This is a true collective effort that we hope will accelerate our collective shift towards a more anti–racist sector.
This Framework is a firm recognition of the responsibility of the international cooperation sector to address systemic racism, which is an important step towards intentional and continuous action and the promotion of human rights. But the Framework is so much more: it is a collective springboard for greater accountability and data on racial justice, more equitable organizations, more dignifying narratives of and by our sector, and a multitude of collaborative initiatives aimed at proactive anti–racist efforts and the amplification of Black, Indigenous and other racialized voices in Canada and abroad.
By officially signing onto the Framework, 78 organizations of various sizes, charitable purposes and geographical location have pledged to work within their institutions, with their peer organizations and partners, and with the general public, to advance deliberate anti–racist action. The Framework, available here in English and French, outlines key commitments that represent the minimum benchmarks for meaningful anti–racist shifts. With the overarching commitment of centering Black, Indigenous and other racialized employees, volunteers, partners and other stakeholders, the Framework is focused on transforming international cooperation organizations, the narratives we promote and the work we and our partners do.
The Framework is accompanied by an overarching indicator framework, which informs annual surveys that signatories are requested to submit. The annual surveys are developed and analyzed by a Task Force, which is co-led by sector actors and which will produce annual reports with recommendations for collective and institutional sector efforts. These recommendations will be presented to the Working Group and the broader public on May 21, 2021. Annual reports will be used to signal sector trends, inform most effective action and help sector actors hold themselves and each other accountable for the prioritization of anti-racist efforts in their organizations and their work.
We thank the signatory organizations, whose staff and leadership declared a commitment to contributing to a more equitable, racially just future. This Framework is not all that we will do, but it is a start. Over the next period, we aim to build around this collective Framework and construct inclusive structures supporting signatories to make progress on Framework commitments and support international and domestic partners working on similar objectives, particularly those led by Black, Indigenous and other racialized groups. This Framework is not perfect nor final. As our Open Letter to the Sector states: “This is just the beginning, and we can’t wait to begin this work with you.”
Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada
List of signatory organizations
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
Alberta Council for Global Cooperation
Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
Atlantic Council for International Cooperation
British Columbia Council for International Cooperation
Canada Sierra Leone Friendship Society Inc.
Canada World Youth – Jeunesse Canada Monde
Canadian Association for the Study of International Development
Canadian Audit and Accountability Foundation
Canadian Christian Relief & Development Association (CCRDA)
Canadian Feed the Children
Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH)
Canadian Red Cross
Carrefour international bas-laurentien pour l’engagement social (CIBLES)
CECI (Centre d’études et de coopération internationale)
Clowns Sans Frontières
Coady International Institute
Comité de Solidarité/Trois-Rivières
Crossroads International / Carrefour International
Development and Peace – Caritas Canada
Développement, Expertise et Solidarité Internationale (DESI)
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada
Engineers Without Borders Canada
Farm Radio International
Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie
Fondation Village Monde
FSA Université Laval
Global Health Projects, University of Calgary
Grand Challenges Canada
Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development
International Teams Canada
Islamic Relief Canada
Manitoba Council for International Cooperation
Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Mennonite Central Committee Canada
Northern Council for Global Cooperation
Ontario Council for International Cooperation
Partners in Health Canada
Peace Africa Alliance Consulting, Educating and Training Centre (PAACET)
Presbyterian World Service & Development
Rayjon Share Care of Sarnia, Inc.
Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation
Save the Children Canada
Solidarité Montérégie Amérique Centrale
Teach Peace Development
Tenth Church Vancouver
The Dallaire Institute for Children, Peace and Security
The Equality Fund
the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada
The Wellspring Foundation for Education
Trade Facilitation Office Canada/Bureau de promotion du commerce Canada
Ujeengo Global Community
United Church of Canada
World University Service of Canada (WUSC)