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Headlines
November 6, 2009

1. Auditor General’s Report


The Auditor General of Canada tabled, on Tuesday November 3, a report to Parliament with a chapter on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness.  The audit examined how CIDA is implementing commitments following its 2002 Policy Statement on Strengthening Aid Effectiveness, including commitments to align efforts to meet recipient country needs and priorities, to develop program-based approaches and to focus aid in fewer sectors. The report concludes that CIDA “has not put in place the required management processes to implement and monitor its aid effectiveness commitments concerning alignment, harmonization, the use of program-based approaches, and sector focus in the countries it focuses on.” The audit also notes that “frequent changes in policy direction and substantial turnover of senior managers have posed significant challenges to CIDA in achieving its aid effectiveness agenda.”  The audit inexplicably fails to acknowledge the Canadian ODA Accountability Act as an important legislative framework for deepening CIDA’s approaches to aid effectiveness.  Read CCIC’s news release.


2. Pre-Budget Consultations

 

CCIC submitted its 2010-11 Federal Budget brief to the Standing Committee of Finance in the context of the pre-budget consultations. CCIC recommended that the next Federal Budget set out a clear plan to increase Canadian Official Development Assistance (ODA) over the next ten years to reach the United Nations aid spending target of 0.7% of GNI. The budget should also indicate how the government will meet its commitment to double aid by 2010-11. According to CCIC estimates, current spending would not be enough to meet this commitment and total ODA would be more than $600 million short of the doubling target. The government should also make a renewed long-term commitment to address growing poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa.


Upcoming Events

 

3. Members/MPs Meeting Days

 

The CCIC Members/MP Meeting Days planned for November has been cancelled.  The meetings will be rescheduled and new dates will be announced.

4. Walden Bello in Ottawa November 16

 

Walden Bello, globally-renowned intellectual and activist, will be in Ottawa on November 16 for a public debate. Bello is a Senior Analyst with Focus on the Global South and a sitting representative of the Philippine Congress. His visit to Ottawa precedes both the upcoming WTO Ministerial Meeting in Geneva and the United Nations Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen, and will highlight Canada’s role in the negotiations and in supporting communities in developing countries as they call for food, climate and trade justice. For more information, contact Denis Coté.


5. ForeignPolicyCamp

 

Canada’s World (a three-year national citizens’ dialogue project based at Simon Fraser University), in collaboration with 15 Universities and dozens of organizations across Canada, is hosting ForeignPolicyCamp at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre in Vancouver on November 30. ForeignPolicyCamp is hybrid conference, combining open space sessions, six regional case study sessions (Africa, Asia Pacific, Afghanistan, Arctic, Canada-US relations and the Americas), and an interactive media lab with social media tools custom-designed for the event. ForiegnPolicyCamp will allow those interested in Canadian foreign policy – students, artists, techies, diplomats, etc. – to come together as equals to share ideas. Cost for the day is $30 and includes lunch. A satellite event, “AtelierPolitiqueÉtrangère” featuring roundtable discussions on the Arctic and International Development will take place in French in Montreal on Sunday, November 29. Find out more and register online.

Ethics in a Flash

 

6. Dear Ms Ethics

 

Our policy states that there must be fifty percent attendance to have a quorum for our Board meetings. Is this enough for good ethical practice or should our policy be updated? Decisive

 

Dear Decisive: Your governing body must be “independent, active and informed” in order to govern “fairly and responsibly” (Operational Standard 3.1). Your organization should be promoting full participation by Board members. It is, obviously, impossible to prevent individuals from missing a meeting, but that shouldn’t mean you accept a minimum level of attendance. The intent of the standard is to ensure good governance. Fifty percent does not make a majority. And fifty percent plus one is not the answer. The Board is the key decision-making body of your organization and so all Board members, or almost all, need to be present. If the organization is experiencing regular non-attendance, there is something deeper needing to be addressed.

If you have an item for Flash, send it by e-mail to Katia Gianneschi. Please note that Flash items should be no longer than one paragraph.

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