The Loss of CIDA
This week has marked the official loss of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), as the government of Canada merged it into the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development.
For international development majors like me, and workers in this field, this is monumental, and brings up a lot of questions. The government is currently saying that most efforts made by CIDA will continue under this new designation, but people in the field are wondering if this move will focus more on aid that helps to advance Canada's interests, as has been stated as a goal, by members of the government. This is worrisome, as it could mean more ineffective aid being dispersed, with new forms of tied aid emerging. Also, the consolidation of multiple aspects of international affairs could result in significantly less money being put towards international development.
Take a look at a recent Globe and Mail article on the subject here, and then let me know what you think!
5/7/2013 06:15:53 am
I would hope this change will mark the beginning of a more respectful and equal relationship with the developing countries. My understanding is that much of the aid sent from government to government little benefits society as a whole, but remains in the pockets of those in power.
Sylvia - thank you for your comment. I do also hope that this change will be a positive one, but I fear that in reality, the new form will become a method of the Canadian government to increase their power in certain target countries, and use their aid as leverage among other nations.
Very well put Katie. As a fellow development practitioner, I agree that this decision is going to reduce more humanitarian aid efforts by Canada, and only focus on initiatives that will bring direct benefit to Canada. It was the wrong decision in my opinion, and CIDAs work was incredibly important to the country.To play Devil's Advocate though, this could make government operations/sending more efficient, and give Canada returns on it's "hard earned money". Do you see any positives to CIDA's removal?
In response to your Devil's advocate question, Michelle, I think that the argument for efficiency is a smokescreen for a power grab and that the amount of money saved will not be very high. I think that the current administration wanted to have more control over the money, locations, and stories to spin. I do worry that the consolidation of departments will mean that money will be redirected from aid to other areas of spending as well.
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Welcome! My name is Katiana and I am a development professional pursuing my dream to live out Isaiah 1:17 to the best of my abilities. I am passionate about teaching and working with vulnerable families and children to improve their lives sustainably.
This blog is composed of my personal opinions, which do not necessarily reflect the opinion or views of institutions or organizations that I may be or have been affiliated with.