Contribute to organisational culture change within the Canadian International Cooperation community by providing online resources, training, and consultation services to enable organizations in the sector to adopt gender-responsive best practices to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse in their operations, with their partners, and particularly towards women and girls. 



With a focus on organizations and beneficiaries of Canadian aid, Digna seeks to meet the following objectives:  

  1. Help the Canadian international development and humanitarian sector’s organisations to improve their ability to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse within their organizations and towards their beneficiaries, particularly women and girls.   
  2. Raise awareness of gender-responsive good practices to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse; and  
  3. Increase the access to and the use of gender-responsive resources to prevent and address sexual exploitation and abuse. 

We encourage and want to support organisations of the sector to commit to PSEA in several ways, including through signing the CCIC Leaders Pledge on Preventing and Addressing Sexual Misconduct, through adherence to international guidelines, and ongoing efforts to adopt good practices that inform policies, procedures and partnerships.  



What's in a name?

The word “Digna” is Latin for “worthy.  Digna supports the Canadian international development and humanitarian sector to be worthy of the trust placed in them by Canadian citizens, by our Government and by millions of beneficiaries of Canadian official development assistance around the world.

The Canadian sector is diverse, including organizations of all sizes – from small groups operating on the commitment of just one or two volunteers, to large registered charities with multiple offices and hundreds of employees. It has groups that focus on a single health clinic, school, or orphanage, to multiple-disciplinary development agencies supporting multiple development goals in complex systems and rapid response humanitarian organizations.

Digna’s logo seeks to represent this diversity in the variety of sizes and colours of circles, grouped in a wider circle to evoke movement and synergy, with one space left open – a placeholder for those still to join, an opening for influence beyond our nation and our sector and an acknowledgement that the work is never complete.  

We strive to be worthy; to be Digna! 



In April of 2018, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) invited representatives of its diverse membership to form a Steering Committee on the Prevention of and Response to Sexual Misconduct. In its first meetings, the Steering Committee defined its mandate to include supporting the broader development and humanitarian sector in the identification and implementation of best practices and the securing of resources to maintain this work.  

In the following months, the Steering Committee authored the “Leaders Pledge  and secured the commitment of more than 100 organizational CEOs to promoting cultures of PSEA within their organizations. It also strengthened connections between the civil society organizations represented by CCIC and the working group on preventing sexual exploitation within Global Affairs Canada. 

In the spring of 2019, CCIC submitted a proposal to Global Affairs Canada, on behalf of and in collaboration with the Steering Committee, to partner in developing a resource centre to facilitate PSEA coordination across the sector. With the support of Global Affairs Canada, CCIC began the work of developing Digna in the fall of 2019. 


Open Letter

To learn simple steps to PSEA, we invite you to read this open letter that Brigitte Demers, Digna’s former manager, has addressed to the organizations of the international humanitarian and development assistance sector of Canada.





The toolkits will soon be available in French


Toolkits for Addressing the Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse 

Through a feminist approach, Digna aims to provide organizations with best practices and practical tools to enable 1) work towards the prevention of sexual exploitation and abuse (SEA), and 2) address SEA incidents in a more informed way, having a survivor-centered approach as the base for action. 

The toolkits explore strategies that can be used while working towards the prevention of SEA. Based on the database of resources under compilation by Digna, we have developed eight different toolkits. In general terms, they unpack what many different organizations from the international development and humanitarian sector have done to address SEA. This includes their approaches to managing risk, their strategies and the best practices they have put forth. This document provides the full set of toolkits, each available individually. Overall, the eight toolkits provide over forty straightforward and practical documents. 


Digna is committed to providing your organization with clear and useful tools. We hope they will help your work developing PSEA policies, as well as reaching partners and beneficiaries in a respectful and ethical way. 

Global Affairs Canada Funding

Digna is made possible through the generous financial support of the Government of Canada.