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Section 2: Program Activities

CIDA’s strategic outcomes

Strategic Outcome 1 – Increased achievement of development results consistent with Canadian foreign policy objectives
Description – Canada pursues the achievement of development goals that collectively aim at reducing poverty. CIDA’s development goals are aligned with Canada’s foreign policy priorities, and coordinated with those of other donors.
Performance indicators
  • Progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
  • Progress toward democratic governance
Strategic Outcome 2 – Sustained support and informed action by Canadians in international development
Description – Canadians make a valuable contribution to international development through their financial and in-kind support, resourcefulness, innovative ideas, and commitment. Canadians are involved in international development through government, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and volunteerism.
Performance indicators
  • Level of public support
  • Level of awareness, support and engagement related to Canada’s development program

2.1 Selected countries and regions

Program activity description
The purpose of CIDA's development assistance programming in selected countries and regions, is to enhance the capacity of these countries and regions to achieve stability and/or development goals and to contribute to Canada’s international interests and objectives.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009-2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
391,185 268
Expected result: Contribution to international interests of the Government of Canada
Selected performance indicators
  • Targeted programming in areas of mutual interest
  • Degree to which other government departments are engaged in country
Expected result: Enhanced capacity of selected countries and regions to achieve stability and/or development goals
Selected performance indicators
  • Progress toward the MDGs
  • Level of democratic governance
  • Existence of an effective government poverty-reduction strategy supported by transparent and accountable systems and resource frameworks
  • Alignment of CIDA country strategies and institutional support to the country’s national development plan

Planning highlights
Although CIDA is focusing its resources in a limited number of countries in which Canada can have the greatest impact, the Agency is maintaining a modest presence in a number of selected countries and regions to advance Canadian values and interests on the world stage. These countries and regions represent a vast array of levels of capacity and development needs.

Contribution to international interests of the Government of Canada

Increasing inter-dependence characterizes today’s international environment. Trans-boundary or regional challenges and opportunities are of interest to both Canada and CIDA partners. The Agency will provide assistance and support to selected countries and regions to address those challenges and harness the opportunities. In working to advance the government’s objectives, CIDA will continue to collaborate with other government departments.

Enhanced capacity of selected countries and regions to achieve stability and/or development goals

CIDA faces a wide range of challenges in selected countries and regions. These comprise absorptive and institutional capacity of partners, including countries and non-governmental organizations; the sustainability of results achieved; as well as translating regional commitments into country-level budgets, action plans or activities.

Efforts to address these challenges will include:
  • strengthening country partners’ capacity, monitoring their progress and managing financial flows accordingly;
  • reinforcing the work of key regional institutions and enhancing Canada’s overall reputation in institutional strengthening;
  • supporting selected countries and regions to enhance their capacity in making progress towards the MDGs;
  • ensuring democratic governance is included as one of the priority sectors. Canada’s leadership is particularly relevant for many selected countries that are in transition to democracy or struggle to consolidate democratic institutions and processes; and
  • encouraging improved coordination among key actors, including civil society, to ensure greater coherence between regional plans and national actions.
CIDA’s planned activities are strategically focused and driven by aid effectiveness. More specifically, CIDA will continue to strongly support partner efforts to strengthen country ownership. Country and regional programs will continue to align with the respective national or regional development plans of partners.

2.2 Countries of concentration

Program activity description
This program activity involves engaging in effective development assistance programming in countries of concentration to enhance their capacity to achieve development goals. Programming is developed through consultation and cooperation with partners internationally, in Canada, and in these countries. Initiatives include various country programs, projects, development activities, as well as policy dialogue.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009–2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
985,814 352
Expected result: Enhanced capacity of countries of concentration to achieve development goals
Selected performance indicators
  • Progress toward the MDGs
  • Level of democratic governance
  • Existence of an effective government poverty-reduction strategy, reflected in budgeting decisions and long-term resource framework
  • Alignment of CIDA country strategies and institutional support to the country’s national development plan

Planning highlights
Enhanced capacity of countries of concentration to achieve development goals

Developing countries face constraints that limit their economic and social progress. The escalating financial and economic crisis, increased volatility in the prices of fuel and food (and related food insecurity), persistent inequalities between women and men, and the threats to health and diseases are hindering progress toward the MDGs.

