International cooperation sector publishes its baseline report on anti-racism

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 shifts, 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. 

Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada launches Anti-Racism Framework for Canada’s International Cooperation Sector

Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada launches Anti-Racism Framework for Canada’s International Cooperation Sector

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 antiracist 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 rightsBut 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 antiracist 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 antiracist action. The Framework, available here in English and French, outlines key commitments that represent the minimum benchmarks for meaningful antiracist 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. 

In solidarity, 


Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada  


 List of signatory organizations 


ADRA Canada 

Aga Khan Foundation Canada 

AIPEO 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 

CARE Canada 

Carrefour international bas-laurentien pour l’engagement social (CIBLES) 

CECI (Centre d’études et de coopération internationale) 

Children Believe 

Clowns Sans Frontières 

Coady International Institute 


Comité de Solidarité/Trois-Rivières 

Cooperation Canada 

Crossroads International / Carrefour International 

Cuso International 

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada 

Développement, Expertise et Solidarité Internationale (DESI) 

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada 

Engineers Without Borders Canada 


Ethiopiaid Canada 

FairTrade Canada 

Farm Radio International 

Fondation Paul Gérin-Lajoie 

Fondation Village Monde 

FSA Université Laval 

Global Health Projects, University of Calgary 

Grand Challenges Canada 

Humanitarian Coalition 

Inter Pares 

Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development 

Inter-Council Network 

International Teams Canada 

IRIS Mundial 

Islamic Relief Canada 

Manitoba Council for International Cooperation 

Mennonite Economic Development Associates

Mennonite Central Committee Canada

Mission inclusion 

Northern Council for Global Cooperation 

Ontario Council for International Cooperation  

Oxfam Canada 


Partners in Health Canada 

Peace Africa Alliance Consulting, Educating and Training Centre (PAACET) 

Presbyterian World Service & Development 

Rayjon Share Care of Sarnia, Inc. 

Results Canada 

Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation 

Save the Children Canada 

Solidarité Montérégie Amérique Centrale 

Teach Peace Development 

Tearfund Canada 

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 Renew 

World University Service of Canada (WUSC) 

World Vision 

YMCA Canada 

Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada launches Anti-Racism Framework for Canada’s International Cooperation Sector

Open Letter from the Anti-Racism Advisory Group






Dear sector colleagues,


We hope your 2021 is off to a great start. We are proud to announce that the Anti-Racism Advisory Group convened by Cooperation Canada has finalized the Anti-Racism Framework for our sector. The group wishes to thank all those who contributed to the current version and to invite all Canadian organizations working in international cooperation to officially sign on. For more information on the Framework and the sign-on process, please see the open letter below and the enclosed resources.



Dear colleagues, allies, and supporters of Canada’s international cooperation sector,


Thank you for being a part of our work over the past year, as we have come together to share experiences and ideas, discussing avenues of collective anti-racist action. As international cooperation practitioners, we are personally and professionally dedicated to advancing the mandates of our organizations, supporting our partners, and improving a sector that tirelessly aims to contribute to a healthier, safer, more equitable and sustainable world for us all. Working in the Canadian context, we are also aware of the different forms of privilege and responsibility to address the harms of racist bias, which continue to exist in processes, institutions and international systems.Cooperation Canada convened an advisory group beginning in summer 2020, following a survey shared among its 90 member organizations. Since then, this advisory group has aimed to provide a platform from which our collective approaches to anti-racism can take shape. We have engaged in this work from a place of empathy but also the recognition that our sector must effectively prioritize deliberate anti-racist efforts. Guided by the principle of collective action, we have outlined a Framework for Anti-racism Efforts of Canada’s International Cooperation Sector that reflects our institutional commitments and guides our sector’s accountability towards this work. We have convened many forums, troubleshooting together, relying on our informal networks of specialists, calling upon advice and feedback from colleagues, friends, and allies both in Canada and globally.

Throughout these consultation processes, we have done our best to ensure open channels of communication, allowing everyone to suggest improvements for the Framework. We have joined coalition meetings, called upon participants to lean into discussions that can feel uncomfortable, examine our personal privileges and ability to enact positive change, and urged us all to embrace the destabilizing shifts that come with any real change. This process is far from finished. However, after months of listening and learning, we are ready to present the last iteration of our sector’s Anti-racism Framework and invite your organization to sign-on.

We hope that by committing to this Framework, you are signalling your readiness to learn, work with others, and invest in promoting processes, policies, systems, and organizational discussions that contribute to a more anti-racist sector. We know that our sector, guided by international human rights declarations, values of equality, justice, solidarity, and sustainability, must continuously improve in advancing social and racial justice. As a signatory, you are signalling your readiness to do precisely that. Signatories will contribute to gathering data on our sector’s anti-racism efforts, but also work together, through working groups, to foster collective learning, develop tools and policies, accelerate innovative approaches to racial justice, and overall strengthen individual and institutional capacity for anti-racist efforts.

This Framework is not perfect or final, nor is it our destination. This Framework, however, will provide a common ground, guiding instruments, and a momentum for a more anti-racist international cooperation sector. We invite you 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.


In solidarity,

Hugues Alla, Cooperation Canada
Nancy Burrows, l’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (l’AQOCI)
Marietou Diallo, Inter Pares
Jessica Ferne, the Canadian Partnership for Women and Children’s Health (CanWaCH)
Rachel Logel Carmichael, Save the Children Canada
Odette McCarthy, Equitas
Gloria Novovic, Cooperation Canada
Tiyahna Padmore, World Vision Canada
Aislynn Row, Cooperation Canada
Maïka Sondarjee, Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID)
Simran Singh, CARE Canada
Musu Taylor-Lewis, the Canadian Foodgrains Bank
Unyime Abasi Odong, Cooperation Canada



Signatories will be contacted soon to learn more about what’s to come and with instructions to compile a baseline survey by March 21. To see the questions ahead of time, please click here.