Join us for the 2022 Cooperation Canada Awards

Join us for the 2022 Cooperation Canada Awards

The Cooperation Canada Awards recognizes excellence and merit in the field of international cooperation by awarding prizes to individuals or organizations that have distinguished themselves in the past year.

 

Each year, Cooperation Canada recognizes outstanding individuals and projects in the sector with the organizational and individual Innovation and Impact Awards in honour of Lewis Perinbam (in partnership with WUSC and the trustees of the Lewis Perinbam Award).

This year’s ceremony won’t be an exception: it’s a can’t miss event! Join us in your fanciest attire – yes, even virtually! – and celebrate with the amazing awardees and their peers.

Join us on February 9 2023 at 4:00 PM ET and celebrate with the amazing awardees and their peers.

Celebrating 3 years of Digna!

Celebrating 3 years of Digna!

Cooperation Canada is very proud to host Digna, the Canadian Centre of expertise on PSEA, funded by Global Affairs Canada. Would you like to see some of their achievements in the last three years?

Remember, there is still work to do. We must commit to maintaining PSEA as a key priority in our organizations

 

Digna aspires to make resources on PSEA more accessible to Canadian organizations and their partners. If you would like to know more about Digna, please visit www.digna.ca 

Noelia Ruiz

Noelia Ruiz

Digna Program Manager

Cooperation Canada Participates in the Department of Finance Consultation on Official Development Assistance

Cooperation Canada Participates in the Department of Finance Consultation on Official Development Assistance

In December 2022, Cooperation Canada responded to the Department of Finance consultation on Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA). This yearly consultation gives stakeholders an opportunity to comment on the Department’s payments to the World Bank Group’s International Development Association, the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, the International Finance Corporation, and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, as well as the Department’s bilateral loan to Ukraine and loans through the International Monetary Fund Administered Account for Ukraine. In addition to providing input on two of the three guiding questions, Cooperation Canada’s submission encourages reflection on the effectiveness of these international assistance contributions. 

 

About meeting ODA criteria 

The first guiding question probes whether the Department’s ODA payments to the above multilateral institutions satisfy the criteria concerning poverty reduction, perspectives of the poor, and international human rights, as set out in the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act. 

Contributing to poverty reduction is one of the three criteria characterizing ODA in Canada, the other two being to take into account the perspectives of the poor and to be consistent with international human rights standards.  Cooperation Canada acknowledges the role of multilateral institutions like the World Bank’s (WB), International Development Association (IDA), and the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI) in global poverty alleviation, yet has concerns about the alignment of their operations with the last two criteria. 

Canadian CSOs have often expressed concern about the prioritization of financial returns over positive development impacts, which is problematic as this relegates the perspective of the poor as a marginal success factor. In contrast, country-led approaches  are often better designed to center the needs and priorities of the poor and marginalized  communities. Further, considering the perspective of the poor requires increased attention to gender equality, as women and girls are often among the most vulnerable groups that are the first hit by austerity measures recommended by the International Monetary Fund.  

 

About the Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance 

The second guiding question in the consultation asks whether the Report to Parliament on the Government of Canada’s International Assistance helps to improve transparency on international assistance. 

Cooperation Canada would welcome reporting on balances in budget allocations, new budgetary additions, as well over or underspending levels. It would also be useful to see some indication on the future path of international assistance (both ODA and non ODA). Clear reporting on each ODA criterion would also increase transparency.  

 

General considerations 

Cooperation Canada encourages the Department to assess what type of Canadian presence across multilaterals represents the best value for money in terms of achieving development objectives and whether Canada’s current presence is rightsized. Another essential question is whether these multilateral institutions are fit to address the debt emergency. The IMF itself recently warned that failure to support lower-income countries in the current inflationary context would have severe ripple effects as countries are being forced to borrow more to keep their citizens from going hungry. This runs at cross-purposes with the commitment, under the Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI), to cancel 100% of eligible debts owed by heavily indebted poor countries. This also gives motive to question the governance models in multilateral development institutions that seem to generate and perpetuate maldevelopment.  

