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Development Unplugged

By the Canadian Council for International Co-operation, Canada’s national coalition of civil society organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development

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.
Full Employment Can be Achieved Without Destroying the

Full Employment Can be Achieved Without Destroying the Planet

Few make the connection between preserving and sustaining our global environmental commons and growing our common wealth. The only way we can sustainably improve the standard of living for all is by expanding the collective public goods and services that we share, instead of through profit-driven production.
10/25/2015 06:02 EDT
Water and Sanitation Play a Key Role in

Water and Sanitation Play a Key Role in Development

As with many of the SDGs, Goal 6 has significant implications within the borders of Canada. The requirement to ensure universal and equal access to drinking water and sanitation resonates most loudly for indigenous communities. As of July 2015, Health Canada reported 133 drinking water advisories in 93 First Nations communities.
10/22/2015 05:29 EDT
We Need a Canada-Wide Approach to Achieve Women's

We Need a Canada-Wide Approach to Achieve Women's Rights

A good start would be a renewal of funding for women's groups both domestically and internationally. But then we also need an ambitious agenda that crosses all Canadian federal departments, as well as in federal-provincial priorities -- a new National Action Plan for Gender Equality with legislative and operational targets from 2016 to 2030.
10/19/2015 05:38 EDT
We Need to Meet SDG Ambition with Action on

We Need to Meet SDG Ambition with Action on Education

Educating all the world's children is not only good for children, but for the societies in which they live -- with higher levels of education poverty drops, health and survival rates improve, more girls live up to their full potential and social and civic stability thrives.
10/16/2015 12:04 EDT
How Canada Can Commit to the Health of Our Global

How Canada Can Commit to the Health of Our Global Community

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages includes a cross-cutting set of targets on maternal mortality, HIV/AIDS, sexual and reproductive health, and environmental impacts. Health is also integrated as a target across a number of goals, including those related to gender, the environment, poverty and consumption -- implicitly recognizing the inter linkages necessary to health.
10/07/2015 05:22 EDT
The Goal of Ending Hunger Is Not

The Goal of Ending Hunger Is Not Far-Fetched

While it may be impossible to ensure that every single human has enough food every moment, there have been dramatic changes in what we call 'world hunger'. Already formerly 'hungry countries' like China and Ethiopia have cut hunger rates by more than half over the past twenty years.
10/05/2015 12:20 EDT
Canada Must Boldly Commit to Defeat Poverty at Home and

Canada Must Boldly Commit to Defeat Poverty at Home and Abroad

The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not for the faint of heart -- they are bold, broad commitments striking at the core of society's critical social issues. The first goal is as daunting as it is resolute: end poverty in all its forms everywhere. And as a universal agenda, these commitments apply to all countries -- including Canada.
10/02/2015 05:02 EDT
What We Need to Attain the Sustainable Development

What We Need to Attain the Sustainable Development Goals

The SDGs represent an opportunity for Canada to examine how it can engage globally and how it can exercise leadership, both at home and abroad, to address sustainable development challenges. However, unless -- and until -- the financial aspects of the SDGs are properly addressed, the post-2015 agenda will remain a set of elusive goals.
09/30/2015 12:36 EDT
Time to Process the UN's New Global

Time to Process the UN's New Global Goals

Last weekend world leaders met in New York to adopt Transforming our World: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The agenda includes a new set of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Most people might think that this "plan of action for people, planet and prosperity" is the major outcome of the past few years -- But I would argue that the process is also a major outcome in and of itself.
09/28/2015 12:33 EDT
Implementing Agenda 2030 Will Be the Biggest

Implementing Agenda 2030 Will Be the Biggest Challenge

At the heart of Agenda 2030 is one simple message: "leave no one behind." Agenda 2030 is about a farmer's rights to vote and to have meaningful expectations of a better future for himself and his family, with access to health services, to education, decent work, clean water and freedom from fear.
09/25/2015 12:11 EDT
Canada Has a Role to Play in Sustainable

