Today’s development challenges are increasingly trans-boundary in nature. They are connected to issues of global public goods – such as climate change, tax and financial flows. At a time in which coordinated action among countries and development actors is becoming increasingly critical for confronting such challenges, there is growing concern that global governance systems are weakening.
Global challenges require coordinated solutions that apply the right mechanisms, in the right context
Amid these changes, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction provide a new framework for reversing the inequitable distribution of resources and opportunities. Together, they reflect a growing understanding that the achievement of sustainable and equitable development requires that donors and development partners find new ways to empower the disempowered, to foster the capacity of local organizations to hold power-holders to account, and to promote effective and inclusive spaces for the public to influence policy decisions that affect their interests.
Through its international assistance policies and funding, Canada can support more effective and innovative partnerships, while ensuring the transparent use of taxpayers’ dollars in the pursuit of a more stable, prosperous, and sustainable world.
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The following recommendations underscore key considerations by which the Government of Canada can achieve greater integration and coherence between its policy and funding mechanisms, as well as between stakeholder groups, branches of government and others whose participation is critical to the design and delivery of successful international development, security and stability, environment and climate change, and humanitarian policies and programs.
- The Government of Canada should adopt new mechanisms and approaches for ensuring coherent policy and funding between foreign affairs, international trade, international development, humanitarian assistance, defence, environment and climate change, and health machineries in order to more effectively address interconnected global challenges.
- The Government of Canada should promote individuals’ ability to act collectively, assert their rights and push for change, by incorporating the use of social accountability mechanisms in the projects and programs it supports.
- The Government of Canada should continue to support citizen engagement and dialogue processes, and seek to expand and replicate successful models in other sectors and regions.
- The Government of Canada should favour 10+ year programs, ensuring that financing and reporting mechanisms are flexible enough to adapt planned activities to changing circumstances, while ensuring accountability for outcomes.
- The Government of Canada should support cross-country/governmental, multi-stakeholder strategies on global public goods that recognize and provide opportunities for meaningful input from participants at all levels.
- The Government of Canada should foster innovation by establishing risk-tolerant funding mechanisms dedicated to piloting new technologies, approaches, partnerships and monitoring and evaluation systems.
- The Government of Canada should adopt mechanisms for holding all development partners to account for the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals, while leveraging its impact in priority areas by engaging in multilateral ‘blocks’ with like-minded donors whenever possible and appropriate.
- The Government of Canada should reinstate allowable annual allocations for public engagement by Canadian NGOs in Canada, and support advocacy as an output of international assistance programming, particularly in its work with local, women-led CSOs and efforts aimed at changing social norms and attitudes.