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March 2017: Islamic Relief Canada. CCIC interviews Zaid Al-Rawni, CEO
Islamic Relief Canada

Islamic Relief Canada

Zaid Al-Rawni








This month, CCIC met with Zaid Al-Rawni, CEO of Islamic Relief Canada to discuss the relief and development work they do globally – and domestically – and of the changing roles for Canadian NGOs working internationally.

CCIC – Islamic Relief works with communities in over 40 countries to strengthen their resilience to calamities, and provide vital emergency aid when disasters occur. Please tell us about a recent project of which you are particular proud. 

Zaid Al-Rawni – One project that we are very proud of is our Raspberry farming project in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The region is still reeling from the war that took place in the 1990s. Women are the ones who find it hard to find work to support their families. Official national figures estimate that around 20 percent of the population lives below the nationally-defined poverty line and 30 percent just above the poverty line.

In this project, Islamic Relief trains orphan families and single female-headed households on raspberry planting so that they can earn a living by growing and selling raspberries.

Islamic Relief Canada provides families with relevant equipment, training, and land  to enable raspberry planting, growing, marketing and selling. The autonomy that comes with a project of this nature allows for these families to be lifted out of poverty and become contributing members of their economy and society.


CCIC – Islamic Relief Canada helps the impoverished access basic services, including education, water and sanitation, and healthcare, and provides lasting routes out of poverty through sustainable development schemes. How does your organization educate, inspire, and engage Canadians on the importance of your work?

Zaid Al-Rawni – We strongly believe in community engagement and have worked hard over the last ten years to build a strong and trusting relationship with Canadians – specifically the Muslim community. In 2016, we raised a total of over $20 million from the Muslim community in Canada. We educate, inspire and engage Canadians on our work through community events, fundraising dinners, mosques outreach and by empowering volunteers and staff to own projects and causes.

In Ramadan, which is the holy month of fasting for Muslims, we reached out to our supporters and volunteers and encouraged them to organise fundraising dinners in their homes for an Islamic Relief project of their choice.  With our support, Canadians across the country were mobilising their friends and families to come together to donate towards humanitarian programmes in the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Our Ramadan campaign raised a total of $ 8.2 million.

We also participate in media initiatives, forums  and local and international conferences where we present and share our expertise on the work that we do. Recently we took part in a UN Women conference  raising awareness about our work on women and girls  – which was also attended by various Canadian NGOs, Ministers and MPs.


CCIC – According to the UN Humanitarian Chief, the world currently faces the largest humanitarian crisis since the United Nations was founded in 1945, with more than 20 million people in four countries facing starvation and famine. Given the Prime Minister’s pledge that “Canada is back” on the world stage, do you think there is an opportunity for Canada to take a leadership role in humanitarian assistance? What type of response would you like from Global Affairs Canada? 

Zaid Al-Rawni – We believe Canada has an important role to play on the world stage when it comes to humanitarian assistance. We are a country stronger together not in spite of our differences, but because of them, as our Prime Minister has said. We welcome the recent Government announcement of funding to respond to the crises we are seeing in Somalia, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen. Here at Islamic Relief , we’ve received 1.5 million for a project in Yemen.


CCIC – Given the recent Quebec mosque shooting, and the troubling international trends, do you see a shift in the domestic role of Canadian NGOs working internationally? 

Zaid Al-Rawni – Of course. The Quebec mosque shootings was a threat to all Canadians. We were personally affected as we had a strong relationship with the mosque and some of our volunteers were injured that day. When it comes to domestic work, for us, we believe that there is a balance. We’ve been around in Canada for 10 years now (this year marks our 10 year anniversary) and over the years we’ve been expanding our work here in Canada for all communities of all faiths.

We are actively assisting the victims of the Quebec mosque shootings. Last year, we mobilised our teams in Edmonton to help those affected by the Fort Mcmurray wildfires and we supported  the resettlement programme for Syrian refugees arriving in Canada. We’re also pursuing initiatives on ending violence against women and girls in Canada.

With everything that is going on in the world right now, we feel that as the largest Muslim NGO in Canada we have a responsibility to step up when we are needed for all Canadians – regardless of race, gender or religion.  I think that as more events change here in Canada, we will see more NGOs starting to venture into more domestic projects – while still maintaining its strong international presence. There is a balance and we are working to achieve that where we can be the voice of Canadian Muslims in Canada and around the world.


CCIC – Islamic Relief Canada is an important member of CCIC. What contribution do you hope to bring to CCIC and what value does CCIC bring to your work?

Zaid Al-Rawni – We are honoured to be a CCIC member. We hope that we can work together with its members and staff to achieve our goals of ending global poverty and promoting social justice and human dignity for all.

February 2017: SOCODEVI. CCIC interviews Richard Lacasse, Executive Directo








This month, CCIC met with Richard Lacasse, Executive Director at SOCODEVI, to discuss the meeting between SOCODEVI members and Minister Bibeau, the vision of SOCODEVI for the future and expectations after the International Assistance Review, among other things!

CCIC – Minister Bibeau has recently visited SOCODEVI and has met with 150 partners from your network of cooperatives and mutuals. What would you say was the main message of Minister Bibeau to your partners, and vice versa? 

Richard Lacasse – The Minister delivered a stimulating and optimistic message to our members, partners and guests, insisting on the need to put women at the heart of development initiatives in poverty reduction strategies, ensuring, in particular, their empowerment. She has also stressed the importance of strengthening the skills of women and men as an essential means to achieve this greater empowerment.

On that occasion, SOCODEVI also presented a short video, “10 reasons why co-operatives are a lever for the empowerment of women”, a document that is now available online on our communication platforms.  The meeting also helped to emphasize the natural role that cooperatives play in the promotion of inclusive economic growth, in the creation of fair partnerships and in capacity-building because of their DNA.


CCIC – SOCODEVI is a network of cooperative societies and mutuals. How would you describe this unique model and this approach to international cooperation? What is its main strength?

Richard Lacasse – The model of SOCODEVI has an extraordinary force because it can count on the experience and expertise of cooperatives and mutuals from all sectors in Quebec. These are organizations that make available to their partners in the South know-how, expertise and adapted tools based on actual experiences related to sustainable development and the implementation of solutions to promote inclusive economic growth and resolve serious poverty and inequality problems.

We must remember that nearly a billion people are part of co-operatives around the world, with more than a million cooperatives, and that they contribute to the creation of nearly 250 million jobs. Moreover, we should stress that the FAO acknowledges co-operatives as a tool to reduce hunger and poverty, and that the International Labor Office acknowledges co-operatives as a tool for job promotion and creation.


CCIC – SOCODEVI recently celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the years, you have conducted more than 400 projects and 650 technical assistance missions. What is your vision for the future of the organization? 

Richard Lacasse – SOCODEVI wants to excel and be recognized globally for its implementation of innovative and adapted solutions for the development of perennial cooperatives, mutuals or associations, which will provide quality services to their members and to their community, to enable them to become references in their environment in terms of social and economic performance, and to have an impact on the improvement of the living conditions of the populations.  An ambitious program, but we are convinced that we must strive to reduce inequalities and create opportunities to eliminate poverty.  As the slogan of the International Year of Cooperatives, declared by the United Nations in 2012, said: Co-operatives are businesses to build a better world.



CCIC – SOCODEVI participated in the International Assistance Review (IAR) in 2016. While there isn’t yet an official commitment, what do you expect from the government in terms of strengthening the community of CSOs working in international development and humanitarian aid? 

Richard Lacasse – The consultation document of the International Assistance Review stressed that “we must build on our comparative advantages and put in place more innovative programs and partnerships in order to obtain lasting results”.  One of the comparative advantages of Canada is the expertise of its recognized sectors of excellence, which must be put forward even more.  Canadian civil society organizations, which offer great expertise and who have a strong reputation around the world, are part of these comparative advantages of Canada.

The co-operatives in Canada are one of these sectors of excellence. They are regarded as world leaders in this regard and are part of Canadian values.  There is a real opportunity in the context of the International Assistance Review to further strengthen the partnership between the Government of Canada and its exceptional partners to contribute more effectively to the delivery of aid and development cooperation programs.


CCIC – SOCODEVI has been a member of CCIC since the fall of 2015. Why have you made the decision to join CCIC?

Richard Lacasse – It is important to have a strong voice to ensure that the development cooperation agenda is effectively promoted amongst the Canadian population, and with government officials in Canada in particular. We also think it is important to have a place of exchange, enrichment, practice-sharing and ideas to advance the cause of development.

January 2017: WaterAid Canada. CCIC interviews Nicole Hurtubise, Chief Executive Officer
Nursery school students in the village of Chandaka, Malawi, wash their hands with clean water before eating breakfast together. WaterAid helped this hillside community of 160 people drill a borehole in 2016.

This month, CCIC met with Nicole Hurtubise, Chief Executive Officer at WaterAid Canada, to discuss expectations after the International Assistance Review, key programs in 2017, innovation and many other things!

CCIC – WaterAid Canada actively participated in the 2016 International Assistance Review (IAR). Now that the consultation is complete, what is your hope and vision for a new Government of Canada International Assistance Policy? 

Nicole Hurtubise – Some 663 million people around the world are still without a clean source of drinking water, and 2.4 billion do not have access to basic toilets. The resulting illnesses kill nearly 900 children a day. The lost productivity costs many developing countries as much as 5 per cent of GDP each year – that is equal to the decline in many developed nations’ GDPs at the height of the 2008 economic crisis.

