As Liberians and other West Africans bravely struggle to contain Ebola, Canada's foreign engagements are shifting away from they types of initiatives that could help prevent such an epidemic. Working with countries like Liberia to strengthen health systems does not seem to be in Canada's interests any longer.
Dariusz Dziewanski is a researcher and monitoring and evaluation consultant. He is currently based in Cape Town, South Africa, researching gang violence in the Cape Flats. Since 2006, he has worked with different non-governmental organizations and United Nations agencies throughout West and East Africa, South and Central America, and South Asia. He has also worked with the Canadian International Development Agency and Department of National Defence, in Ottawa. Dariusz is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of London’s School of Oriental African Studies.
In South Africa violence is present and disregarded across the country. The victims of this violence are black, coloured, Indian, and white, women and men, rich and poor, famous and unknown. While the stories of Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp deserve attention, there are other poignant personal histories across this spectrum of experience that are ignored, and have been ignored for decades. Surely such stories deserve real attention as well. Not a matter-of-fact reporting of time, place, and cause of death, but real attention; in narratives as penetrating and rich as is necessitated by the lives they represent.
03/11/2014 12:36 EDT
If CIDA's new direction means that development assistance will be used to advance Canada's prosperity and security -- rather than focusing on the needs of the poor and marginalized -- it will be a step backwards along the long path towards development, for all women, men, and children living in countries like Liberia.
03/27/2013 05:45 EDT
A real commitment to aid effectiveness would mean empowering CIDA staff to do the jobs they have been hired to do: provide unbiased information from which development programs and policies can be crafted. In the spirit of public service, proper decisions need to be constructed through discussion.
02/07/2013 05:48 EST
Canadians have a vested interest in following the U.S. gun debate, both to understand how laws passed there laws can affect us practically and to learn lessons from the mistakes that can be made by painting intricate issues with broad stokes.
01/17/2013 12:03 EST
It may be that the inherent complexity of international development initiatives -- which occur in dynamic and unpredictable environments, such Haiti's -- precludes a quick or linear path towards development results. Within this framework, failure may actually be a necessary stepping-stone on the path towards success.
01/11/2013 05:17 EST
Since 2004, Canada's foreign aid strategy has experienced a noticeable move along a spectrum from morality to national self-interest. Whether you call it a tipping point or a crisis, the shift in Canada's aid policy poses some fundamental questions of us as Canadians; for instance: why do we give foreign aid?
01/02/2013 08:05 EST
For all the talk of the effects of guns and the nature of gun crime, very little is said about the role that guns play as social symbols. The gun debate is still articulated by simplistic slogans such as: "guns don't kill people, people do." But in addition to their functional value -- as instruments of security and insecurity -- guns are also infused with a powerful symbolic value. A gun is more than an object. A gun is a means towards, and a symbol of, an ideal society. It serves as a functional and figurative instrument of who does, and who does not, have power and citizenship.
12/20/2012 09:58 EST
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