Carelle Mang-Benza

Carelle Mang-Benza

Policy Lead, Cooperation Canada

Cooperation Canada Attends the Third High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC)

Cooperation Canada Attends the Third High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC)

On December 12-14, 2022, governments, civil society organizations (CSOs), and businesses gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for the 3rd High-Level Meeting (HLM) of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation (GPEDC or Global Partnership), also called the Effective Development Co-operation Summit. Established at the 2011 Busan Forum on Aid Effectiveness, the  Global Partnership is a multistakeholder network of countries and organizations united around four foundational principles of effective development cooperation: country ownership, focus on results, inclusive development partnerships, and transparency and accountability. Departing from previous aid effectiveness commitments made in Rome (2003), Paris (2005) and Accra (2008), Busan shifted the focus from traditional aid to development cooperation, recognizing the important roles of diverse development actors. 

The development cooperation landscape has significantly changed since the Busan Forum. The adoption of the Sustainable Development Agenda in 2015 stressed the importance of tackling global challenges by using development assistance in a more “catalytic” way. However, global efforts to drive sustainable development are facing profound headwinds, from growing inequality to escalating conflicts compounded by climatic shocks. The 2022 Summit participants recognized that development cooperation must continue to take place under increasingly challenging circumstances and converged on the value and relevance of the four effectiveness principles. They also pointed to the need to attend to development cooperation trends and varied country contexts. In his opening address, Mr. Ignazio Cassis, President of the Swiss Confederation said that what differentiates us should not divide us: “Common values and a mutual respect are our compass. We must take responsibility and act together. This is the raison d’être of the Global Partnership.” 

Civil society delegates, represented through the CSO Partnership for Development Effectiveness, condemned the dwindling of development resources and the slow pace of collective action. They voiced the sector’s positions about conflict and fragility, climate finance, and shrinking civic space at the Unmet Gala, a parade highlighting unmet commitments towards sustainable development goals. CSOs also acknowledged the Summit gains, including the emphasis on building trust to make development cooperation more effective, and the momentum in favor of a revised national monitoring framework. Beginning in 2023, the 35 countries that subscribed to the new monitoring framework should drive enhanced accountability, encourage inclusive and evidence-based dialogue, including with the private sector, and promote behavior change.  

Following the Summit, the CSO Partnership vows to further promoting multi-stakeholder initiatives that enable civil society to play its role in effective development. Here at home, Cooperation Canada will continue to consult with the CSO Partnership and work with its members and the Government to boost Canadian leadership in favor of the SDGs and in support of country ownership of global solidarity initiatives. Cooperation Canada welcomes Canada’s endorsement of the Donor Statement on Supporting Locally Led Development released during the Geneva Summit and looks forward to collaborating with the Government around effective and coherent approaches to advance development, humanitarian, and peacebuilding efforts. Canada’s feminist leadership can and will make a difference in turning words into the global action called for by multiple commitments, including the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (2011), the Agenda for Sustainable Development (2015), the Grand Bargain (2016), and the OECD-DAC Recommendation on Enabling Civil Society in Development Co-operation and Humanitarian Assistance (2021). 

 

Carelle Mang-Benza

Carelle Mang-Benza

Policy Lead, Cooperation Canada

Want more information? You can contact our Policy Lead, Carelle Mang-Benza. 

HRN Thematic Event – Triple Nexus

HRN Thematic Event – Triple Nexus

As part of the increasing needs to respond to the realities on-the-ground, there have been calls for sectoral reforms to work toward a more holistic approach to delivering aid. Indeed, the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, or triple nexus, drives the different branches to work collaboratively toward the same goal, instead of working in silos. Following an Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development-Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) recommendation on the humanitarian-development-peace nexus in 2019, Canada has placed the triple nexus as a priority.  

In this regard, the Humanitarian Response Network (HRN) held a thematic event on December 1st on the topic of the triple nexus. The online event welcomed around 75 participants from a variety of backgrounds, including NGO, academia, and public sectors. The event started off with a session conceptualizing the nexus, then dove into more practical aspects of how to operationalize it. The participants were able to get a better understanding of the triple nexus by following case studies, such as how Mercy Corps integrates tools from all three branches of the nexus into their programming in Ethiopia. Given the amount of knowledge and expertise at the event, the day then proceeded with the sharing of experiences and lessons learned in smaller groups, and finally ended with an update from Global Affairs Canada (GAC). Throughout the day, there were also some good networking opportunities, giving the participants a chance to informally build relationship with colleagues from the sector and the government.  

In each session, panelists provided useful insights into the benefits of the nexus. Emphasis was placed on the way that the triple nexus builds community resilience by putting the beneficiary at the center. Discussions also gave prominence to the need for flexibility and how concepts like crisis modifiers contribute to adapting to events that are out of our control. In fact, seeing the complexity of how issues and crises are interconnected, adaptability is a crucial element. Aid is meant to change the paradigm, and the nexus is a structure to achieve this goal.  

