‘Empower the Most Marginalized People to be Agents of Change’ CARE Canada Submission to the Government of Canada’s International Assistance Review

The Government of Canada’s International Assistance Review is taking place at a time of tremendous change, marked by significant shifts in the causes of poverty, inequality and instability around the world.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction together provide new impetus to develop more effective and durable approaches towards poverty eradication, and for fostering more prosperous and resilient communities.

Central to these new global agendas is an understanding that poverty and instability are caused by unequal power relations. Inequality exists both between and within countries. With 73 percent of the world’s poor people living in middle-income countries,[1] for example, donors’ traditional focus on low-income countries may not accurately reflect parallel shifts in challenges related to community health, economic inclusion, resilience, food and nutrition security. Meanwhile, in all countries, women continue to represent a vast population whose contributions to development, peace and good governance is well documented, but whose agency continues to be denied.

A new approach for reaching the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, centred on efforts to address and reverse power imbalances, is needed. By refocussing its efforts on fostering a more equitable distribution of resources and opportunities – between women and men, between power-holders and marginalised communities, and between countries – Canada can today lead new efforts to promote more inclusive social structures and institutions, more durable development outcomes, and a more stable and prosperous world.

The policy briefs that follow reflect the knowledge and expertise of professionals from across CARE International. These include leaders in the fields of gender equality and women’s rights, global health and nutrition, food security and climate change, financial inclusion, and humanitarian assistance. Each brief presents key issues, analysis and recommendations aimed at informing coherent, evidence-based and results-driven international assistance policies. Properly implemented, the recommendations contained herein can help the Government of Canada become a global leader in advancing post-2015 international assistance objectives.

Diverse in their thematic orientation, however, the briefs that follow are united by a common, overarching message:

Reaching the world’s poorest and most vulnerable in a world shaped by persistent inequalities, climate change, protracted crises, and a new universalist vision of global development, requires new approaches to international assistance aimed at transforming the social structures that perpetuate inequalities, investing in community resilience, and empowering the most marginalized people to be agents of change.

Note to media:

CARE Canada experts are available to discuss the themes and key policy asks outlined in this submission. To arrange an inteview, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada | +1.613.228.5641