Tackling the root causes of food insecurity is essential to meeting the MDGs. CIDA will support increased productivity of food and agriculture systems as well as humanitarian assistance in times of crisis, in order to address both long-, and short-term needs.

CIDA is focusing the majority of its resources in countries of concentration to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of aid in support of progress toward the MDGs. The focus of these resources in fewer countries will increase their impact and measurable results, and improve Canada’s ability to monitor and evaluate investments. CIDA will be better positioned to manage risks and respond to changing conditions. Programming in countries of concentration is consistent with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and the 2008 Accra Agenda for Action. It recognizes the overarching importance of democratic governance both as an objective in itself and as an essential foundation for sustained poverty reduction.

The Agency will continue to increase its use, as local capacity allows, of the most effective and direct means to achieve its objectives. It will decentralize program management to Canadian offices overseas as appropriate to increase effectiveness, and responsiveness of programs.

Key strategies in countries of concentration include:
  • establishing sector focus in areas where positive outcomes can be realized;
  • designing programming approaches based on assessed needs, local capacity, and cohesive, coordinated work with other donors;
  • contributing to enhanced country systems and access to services by those in poverty by increasingly aligning program strategies and frameworks with selected results of the partner countries’ national development plans;
  • maintaining adequate flexibility in country programs to enable timely responses to unforeseen shocks and crises; and
  • engaging in policy dialogue to support country policies and programs consistent with equality between women and men, human rights, and environmental sustainability.

2.3 Fragile states and countries experiencing humanitarian crisis

Program activity description
This program activity involves development and/or humanitarian assistance in fragile states and/or countries experiencing humanitarian crises. By responding to rapid on-set crises due to hostilities, natural disasters and civil unrest, CIDA fulfills its international responsibilities via means that ensure access and delivery of essential emergency services to victims. Over the long-term, CIDA will support efforts to restore the capacity of public institutions and society to meet specific needs and risks. In both cases, partnerships with institutional organizations offer flexibility and expertise to provide the most effective responses.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009-2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
625,521 196
Expected result: Reduced vulnerability of crisis-affected people
Selected performance indicators
  • Prevalence of acute malnutrition
  • Level of personal and community protection
Expected result: Restored capacity of public institutions and stability
Selected performance indicators
  • Development of national poverty-reduction strategies, including sector priorities
  • Level of access to basic services

Planning highlights
The situation of fragile states is a growing theme in the current international order. A number of countries are mired in various stages of conflict, state failure and acute fragility that easily, and often aggressively, spill over borders. These states threaten collective security, undermine development, and spread global instability. These countries have highly complex operating environments.

Canada is present in a number of fragile countries through its humanitarian assistance and bilateral programs, including Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq, Sudan, and West Bank and Gaza. This represents the government’s recognition of its international humanitarian responsibilities, with planned investments totalling $625.5 million in 2009–2010.

Reduced vulnerability of crisis-affected people

Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Conflicts around the world have become increasingly complex. In this context, CIDA will address short-term humanitarian needs through interventions that focus on core life-saving services.

CIDA will pursue recovery assistance, including the provision of basic services such as health, shelter, the removal of landmines, food and logistics in coordination with key humanitarian organizations. This can, at times, involve efforts to reintegrate internally- displaced populations and refugees. It can also involve the provision of reconstruction and recovery support to countries affected by natural disasters. CIDA and its humanitarian partners will continue to respond to needs in an effective, timely, and coordinated fashion.

Restored capacity of public institutions to provide access to basic services and stability

To foster conditions for potential longer-term development, CIDA will undertake initiatives and projects aimed at rebuilding and reinforcing democratic governance, human rights, and the rule of law. CIDA will pay close attention to equality between women and men to ensure that both men and women are able to contribute to the sustainable development of their societies.

To help ensure the achievement of expected results, CIDA will continue, when appropriate, to engage other Canadian government departments including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) and Department of National Defence (DND), as well as trusted partners among multilateral institutions, humanitarian agencies, and non-governmental organizations. Consistent with the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, CIDA will work with the national governments of partner countries, civil society, and the private sector. CIDA will also continue the policy dialogue with other donors, and play a key role in donor coordination.

