CCIC monthly e-bulletin: November 2012                                                            About CCIC     |     Contact Us
banner image

MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT-CEO

Unpacking Disaster Risk Reduction

One of the fascinating aspects of this job is the multiple opportunities I have to participate in events and engage in discussions with different subsets of the sector on specific issues and challenges that our members are struggling with and working on. These events, and the opportunity to interact with CCIC members and other development stakeholders that they provide, feed my evolving understanding of the challenges and opportunities before us as a sector. They also help shape a clearer vision of what CCIC is best placed to contribute to the key issues and debates of our times. So this month I thought I would use this space to share some thoughts around one of the very interesting meetings I attended recently: the Policy Action Group for Emergency Response (PAGER) heads of agency meeting.

The main issue that the group tackled during the one day meeting was disaster risk reduction (DRR). For what seems like too long, the humanitarian and development communities have been struggling with the continuum between a humanitarian crisis and development – how do these two processes come together, how do we make them better come together, what kinds of methods and projects need to be implemented to facilitate a smooth transition and where does the funding for this come from.

The special invited guest for this event was Margareta Wahlström – long time humanitarian actor and currently Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction. She gave a very engaging talk on the state of affairs on the disaster front, pointing to the fact that climate change and rapid urbanization are driving the increasing occurrence of extreme events. The economic losses incurred in these extreme events are increasing as countries’ economies grow rapidly. Disasters clearly destroy and halt economic development. And disasters are no longer something that concern only poor countries. In addition to the growing economic losses from disasters, other trends include decreasing loss of life (there is strengthened capacity to save lives), a growing demand for disaster management, and recognition that disasters are a destabilizing force politically.

The long-term social impacts are also important of course: on health, missed and interrupted schooling, social cohesion, employment, etc. For all this, an increasing number of local governments are prioritizing disaster risk reduction, and aid organizations and donors need to follow suit. We therefore need to include risk analysis and reduction methods in all our development planning in order to support increased resilience in the communities we work with. We already have an extensive body of knowledge and examples of best practices in DDR, there is political will to support this at the national level for sure, and no foreseeable global political impediments that stand in the way. It makes sense both from an economic development perspective and from a social and environmental perspective.

So what do we need to move this forward?

For one, we need to find a practical solution to the issue of funding for DRR initiatives and programs. For as long as I can remember, CIDA has been debating whether this, and related aspects, should be a humanitarian portfolio or a development one. Wahlström clearly and unequivocally stated that DRR is a development issue, not a humanitarian one. CIDA could consider setting up a joint committee or task force (made up of humanitarian and development staff) to oversee a funding mechanism that would allocate resources for DRR programs in priority countries (as defined by being most vulnerable and having prioritized DRR internally) and that would be implemented through the geographic desks. NGOs that have development and humanitarian teams need to also strive to bring these perspectives closer together. An agency-wide strategy that would provide for disaster risk assessments for all development planning would be another useful step that CIDA could consider.  On the communications side, we have our work cut out for us – as a frank exchange with John Stackhouse of the Globe and Mail confirmed during another session at the same PAGER meeting. The shift that needs to occur -from effusive and generous support to victims of some disasters towards support for avoiding the worst effects of disasters by reducing vulnerabilities - is a massive and tricky one.

As my colleague Fraser Reilly-King said at that meeting, we have the perfect storm brewing for 2015 – the millennium development goals (MDGs) expire and their successors need to be defined and agreed to; global carbon emissions should peak in 2015 if we are to avert catastrophic climate change, which is the main driver of more frequent and severe disasters. The Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) also expires in 2015 and this presents an opportunity for the new and improved framework to be used as a key input for the post-2015 development discussions – something that Wahlström’s team is already hard at work on. Finally, as we prepare to withstand the storm, and all the storms that will follow, we have to be mindful of the imperative of continuing to tackle climate change which is the underlying cause of the increasing disasters. With no political will, contrary economic interests, limited best practices, and a deadlock in the global negotiations, climate change presents us with no shortage of challenges.