Mr. Trudeau has said that things can happen when we collaborate in pursuit of a larger goal. There are few things more essential to human survival than water. Without access to clean water, the world’s poorest people will stay poor. The evidence clearly shows that sustainable water, sanitation and hygiene are essential if we are to empower the world’s poorest and most vulnerable populations and help them reach their potential.

Global Goal 6 commits the global community to ensuring everyone, everywhere has access to water and sanitation by 2030. At a time when the world faces so many crises, these goals represent a real chance at creating a fairer, healthier, more sustainable world for the next generation. Nearly every single goal – ending poverty and hunger, improving health and education, reducing inequality – comes back to water. By building on Canada’s leadership in maternal newborn and child health and the rights of women and girls, Canada is in a position to lead by example and champion the human right to water, sanitation and hygiene at home and abroad.


CCIC – Given that we are one month into the New Year, what are you most looking forward to in 2017 for WaterAid Canada?

Nicole Hurtubise – Having access to water and toilets is transformative.  It opens doors to education, health, nutrition and to a better livelihood. Access to water and toilets offers women and girls so many more opportunities to contribute their fullest to their communities.

The good news is that for the first time in history, access to clean water for everyone everywhere is within our reach. Nine out of ten people now have access to safe, clean water to drink, cook, and clean with and more than six in ten of the world’s population now have access to a decent toilet. Every year, 78 million people turn on a tap or using a pump, and 69 million close the toilet door behind them for the very first time. As we begin 2017, we know we can change history one gesture at a time, and our goal of reaching everyone everywhere with clean water and a safe decent toilet is well within reach. I’m looking forward to working to continuing this incredible progress.


CCIC – Innovation has always been a key priority for international development and humanitarian assistance CSOs. We also saw innovation included as a key pillar for the IAR. Please tell us about one of WaterAid Canada’s innovative programs or partnerships. 

Nicole Hurtubise – Innovation – ‘being creative and agile, always learning, and prepared to take risks to accelerate change’ – is one of our core values and central to our Global Strategy. For example, we have a Water Innovators program at WaterAid. This employee development challenge gives businesses the opportunity to help WaterAid solve real problems. We provide participants with three challenges based on real water, sanitation and hygiene-promotion problems faced by the WaterAid team in Nicaragua where 800,000 people don’t have access to clean, safe water, and two million live without access to a decent toilet. Participants set personal learning objectives, work on an innovative solution that could be put into practise in our work in Nicaragua and share reflections as a team at the end of the process. This is just one way we are trying to implement opportunities that help to accelerate change.



CCIC – You estimate that without safe access to water and sanitation 315,000 children die every year. What would you like Canadians to know about this crisis? And what can be done about it? 

Nicole Hurtubise – In developing countries, each child has an average of ten attacks of diarrhea before the age of five. This is directly linked to a lack of safe water, adequate sanitation and good hygiene practices. It is linked with many other health problems too, including undernutrition, pneumonia, and parasites. At WaterAid, we aim to prioritize water, sanitation and hygiene in international and national health goals, policies and strategies, and to embed water, sanitation and hygiene projects in relevant health programs and interventions. Public health depends on safe water, sanitation and good hygiene. Without them, deadly outbreaks of preventable illnesses will continue, and the impact of infectious diseases will worsen around the world.

We want to reach everyone everywhere with clean, safe water. This means we consider the needs of children as well as adults when improving safe water and sanitation services. We make sure water points and toilets are accessible to children and improve facilities in schools so that they can continue learning. Children are quick to learn and can be effective ambassadors for good hygiene within their families and communities. We promote good hygiene through child-friendly activities such as puppet shows and plays, games and songs, and we help set up school hygiene clubs.


CCIC – WaterAid Canada is a relatively new CCIC member. Why did you make that decision to join CCIC?

Nicole Hurtubise – WaterAid Canada is a firm believer in CCIC’S mission to work globally to achieve sustainable human development, end global poverty and promote social justice and human dignity for all. We believe that, by being an active member, we can both contribute to strengthening CCIC as the voice of Canadian civil society organizations working in international development and elevate our own voice. We believe that water, sanitation and hygiene are and vital to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. Membership in CCIC gives WaterAid the opportunity to work with likeminded organizations to promote and strengthen the integration of water, sanitation and hygiene in international development programming.

November-December 2016: CASID. CCIC interviews Ian Smillie, President

This month, CCIC met with Ian Smillie, President of the Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), to discuss the unique role of CASID, the upcoming 2017 Conference and the new project between CASID and CCIC, among other things! CASID is CCIC’s first Associate Member.

CCIC – When was CASID founded, and to respond to which needs? 

Ian Smillie – The Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID), founded in the 1980s, is a national, bilingual, interdisciplinary and pluralistic association devoted to the promotion of new knowledge in the broad field of international development. CASID is a membership-based organization.  Roughly a quarter of our members are students, and another 25% are development practitioners.

To accomplish its mission to promote and support international development studies in Canada and abroad, CASID maintains a listserv to enhance communication and the sharing of information among interested and engaged IDS people worldwide. CASID organizes an annual conference and sponsors various regional events each year to share opinions, experiences and research findings, to enhance networking and communication in the IDS community, and to facilitate the emergence of new development researchers and practitioners.


CCIC – The field of international development has grown a lot in the past decade, with more and more universities and colleges offering programs. How easy or how difficult is it for graduate students to find work in their field?

Ian Smillie – International development is one of the most popular fields of study in Canada today. There are some two dozen IDS programs at Canadian universities and thousands of graduates every year. Many students are undergraduates but there are now several masters and three doctoral programs.

Development studies on a CV will help graduates find work in the field, but there are many more IDS graduates than there are jobs in the field. That is perhaps as it should be, with Africans, for example, now taking more of the development jobs in Africa than foreigners. One might ask a similar question about jobs for students of sociology, economics or history: how many history graduates will find work as historians? Many of those who persist will, but for those who do not, the importance of studying history is not diminished. That said, the majority if IDS students consider the IDS degrees as important to shaping world views that affect their career paths, even if they don’t end up doing what we think of as international development work. Many use IDS as an undergraduate degree to foster critical thinking and global understanding and then move on to specialized graduate programs in public health, law, business and other fields.


CCIC – The Canadian Journal for Development Studies is CASID’s flagship publication; who can submit articles and how is the journal disseminated? 

Ian Smillie – Founded in 1980, CJDS is the only Canadian scholarly journal devoted exclusively to the study of international development. It is published quarterly by CASID in partnership with Routledge. Membership in CASID includes a subscription to the CJDS. The CJDS is edited at Trent University and editorial administration is housed at Simon Fraser University. CJDS is the number three-rated interdisciplinary social science journal in Canadas. Print and electronic subscriptions are available and in 2015 there were 33,358 full-text downloads, important in themselves, and as an income-earner for the Journal. Anyone can submit an article to the Journal. Its aims, scope and peer review policy are available on the Journal website.


CCIC – Each year CASID organizes an Annual Conference; can you give us a glimpse of the 2017 edition, in terms of themes and speakers? 

Ian Smillie – CASID’s annual conference brings together scholars, practitioners and students interested in international development and global studies from across the country and around the world. Everyone is welcome. It will take place May 31-June 3, 2017 at Ryerson University in Toronto, in partnership with CCIC. This year’s theme is Scholar/Practitioner Collaborations:  Next Generation Leadership for the New Development Paradigm. The conference will showcase scholar/practitioner collaborations across a range of themes from migrant rights to extractive industries. There will be two keynote speakers (to be announced) and over 150 paper presentations on 28 panel themes. One of these will deal with “Career Paths and Employment Outcomes of IDS Graduates in Canada” – the result of a major study of 1900 IDS graduates, with support from alumni offices at 14 post-secondary institutions across the country.


CCIC – CCIC and CASID will soon be starting a joint project, which aims to enhance the collaboration between academia and practitioners. Can you tell us more about the project and the expected outcomes?

Ian Smillie – It is odd, despite the great interest in development studies, that there has been little crossover between the Canadian academic and practitioner worlds. The practical synergies that one sees in Britain and other countries are largely absent here. The CASID-CCIC project aims to remedy that over the next three years, getting practitioners into the classroom and academics out into the dirty-fingernail world of Canadian NGOs. This will be done through secondments, regional events and conferences, and specific programs of practical research that we hope will demonstrate what is possible when the two worlds interact on a level playing field.

October 2016: CFGB. CCIC interviews Jim Cornelius, Executive Director CFGB
Rupi Malto’ s family is part of a Foodgrains Bank-supported agriculture and livelihoods project in India. The project involves, among other things supporting families in growing kitchen gardens to improve consumption of nutrient-rich vegetables and overall health.

This month CCIC met with Jim Cornelius, Executive Director of the Canadian Foodgrains Bank (CFGB) and former chair of CCIC’s Board. We discussed the importance of partnerships and youth engagement, as well as current campaigns, among other things!

CCIC – Most of the work that CFGB does is based on partnerships: with your members, with Canadian farmers and with local partners. Can you tell us more about why these partnerships are central to your work? 

Jim Cornelius – The Canadian Foodgrains Bank is an association of 15 member churches or church-based agencies working together to end global hunger through the support of food assistance, nutrition, agriculture and livelihood programs. We also work to engage Canadians on global hunger issues and influence policy change. As an association, partnership is at the heart of how we work. The Foodgrains Bank was formed in 1983 as a vehicle for Canadian churches to work together in addressing global hunger. From the beginning it was important to identify and articulate the ‘value-added’ of the partnership. We regularly need to revisit and adjust the ‘value-added’ the partnership provides to ensure that it remains healthy and relevant.

