Canada Releases its Proposed Approach to Effective Development Cooperation with Civil Society

Minister Paradis launches public consultations on a renewed partnership with civil society

June 9, 2014 - Ottawa, Ontario - Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

The Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and La Francophonie, is launching public consultations on Canada's draft Civil Society Partnership Policy.

"Our government is committed to working with civil society organizations to maximize the effectiveness and the impact of Canada's development investments," said Minister Paradis. "We are working towards formalizing Canada's approach to partnership with civil society organizations (CSOs) and are soliciting considered input from those most affected – CSOs themselves – on how to ensure it is coherent and reflects a vision on partnership we can all share."

Canada's proposed approach sets out to enhance effective development cooperation with international, Canadian and developing-country CSOs. It outlines the guiding principles for and overall objectives of Canada's development engagement with its CSO partners.

"Our government recognizes the importance of engaging Canadians in international development and values the meaningful impact they have on the lives of people most in need," said Minister Paradis. "Civil society actors are integral to poverty reduction and democratic governance. To ensure we are able to help the world's most vulnerable people move from poverty to prosperity, we must continue to strengthen our partnerships with civil society organizations."

Starting today, and over the next eight weeks, Canadians interested in providing feedback on the draft Civil Society Partnership Policy are invited to visit Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada's (DFATD) website where they will find details on the process. To discuss Canada's way forward, the Department will also convene round table meetings to build on the results of the online consultations.

Quick Facts – Civil Society Engagement

  • Canada has a long history of working in partnership with civil society, and a significant proportion of Canada's aid program is invested in activities involving civil society organizations.
  • Recently, the Honourable Christian Paradis, Minister of International Development and for La Francophonie, convened a global CSO round table alongside the first High-Level Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Co-operation in Mexico City. The meeting brought together Canada and other donors, developing countries, as well as private sector and civil society organizations in a common effort to maximize the impact of international development investments.
  • Civil society organizations are key partners in promoting Canada's top development priority, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. 
  • Civil society organizations were important participants at the highly successful Saving Every Woman, Every Child Summit in Toronto (May 28 to 30, 2014), which provided renewed global momentum to advance maternal, newborn and child health as a global priority beyond 2015.
  • Canada has consistently demonstrated support for promoting and protecting an enabling environment for civil society in developing countries through many international forums and agreements.
  • Since 2009, Canada has participated in the Task Team on Civil Society Development Effectiveness and Enabling Environment and has chaired the Community of Democracies Working Group on Enabling and Protecting Civil Society. Through its role as chair of the Working Group, Canada coordinates global actions to counter legislation that excessively restricts civil society.
  • Canada is committed to working with a wide range of stakeholders, including civil society, the private sector, and other governments, to find innovative solutions to pressing development challenges and to deliver concrete results for those most in need, especially women and children.

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Sandrine Perion
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development and La Francophonie

Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
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