A new report launched today by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) and the Inter-Council Network (ICN) of Provincial and Regional Councils for International Cooperation, establishes a direct link between the lack of support and funding opportunities from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) over the past three years, and a significantly reduced Canadian presence and impact in developing countries. The report is based on an extensive survey conducted in January 2014 to map the cumulative impacts of changes in funding modalities – as well as the absence of funding - for Canadian CSOs working in developing countries. The results of the survey demonstrate that the absence of diverse and predictable funding from DFATD, as well as opportunities to engage in dialogue with the government on Canada’s priorities, have seriously undermined the capacity of Canadian and local CSOs to respond to pressing needs and challenges in developing countries.
“Many organizations in the Atlantic region working in the area of development cooperation are small to medium in size, but are often innovative and value strong partnership,” said Carolyn Whiteway, Acting Executive Director of the Atlantic Council for International Cooperation (ACIC). “In the current context, they have to compete with bigger organizations; we need a funding mechanism that recognizes and responds to a wide range of roles and expertise, including those located in Atlantic Canada.” Key findings of the report point to declining revenues for 44% of organizations. This has in turn translated into fewer projects in developing countries, less communities supported, important reductions in staff and cuts in long standing partnerships.
The report points to the need for a new strategic partnership between the Canadian government and Canadian international development and humanitarian CSOs in order to make Canadian development more efficient, effective and predictable. This includes measures to support revenue diversification among organizations, to generate a range of flexible responsive and directive funding mechanisms for CSOs within DFATD, to re-engage the public around international development, to institutionalize multistakeholder dialogue with the government, and to address emerging regulatory challenges for civil society.
Earlier in the week, Minister Paradis launched a consultation on a “Proposed Approach to Effective Development Cooperation with Civil Society.” "We view this as a positive step on the part of DFATD, and are hopeful that this re-engagement with Canadian CSOs will lead to increased effectiveness," concluded Ms. Whiteway. "We plan to work with the other national and provincial councils for international cooperation across Canada to ensure that all Canadians can continue to play a unique and diverse role in combating poverty and inequality within a more enabling environment for CSOs in Canada and abroad." The survey was completed by close to 140 organizations across the country, most of them with a long history of working in international development and of collaborating with the Canadian government.
Lack of timely and predictable funding from DFATD having detrimental impact on developing countries as well as Canadian organizations.
To view and download the full report follow this link: Full Report Establishing An Enabling Environment for CSOs In Canada