Initially the ‘value-added’ of the partnership was the development of a joint mechanism to mobilize grain resources from Canadian farmers and make these resources available to our members to meet food needs around the world. The deep partnership that developed with the Canadian farming community and related businesses is still central to who we are. While we no longer ship Canadian grain, we continue to have a strong relationship with the Canadian agriculture community; providing farmers and agriculture businesses a vehicle to use their gifts and skills to make a difference in the world. We also established a long-standing funding partnership with the federal government; providing the government with a unique arrangement through which they could partner with the Canadian farming and agriculture community in the provision of food assistance, a partnership that is deeply valued by both parties.

The 15 member churches and agencies that make up the Canadian Foodgrains Bank each have well-established, long-term relationships with partner organizations in many countries and communities around the world. Most of our international program is delivered through this network. Because of large scope of the network we are often well placed to respond to food needs in many parts of the world as they arise and to work with and through local organizations and structures. The Foodgrains Bank also provides technical support to its members and their partners to strengthen the cost-effectiveness and quality of the programming being delivered. We also create opportunities for the members and partners to learn from each other. More recently, the Foodgrains Bank partnership facilitates the development of public engagement resources and materials available to all our members and their constituents, and we have developed a joint advocacy voice for the churches on global hunger issues.

The many partnership relationships we have is the reason we speak of ‘working together to end global hunger’.


CCIC – One of your current campaigns is the “Good Soil” campaign; what are the key asks and what has the campaign accomplished so far?

Jim Cornelius – The key ask of the Good Soil campaign is to persuade Global Affairs Canada to provide more and sustained support for small-scale farmers around the world. We’ve been advocating for aid investments in agriculture for many years, and were successful in helping persuade the previous government to make food security one of its priorities. We saw a significant increase in funding for agriculture following the global food crisis. However, that level of funding has been falling, so we launched our Good Soil campaign to help restore aid funding for agriculture to at least $500 million a year. The terrible irony is that the vast majority of people who are hungry in the world depend on agriculture in some form or other for the livelihoods. There is solid evidence that well designed investments and growth in the smallholder agriculture sector can make a significant contribution to reducing poverty and hunger, and can serve as a platform for achieving many of the Sustainable Development Goals.

With some special funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, we have been able to devote more resources to this policy work. We have been pulling together, summarizing and disseminating research making the case for investment in small-scale agriculture, building public support for the campaign resulting in over 12,000 Good Soil postcards from the public being sent to the Prime Minister’s Office, organizing and holding many meetings with MPs, and engaging in multiple conversations with departmental officials and the Minister’s office. We believe the campaign has been successful in making the case for Canada to invest more in smallholder agriculture and building support for such an investment. However, we also recognized that it was critical to build a broader supporting coalition around the goals of the Good Soil campaign.


CCIC – CFGB is also a member of the “Aid for Agriculture” campaign. How does that complement your own efforts? And what would success look like? 

Jim Cornelius – Drawing on the relationships that already exist through the Food Security Policy Group, we have helped establish a larger coalition calling for increased aid investments targeted at smallholders. This larger effort has been branded as the #Aid4Ag campaign. We see it as an extension of our Good Soil campaign that includes many more Canadian organizations. The Aid for Agriculture campaign is tailored to show how an increased investment in agriculture can contribute to many of Canada’s priorities and the Sustainable Development Goals. Success for us will be: 1) many and diverse Canadian organizations supporting this initiative (over 35 organizations are already supporting the campaign), 2) investment in smallholder agriculture will be prominently integrated into the aid framework that emerges from the international assistance review, and 3) aid funding for agriculture will be restored to at least $500 million a year.


CCIC – Many faith-based organizations face the reality of having aging supporters. How do you respond to the challenge of engaging youth? 

Jim Cornelius – We have made the strategic decision to engage youth through educators and youth leaders. With a small public engagement staff complement, we can only directly engage a limited number of youth. However, we can expand our reach significantly if we equip teachers and youth leaders who are on the frontlines of engaging youth. We develop and disseminate resources for teachers and youth leaders concerning global hunger and poverty. Some of these resources are designed for faith community contexts and other resources for more secular contexts. We often attend teacher conferences to engage with teachers and share our resources.

We have found there is an appetite for these types of resources in the school system and in the church community. Another way we are reaching out is through conducting learning tours for educators and youth leaders so they can see for themselves the realities of global hunger and what is being done at community levels to reduce and end hunger. This inspires them to integrate issues of global hunger into their teaching and programs.


CCIC – CFGB is an active member of CCIC; what do you value the most in your membership?  

Jim Cornelius – For us it is important to be an active part of the larger relief and development community in Canada. Achieving our mission is not something that can be done alone. There is always something that can be learned from others, and activities that can best be done together. We see CCIC as a convener of important conversations and as a vehicle for the relief and development community to speak with a collective voice on certain key issues.

September 2016: ICAD. CCIC interviews Robin Montgomery, Executive Director
Robin Montgomery delivers a joint Civil Society Organization Statement during the 38th meeting of the UNAIDS Programme Coordinating Board (PCB) in June 2016 in Geneva, Switzerland. The statement calls on Member States and UNAIDS to ensure sexual and reproductive health and rights are protected as we work towards ending HIV by 2030.

This month CCIC met with Robin Montgomery, Executive Director of the Interagency Coalition for AIDS and Development (ICAD) to discuss Canada’s Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria leadership, a new project with CARE Canada, the top 3 international development issues and much more!

CCIC – On September 16th Prime Minister Trudeau announced a total pledge of 12.9 billion USD at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal. What does this funding mean for HIV, TB and Malaria? And what more needs to happen? 

Robin Montgomery – The Fifth Replenishment Conference was a powerful show of Canadian leadership. Canada brought world leaders together to pledge almost $13 billion, allowing the Global Fund to continue its important work scaling up access to life-saving prevention, treatment, care and support services for the most vulnerable and marginalized around the world.

In many ways, this 5th replenishment of the Global Fund has been a litmus test — not only in terms of our global commitment to meeting the 2030 goals, and the UNAIDS Fast-Track targets more immediatelybut also to our global commitment in how we are going to get there. I’m meaning here, global endorsement of the policies and programming tenets that are advanced by the Global Fund and many of its partners. Policies and programs that see human rights, gender equity, robust and well-funded community systems, and key and vulnerable populations empowered as leaders and agents of change. These are the quintessential ingredients for global progress and are fundamental to meeting the ambitious global goals set before us.

Despite the positive outcome of this Conference, we see this as just the beginning with much more needing to happen. We’re calling on Canada and the world to recall that the $13 billion replenishment target is but the floor, and not the ceiling. Continued resource mobilization is a pressing priority.  The global resource gap remains significant if we are to reach our collective targets for AIDS, TB and malaria. And funding is not all that is required to meet the global goals—we need political will, we need a commitment to having key populations at the forefront of the response, and we need a response that is guided by human rights. Canada has demonstrated impressive leadership in mobilizing partners around this conference and around these pressing issues, but much more is needed here at home in Canada and in communities abroad.


CCIC – We understand that you will soon be launching a new program with CARE Canada ‘SANI: the Southern Africa Nutrition Initiative’. Could you tell us a little bit about this exciting new initiative?

Robin Montgomery – CARE Canada is leading the Southern African Nutrition Initiative (SANI), and ICAD is excited to be partnering on this project, along with CUSO International and McGill Institute for Food Security. SANI is a four-year project, funded by Global Affairs Canada, aimed at improving the nutrition of women of reproductive age (15-49 years) and children under five years old in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.

Within the SANI project, ICAD is leading a capacity-building training and twinning initiative that will strengthen the capacity of civil society organizations in Canada, Malawi and Zambia to address the intersections between gender, nutrition, food security, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV. ICAD has a long history of leading programmes that contribute to building strong, diverse civil society and community responses. Programs, such as SANI, allow us to embrace and further the sharing of knowledge, capacity, lessons learned and best practice approaches across partners in different sectors, geographies, countries and communities. We are really looking forward to delving back into twinning and focusing on the linkages of these critical issues.


CCIC – The International Youth Internship Program (IYIP) is designed to provide Canadian post-secondary students with professional experience, skills and knowledge through international development work. ICAD is a long-standing IYIP partner. Why is this program important to ICAD and your partners? 

Robin Montgomery – ICAD has been sending interns overseas through IYIP for about 10 years now. ICAD has always delivered IYIP in partnership with our Canadian members and it’s been an incredibly valuable opportunity for many reasons. Through the internship program, ICAD and its members have been able to develop and strengthen partnerships with organizations in the South that are doing similar work to us. The organizations we work with have benefitted from the many cohorts of talented youth interns they have hosted. And ICAD and its members have been able to support youth to become engaged globally and to understand HIV, global health and international development from the organizations working at the frontlines of the epidemic.


CCIC – 2017 is an important moment for Canada and Canadians as we celebrate 150 years as a country. It also provides a unique opportunity to raise awareness amongst Canadians of Canada’s global contributions and our international development and humanitarian efforts. What are the top three issues or messages you would like to share with Canadians? 

Robin Montgomery – There are three key issues that are top of mind for ICAD right now. One is Canada’s role in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), both in terms of setting and reaching targets domestically, and in contributing to international efforts to meet the SDGs. Canada’s international contributions require that cuts to ODA are immediately reversed and that a plan is put in place to reach our 0.7 % target. In order to meet the HIV and TB targets, Canada really needs to be addressing HIV and TB as a cross-cutting issue across other SDGs as being both a leading cause and a consequence of poverty. This requires the fostering of innovative cross-sectoral partnerships and evidence-based action that supports and builds the resilience of communities and community systems across Canada and globally.