In solidarity

Julia

Séparateur

NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SECTOR

World Bank selects CSO representatives for steering committee of the Global Partnership for Social Accountability

CCIC was invited to propose a CSO candidate for the Steering Committee of the newly formed Global Partnership for Social Accountability (GPSA), which was formally launched in April 2012.  The GPSA’s decision-making body will be a Steering Committee, chaired initially by the Bank. The initial number of SC members will be ten: three donor partners (two bilateral donors and one foundation); three CSOs (one from an OECD country and two from developing countries); three government representatives from Regions with the most participating countries (likely Africa, Middle East and North Africa, and East Asia and the Pacific); and a World Bank representative.  In coordination with InterAction, CCIC proposed Lindsay Coates given her involvement in the consultations leading up to the creation of the GPSA.

The CSO members of the steering committee are Lindsay Coates - InterAction / US (for OECD countries) ; Said Issa - ANSA-Arab World / Lebanon (for developing countries) ; and Akwasi Aidoo - TrustAfrica / Senegal (for developing countries). In addition to the CSO Members, the WB panel selected two Alternate Members: Mark Purcell - ACFID / Australia (for OECD countries) and Emele Duituturaga - PIANGO / Pacific Island (for developing countries). The Bank also selected the 3 government representatives to serve on the Steering Committee: Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, and Malawi.  The GPSA secretariat is still waiting for the donors to confirm their participation and a first meeting of the Steering Committee is expected shortly.

Séparateur

Get your 2013 Istanbul Principles Calendar

In partnership with the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation, and with the support of the other six Provincial and Regional Councils and the Open Forum for CSO Development Effectiveness, CCIC has produced a 2013 calendar on the Istanbul Principles. Building on the over 30 “best practice” case studies CCIC released last month (and blogged about), the calendar tells the story of the Principles, why they matter, and each month profiles a different Principle with reference to two case studies. Produced in English and French, the Calendars will be distributed to all of our members and international partners, the Provincial and Regional Councils and their members, MPs, CIDA officials, academics and key decision-makers. Our aim is to contribute to the discussion of our sector’s effectiveness by providing a simple explanation of a principle’s framework that defines our work as well as concrete examples from Canadian organizations working on key aspects of that framework. If you haven’t received your calendar by mid-December, contact Alice Ouedraogo.

dividing line

ODA Accountability Act Report

In mid-October, CIDA released its fourth Annual Report to Parliament on Canada’s Official Development Assistance (ODA), one of the technical requirements of the 2008 ODA Accountability Act. The Report remains a useful whole of government overview on the aid file and makes more reference to the ODA Accountability Act than it ever has previously. However these references assert how the assistance reported for each respective government department meets the requirements of the Act, without providing any evidence of exactly what the departments have done to fulfill the three conditions of the Act – contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards – or how they have done it. CCIC is developing a brief overview and analysis of this year’s report.

dividing line

Food for thought on CCIC’s blog

CCIC’s blog was launched one year ago and has been very active in presenting different perspectives on issues of interest for the sector. Latest publications include a reflection on post-2015, the impact of the promotion of agrofuels in Asia and Canada and a two-part blog on Education for All. We welcome and encourage the participation of guest bloggers; please contact Chantal Havard if you want to contribute.

dividing line

MEMBER PROFILE: Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC)

MarkLukowski in Ethiopia
Mark Lukowski, CEO of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, with a child in Ethiopia

This month, CCIC spoke with Mark Lukowski, CEO of Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC), a Canadian NGO based in Markham, Ontario. CCFC works side-by-side with its colleagues in developing countries focusing on child and community development. Mark highlights the 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.

Read the full interview...

dividing line

CCIC MEMBERS IN ACTION

Reverse the Cuts campaign is gaining momentum

Launched on October 17, RESULTS Canada’s Reverse the Cuts campaign now has 2000 signatures on its petition asking the federal government to reverse the cuts made to the CIDA budget, and close to 40 organizations (including CCIC) have endorsed the campaign. For the equivalent cost of one F-35 fighter jet that the government plans to buy, we could maintain CIDA’s budget and continue programs that make a big difference in the lives of people in developing countries. Next steps in the campaign include meeting with MPs to discuss the 2013 federal budget. Organizations and individuals are invited to join the campaign and have their voice heard about the importance of Canada’s contribution to poverty alleviation.

