Report: Organizational and human resource capacity for addressing gender equality: Civil society engagement with the Feminist International Assistance Policy

Through a survey of 45 Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) and key informant interviews, this study examined how CSO’s have made progress towards addressing gender equality as a result of the development and launch of the Feminist International Assistance Policy in 2017. The survey examined operational investments that affected financial, technical and human resources in project implementation processes. Supported by CASID-CCIC Next Generation Program, l’Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI), MITACS and the University of Ottawa, this report provides recommendations for CSOs and Global Affairs Canada.

Read the report here.

Multi-stakeholder engagement in 2030 agenda implementation

Multi-stakeholder engagement in 2030 agenda implementation

CCIC partnered with the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs to research how governments engage with diverse stakeholders to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 2030 Agenda calls on governments to apply a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to realizing the Sustainable Development Goals. Based on a review of country reporting to the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development over 2016-2019, the study identified trends and country experiences with respect to multi-stakeholder engagement. The report showcases 10 lessons to inform inclusive and participatory approaches to 2030 Agenda implementation.  

VNR Stakeholder Engagement Research

Equitable Partnerships through Triangular Co-operation

Equitable Partnerships through Triangular Co-operation

CCIC partnered with Global Affairs Canada to understand how Canadian civil society organizations are engaging in triangular co-operation. Over late 2019 and early 2020, CCIC worked to raise awareness among Canadian CSOs about the new definition of triangular co-operation, identified and documented related civil society experiences and consulted Canadian CSOs on key enabling factors for engaging in effective triangular co-operation. The initiative culminated in a synthesis report of key findings and a set of 16 short, 2-3 page profiles for each project examined under the initiative.” 


Equitable Partnerships through Triangular Co-operation Report  Full report 

Equitable Partnerships through Triangular Co-operation, English highlights | French highlights  

Profiles of examined projects available* – English profiles | French profiles  

*All profiles will be available in both English and French in the coming weeks. Stay tuned!” 

PowerPoint presentation

Recording – Webinar of March 23, 2020

Delivering Results for Women and Girls: Intersectoral approaches to water, sanitation, hygiene and health

Delivering Results for Women and Girls: Intersectoral approaches to water, sanitation, hygiene and health

In May 2019, WaterAid Canada partnered with the Canadian Council for International Co-operation to convene a roundtable of health and WASH sector stakeholders within Canada’s development sector. The roundtable identified recommendations that will support more integrated approaches to health and WASH to realize sustainable development impact, notably for women and girls. Check out Delivering results for women and girls: Intersectoral approaches to water, sanitation, hygiene and health to find out how Canada’s health and WASH sectors can adopt more integrated approaches and see recommendations for how Global Affairs Canada can support such efforts. 

Humanitarian Discussions, Policy, and Funding

Humanitarian Discussions, Policy, and Funding

HRN Heads of Agencies Meeting

Leaders from members of the Humanitarian Response Network of Canada (HRN) met on September 30th in Montreal at the HRN Heads of Agency Meeting (HoA). This annual event convenes Executive Directors and CEOs of HRN members, their senior humanitarian staff, and Government of Canada representatives to discuss their collective experience in humanitarian response. The meeting contained rich discussions on a variety of topics within the theme of “The role of organisational leadership in strengthening the Canadian humanitarian system”.

The day started off with presentations from leaders on key issues affecting the sector as a whole. Humanitarian policy and funding, charitable regulations, and localization were brought forward as key issues to be tackled by the leaders in the room. A panel discussion was also held to dig deep into the nuances of working in the humanitarian-development-peace nexus, exploring how to uphold the humanitarian principles of impartiality, neutrality, independence, and humanity while integrating more sustainable, long-term, resilience-building, and gender-responsive solutions into responses to protracted crises and conflicts. Following the panel, 29 leaders of Canada’s humanitarian organisations signed a joint statement confirming their commitment to work in an integrated, inclusive and principled approach to enable better collaboration between the humanitarian, development and peace sectors. The statement, a first of its kind made by a group of heads of agencies in Canada, affirms that sustainable solutions for crisis-affected people must be the ultimate objective of all integrated approaches.

The afternoon was focused on organisations themselves, building on the policy and programming focus of the morning discussions. Sessions were held to encourage leaders to think about how to support a more diverse and inclusive sector, and an employer’s responsibility to take all steps reasonably possible to ensure the health, safety, and wellbeing of employees. The day ended with an inspiring keynote speech from Solange Tuyishime, CEO of Elevate International and UNICEF Canada ambassador. Overall the day was full of opportunities for leaders to connect with one another – a unique moment for the sector.


I found the topics quite relevant and believe that there was a lot there that could be taken back to my organization and followed up on. The diversity session was particularly useful for pushing us to think more about inclusion.

Participant feedback

Humanitarian Policy

At the meeting, CCIC presented a review of recent developments in humanitarian policy and funding. Below are the key messages:

After months of consultation through a far-reaching and highly consultative International Assistance Review, Canada launched its new Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP) in June 2017. Humanitarian assistance was integrated within this Policy, grouped alongside health and nutrition and education as part of the “Human Dignity” action area.