Another critical issue in terms of Canada’s contributions to international development and the HIV response is gender equity. We welcome Canada’s renewed focus on sexual and reproductive health and rights and see an opportunity and obligation for Canada to show leadership in setting a truly transformative agenda when it comes to gender. This agenda needs to look at ways of meaningfully engaging men, and needs to focus in on particularly vulnerable groups including adolescent and young women and transgender men and women.

Finally, for all of this to happen, we need a robust and well-resourced civil society response. We encourage Canadians to be a part of advocacy efforts to ensure this is a reality. Communities are at the forefront of the progress being made globally and they need to be supported to continue this work.


CCIC – ICAD is a longstanding and engaged CCIC member. Can you share one membership highlight from the past year?  

Robin Montgomery – There have been many highlights over the years. One was in November 2015, when ICAD joined with CCIC to present to its membership the experience of moving to a virtual office. We really appreciate the opportunity to reflect on and share our own transition to a virtual model, and we were able to learn a lot from CCIC and other presenters and participants.

With the dramatically shifting landscape for civil society organizations over the past decade, the sector has really started to explore different and innovative ways of working, both in terms of internal operations and collaborative models with partners externally. Having the opportunity to discuss ICAD’s move with colleagues in the development field was really valuable. Since we transitioned to a virtual office environment 2 years ago, there have been a lot of learnings and shifting in our ways of doing things to ensure that we expand our programming and continue to deliver high-quality results. We are eager to share our perspective and lessons learned with others who might be considering a similar approach.

July-August 2016: CCIC interviews Jacqui Wasacase, Executive Director, SCIC

This month CCIC met with Jacqui Wasacase, Executive Director of the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) to discuss the recent funding cut by the government of Saskatchewan and its impacts on SCIC, and the #LookDeeper campaign, among others!

CCIC – CCIC was very disappointed to learn that as part of its recent budget cut, the government of Saskatchewan had ended a 42 year partnership with the Saskatchewan Council for International Cooperation (SCIC) and the Matching Grants in Aid Program.  Can you tell us about the impacts of this decision? 

Jacqui Wasacase The Matching Grants in Aid Program (MGAP) was founded as a partnership between Saskatchewan citizens and the Provincial Government to leverage more funds for global cooperation, justice and peace. Originally created as a dollar-for-dollar grant matching program, the MGAP has been administered by SCIC since 1974 when a resolution to fund humanitarian, international cooperation, public education, and global poverty reduction programs on behalf of Saskatchewan people was unanimously agreed to by all parties in the Legislature.

Projects that have been funded through the program range from maternal health and food security, to co-operative business development, teacher training, children’s rights, emergency response, and more. SCIC’s members include leaders in the field such as Oxfam, Save the Children, as well as the relief and development programs of major churches – many of which run programs in Canada as well as internationally – such as Canadian Lutheran World Relief, Mennonite Central Committee Canada, and Presbyterian World Service & Development.

The real impact of the cuts is already being felt by SCIC member organizations and their international partners, who annually count on the matching fund to reach more people in need. For example, a current application to respond to flooding caused by Cyclone Roanu in Sri Lanka, which has affected more than 300,000 people, will not be funded as a direct result of the cuts. “For 42 years our members have been doing the difficult work of long-term, sustainable community development – the type of work which is often overlooked because it happens when the cameras turn away,” said André Magnan, SCIC’s President. The cuts will be felt within the SCIC office as well, with substantial cuts to staffing and office operations being decreased to 4 days a week starting this fall.


CCIC – The #LookDeeper campaign takes an in-depth examination of issues such as hunger, health, education and conflict. What is this campaign hoping to achieve? And how can people get involved?

Jacqui Wasacase – The goal of our #LookDeeper campaign is to engage ordinary citizens in effective sustainable development by using the arts and creative messaging. The campaign invites people to consider the root causes of these four major global challenges, in order to change the public perception of international development from a charity-based model, towards a justice-based perspective.

Embarking on new territory, this ambitious and creative campaign uses commercial radio advertising outlets to share poetry carrying messages of justice and solidarity that are not heard on mainstream media. Through the creation of these poetic radio ads, our goal is to connect people on a human level, regardless of personal politics, to give voice to the issues and to demonstrate that being an active global citizen means working for human rights, equality, partnerships, and ecological resilience.

The campaign was designed to be accessible to people who don’t have backgrounds in international development, while at the same time not oversimplifying the issues, and providing multiple avenues for people to engage at a level appropriate to them. Citizens can simply use the website to listen to the radio ads, explore the underlying causes of global health, conflict, education, and food security challenges, and read stories of sustainable solutions. But, there are also tools to continue learning and take small personal actions, including taking a pledge to LookDeeper, and to engage others through social media and other avenues. 

CCIC – Why must a human-rights based approach be at the core of Canada’s global cooperation policies and programming? How is this linked to Global Affairs Canada’s recent International Assistance Review?

Jacqui Wasacase – Human rights are not realized consistently the world over. Men, women and children around the world face human rights abuses every day. In this increasingly globalized world economy it is vital that Canada not be complicit in the wide spread human rights abuses that are occurring, and further act as a leader in advocating for change, making principled decisions in terms of aid, trade and commerce.

The recent International Assistance Review initiated by Global Affairs Canada gave agencies and individuals involved with international aid work to provide feedback and suggestions on government policies and priorities moving forward. In consultation with our members, many concerns and suggestions were raised relating to human rights.
For example issues related to food security are of significant concern to many of our members. The rights of people to have access to land, water, seeds and other resources to sustainably feed themselves was a major theme in our discussion. Along with calling on the government of Canada to be a leader in principled business and trade deals, and advocating for environmental and social safeguards against abuses by Canadian companies operating abroad. Our actions and investments here impact the lives of others around the world. From environmental and labour exploitation to state armament, it is vital we move forward with open eyes and a clear national conscience. 

CCIC – In 2016, the Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program embarked on a speaking tour in Saskatchewan, inspiring youth to become leaders in their local and global communities.  Why is it important for youth to see themselves as global citizens?

Jacqui Wasacase – In this globalized world, the challenges that face humanity are increasingly global in scope and require global solutions. In order to move humanity towards sustainable, peaceful solutions, SCIC believes in supporting youth in becoming critically informed, motivated, globally competent citizens with social problem solving skills and a willingness to challenge misinformation and government inaction.

The Global Citizen Youth Leadership Program is grounded in a belief in supporting students to develop a critical awareness of ourselves and our global identities. By exploring how power and privilege shape our world, learning how local and global issues are connected, and through experiencing positive relationships across cultural and geographical differences, the youth leaders emerge more prepared to engage in difficult conversations and the creative problem-solving that is needed to address these global challenges.


CCIC – SCIC is a longstanding and engaged CCIC member. Can you share one membership highlight from the past year?  

Jacqui Wasacase – SCIC had the opportunity to send Rosemary MCallum, a long standing board member to the CCIC Women Leaders Forum this past fall. Rosemary returned from the forum with lessons and experience to share with the rest of the organisation. Rosemary summarised her experience as, “…equal parts inspiration, valuable information, and practical skill-building.”  It was a rewarding opportunity that will have lasting impact.  We are pleased that CCIC has prioritised and supported this type of opportunity for women leaders, and we look forward to participating in future events like this!

May-June 2016: SUCO. CCIC interviews Richard Veenstra, Executive Director

This month CCIC met with the Executive Director of SUCO, Richard Veenstra. SUCO (which means Solidarity, Union and Cooperation) is a Montréal-based NGO that just celebrated its 55th anniversary. We discussed SUCO’s focus on agro-environment and the volunteer sending program, among others!

CCIC – SUCO is celebrating this month 55 years of engagement in international development. Can you point us to some key moments of your history, and reasons for the sustainability of your organization over the years?

Richard Veenstra Over 55 years, there have been a lot of key moments.  SUCO volunteers were among the first in many former British and French colonies in the 60s. They worked alongside liberation movements in southern Africa in the 70s and labour movements in Latin America through to the 80s.  Our participation in these movements formed our identity in that era.

Today, our identity is more about empowerment.  It’s less about the struggle for democracy than the strategy to keep it alive.  How will citizens play the role that a democracy needs them to play?  How will civil society foster and nourish its own institutions to represent citizens’ needs?  Local development focuses on empowerment and asks « What can we do with what we have? ».  When SUCO volunteers alongside their Malian partners were asking in 1991 “How do we make this democracy work?” or alongside Nicaraguan partners in 1994 asking “How do we protect ourselves from El Niño?” they were laying the groundwork for what we do now.  I think those are the key moments that set us on the path to where we are now.

I think it has been our connection with the public, especially with our volunteers, that has allowed us to survive and follow our mission for 55 years.  At the outset, SUCO was completely a volunteer-driven initiative in Canadian universities.  Once we got rolling, the field experience of returned volunteers rapidly permeated our organisational culture.  Their commitment even saved us for a few years in the 80s when we were without government funding. Being close to volunteers, and the close relationship between volunteers and populations overseas, I think that’s what keeps us alive and gives us our soul.


CCIC – SUCO is one of the Canadian Volunteer Sending Organizations. What makes volunteering still relevant 2016?

Richard Veenstra – Development practice has changed a lot, obviously, over the last 55 years.  SUCO, for example, has moved from local technical assistance to a “solidarity in struggling for social justice” model to a capacity building model.  I think that about 10 years ago, the Canadian government was ready to support volunteering of a different nature, moving away from a “North developing the South” model to a “We’re all in this together” model.  The last government moved away from that back to the more traditional North-South model, but today’s reality is more complex than that.

