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.