Development Unplugged
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This blog focuses on international development and other global issues. It was established by the Canadian Council for International Co-operation (CCIC) as a virtual space where practitioners, researchers, and academics can share commentary, reflections and lessons learned. It provides a platform for cutting edge thinking and debate on the global issues and challenges of our time.

Entries by Development Unplugged

A Brush With Death Taught Me Luck Alone Won't Keep Aid Workers Safe

(0) Comments | Posted August 19, 2016 | 8:13 AM

By Melanie Murphy

I used to think that most guns sound like they do in the movies -- a big bang, followed by screaming and oncoming sirens.

When I was working in southern Sudan a few years ago, in a small town called Renk, I realized one Saturday morning this...

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How Canada Can Become A Leader In Global Development Cooperation

(0) Comments | Posted August 18, 2016 | 1:49 PM

By Julia Sanchez

The end of July marked the wrap-up of public consultations held as part of Global Affairs Canada's International Assistance Review, the first major examination of our international cooperation agenda in over two decades. Civil society groups in the international development sector engaged fully in the...

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Canadian International Assistance Threatens Human Right To Water

(0) Comments | Posted August 11, 2016 | 6:03 PM

By Maude Barlow and Meera Karunananthan

When Justin Trudeau came to power last fall, the mere fact that the Canadian prime minister called himself a feminist and acknowledged climate science was celebrated around the world.

Among other promises, Trudeau pledged to transform Canada's role in the world....

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Canada's Humanitarian Action Must Be Feminist And Principled

(9) Comments | Posted August 9, 2016 | 1:23 PM

By Kevin Dunbar and Bart Witteveen

Global humanitarian need is on the rise. The UN estimates that 125 million people need humanitarian relief and more than 60 million people are displaced from their homes. The Government of Canada's international assistance review could not have come at a more critical time.

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What We Really Really Want Is An End To Violence Against Women

(0) Comments | Posted July 29, 2016 | 12:33 PM


By Julie Delahanty

To mark its 20th anniversary, artists from India to Nigeria revamped the Spice Girls' world-famous Wannabe video. What they "really really want" this time around is an end to violence against women.

I really really want that too....

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How Canada Should Support Low-carbon Growth Abroad

(2) Comments | Posted July 22, 2016 | 11:10 AM

By Jason Potts

At last year's Paris climate change agreement, all countries committed to help adapt to climate change and reduce emissions. Canada's official development assistance (ODA) now needs to focus on realizing these commitments. Ensuring maximum impact will require attending to areas where need is greatest and where Canada...

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Canada Must Find Focus Before It Can Be A Global Aid Leader

(0) Comments | Posted July 15, 2016 | 5:53 PM

By Jacob Winter

Canadian aid is in the middle of an identity crisis. Since the demise of CIDA in 2013, Canadian international assistance has fumbled around in its new mega-department, adding more countries of focus to its programs as funding plateaus.

At the same time, pressures from above...

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A Feminist Approach To Peace And Security Requires More Than Words

(0) Comments | Posted July 14, 2016 | 1:31 PM

By Beth Woroniuk

On July 1st, we marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme. The tragic slaughter of hundreds of thousands of young men echoes through the century. I am Canadian because of my Scottish grandmother who turned 19 the year World War I ended....

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Incorporating SDGs Into Canadian Policy A Clear Choice

(0) Comments | Posted July 13, 2016 | 1:12 PM

By Julian Dierkes

Canadian international assistance is governed by the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act. This act specifies three criteria for approval of international assistance projects. Such projects must:

"contribute to poverty reduction;
"take into account the perspectives of the poor; and
"be consistent with international...

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Three Amigos Must Speak On Mexican Human Rights

(0) Comments | Posted July 8, 2016 | 2:18 PM

By Rachel Vincent and Jim Hodgson

As a neighbour and 'real friend,' Canada must speak up at summit.

The North American Leaders' Summit, or so-called Three Amigos summit, is a not-to-be missed opportunity for Canada to have a real conversation with Mexico. As the Canadian government advances with a...

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Canada Must Take A Stand Against Human Rights Violations

(0) Comments | Posted July 7, 2016 | 2:12 PM

By Alex Neve

Céline, a tenacious grassroots women's human rights defender in Chad, once asked me, "If our views are not sought and we are not free to express them, how can we hold the government to their promises?"

She has, to say the least, been outspoken in her...

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It's Time To Give Shape To Canada's Place In The World

(0) Comments | Posted July 6, 2016 | 4:39 PM

By Fraser Reilly-King

"Canada's back" and "Because it's 2015" are two phrases that have triggered a process that could reshape Canada's image in the world.

Last month, Global Affairs Canada launched a review and consultation on their proposed approach to international assistance -- a process that could give...

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Can We Count On Technology To Address Our Environmental Challenges?

(0) Comments | Posted June 23, 2016 | 11:00 AM

By Livia Bizikova and Peter Denton

How much can emerging technologies help change our environment, and will they alone help address some of the environmental challenges we are faced with?

This question was the focus of a Global Environmental Outlook launched by the United Nations Environment Program...

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3 Takeaways From The World Humanitarian Summit

(0) Comments | Posted June 15, 2016 | 1:23 PM

Written by Nicolas Moyer on May 25, 2016, and upon his return from attending the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.

The World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) concluded in Istanbul on May 25th. It was the biggest ever meeting of the global humanitarian community, a first ever time to tackle

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Is Canada Ready To Support Least Developed Countries?

(0) Comments | Posted June 14, 2016 | 4:23 PM

un midterm review 2016

By John Sinclair

In late May, Turkey, despite security worries and about 3 million Syrian refugees, was the well-organized host to the UN's mid-term review of the 2011 Istanbul Program of Action (IPoA) for Least Developed Countries (LDCs). It additionally financed the participation...

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Canada's Return To UN Peacekeeping: Are We There Yet?

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 11:48 AM

By Fergus Watt

May 29 is celebrated each year as the International Day of United Nations Peacekeepers.

Over the years, 3,400 peacekeepers have lost their lives serving under the UN flag, 128 of them last year alone. Since 1948, 71 peace operations have been established.

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Humanitarian Financing: Investing In The Future Of Aid Delivery

(0) Comments | Posted May 23, 2016 | 10:53 AM

By Nicolas Moyer

This post is the seventh of a seven-part series on the themes of the High-Level Leaders' Roundtables at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, to be held May 23-24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

The global humanitarian system is failing at the same time as it has...

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Changing People's Lives: From Delivering Aid To Ending Need

(0) Comments | Posted May 19, 2016 | 11:06 AM

By Patricia Erb

This post is the sixth of a seven-part series on the themes of the High-Level Leaders' Roundtables at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, to be held May 23-24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

In 2015 governments and multilateral, national and international organizations working on global development,...

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Natural Disasters: Managing Risks And Crises Differently

(0) Comments | Posted May 18, 2016 | 12:45 PM

By Susan Johnson

This post is the fifth of a seven-part series on the themes of the High-Level Leaders' Roundtables at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, to be held May 23-24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

When Canada's Development Minister Bibeau joins with world leaders in...

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Women And Girls: Catalyzing Action To Achieve Gender Equality

(0) Comments | Posted May 17, 2016 | 10:36 AM

By Gillian Barth and Shaughn McArthur

This post is the fourth of a seven-part series on the themes of the High-Level Leaders' Roundtables at the first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, to be held May 23-24 in Istanbul, Turkey.

"We can do it!"

Generations later, this simple phrase remains...

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