CIDA recognizes the socio-political, economic, security, and management risks inherent in operating in a fragile context. The Agency’s risk-mitigation and -management strategies will include on-going monitoring of the on-the-ground situation, and will also involve the use of mixed programming modalities, balancing programming across the different regions of a country or jurisdiction, and whole-of-government coordination, as well as collaboration with trusted partners. Moreover, CIDA will endeavour to fully align its performance measurement framework with the partner country’s priorities where possible in an effort to enhance the monitoring and local ownership of results, thereby promoting the ongoing sustainability of the Agency’s investments.

In 2009–2010, CIDA intends to conduct a review of its approach to failed and conflict-affected countries. This review will integrate lessons learned from existing and past programming, and will support potential Agency and government-wide improvements.

Canada’s major missions in fragile states

Aligned with Canada’s whole-of-government approach, CIDA will deliver development assistance in partnership with DFAIT, DND, and other departments to advance Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. Canada is concentrating its development efforts in Kandahar province by increasing its aid and development programming, and focusing on three signature projects. In addition, decentralizing staff and delegating authorities to the field will increase effectiveness. Equality between women and men, and environmental sustainability are crosscutting themes in all CIDA programming in Afghanistan. Communication of results will involve closely monitoring and reporting on progress against six key priorities, established benchmarks, and associated targets on a quarterly basis to Parliament.6

As part of the overall mission, CIDA is focusing its programming efforts on three priorities.

Basic services – Strengthen Afghan institutional capacity to deliver basic services and promote economic growth, thereby enhancing the confidence of Kandaharis in their government:
  • Support economic growth in Kandahar through the rehabilitation of the Dahla Dam and its irrigation system, accompanied by targeted support for strengthening agriculture and horticulture, and continued investments in financial services such as microfinance, in key districts in Kandahar.
  • Enable the Ministry of Education to implement the National Education Strategic Plan; deliver quality educational services and build, expand or repair 50 schools in Kandahar by 2011.
Humanitarian assistance – Provide humanitarian assistance to vulnerable people, including refugees, returnees, and internally displaced persons:
  • Support the Government of Afghanistan’s vision of eradicating polio in 2009 by providing funding to the World Health Organization’s national immunization campaigns to vaccinate seven million children.
  • Provide emergency assistance to vulnerable people, including refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected communities, especially in Kandahar through partners such as the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization and UNICEF.
  • Continue to be a lead supporter of mine action and mine risk education through UN organizations.
Democratic development and national institutions – Help advance Afghanistan’s capacity for democratic governance by contributing to effective, accountable public institutions and electoral processes:
  • Enable government institutions to build the basis for responsible, accountable, good governance.
  • Support democratic institutions and build the capacity of Afghanistan’s Independent Electoral Commission to lead electoral processes in the 2009 presidential and provincial council elections, followed by the 2010 parliamentary and district elections.
  • Empower communities to identify their own development needs through community development councils as part of the National Solidarity Program.

Haiti remains a fragile state and among the most difficult development challenges in the world. With a gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of US$450, Haiti is the poorest country of the western hemisphere. Basic services are still severely lacking, in particular in the education and health sectors. The 2008 hurricane season caused severe damages, with approximately 800,000 Haitians affected, more than $750 million in damages, and a 15 percent impact on the GDP. The recent food crisis has severely impacted the country, as seen in food riots early last year.

Haiti figures prominently in Canada’s renewed engagement with the Americas, and CIDA will play a major role in the whole-of-government effort central to Canada’s support. This will build upon a new country strategy consistent with the Haiti’s priorities as well as reconstruction requirements following the 2008 hurricane season. CIDA’s intervention in 2009–2010 will focus on a limited number of sectors: democratic governance, basic education, private sector development, food security, and health.

2.4 Multilateral, international, and Canadian institutions

Program activity description
Through its engagement with multilateral, international, and Canadian institutions, CIDA seeks to strengthen its partnerships with institutions that maximize program effectiveness.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009-2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
1,052,142 284
Expected result: Enhanced effectiveness of CIDA’s partnership with multilateral, international, and Canadian institutions in achieving development goals
Selected performance indicators
  • Number of multilateral, international and Canadian institutions demonstrating quality, effective and efficient results-based management approaches
  • Existence of strategies related to equality between women and men and to the environment for partner institutions

Planning highlights
Enhanced effectiveness of multilateral, international, and Canadian institutions in achieving development goals

Multilateral, international, and Canadian institutions are key partners in poverty reduction due to their effectiveness and reach, as well as the resources and capacities they bring to bear. Canada’s contribution to development can be more efficient and effective by working with these partners so that they sustain and improve their effectiveness as development actors.

