Professor, School of Political Studies
From the international development perspective, Budget 2019 is the most disappointing federal budget since the current Liberal government was elected. Foreign aid warrants a mere three paragraphs. The first repeats past commitments and the third describes how the government will …READ MORE
By Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
To help ensure that Canadian foreign aid is spent on supporting people in need in developing countries — rather than things like white elephants and Canadian commercial interests — Canada has legislation that mandates …READ MORE
Of late, many commentators, from humble bloggers to the more august Toronto Star and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), have lamented Canada’s relative lack of generosity in foreign aid and called on the Canadian government to increase the …READ MORE
by Hunter McGill and Stephen Brown
Every five years or so, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) conducts a “peer review” of the countries that belong to its Development Assistance Committee (DAC). This year was Canada’s turn and …READ MORE
by Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
Ten years ago, the Canadian parliament unanimously passed the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, following years of intensive lobbying by Canadian civil society organizations. Prior to 2008, Canada had not had any legislation …READ MORE
One of the best predictors of whether a country criminalizes homosexuality is whether it is a member of the Commonwealth. In 36 out of 53 Commonwealth countries, sexual acts in private between two consenting adults of the same sex are …READ MORE
The preliminary aid statistics for 2017 are now out. What do they tell us about global trends and Canadian foreign aid?
Globally, official development assistance (ODA) from traditional donors has held steady. The total amount, US$147 billion, is down slightly …READ MORE
by Stephen Brown and Hunter McGill
If you watched Finance Minister Bill Morneau’s budget speech in the House of Commons yesterday, you had to be paying close attention to catch the one sentence that refers to foreign aid: “We will …READ MORE
“I would love to increase the aid budget,” admitted Celina Caesar-Chavannes, Liberal Member of Parliament and Parliamentary Secretary to Canada’s Minister of International Development, speaking at a recent conference organized by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation. But, she argued, …READ MORE
Shifting from petty and mean to sunny ways, Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government has done a remarkable job of changing the tone of Canada’s international engagement. When it comes to foreign aid, however, the rhetoric has not been matched by action. …READ MORE
In the early 2000s, Western donors finally recognized that they were partly to blame for foreign aid’s often disappointing results. The Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, adopted in 2005, was the result of that soul-searching.
The Declaration was based …READ MORE
Providing foreign aid is only one among many things that countries like Canada can do to promote international development. Official development assistance (ODA) on its own is not sufficient to help developing countries radically improve the lot of their poor …READ MORE
In its first five months in office, the Liberal government has captured the world’s attention, never losing an opportunity to proclaim that “Canada is back.” In a blog a few months ago, the McLeod Group lamented the new government’s lack …READ MORE
The current migration crisis poses a threat to foreign aid. By that, I certainly do not mean that the refugees and asylum seekers themselves are dangerous, but rather how Western governments respond to the crisis is already having a negative …READ MORE
A decade of Conservative rule has had a profound impact on Canadian foreign aid — and mostly for the worst.
With respect to aid level, we are back where we started. The Harper government initially embraced the Liberals’ goal of…
The French version of this essay was published on the Huffington Post Québec blog Un seul monde on January 8, 2015.
When the Harper government abolished the Canadian International Development Agency and transferred its functions to the newly renamed Department …READ MORE
By Rieky Stuart and Stephen Brown
Published on the McLeod Group Blog, June 10, 2014
The Canadian government’s recent Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) Summit in Toronto has not lacked for cheerleaders, especially NGOs receiving funding under the …READ MORE
While global foreign aid reached an all-time high in 2013, the Canadian government’s contributions fell by over 11%. Among the 28 industrialized countries belonging to the Development Assistance Committee, only debt-ridden Portugal cut aid more drastically than Canada. Not …READ MORE
In July 2013, when the government abolished the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and transferred its functions to the newly renamed Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD), it did so mainly in the name of policy coherence. The …READ MORE
Many supporters of DFAIT’s recently announced takeover of CIDA are invoking spurious arguments. More fundamentally, most commentators are missing the crucial point that this new arrangement will do little or nothing to fix the actual problems with Canadian foreign aid. …READ MORE
Published in Embassy Magazine, September 19, 2012
Canada’s contributions to reducing global poverty are rarely a priority topic for debate in the House of Commons. Foreign aid is an important tool for supporting international development, but it will likely …READ MORE
Media commentary has been remarkably lenient regarding Bev Oda’s record at the end of her five-year stint as Canada’s Minister of International Cooperation. Coverage has by and large ignored how, under her watch, the government systematically undermined both the fundamental …READ MORE
Transitional justice is trendy. After a civil war or political transition, the new government will often announce one or more of a variety of mechanisms for dealing with the past, such as a special tribunal or a truth commission.
What …READ MORE
In a blog post yesterday, my colleague Natalie Brender rejected a recent Ottawa Citizen column’s condemnations of the use of CIDA funds to subsidize Canadian mining companies’ corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in mining-affected communities in developing countries.
The crux …READ MORE