Canada Has a Role to Play in Sustainable Development

How likely are we to see a true paradigm shift -- one that recognizes the shared sustainable development challenges all countries and people face? What does this look like in practice? And what does it really mean for Canada?
09/23/2015 08:30 EDT
What the UN's New Sustainable Development Plan Means for

What the UN's New Sustainable Development Plan Means for Canada

Over the next 15 years, the international community will be guided by 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) integrating the three broad pillars of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental well-being. Universal in nature, this means the SDGs will go beyond guiding the international cooperation efforts of high-income countries and emerging economies, to encouraging Canada to determine how it will address its own sustainable development challenges domestically.
09/21/2015 05:12 EDT
How Parties Engage on Foreign Policy Can Tell Voters a

How Parties Engage on Foreign Policy Can Tell Voters a Lot

On Sept. 28, 2015, The Munk Centre will host Canada's first-ever federal election debate. We can expect to see any number of key issues on the table -- Canada's track record on trade and investment, engagement in Syria, our approach to Palestine and Israel, refugee policy -- There is a lot of ground to cover. For international development, there is really one key question: Will parties commit to increasing Canada's foreign aid budget?
09/11/2015 05:04 EDT
What Will Be the Role of Country Ownership in the Post-2015

What Will Be the Role of Country Ownership in the Post-2015 Agenda?

The need to ensure developing country ownership over development processes has been well-established. Yet, as the world moves towards the establishment of the post-2015 sustainable development agenda, there has been little conversation on the extent to which the new agenda will indeed support country ownership of sustainable development processes.
07/02/2015 05:29 EDT
Educating Young Refugees Is a Path to Sustainable International

Educating Young Refugees Is a Path to Sustainable International Development

On World Refugee Day 2015 (June 20), events around the world recognize the more than 50 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes. It is a day to reflect on the strength and resilience of the millions who have fled their countries and we acknowledge the efforts of individuals and groups who are devoted to supporting refugee populations.
06/17/2015 05:27 EDT
How Humour Helps Us Think Seriously About

How Humour Helps Us Think Seriously About Injustice

Poverty, inequality, violations of human rights and other forms of social injustice aren't usually associated with humour. But growing numbers of international development organizations are using humour both to catch our attention and to make us think more deeply about serious issues of global injustice. While some global charities still use pictures of sad, hungry children in their communications, others are using much more creative strategies involving humour -- from satire to parody to slap-stick comedy.
06/13/2015 10:02 EDT
We Need a New Integrity in the Global Development Financing

We Need a New Integrity in the Global Development Financing Debate

We need to recognize that most private sector flows are going to the richest of developing countries, to China not a Cambodia. This distribution runs counter to the UN goal of "leaving no one behind." The least developed countries for sure need both: responsible private investment and a bigger share of increased traditional grant aid.
06/04/2015 08:07 EDT
Instead of Being a Voluntourist, Stop Buying Clothes From

Instead of Being a Voluntourist, Stop Buying Clothes From Sweatshops

The moral values of volunteerism should be encouraged. But it is even more important to understand and act on our ethical duties not to cause harm in the first place, or to benefit from it -- through the clothes we wear, electronics we use, food we consume and governments that we elect. Travel can help us to understand the seriousness of these connections. But the urgent work of addressing these harms needs to take place at home. It requires bright, committed, creative, energetic and compassionate people to act on the connections between our everyday lives and injustices in other parts of the world.
05/27/2015 06:36 EDT
Women's Health Is the Key to Economic Prosperity in the

Women's Health Is the Key to Economic Prosperity in the Philippines

Millions of women in the Philippines could become the economic market that Canada wants and live freer, more prosperous lives if they were given access to healthcare with the autonomy to decide how many children to have, when to have them, and how to have them safely.
05/25/2015 05:43 EDT