This event was an excellent opportunity for the sector to use this line of communication to better engage with GAC. During their portion of the day, representatives from GAC provided an update on their triple nexus progressive integration workplan, dividing it between three task teams: strategic, operational, and functional. Also mentioned was the challenge of scaling up triple nexus programming from personality driven successes that are geographically confined, to executing the triple nexus across the board.  

As GAC continues moving towards a fully integrated triple nexus approach, Cooperation Canada hopes to see donors provide clear directions. This includes flexibility in funding to meet local communities needs and capacity, while the implementing actors adjust their activities towards an integrated approach involving and putting local communities as the central pillar of their intervention. 

Patrice Charpentier

Patrice Charpentier

HRN Coordinator

Darron Seller-Peritz

Darron Seller-Peritz

Policy Analyst

Cooperation Canada CEO’s Year in Review

Cooperation Canada CEO’s Year in Review

As we close 2022, and look ahead to 2023, I’ve been reflecting on the past year, and what lies ahead.  While many of us will be taking time off over the holidays to rest, relax, and spend time with loved ones, we know that millions of people around the world are not so lucky.  Ongoing conflict and famine, global economic instability, the rise of authoritarian and anti-democratic forces, and attacks on human rights and climate defenders sit heavy with many of us. My thoughts are with the brave people facing hunger, conflict, crisis, and discrimination as we move into the holiday season.

It is this inequality and injustice, and our belief that by working together we can make a difference, that motivates us at Cooperation Canada. I am proud of the work that Cooperation Canada has done in 2022. And as we look towards 2023, I am excited about what lies ahead, and look forward to continuing to work with Cooperation Canada members, allies and partners. 

I feel both humbled and privileged to lead Cooperation Canada. Since starting as CEO in April, I have been welcomed by many Cooperation Canada members to their cities and organizations across the country. I have connected with federal Members of Parliament and Senators to discuss Canadian global leadership on international cooperation. I have collaborated with colleagues at Global Affairs Canada on how we can partner and work together to enhance the effectiveness of Canadian international development and humanitarian assistance. I’ve learnt from, and shared ideas with, inspiring people working for charities, universities, think tanks and movements across Canada and the world on the future of social impact, international cooperation, and global solidarity. It’s been energizing and inspiring, and gives me much hope about what Cooperation Canada can contribute to in 2023 and beyond. 

There have been many highlights for Cooperation Canada this year, and working together with our members and others we have pushed forward several important priorities. We have advocated tirelessly for Canada’s charity regulations to be modernized, demanded the government change the Criminal Code to allow Canadian aid agencies to deliver humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan, developed our 2023 Federal Budget submission, and worked with Global Affairs Canada’s CFO Branch to enhance the efficiency and collective impact of Canada’s international assistance. At Cooperation Canada, we were thrilled to launch the Anti-Racist Cooperation (ARC) Hub, continue the important work of preventing sexual exploitation and abuse in international cooperation with Digna, and contribute to strengthening humanitarian action by hosting the Humanitarian Response Network and coordinating the Humanitarian Policy Advocacy Group.  I was delighted to see so many of you at our International Cooperation Futures Festival in October, and I look forward to more opportunities to connect in the coming year! 

The Cooperation Canada team has big plans for the New Year.  It will be International Development Week before we know it, and we look forward to connecting with Members of Parliament on Parliament Hill, as well as presenting our Cooperation Canada Awards.  We will support our members to connect with Global Affairs Canada on a range of priorities, including the Grants and Contributions Transformation Process, the new Indo-Pacific Strategy, localization, and development effectiveness.  We’re excited to look to the future with our members as we ramp up our Global Development Futures Initiative. And we’re looking forward to continuing to connect with our members through our Cooperation Canada Working Groups, and will engage our members on a process to review Cooperation Canada’s Code of Ethics. 

I am so grateful to the incredible Cooperation Canada team for their dedication and hard work this year.  Many of us are new to Cooperation Canada, and I am inspired by this team’s potential! I would also like to thank Cooperation Canada’s very committed Board of Directors for their guidance and support.    

I am excited about the future of Cooperation Canada and truly believe that our mission – to convene, coordinate and collaborate to inspire policies and programs for a fairer, safer, and more sustainable world – is as important as ever. 

Thank you for your continued engagement, encouragement, and support!  

Kate Higgins

Kate Higgins

Chief Executive Officer, Cooperation Canada