Minister Bibeau has framed the present actual consultation process on Canadian development assistance around Canadian values, including compassion, respect for human rights and generosity.  But what about cooperation? Our partners tell us that Canadians are great collaborators, so our development programme should put forth those values and skills, and look forward towards a world full of examples of initiatives to which our nation has contributed with the full participation of the people most concerned. The world has just adopted a development plan for itself, the 2030 Agenda, and has committed to halt climate change.  It sends the message, for the first time ever, that we’re all in this together.  So with Canada’s reputation as a convenor, there’s an important role we can play.

Canadian volunteers exemplify that role.  They come with technical and professional skills and an open mind. They’re not just technical trainers. Their mandate is not to show people how it’s done, but rather to work with people and be part of a process to find solutions to problems and help move things forward.  Volunteers’ roles today are more fluid: they are still trainers and advisors, but also motivators, facilitators, connectors, all of that, too. I think that with the general acknowledgement that our problems are global, Canadian volunteering is more pertinent than ever.


CCIC – Over the years, SUCO has developed an expertise in sustainable agriculture (with an agro- environmental approach). What is the singularity of this approach? And can you tell us about a project that you are particularly proud of?

Richard Veenstra – About 20 years ago, very much in a post-Rio Summit world, one of SUCO’s volunteers, in collaboration with Nicaraguan partners, technicians and farmers, began to develop some techniques and training tools in sustainable farm management.  Water management and soil erosion have long been two of the big challenges farmers face there, and these challenges are just exacerbated by El Niño, and now El Niña, and by the then-recent trend of using harmful chemical fertilizers and pesticides instead of other techniques. So by taking a look back in time, asking people what their grandparents used to do before chemical inputs became ubiquitous, and also looking to more recent developments stemming from the emerging interest in organic farming, new, environmentally sustainable techniques were developed and older ones were modernized.  The tools were embodied in a set of 21 manuals called El machete verde.  In the early 2000s we developed a similar set of tools with Haitian partners called the Djakout peyizan.  But aside from the tools, which are designed to suit the local culture and agriculture and even the level of literacy, with lots of illustrations and an accessible level of Spanish or Créole, the accompaniment is very much driven by the principles of adult education, focussing on participation and concrete experience.  That’s probably the key to the success we’ve had.
In Nicaragua, we are currently in the final year of a six-year project called PROGA-JOVENES.  Working with vocational training institutes and the Ministry of Education, we developed a curriculum in sustainable farm management and offered the program to young people in northern Nicaragua.  For the first time, the Ministry was offering post-secondary, certificate-track training to youths who had not completed secondary school education.  In fact, half of the graduates had not even gone past primary school!  Young people were “dropping-in”, so to speak.  Another item of note, the program was decentralized, and provided accompaniment on family farms, so rather than leaving the farm to learn how to farm, which as contradictory as that sounds is how most formal agricultural training happens, young people could stay on the farm, and immediately apply what they’d learned.  So what happened here is that, in addition to curbing rural exodus, the youths’ parents were learning the new techniques from their sons and daughters. Literally, thousands of family farms have benefitted from the program in addition to the 2000 plus young men and women (44%) who were trained.  After graduation, young people are offered the chance to have technical and financial support for starting a business related to their production, so now the North-Nicaraguan countryside has markets and beehives and chicken farms and vinegar plants and other activities, all local, all youth driven, on a totally different scale. 

CCIC – SUCO recently launched a new exchange program for entrepreneurs, called “B2B in the Field”. Who is the target audience for this program and what are the expected outcomes?

Richard Veenstra – This program was designed for two reasons.  We wanted to find a way to motivate youths to consider small rural business as an option for their future, or even to approach their family farm as a business. Also, we wanted to engage with diaspora communities in Canada and leverage their skills and understanding of local realities to the benefit of these youths.  So we designed this program, based on short-term mandates overseas for entrepreneurs from the diaspora.  We reached out to groups here in Montreal such as the Chambre de commerce latino-américaine du Québec and the Regroupement general des Sénégalais du Canada to see their interest in involving their members, and the response was immediate and positive.

After consulting our overseas partners about their specific needs, the program took on a more technical bias.  So rather than being mostly motivators, our “B2B in the Field” volunteers are also technical advisors on restaurant management, organic farming, beekeeping etc. The program is still new, but what we’ve seen after the first two mandates, is a strong capacity-building focus, with new practices being adopted right away, as well as the possibility of maintaining the links over time, through distance-mentoring or repeat mandates.


CCIC – Global Affairs Canada recently launch an international assistance policy review process; what are the top three priorities or recommendations that SUCO will be formulating for the consultations? 

Richard Veenstra – First of all, the focus of climate change measures for developing countries should be on adaptation, rather than on mitigation.  Mitigation of climate change and its effects—saving the planet, as some would put it–is not primarily the responsibility of developing countries. The 20 countries that account for 80% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, developed and emerging economies with big populations, will play the decisive role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to an acceptable level.  Developing countries need to find and exploit adaptive strategies that will save lives now while contributing to an economic, environmental and demographic dynamic that is sustainable and will therefore contribute to mitigation.  The problem is that the discourse on mitigation is being reduced to renewable energies, which are obviously of utmost importance, but shouldn’t replace a focus on more sustainable dynamics.
This leads naturally to a focus on local development, my second recommendation. Western economies have developed a huge reliance on an interconnected global economy, and we all need to refocus on local and regional economic dynamics that cultivate the relationship people have with their local community and environment, that delve into an appreciation of that, and view international elements contributions as a complement to what we have locally rather than the essence of our consumption patterns. This implies an important focus on agriculture for local consumption, family farms, not to the exclusion of export products, but striking a sustainable balance.

My third recommendation is to have a deeper understanding of how development results can be planned and attained.  Over recent years, the perceived need to focus our efforts, to make the best use of limited resources has resulted in planning and management models that actually limit the results we attain with the limited resources we use.  This has been attained through the silo effect of the dominant logic model, and by the dictation of frankly quite unambitious intermediate results for the sake of greater control over the mechanics of reporting.  This is just so wrong.  It is clearly in everyone’s best interest to aim high for profound, sustainable results, not to aim low in order to guarantee successful reporting.  Limiting the activities in a project and establishing coherence at the activity level, that makes sense, and that is where the financial gains are.  But not even attempting to realise the potential of those activities in terms of various results amounts to wasting resources.  For example, a vocational training program for young people will have impact on employment prospects, but also on poverty, on environmental sustainability if the fields are chosen that way, on gender relations, on women’s economic empowerment, on literacy.  Small, strategic decisions and investments in a simple project can have huge impact on the breadth of results it can attain.  Current program design discourages that systematically.  The approach I’m suggesting is consistent with the way CIDA trained NGOs in results-based management over 15 years ago, and is very consistent with the UN’s take on the SDGs right now.


CCIC – Two years ago, SUCO became a member of CCIC; why is it important for the organization to be part of CCIC? 

Richard Veenstra – CCIC plays a very important role on different levels.  In good and not so good conditions, CCIC has been able to establish and maintain a constructive dialogue with our federal government for years, and is a constant source of stimulation by maintaining a scan of our political environment both nationally and internationally.  SUCO could not invest in all those areas of analysis which are so vitally important to us, so we focus mostly on the specific areas related to our programming.  As a CCIC member, we access those analyses and can participate in a constructive dialogue with the government.  The annual fees seem expensive at first, but actually, they come to about 7 weeks of salary.  We couldn’t hire someone to do that work in so little time, so it’s a very good deal.

April 2016: Unifor. CCIC interviews Mohamad Alsadi, Director, Human Rights and International Department

This month CCIC met with Mohamad Alsadi, Director, Human Rights and International Department at Unifor to discuss May Day, Unifor’s social justice fund, the #1 priority for the Canadian government and much more…

CCIC – May 1st is May Day, or ‘International Workers’ Day’. Why should Canadians care about May Day and what link is there with international development and humanitarian assistance?

Mohamad Alsadi May Day is international workers day and its roots are in North America around the fight for the 8 hour day.  There are a great many special days on our modern calendars but there is no substitute for May Day that celebrates both worker rights and international solidarity.  The eight hour day movement that gave rise to May Day was very strong in both the USA and Canada in the late 19th Century.  A peaceful demonstration in Chicago’s Haymarket Square in support of workers on strike for an eight hour day was brutally suppressed by police on May 4, 1894.  The International Workingmen’s Association declared May 1 to be “international workers day” in all countries to show their solidarity with the workers of North America, and every year since millions of working people around the world have marched in support of worker rights.  We could not be happier that CCIC and Flash are helping to keep the meaning of May Day alive for a new generation of workers.


CCIC – Unifor’s Social Justice Fund has supported more than 1,110 projects in over 43 countries. Can you tell us about one current project, of which you are particular proud and excited.

Mohamad Alsadi – It is estimated that more than 100,000 people globally are employed in the shipbreaking sector, mostly in Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, China and Turkey. Once highly mechanized, today shipbreaking is very dangerous and grueling work. Workers dismantle the giant sea vessels, so the steel can be re-sold and re-purposed. In Bangladesh, large shipbreaking yards line the coast of the Bay of Bengal.

In Bangladesh, where health and safety and environmental regulations are lax and it is difficult to find paid employment, workers, including children, are frequently badly injured or killed on the job. Workers lack adequate health and safety protections and can be exposed to toxic substances, which are also released into the water from the shoreline.