Yet while humanitarian assistance was in some sense subsumed within the FIAP framework, it stood out in terms of implementation. Some two years later, in April 2019, Canada launched its Policy on Gender Equality in Humanitarian Action as the first of a set of policies on each of the action areas in the FIAP.

The story behind the leadership of the humanitarian sector in FIAP implementation is one of civil society engagement. At the end of 2017, as soon as the government announced that it would develop a suite of policies to guide the FIAP, the Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Group at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation prepared a substantial and comprehensive joint submission proposing principles and activities for a feminist humanitarian policy. This followed up on the longstanding civil society ask for a defined Canadian humanitarian policy – something that, in the context of the FIAP, Global Affairs Canada (GAC) appeared prepared to deliver. In its submission, the humanitarian sector asked for an emphasis on an intersectional approach to humanitarian assistance that recognizes the nexus between humanitarian response, development, and peacebuilding.

After more than a year of back-and-forth between ministerial and bureaucratic staff at GAC, the humanitarian team there reached out in early 2019 to the Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Group and the Humanitarian Response Network of Canada for input on a draft humanitarian policy. The humanitarian sector gave substantial feedback, noting opportunities to enhance rights-based language, clarify the scope, and strengthen the focus on intersectional nexus programming.

This feedback was quite well reflected in the final version of the policy presented at the World Bank and International Monetary Fund Spring Meetings in April 2019. The Humanitarian Policy and Advocacy Group made a joint statement in response to the launch.

As the strong commitments in the FIAP and the humanitarian policy are further implemented through internal guidance and plan, these should be developed jointly by GAC and civil society and informed by both policy and practice.


Humanitarian Funding

The change in Canadian humanitarian policy coincides with changes in Canadian humanitarian funding. These trends are presented in a new analysis from CCIC that was presented to the Humanitarian Response Network at the Heads of Agencies meeting and is now being shared publicly.

Please read this analysis here:  Humanitarian Spending 2019




 Aislynn Row is the Coordinator of the Humanitarian Response Network of Canada.



Gavin Charles is the Policy Team Lead at the Canadian Council for International Co-operation.

Cooperation Canada Releases Recommendations to Improve the Regulatory and Legislative Framework for Canada’s Charitable Sector

Cooperation Canada Releases Recommendations to Improve the Regulatory and Legislative Framework for Canada’s Charitable Sector

Ottawa, ON (15 OCT 2019) – Cooperation Canada released a policy brief today showing that Canadian charities working internationally are governed by a set of provisions that restrict their ability to partner effectively in the delivery of their charitable mandate. Titled “Directed Charities and Controlled Partnerships,” the brief examines two regulatory and legislative elements: “direction and control” provisions and anti-terror legislation.

To download the full brief, visit Cooperation Canada’s web site here: Directed Charities and Controlled Partnerships

The brief includes recommendations that are informed by a literature review, a survey of Canadian charities, and comparative research including interviews with national charity coalitions from other high-income countries. Cooperation Canada also provides recommendations for how the Government of Canada can improve the regulatory and legislative framework for Canada’s charitable sector.

This analysis provides a unique perspective on this issue specific to the international cooperation sector. It includes input from the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG) which collaborated on the section concerning anti-terrorism legislation.

This policy brief was produced with the financial support of the Muttart Foundation.


Canadian charities working internationally are required to exercise an extremely high level of operational control in their work. Unfortunately, this can undermine principles of effective development and good partnership. Fortunately, there are ways to improve, and we can draw on the experience of other countries and the expertise within Canada’s charitable sector.

Gavin Charles

Policy Team Lead, Cooperation Canada

Canadians expect humanitarian organizations to provide essential and live-saving support wherever it is needed, but they are being hindered in their work, despite their best efforts, by vague, broad and unnecessary anti-terrorism laws that do more to put people at risk than prevent violent crimes. Future governments should take decisive action to fix these troubling laws.

Tim McSorley

National Coordinator, International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group

Canada’s “direction and control” provisions governing Canadian charities are unusual and unique among peer countries. These rules impose a high transaction cost to Canadian funding to projects around the globe and undermine partnership relations with others. We invite the Government of Canada to engage in dialogue and consultation with Canadian charities working internationally to ensure its policy on oversight of charitable resources reflects Canada’s commitments to partnership and localization in development cooperation and humanitarian assistance.

Nicolas Moyer

President and CEO , Cooperation Canada


  • In 2016, Cooperation Canada (then CCIC) made a submission to the Canadian Revenue Agency’s consultation on charities’ political activities. The report is titled “Modern Charities, Ancient Policies: Public policy and Canada’s development sector” and available here.
  • In September 2018, Cooperation Canada made an oral testimony as part of the consultations in Advance of the 2019 Budget. One of the themes covered was the key role charities play in both the economic and societal success of Canada. The testimony is available here.
  • In May 2019, Cooperation Canada made a submission with a list of recommendations to the Senate’s study on the charitable sector. The document is available here.

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About Cooperation Canada: Since 1968, Cooperation Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Council for International Cooperation) has brought together more than 90 organizations working in the international development and humanitarian sector. Cooperation Canada is an advocate for these groups by convening sector leaders, influencing policy and building capacity. Together, Cooperation Canada works with partners inside and outside Canada to build a world that’s fair, safe, and sustainable for all.  To learn more, visit


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