dividing line

Being inclusive in disaster risk management in South Asia

Handicap International has produced a toolkit for disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers working in South Asia who wish to understand more about how to make community-based disaster risk management inclusive of persons with disabilities. Its content is based on knowledge and practices gathered from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

dividing line

Write for Rights on December 10

Amnesty International members, letter writers, and human rights supporters across Canada and around the world are getting ready to mark Human Rights Day on December 10 by taking part in Write for Rights.  2011 was the biggest year yet for Amnesty International’s annual global letter writing marathon. For the first time they passed the one million letter mark – an unprecedented outpouring of human rights action from all around the world. Visit the website to see how you can participate.

dividing line

Being inclusive in disaster risk management in South Asia

Handicap International has produced a toolkit for disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers working in South Asia who wish to understand more about how to make community-based disaster risk management inclusive of persons with disabilities. Its content is based on knowledge and practices gathered from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

dividing line

Being inclusive in disaster risk management in South Asia

Handicap International has produced a toolkit for disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers working in South Asia who wish to understand more about how to make community-based disaster risk management inclusive of persons with disabilities. Its content is based on knowledge and practices gathered from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

dividing line

Being inclusive in disaster risk management in South Asia

Handicap International has produced a toolkit for disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers working in South Asia who wish to understand more about how to make community-based disaster risk management inclusive of persons with disabilities. Its content is based on knowledge and practices gathered from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

dividing line

Being inclusive in disaster risk management in South Asia

Handicap International has produced a toolkit for disaster risk management practitioners and policy makers working in South Asia who wish to understand more about how to make community-based disaster risk management inclusive of persons with disabilities. Its content is based on knowledge and practices gathered from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka.

dividing line

WORTH A LOOK

Standing Committee Report on Aid and the Private Sector

On November 7, 2012, the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development tabled its report entitled Driving inclusive economic growth: the role of the private sector in international development, following a series of hearings in which CCIC, among others, participated. The report provides a summary of the range of views that were presented and a series of recommendations to the Canadian government. CCIC has responded to the report with a short analysis.

dividing line

Partnering with Civil Society: 12 Lessons from DAC Peer Reviews

At the end of October, the OECD Development Assistance Committee released a report entitled Partnering with Civil Society: Twelve Lessons from DAC Peer Reviews, facilitated by the peer review section of the DAC secretariat.  It is intended to guide future donor peer reviews with respect to their practice of partnering with civil society. The lessons emerged from a review of the commitments made in Accra and Busan and the outcomes of various peer reviews of donor practices.  AidWatch Canada has provided an overview and critique of the Twelve Lessons.

dividing line

The World We Want 2015

The UNDP, with the support of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty, CIVICUS and Beyond 2015, is conducting a series of consultations on the post-2015 development agenda. The purpose is to support citizens from the Global South to actively engage in the discussions towards a post-2015 development agenda. National stakeholders in at least 56 countries will come together to exchange inputs and ideas for a shared global vision. Current consultations focus on Inequalities, Health, Food Security and Nutrition, Governance, Conflict and Fragility, Growth and Employment, Population Dynamics, Environmental Sustainability and Water. Future consultations will also include topics on Energy and Education. These consultations have two phases; the first phase includes an open call for discussion papers on any of the issues mentioned above, related to topics that a consultation participant sees as being a priority for the post-2015 agenda.

dividing line

The World Bank and Conditionality – Undermining democratic ownership

This latest Reality Check, by Reality of Aid, provides a critical look at the predominant role the World Bank continues to play in developing countries, and examines the direct and indirect conditionalities that the Bank still applies to loans and their effect on recipient countries.

dividing line

The Global Land Grab – A primer

Land grabbing re-emerged in the context of a spike in global food prices in 2007-2008. It was initially focused on new players potentially acquiring vast areas of land in developing nations. Today it is clear that this definition of land grabbing obscured more than it was able to illuminate. It is important to unpack what land grabbing really involves if we are to understand what is really happening. This primer by the Transnational Institute seeks to do just that.

dividing line

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