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

Syrian Refugees: Shifting From Crisis Response To Opportunity

(0) Comments | Posted October 25, 2016 | 3:10 PM

By Roula El-Rifai

Welcoming over 30,000 Syrian refugees to Canada in the past year is a reflection of the shared values and generous spirit of Canadians and communities, businesses and governments across this country.

Last month, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau reinforced the country's commitment at the UN...

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Can We End Hunger By 2030?

(1) Comments | Posted October 24, 2016 | 1:45 PM

By Livia Bizikova, Carin Smaller, David Laborde and Tess Lallemenat

Over the last 25 years, the number of people suffering from hunger dropped by 50%. Yet, in 2015, there were still 800 million people suffering from hunger in developing countries -- this amounts to twice the population of the entire...

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A Cure Has No Use If It Cannot Be Widely Distributed, Managed And Accessed

(1) Comments | Posted October 5, 2016 | 4:38 PM

By Shelley Garnham

Dr. Fathiya hands us each a blue mask, instructing us to cover our nose and mouth as we pull the bands snugly behind our heads. She insists that we ensure there is a tight seal all along the blue cloth between it and our cheeks, noses,...

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Lessons From Loyce Maturu And Other Global Fund Reflections

(0) Comments | Posted September 27, 2016 | 4:30 PM

By Eva Slawecki

I felt honoured, perhaps slightly overwhelmed, to join the crowd of participants at the Global Fund Replenishment Conference in Montreal. I was in the company of some of Canada's best and brightest in the field of global health, rubbing shoulders with experts from around the world, listening...

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Canadian Youth Must Show Up And Speak Out For The SDGs

(0) Comments | Posted September 22, 2016 | 3:25 PM

By: Mathura Mahendren

"I'm frustrated with Canada."

I was attending a workshop on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and this declaration from our facilitator left me thinking, "What did we do now?"

In fact, it was what we didn't do.

As a part of the SDG consultation process, the United...

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How Policy Coherence Helps The SDG Wheels Turn

(0) Comments | Posted September 20, 2016 | 3:44 PM

By Livia Bizikova and Peter Denton

The 71st Session of the UN General Assembly opened last week with its new president, Peter Thomson, announcing it was time to get the wheels turning on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN a year ago.

Thomson remarked...

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Creativity Is Key To Ending HIV In El Salvador

(0) Comments | Posted September 13, 2016 | 3:35 PM

By Bernabe Yameogo


Twenty-year-old Taty is a trans woman living in El Salvador and working in the sex trade. Fear of discrimination and harassment keep her from visiting clinics and hospitals, meaning that she is at high risk of contracting HIV, but doesn't...

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G20 Summit Offered Little Of Substance For The World's Poorest

(0) Comments | Posted September 12, 2016 | 5:39 PM

By John Sinclair

The G20 Summit, the first chaired by a developing country, China, confirmed its super-star status, but was it necessary for them to overlook the red carpet for President Obama? The final group photo has been taken, but without the traditional display of host country national dress, just...

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Why We Need A Global Approach To Eliminating HIV, TB And Malaria

(1) Comments | Posted September 7, 2016 | 5:41 PM

By Sharon Claydon


My dear friend, the late Paul O'Grady, was the first openly gay man to serve in the New South Wales (state) Parliament. In 1996, Paul publicly disclosed on national television that he was HIV positive and had developed...

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The World Social Forum : A Giant Tapestry For Social Justice

(0) Comments | Posted September 2, 2016 | 4:23 PM

By Kelly Di Domenico

The best way I can describe being a participant in the recent 2016 World Social Forum (WSF) in Montreal, is feeling like a piece in a tapestry that has interconnected with all the other pieces necessary to build a new world.

Many pieces are needed...

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U.S.-Canadian Leadership's Global Fight For Better Health

(0) Comments | Posted September 1, 2016 | 2:13 PM

By Kim Cernak

"This is an historic opportunity for Canada and the world. By fast-tracking investments and building global solidarity, we can bring an end to three devastating epidemics -- AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria -- that have tragic and far-reaching impacts on the world's most vulnerable people." --
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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

(2) 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

(5) 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

(6) 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

(2) 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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