I am doing a series of articles on the book “Rethinking Canadian Aid” (University of Ottawa Press, 2015), and now it’s time for “Chapter 15: Charity Begins at Home: The Extractive Sector as an Illustration of Changes and Continuities in the New De Facto Canadian Aid Policy” by Gabriel C. Goyette. I’ve addressed some of the issues already in my review of Chapter 7 (Critique of Rethinking Canadian Aid – Chapter 7 – Continental Shift) so it will be interesting to see how far Goyette goes.
Of the many changes that have occurred, two stand out in the literature on Canadian aid for their importance. First, the government has placed programmatic emphasis on aid effectiveness, which has led to an overly technical conception of practices. Second, it has instrumentalized aid policy and made it subservient to broader foreign policy, notably through changes in CIDA’s countries of focus and the criteria for selecting them, the emergence of priority themes with a strong impact on disbursements, a religious and security turn in aid delivery, an emphasis on humanitarian assistance, the marginalization of gender issues, and the growth of the role of the private sector, both in policy making and in practice.
I am doing a series of articles on the book “Rethinking Canadian Aid” (University of Ottawa Press, 2015), and now it’s time for “Chapter 14: Canada and Development in Other Fragile States: Moving beyond the ‘Afghanistan Model'” by Stephen Baranyi and Themrise Khan.
I am doing a series of articles on the book “Rethinking Canadian Aid” (University of Ottawa Press, 2015), and now it’s time for “Chapter 13: Canada’s Fragile States Policy” by David Carment and Yiagadeesen Samy. I have to confess upfront that as a public sector manager, I have a lot of trouble with this chapter. Overall, they basically say it has strong conceptual challenges, yet then conclude investments were squandered when the focus shifted from one area to another.
The complexity of dealing with, and responding to, fragile situations is reflected in the way CIDA has generally allowed “a thousand flowers to bloom,” to support partner organizations, academics, and NGOs that work on state fragility. Indeed, when it first appeared on the scene, as an idea in search of a policy, just around 9/11, the concept of state fragility brought with it a new and complex understanding of how donors and civil society interact and use analysis to support their policies.
I am doing a series of articles on the book “Rethinking Canadian Aid” (University of Ottawa Press, 2015), and now it’s time for “Chapter 12: From “Children-in-Development” to Social Age Mainstreaming in Canada’s Development Policy and Programming? Practice, Prospects and Proposals” by Christina Clark-Kazak. In the interest of full disclosure, I knew Clark in a previous incarnation at CIDA, but as with my review of Swiss’ chapter, that probably won’t mean much in terms of my review of her material. I wanted to mention it upfront as I really like the theme of the chapter — mainstreaming “age” vs. “children-in-development”, the modern-day equivalent of old “women in development” programming.
Second, for biological or social reasons, people of different ages may experience poverty differently (Sumner 2010). For example, children under the age of five have specific nutritional needs that may not be adequately met in contexts of poverty. […] Third, development initiatives have differential impacts on people at different stages of the life course.
I am doing a series of articles on the book “Rethinking Canadian Aid” (University of Ottawa Press, 2015), and now it’s time for “Chapter 11: Gender Equality and the ‘Two CIDAs'” by Rebecca Tiessen. I need to confess up front that I probably won’t have as much to say about Tiessen’s chapter — while I agree with the “facts” she relies on, I’m not sure I share her interpretation of them as setbacks. Most of this is because I am not looking for rhetoric or inventing academic paradigms, I’m a professional government manager who has to interpret policies like these and figure out how to implement them.
Over the forty-seven years of its existence, CIDA progressed from a “women in development” (WID) approach to a gender equality approach to development programming. However, between 2009 and 2013, two key developments set back the progress CIDA had made in this area: (1) the partial, but significant, erasure of the term “gender equality” from official policies and government speeches when the Harper Conservatives shifted their language to “equality between women and men”; and (2) the introduction of the Muskoka Initiative on maternal health, signalling a further retreat from gender equality programming by targeting mothers as “victims” and beneficiaries of development services rather than active agents in the design and implementation of development programs.