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A dark blue suit with Birkenstocks — 4 Comments

  1. Paul – oh my goodness, I had to cover my mouth from laughing out loud at work! Loving the last section. And while my lens on some of the issues is a bit different, this is a really interesting, coherent, contextualised analysis from an interesting perspective. Seriously, you should be writing a column for a magazine. I have to say too, that this does make me feel better about the whole thing CIDA into DFAIT thing. Although keep in mind re: Sussex Drive – that old City Hall building was half empty last time I was in it, and it is really nice. View of the water, pretend wood-log benches inside. Some CIDA-ites will be lucky if they move over there. Right now, I find it a bit hard to imagine what is going to change, given that we’ll probably be still located in separate buildings and have separate Ministers, or what is really the motivation of the Conservatives behind this. My suspicision is wanting more private sector involvement in aid, like the American model, and the pursuit of political goals. I am sure that they will always find a way to justify politically-driven initiatives against the Aid-must-be-poverty-alleviation Bill they supported before they realised they’d have to implement it. But there may be an up side in terms of greater policy coherence (in both senses) and possibly raising the profile of aid, or at least integrating it more into discussions. You’d hope.

    I wonder about the gender implications for Ministers. Until recently, CIDA had a long-run of female Ministers, partially because it was a touchy-feely, less prominent portfolio. Maybe more high profile Ministers may be assigned – which of course tends to mean male.

    • I am not convinced they will have three Ministers, and my suspicion would be two Ministers and a Secretary of State. Hard to say. If I ran the zoo, I’d probably make it one Minister overall, but my take is as you say a bit different. 🙂

      P.

  2. Great article Paul!

    My best guesses are that:
    – In the short term, the most “major” change will be that everybody at CIDA and DFAIT will get new stationary. (This is what happened when the quasi-separated Trade and Foreign Affairs sides were re-merged).
    – The merger will be a block transfer (like CIDA INC and the NAFTA Secretariat), will take forever (read: 1-2 years) and will be much more complicated and expensive than anticipated.
    – CIDA will stay at Place du Centre, as there’s no space at either Pearson or 111 Sussex.

    I think merging the Multilateral sections of DFAIT and CIDA (and, frankly, the international shop at Finance, since they already do development-related stuff like HIPC and Paris Club) would make a lot of sense, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon.

    • Thanks Viv…It’ll be interesting to see how serious they are. If they are REALLY serious about merging, they’ll merge Comms, HR, IT, parts of Policy, etc. Perhaps not Finance very quickly given the level of disbursements demand. If they are not really serious, they’ll let them continue to work relatively independently.

      P.

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