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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.
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
How Social Media Helps Human

How Social Media Helps Human Rights

During the Arab Spring, social media usage in the Middle East skyrocketed. Social media has become a tool of empowerment, handing the reins over to the citizens. Over in Afghanistan, human rights activist Omaid Sharifi and IHRTP alumnus uses social media in all aspects of his work. Sharifi is a man of all trades, but focuses heavily on women's rights. Recently, he and a large group of civil society activists came together to organize a protest to condemn the recent increase in violence against women in Afghanistan
05/21/2015 08:11 EDT
Flowers Wilt But Empowering Women Lasts

Flowers Wilt But Empowering Women Lasts Forever

Recognition of mothers shouldn't end with fancy speeches or photo ops in front of tulip-decorated monuments. It needs to be expressed with lasting and meaningful actions -- like putting women's rights at the heart of national and international policy-making, like making sure women's voices are heard in public discourse and by advancing gender justice and women's empowerment with our aid dollars.
05/08/2015 11:51 EDT
A Small Village in Mali Is Farming Toward a Viable Food

A Small Village in Mali Is Farming Toward a Viable Food Future

Agroecology is a vast body of science and knowledge that for farmers like Fanta Traoré in Mali, holds answers to the major problems facing the world's food system, among them persistent and growing rates of hunger and malnutrition, a huge ecological footprint, alarming climate change, and the increasing disenfranchisement of farmers. They use their ingenuity and time-tested knowledge to work with ecosystems, soils, seeds, water, and biodiversity, while producing food for communities and sustaining farm families on the land.
05/02/2015 08:39 EDT
Canada Should Seek a Greater Role Beyond Trade in the

Canada Should Seek a Greater Role Beyond Trade in the Americas

Canada designated Latin America as a foreign policy priority in 2007, but its record to date has been narrowly focused on the pursuit of free trade agreements at the expense of deeper engagement on crucial issues such as decent employment, sustainable economic development, citizen security, corporate accountability, democratic governance, and human rights.
04/29/2015 09:01 EDT
The Opposite Of Volontourism is Volunteer

The Opposite Of Volontourism is Volunteer Cooperation

Development is a complex undertaking, and as practitioners we know it is not a field where instantaneous gratification or minute-made results can be achieved. Good results come out of multi-year initiatives that involve an array of implementers and contributors -- quite often including volunteers.
04/16/2015 05:36 EDT
3 Things Canada Must Do to Achieve Sustainable Development

3 Things Canada Must Do to Achieve Sustainable Development Goals

Canada is doing some interesting work through the Redefining Development Finance Initiative. To build its reputation globally as a country that can provide the means to realize these goals internationally, there are three things that Canada's current and future leadership must do.
04/14/2015 05:25 EDT