The Unifor Social Justice Fund has partnered with the Bangladesh Occupational Safety, Health and Environment Foundation (OSHE) to help set up a medical clinic in the city of Sitakunda in the Chittagong district in an effort to help provide much-needed medical services to injured workers. OSHE regularly hosts special health care seminars for union leaders and members and provides basic information about disease prevention in the workplace. The Foundation also raises awareness by providing educational materials about health and safety at work. In addition, OSHE supports and assists the families of deceased members.

The clinic runs study circles where workers can learn about basic occupational health and safety rights, as well as how to apply existing labour laws. These classes teach workers their rights, how to enforce them, and how to encourage others to do the same. With the necessary tools of education and health and safety protections, workers are empowering themselves in the sector.

In one year, the clinic received more than 1,250 workers and their families. The clinic provided services including but not limited to basic health care, special physical therapy, pain relief and referral to specialists. There are four people working at the clinic: a doctor, a nurse, a part time accountant and executive director.


CCIC – Why is it important for labour groups, such as UNIFOR to be part of international cooperation and how would you describe this unique contribution?

Mohamad Alsadi – The trade union movement from its inception has been internationalist in its outlook, and Unifor’s Social Justice Fund is an extension of our internationalism.

Of course the SJF supports development goals in many countries with our partner organizations.  But in our modern era of “globalization” international solidarity between workers is more relevant than ever.  We all understand the downward pressure on wages and living standards for workers in Canada as a result of globalized trade and the free movement of capital across borders.  Unifor sees our international cooperation with workers in developing countries not as charity but mutual solidarity to fight for fair trade rules and recognition of worker rights in all countries. 

We need to remember that solidarity is always returned.  And when Canadian workers face difficult struggles, especially in industries where we export manufactured goods and commodity products, we can count on worker organizations from Germany to Brazil to South Africa to Mexico to  respond to our calls for support.   I assure you this has many times had a meaningful impact from which Canadian workers have benefited.


CCIC – In your opinion, what is the top issue that Global Affairs Canada and the Canadian government need to address in 2016 related to international cooperation?

Mohamad Alsadi – Canada should revisit the negative changes of the past decade to our international development policies.  Canada’s international development commitments should rise significantly in relation to our GDP, and we should respond to the needs of people in the developing world on a humanitarian basis rather than as an extension of Canada’s trade and commercial policies. 

Global priorities for international cooperation today must of course emphasize refugee settlement, global health emergencies and natural disasters, which unfortunately continue to affect millions of people in many regions of the world, while only some of these crisis seem to attract the global attention and resources they deserve.

The right to decent work is a growing international issue that Unifor and the global labour movement is advancing with our partners in the development community.  We believe that the recognition of worker rights can be one of the major practical instruments to promote sustainable economic development and a fairer distribution of wealth.


CCIC – What does Unifor value most about its CCIC membership? 

Mohamad Alsadi – The CCIC has done a great job of bringing the progressive development community in Canada together.  The difficult period of the past decade that we are all survivors of has shown the importance of our network and mutual support.  Working together with our CCIC friends and member organizations we have an opportunity now to help shape a more progressive Canadian international development policy and a bigger role for the NGOs that make real international solidarity happen.  If we did not have CCIC, we simply would have to invent it.

March 2016: Canadian Red Cross. CCIC interviews Susan Johnson, Deputy Secretary General and Senior Vice President

This month CCIC met with Susan Johnson, Deputy Secretary General and Senior Vice President at Canadian Red Cross to discuss the Syrian conflict, the current Canadian Red Cross Faces of Humanity Campaign, the SDGs and the World Humanitarian Summit and much more…

CCIC – The Syrian conflict is now in its fifth year and the world is experiencing one of the greatest refugee crises in modern history. How is the Canadian Red Cross responding, and what more is needed?

Susan Johnson Red Cross colleagues recently returned from Syria and neighboring countries where millions of people are still struggling to survive and find safety for their families. They witnessed first-hand people’s terrible desperation as they travelled through teeming refugee camps, conflict zones and destroyed neighbourhoods. Sadly, there is no end in sight for this crisis, and the need is enormous.

Since the start of the conflict, aid workers with the Red Cross and its sister societies, like the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, have been on the ground risking their own lives to help people in besieged communities, and along refugees’ treacherous journeys to Europe, Canada and elsewhere. The need for shelter, medical care, food and other support is immense and ongoing. But humanitarian aid is only a temporary solution.  Quite simply, this situation must end. Enough is enough. We must put the needs of suffering people first, so political answers can follow.

In addition to ongoing support being provided in Syria and neighbouring countries, the Red Cross has been actively providing life-saving assistance to Syrian refugees arriving here in Canada. Since early December, Red Cross staff and volunteers, working alongside all levels of government, have helped provide a warm welcome to individuals and families by offering comfort, hope and a sense of security.


CCIC – Can you tell us about the current Canadian Red Cross Faces of Humanity Campaign?

Susan Johnson – Each year, more than 200 million people are impacted by disasters and emergencies around the world, and Canadian humanitarians regularly help the most vulnerable people caught in these crises. The Faces of Humanity campaign is highlighting the lifesaving assistance offered by Canadian doctors, nurses, technicians, administrators and other professionals.  At numerous events across the country, Canadian Red Cross aid workers are sharing their personal stories about fighting Ebola in West Africa, responding to the devastating earthquake in Nepal, or supporting refugees fleeing war in Syria. The campaign, supported by the government of Canada, aims to engage and inform Canadians about a range of humanitarian issues.


CCIC – Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have the concept of universality at its core. Given the Canadian Red Cross’ longstanding national and international work, what are the opportunities and challenges of realising the universal nature of the SDGs?

Susan Johnson – Canadian Red Cross volunteers respond to disasters every day of the year. For example, they offer emergency assistance to people in Canada who lose their homes to fire, and on large scale, they help communities devastated by tornados, floods, earthquakes and health emergencies. We know there are many risks that impact families in Canada and around the world. We know there is a lot to be done, at all levels, to mitigate these risks.  From this perspective, I would say the SDGs offer a significant opportunity for Canada to work across all government departments and with civil society groups to make smart investments in community resilience and preparedness for disasters, as well as in other sectors, such as water and sanitation, and community health.


CCIC – In May 2016, the world will come together in Istanbul for the first ever World Humanitarian Summit. In your opinion what is needed before and during the Summit to ensure its success?

Susan Johnson – The WHS process has been remarkable for its broad engagement of people from governments, the UN system, the Red Cross Movement and many aspects of civil society.  It is no surprise the final reports, which frame the WHS event, capture a wide range of issues.  A few points stand out for the Red Cross. We are pleased to see the call for respect of international humanitarian law since much of the misery experienced by people caught in conflict arises from deliberate attacks on civilians and obstruction of humanitarian assistance. As well, we appreciate increased recognition that local organizations should be supported and strengthened in a response, not replaced by international aid organizations.

There are, on the other hand, some areas of concern for the Red Cross.  We hope Summit governments will clarify and confirm that they do understand key distinctions between armed conflict and natural disasters and the need to support neutral, independent, impartial humanitarian action, particularly in conflict settings.  We have also noted the final report is very U.N.-centric, despite the range of voices engaged in the lead-up to the Summit. We hope governments at the Summit will confirm that while they appreciate the considerable capacity of the U.N. system, they also recognize its limits, and the valuable diversity of today’s humanitarian organizations.

February 2016: Oxfam Quebec. CCIC interviews Denise Byrnes, Executive Director

This month CCIC met with Denise Byrnes, Executive Director at Oxfam-Québec to discuss women’s rights, the new volunteer sending program, why Canadians should care about tax havens and much more…!


CCIC – March 8th is International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is Pledge for Parity, celebrating and championing the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Why is it important to focus on gender parity in 2016?

Denise Byrnes Because it’s 2016!  Humour aside, achieving gender equality is key if we want to realise the sustainable development goals and build equitable societies.  We know that women continue to do the bulk of unpaid work, earn lower salaries for the same work as men,  and in many countries, are concentrated in the informal sector, with little security and poor wages.  This leaves many women unable to pay for adequate health care for themselves or their children or to send their children to school.  This is a cycle that perpetuates poverty from one generation to another.   How can a society move forward economically and socially if it leaves half its population behind?  We know that when women have decent pay and access to adequate social services, they and their children can achieve their full potential and break free from this cycle.   Unfortunately, even in Canada, women continue to face strong barriers when it comes to gender equality, both in the private and public spheres.  Gender-based violence, discrimination and poverty continue to limit equality. The reality is that women continue to make up the bulk of the world’s poor so our work is far from over!


CCIC – Women’s rights and gender equality is at the core of Oxfam-Quebec’s mandate and programming. Please tell us about a recent or current project related to women’s rights or gender equality for which you are particular proud.

Denise Byrnes We recently ended a five year project in women’s rights and economic empowerment across four countries in the Middle East.  The project brought together women’s organisations from Jordan, Palestine, Lebanon and Tunisia to form a network for women’s empowerment.  Each group brought a particular expertise to the table: financial and non-financial support services for women, marketing and product promotion, advocacy and campaigns and research.  Building the network was a big challenge, but the end result was amazing!  Together, the partners were able to build and develop women’s businesses from the micro level to small and medium sized enterprise and organise trips to countries in the region to market products. They organised trade fairs and one business woman from Palestine even signed a procurement contract with a company in Montreal for her organic essential oils.  They produced research in four languages that shed light on the barriers to the development of women’s business in the region and ran a very successful campaign on changing inheritance laws that discriminate against women.  In Palestine, they put pressure on the Chamber of commerce to create services that were adapted to women, including reduced fees and access to credit for micro businesses.  I met some really amazing and strong women through this project.


