Here is an announcement from Minister Paradis on DFATD launching a Civil Society Partnership Policy and an International Development Advisory Council. It would be an understatement to say that Mr. Paradis tone is different than his predecessors.
Here is the release from DFATD:
Civil Society Partnership Policy
Canada works effectively with a wide range of development partners, including governments, civil society and the private sector, drawing on their expertise to increase the impact of Canadian development assistance.
As part of Canada’s ongoing development agenda, the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) developed a civil society partnership policy, on which it held extensive public consultations.
This policy outlines Canada’s objectives for a renewed and reinvigorated partnership with civil society. These objectives are:
Augment the voice of poor and marginalized people, including women and girls;
Facilitate an enabling environment for civil society in developing countries;
Foster Canadian civil society organization leadership in international development and innovation;
Integrate the role of civil society organizations as independent development actors into development programming;
Establish predictable, equitable, flexible, and transparent funding mechanisms;
Demonstrate sustainability, transparency, accountability, and results;
Foster multi-stakeholder approaches to development;
Engage Canadians in development; and
Save lives and alleviate suffering.
The Policy demonstrates Canada’s support for civil society organizations as actors in the development process in their own right—recognizing and supporting their role in reducing poverty, ensuring sustainable development and strengthening democratic governance.
Minister of International Development Advisory Council
To promote institutionalized policy dialogue, Minister Paradis is forming a ministerial advisory council comprising five to seven representatives from civil society, the private sector, and academia to provide multi-stakeholder advice and guidance on Canada’s development assistance. Members will be drawn from both traditional and new development partners, with consideration for ethnocultural diversity, as well as gender, linguistic, and regional balance. Creation of the Council builds on recent efforts to create stronger partnerships, leverage Canadian expertise and bring new voices to DFATD’s development policy dialogue.
The Council will help to ensure that Canada is a global leader in international development, responsive to development trends, and focused on results. It will advise the Minister on key issues, including:
the contribution of civil society, the private sector, and government in achieving development outcomes;
the strategic direction and priorities of the development program;
the policy initiatives and program frameworks that govern its operations;
the implications of latest development research and practice for Canada’s development policy and programming; and
engagement with Canadians on international development issues.
The Council will provide external views and a challenge function on policy and program ideas that the Minister is considering. Advice will be provided on specific issues referred to the Council by the Minister.
Here is a link to the press release. In terms of background here is the Consultation on the Draft Civil Society Partnership Policy: DFATD’s Proposed Approach to Effective Development Cooperation with Civil Society and International Development and Humanitarian Assistance Civil Society Partnership Policy.
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Mark Blumberg is a partner at the law firm of Blumberg Segal LLP in Toronto and works almost exclusively in the areas of non-profit and charity law.