Introduction to Partnership Principles and Standards

In the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States many countries swiftly shifted their national priorities toward stricter state security. By December 2001 Canada had passed tough anti-terrorism legislation that raised major concerns for many people about the government’s commitment to Canada’s values of human rights and tolerance. CCIC members were particularly concerned that this new legislation would not only create an extra layer of scrutiny for charities, but would also create a "chill effect" on charitable activities internationally. They feared the result would be a fundamental change to their established development practices, as well as demand levels of accountability and control by northern civil society organizations (CSOs) that would undermine work toward equitable partnerships with southern CSOs.

Given the diversity of members within CCIC, and the fact that the legislation did not accord statutory or common law defenses even in cases where careful due diligence was followed, members decided that organizations would need to decide on an individual basis how best to address compliance with the law. Nevertheless members have collectively opted to develop an ethical response, one that would serve in the court of public opinion, if not in the court of law.

At the CCIC 2002 Annual General Meeting (AGM), members unanimously agreed:

that CCIC members commit to engage collectively in a process of defining a set of partnership principles that will be considered for approval by the membership at the 2003 Annual General Meeting, to be incorporated into the Code of Ethics, to which all members annually confirm compliance.

The intent was to provide other sectors and the Canadian public with an understanding of the vision and ethical principles that guide our partnerships with Southern civil society organizations. It would also provide CCIC and its members with a set of standards for assessing and continuing to build more equitable North/South partnerships over the long term.

A Partnership Principles Drafting Committee, composed of individuals familiar with CCIC members’ partnerships, was assisted in their work by the expertise of the CCIC Ethics Review Committee. Through a process of research, reflection and dialogue with members they developed a series of drafts that were improved with each iteration, having taken into consideration comments and suggestions from members and southern civil society organizations.

The Principles and Standards were ratified by the membership at the May 2004 AGM.

Partnership principles in English (PDF 20 Kb), French (PDF 22 Kb), Spanish (PDF 20 Kb),Portuguese (PDF 19 Kb), and Arabic (PDF 127 Kb)

Partnership standards in English (PDF 20 Kb), French (PDF 22 Kb), Spanish (PDF 25 Kb),Portuguese (PDF 19 Kb), and Arabic (PDF 98 Kb)