CCIC – Oxfam Quebec has a long history of youth programming and volunteer sending. Please tell us about your new Programme ACCÈS INNOVATION (PAI) (which focuses on building capacities for social and economic advancement through innovation) and why young Canadians should get involved.

Denise Byrnes – Oxfam-Québec has indeed been working with youth both here in Québec, and overseas for many years.  We have recently adopted a new strategic plan, and we have decided to focus all our programming on women and youth.  Our new volunteer program is focused on building the capacity of our partner organisations to affect change in 12 countries.  Our volunteer technical advisors work in several key areas: combatting violence against women and women’s economic empowerment, youth empowerment and active citizenship, food security and building resilience of communities to better face climate change and disasters.   We will support groups and communities to claim their rights and hold their governments to account. In Québec, our presence in schools and on campuses will continue to promote young people’s involvement and understanding of development issues. Oxfam-Québec has created an alliance with others including Amnesty International and the YMCA, called the “Engagement journey”, which offers collectively a series of engagement opportunities for high school students and culminates with a recognition as a member of the group “Engaged youth for change”. We are very excited about this partnership.  Our campaign on inequality will continue to mobilise students in CEGEPs and universities, in particular on the issue of tax havens and fair taxation. Our petition has already collected thousands of signatures.


CCIC – Oxfam Quebec’s current campaign ‘Mettons fin à l’ère des paradis fiscaux’ highlights the relationship between tax havens and inequality. What does this campaign aim to achieve? And why should Canadians care about this issue?

Denise Byrnes – Our campaign wants to raise the volume on how tax havens and an unfair tax system contribute to increasing inequality.  One year ago, Oxfam reported that the wealthiest 80 people in the world owned as much wealth as the poorest half of humanity.  One year later, they are only 62!  Concentration of wealth is increasing rapidly, increasing the gap between rich and poor.   At the same time, the use of tax havens and loopholes allow corporations and individuals to avoid paying their fair share of taxes.  The billions that are sitting in tax havens deprive governments of important revenues to provide universal public services like education and health to their citizens.  This loss of revenue is fueling inequality as governments make cuts in health and education budgets, claiming that funds are insufficient to provide for all.  Recent research has demonstrated that if we stop revenue flows to tax havens, the money coming to African governments would be sufficient to hire enough teachers to ensure education for all African children.  Can you imagine the impact of that for development?  Canadians should care because development outcomes and poverty reduction have positive impacts for everyone.  The refugee crisis we are seeing in Europe, for example, is directly linked to people fleeing poverty and conflict. People are looking for a better life.  Here in Canada, we are seeing the same trend – cuts to health and education and erosion of our basic services, so the use of tax havens, and the existence of a tax system that allows the wealthiest to avoid paying their fair share, concern us all.


CCIC – Oxfam-Québec is a very engaged and active CCIC member. Why is CCIC membership important to your organization’s work? 

Denise Byrnes – We have been a member of CCIC for decades, and we continued to support CCIC through the difficult period when they lost all their government funding. Although it was a challenge for us to increase our contribution significantly, we do not regret stepping up to the plate.  It has been a long journey, but Oxfam-Québec is convinced that we need a collective voice for the sector to advance certain issues.  CCIC has a small team but they are able to accomplish a significant amount of work!  They provide precious policy analysis to the sector, can advocate for policy changes that have impact for all our organisations as well as for our programs.  Their convening role is important to facilitate learning, sharing and improved development practice. For many of us, CCIC provides important analysis of issues or policies that we often don’t have time to do. 
I have been a board member of CCIC for the last 3 years and I am very impressed by the members’ engagement and collective appropriation of our shared network. 

January 2016: Farm Radio International. CCIC interviews Kevin Perkins, Executive Director

This month CCIC met with Kevin Perkins, the Executive Director of Farm Radio International to discuss World Radio Day and their upcoming Boom Box event, priorities for the new government, why radio is here to stay and much more!


CCIC – Radio is at the heart of Farm Radio International’s mandate and work. Please explain how Radio is a catalyst for change.

Kevin Perkins The demise of radio has been predicted for a long time and some assume it is already as good as dead. The thing is, it’s not true! Radio is more popular in sub-Saharan Africa than ever. In fact, even the cheapest mobile phones house a built-in radio that can be listened to for free for as long as the phone has power.  Radio’s inherent benefits make it relevant: it reaches people wherever they live; it does not require literacy; it is often broadcast in local languages; it permits multi-tasking.

If rural folk listened to radio, but only to music, sports, sermons, or daily presidential announcements . . . well, that wouldn’t make it a bad thing, but it would make it a questionable target for development investments.

But the evidence we have gathered through dozens of projects and thousands of interviews with farmers assures us that, indeed, development-oriented radio programs are very widely listened to (on average, about 35% of potential listeners will tune into such programs) and have a demonstrable impact on the knowledge of listeners. Typically, people who have listened to these radio programs will score 20% better on knowledge quizzes than those who did not listen.  The broadcasts also lead large numbers of people to try a new practice featured in a radio program.  Typically, we find that people living in communities exposed to these programs are five times more likely to apply a new practice than those who live in similar communities that are not exposed to the radio program.  And, they are very effective in capturing and amplifying the experiences, opinions and needs of small-scale farmers through recorded discussions, call-in shows, and polls.  Given that one radio program can reach anywhere from 10,000 to 10 million farmers, there is no better way to take promising new initiatives to scale. It is one of the most cost-effective investments you can make if your goal is to catalyze change.


CCIC – February 13th is World Radio Day! This year’s theme is ‘Radio in Times of Disaster and Emergency’. How does this particular theme resonate with the work of Farm Radio International?

Kevin Perkins In 2011, UNESCO decided to dedicate February 13 as World Radio Day. It’s about celebrating radio, why we love it and why we need it more than ever. For us, it’s also about celebrating the impact radio has on its listeners every day. This year’s theme is resonating strongly with some of the work we have started in Ethiopia in response to the drought. We have been assembling producers and presenters from radio stations that serve drought-affected areas and helping them serve listeners with vital information about coping with the impact and accessing assistance.

We will also be marking World Radio Day with an exciting event: Boom Box. This is a webcast featuring well-known radio and podcast producers and hosts, including CBC’s Piya Chattopadhyay, Nora Young, (host of CBC’s Spark) and Katie Jensen (producer of CANADALAND). The topic “Changing radio – how radio is adapting to new technologies, and how the new age of radio is changing the world.”


CCIC – What are 3 top priorities/issues for the Canadian civil society community that you would like to see Global Affairs Canada address in 2016?

Kevin Perkins – I can’t speak for the whole of Canadian civil society, but from my point of view, one of the top priorities is for Global Affairs Canada to engage the full spectrum of Canadian civil society (along with other levels of Government and the private sector) in deciding how the country will meet its SDG and COP commitments internationally and in Canada. A second priority is to restore greater predictability to the way civil society organizations can participate in publicly-funded development programming and greater responsiveness to the efforts and mandates of Canadian CSOs and their southern partners.

One of Canada’s historic areas of strength is communication. With a small, diverse, multilingual, multicultural population spread over a vast territory, Canada has been a pioneer in public and community radio and television, social media, ICTs, publishing and distance education.  We have exceptional people and institutions, methods and technologies that have filled the need to connect, educate, motivate, mobilize and empower Canadians.  Yet, when you look at Canada’s international cooperation efforts, development communications is all but absent.  We’d like to see Canada step up in this area, and we are ready and keen to be involved. 

CCIC – Farm Radio International works with small-scale farmers across Africa. Please tell us about a recent project of which you are particular proud.

Kevin Perkins – It is hard to just pick one project, but let me tell you about “Her Voice on Air,” a project funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development.  Rural women need more relevant information and an opportunity to express their own ideas, questions and concerns on a large and far-reaching platform. To meet these needs, we have linked up existing radio stations with women belonging to farmers groups.  The women in these groups have been supported in capturing and recording conversations in their own communities about a range of issues, and turning these over to radio producers to incorporate into their programs.

The project is going very well.  We developed a simple and free way for women to share their views widely without leaving their communities.  It’s called “beep2vox”.   When members of the women’s groups are ready to record a comment or conversation, they “beep” a number (call and hang up – there is no charge for a missed call), which prompts an interactive voice response system to phone them back and start recording.  The comment or conversation is recorded in a voicemail box (on the cloud) and the radio station producer can harvest this material and integrate it into their radio program when they are ready. 

CCIC – Farm Radio International is an important CCIC member. What contribution do you hope to bring to CCIC and what value does CCIC bring to your work? 

Kevin Perkins – While radio is our focus, Farm Radio International is a “communication for development” organization.  As noted, there are not too many of these in Canada, and we are happy to share what we know and partner up with other CCIC members to help them add a strong communication (using interactive radio) component to their programs.  An intensive community development project that serves, say, 25,000 people, can be scaled up to serve 250,000 or even 2.5 million when a carefully designed and executed interactive radio strategy is added to it.  That’s what we have to offer.

We are proud to be a long-standing member of CCIC.  We value the work it does to bring our sector together, advocate on our collective behalf, conduct policy analysis and develop policy recommendations, and keep us abreast of trends and developments in global cooperation efforts.

November 2015: Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace. CCIC interviews David Leduc, Executive Director.
This month CCIC met with David Leduc, the Executive Director of the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to discuss their longstanding humanitarian response work, the ‘Create a Climate of Change’ campaign, the reason international development CSOs need to be part of the climate change movement and much more!


October 2015: Council of Canadians with Disabilities. CCIC interviews James Hicks, National Coordinator.
This month CCIC met with James Hicks, the National Coordinator of the Council of Canadians with Disabilities to discuss the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the SDGs and the need for an ODA disability policy, among other things!


September 2015: Canada World Youth. CCIC interviews Rita S. Karakas, President-CEO.
This month, CCIC met with Canada World Youth President-CEO Rita S. Karakas, to talk about its new program EQWIP HUBs: Powering Sustainable Youth Livelihoods, why it is important for youth to play an active role in international development, what the SDGs mean for the organization, and what is behind Canada World Youth longevity which celebrates its 45th anniversary in 2016…among other things!


July-August 2015: CoDev. CCIC interviews Kristen Daub, Acting Executive Director.
This month, CCIC met with CoDev Acting Executive Director Kristen Daub, to talk about the importance of equitable and longstanding partnerships and the role of the new Sustainable Development Goals…among other things!


May-June 2015: SOS Children’s Villages. CCIC interviews Boyd McBride, President and CEO.
This month CCIC met with Boyd McBride, President and CEO at SOS Children’s Villages –and one of CCIC new member organizations!-to discuss the organization’s focus and the recent response to the earthquake in Nepal….among other things!


April 2015: Canadian Cooperatives Association. CCIC interviews Michael Casey, Executive Director.
This month CCIC met with the new ED of the Canadian Cooperative Association, Michael Casey, to discuss the benefits of the cooperative model and some of CCA’s projects, among other things!


March 2015: Inter Pares. CCIC interviews Rita Morbia, Executive Director.
This month CCIC met with Rita Morbia, Executive Director at Inter Pares. Rita talked about the 40th anniversary of Inter Pares and the changing context for international solidarity organizations, as well as some programs that are at the heart of the organization’s work….among other things!


February 2015: Amnesty International Canada.
CCIC interviews Alex Neve, Secretary General.

This month, CCIC met with Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada. Alex talked about why advancing women’s rights is crucial to Amnesty International Canada’s work, described their current campaign Stop Torture, and shared Amnesty’s view of the role of universality in the pursuit of social justice and human rights… among other things!


January 2015: World Animal Protetion.
CCIC interviews Melissa Matlow, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager.

This month, CCIC met with Melissa Matlow, Legislative and Public Affairs Manager. Melissa discussed the organization’s mandate and work, the importance of its programing “Animals in disasters” within humanitarian assistance and international development programming more generally, the “rebranding” process and plans for the upcoming year … among other things!


November-December 2014: CECI.
CCIC interviews Claudia Black, Executive Director.

This month, CCIC met with CECI Executive Director Claudia Black. Claudia discussed the key to the success of CECI, the organization’s approach to capacity building, the upcoming 4th International Forum “Great Development Debates” organized jointly with WUSC, as well as its international volunteer program UNITERRA… among other things!


October 2014: World Literacy Canada.
CCIC interviews Jasmine Gill, Executive Director.

This month CCIC met with Jasmine Gill, Executive Director of World Literacy Canada. Jasmine shared her views on World Literacy Canada’s programming, explained the approach World Literacy Canada uses to foster women’s empowerment and described the impact of one of their main project, the Sally Swenson Scholarship… among other things!


September 2014: British Columbia Council for International Cooperation.
CCIC interviews Michael Simpson, Executive Director.

This month CCIC met with Michael Simpson, new Executive Director of the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation (BCCIC). Michael shared his views as the new ED of a well-established organization, talked about BCCIC’s new 5-year grant agreement with DFATD and explained the work of the Inter Council Network hosted by BCCIC for the next two years… among other things!


May – June 2014: World University Service of Canada.
CCIC interviews Chris Eaton, CEO.

This month CCIC met with Chris Eaton, CEO of World University Service of Canada (WUSC), one of Canada’s oldest and most active international development organization. Mr. Eaton talked about one of WUSC’s flag ship program (read more to discover!) and shared reflections and hopes for the future of his organization….among other things!


April 2014: Collaboration Santé Internationale.
CCIC interviews Pierrette Defoy-Dolbec, Executive Director.

This month CCIC has met with the Pierrette Defoy-Dolbec, Executive Director at Collaboration Santé Internationale (CSI) based in Québec City, to learn more about this unique NGO which delivers medical equipment and medicine to developing countries. Mme Defoy-Dolbec spoke with passion about the many partnerships that allow CSI to fulfill its mission and the important role of volunteers…among other things!


March 2014: Micronutrient.
CCIC interviews Joel Spicer, Executive Director.

This month, CCIC met with the new Executive Director at the Micronutrient Initiative, Joel Spicer, who joined the organization in February. We talked about the Canadian roots and global outreach of MI, the importance of nutrition in development and the successful partnerships with local private actors…among other things!


February 2014: MiningWatch Canada.
CCIC interviews Catherine Coumans, Research Co-ordinator.

This month CCIC had an interesting conversation with Catherine Coumans, Research Co-ordinator at Mining Watch Canada. We discussed the work being done by the organization to influence public policy and mining practices to ensure the health of communities and the environment, and how Canada could become a leader in making mining companies accountable…among other things!


January 2014: Aga Khan Foundation Canada.
CCIC interviews Khalil Shariff, Executive Director.

This month, CCIC met with Khalil Shariff, Executive Director at Aga Khan Foundation Canada, for an interesting discussion on the organization’s approach to international development and poverty reduction, and it’s involvement in the maternal, newborn and child health initiatives….among other things!


November – December 2013: Equitas.
CCIC interviews Ian Hamilton, Executive Director.

This month CCIC had a dynamic discussion with EQUITAS Executive Director, Ian Hamilton. Ian told us about the early days of the organization, the annual International Human Rights Training Program (IHRTP) and a workshop manual on human rights-based approach and equitable partnerships developed by EQUITAS in collaboration with Coady and CCIC… among other things!


October 2013: RESULTS Canada.
CCIC interviews Amy Bartlett, Executive Director.

This month CCIC had a dynamic discussion with Results Canada new Executive Director, Amy Bartlett. Amy told us about the early days of the organization, shared some results of their advocacy efforts over the years and told us more about their Annual Conference, taking place late November…among other things!


September 2013: World Federalists Movement Canada.
CCIC interviews Fergus Watt, Executive Director.

This month we had the pleasure to talk with Fergus Watt, Executive Director at World Federalists Movement Canada. We found out more about this small but dynamic organization, member of a global network, whose areas of focus include peacekeeping, the post-2015 discussions and the responsibility to protect, among others.


July-August 2013: Islamic Relief Canada.
CCIC interviews Sallah Hamdani, CEO.

This month CCIC met with Sallah Hamdani, CEO at Islamic Relief Canada, part of the global family of Islamic Relief Worldwide that was founded in 1984. Operating in 35 countries around the world, Islamic Relief Canada’s primary objective is to promote sustainable development, but they also respond to disasters and emergencies. Read about Islamic Relief’s work with refugees, and in Syria, and their recent “War on Hunger” campaign.


May-June 2013: Action Canada for Population and Development.
CCIC interviews Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director.

This month CCIC met with Sandeep Prasad, Executive Director at Action Canada for Population and Development (ACPD). ACPD was founded in 1997 and has been much engaged in the promotion of reproductive and sexual rights and health as human rights. Read about ACPD’s involvement in the High-Level Task Force for the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), share their comments on theHigh-Level Panel report on the Post-2015 Development Agenda, and much more.


April 2013: Project Ploughshares.
CCIC interviews John Siebert, Executive Director.

Find out more about the unique contribution to global peace that the organization has provided over the last 38 years, as well as its key role in the successful adoption of the Arms Trade Treaty by the UN Assembly last March.


February 2013: MATCH International
CCIC interviews Jess Tomlin, Executive Director

A successful comeback, the International Campaign to Stop Rape and Violence in Conflict, Women’s Fund for Social Innovation, and more…


January 2013: Alberta Council for Global Cooperation (ACGC)
CCIC interviews Heather McPherson, Executive Director
International Development Week, Development in a Box, and more…


December 2012: Victoria International Development Education Association (VIDEA)
CCIC interviews Lesley Palmer, Programme Manager 
35th anniversary year, evolving approach to global education, Women for Change community twinning between BC and Zambia, INdigenous Knowledge Programme


November 2012: Christian Children’s Fund of Canada
CCIC interviews CEO Mark Lukowski

Successes and challenges that have marked the 50 years of existence of the organization and talks about a very unique initiative, the “Small Voices, Big Dreams” global youth survey


October 2012: Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI)
CCIC interviews Executive Director Gervais L’Heureux
Social change in Quebec, Journées québécoises de la solidarité internationale, changes to CIDA’s funding mechanism


September 2012: Plan Canada
CCIC interviews President and CEO – Rosemary McCarney

Sahel food crisis, International Day of the Girl, and partnerships with the mining sector and CIDA


May-June 2012: Léger Foundation (L’OEUVRE LÉGER)
CCIC interviews Executive Director Norman MacIsaac

Programs with a partner in India, and activism in Quebec


April 2012: Canadian Labour Congress
CCIC interviews Monique Charron, International Program Administrator

CLC’s challenges and successes, and their engagement in the Arms Trade Treaty coalition


March 2012: Canadian Hunger Foundation
CCIC interviews Executive Director Tony Breuer

CHF’s challenges and successes, and insights into CHF’s 50th Anniversary Symposium