CIDA will continue to work closely with its multilateral, international, and Canadian partners to achieve this expected result. The Agency will continue to influence its partners in areas where Canada has recognized expertise, and in areas aligning with CIDA’s programming priorities and objectives. In particular, CIDA will emphasize improvements related to results-based management, equality between women and men, and environmental sustainability.

In light of this, CIDA will continue to assess individual organizations with the expectation that all projects funded through this program activity will meet or exceed CIDA’s minimum requirements for the use of results-based management, and for the integration of considerations related to equality between women and men and to the environment.

The current number and diversity of CIDA’s partners pose challenges to this work, as does the need for the broad coordination of programming. To address these challenges, CIDA will strengthen appropriate and systematic oversight of its partnerships.

Through this program activity, CIDA will take the following steps to contribute to Canada’s agenda for aid effectiveness:
  • CIDA will continue to be a leading member of the Multilateral Organisations Performance Assessment Network, which is developing a stronger approach for assessing the effectiveness of multilateral organizations. This approach is expected to improve the quality of information, enhance donor harmonization, and reduce the costs of doing business between donors and multilateral organizations.
  • CIDA will strengthen the enabling environment for its Canadian partners to improve their accountability for results and to enhance information on their activities. To this end, the Agency will draft a framework for aggregating civil society results. This framework will give an overall picture of what development results have been achieved through CIDA-funded civil society programs, and will serve to enhance accountability, strategic decision-making, and communication of results.
  • To enhance the effectiveness and impact of its partners’ development programming, CIDA will increasingly align its country-targeted programming with the Agency’s geographic priorities. CIDA will balance this strengthened focus by retaining the flexibility to respond to the needs of people in other developing countries.
  • CIDA will build on measures already taken to ensure that its multilateral, international, and Canadianpartnerships are fully consistent with the government's commitment to untie all development aid by 2012–2013.

2.5 Engaging Canadian citizens

Program activity description
This program activity provides opportunities for Canadians to increase their awareness, deepen their understanding, and engage in international development. Canadian engagement is a vital element of effective development. It enables CIDA and its partners to draw from a broad range of expertise and financial resources across the country to implement aid initiatives. It also provides the necessary aid and support for the Government of Canada’s international development efforts.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009-2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
80,165 45
Expected result: Increased awareness, deepened understanding, and greater engagement of Canadians with respect to international development
Selected performance indicator
  • Number of Canadians involved in international development efforts

Planning highlights
Increased awareness, deepened understanding, and greater engagement of Canadians with respect to international development

Increased awareness and understanding, and greater participation in aid programs by Canadians ultimately strengthen Canada’s contributions to the fight against global poverty. CIDA undertakes direct programs of engagement with Canadians and also supports the engagement programs of its Canadian partners. These include support for activities for schools, volunteer opportunities, and a range of public awareness events and mass media initiatives.

The current economic downturn will pose a challenge as Canadians’ interest in international action to reducing poverty may be diverted to domestic concerns. Nevertheless, Canadians have historically demonstrated that they will remain engaged. Through increased effectiveness in its educational and mass media initiatives, and public-engagement events, CIDA’s investments will be focused and results-based. The increasing use of new media will allow CIDA to reach new groups of interested Canadians in innovative ways.

Public engagement will be at the core of CIDA’s regional office activities, and will be mandated to increase awareness and advise Canadians on how they can support and participate in international development more effectively. Based in the Atlantic, Prairies and Pacific regions, these offices will connect CIDA with Canadians and explain to diverse communities the government’s development policies, programs and results achieved.

Within this context, key strategies to expand public-engagement activities to respond to global needs and Canadian interests include:
  • promoting integrated, focused opportunities for Canadians to engage in international development through programming that supports Canadian volunteers, cooperants, technical experts, interns, and election observers;
  • focusing public-engagement activities in areas of high priority for the Government of Canada, such as Afghanistan, Haiti, the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa;
  • providing clear and coherent policy guidance on civil society programming and Canadian engagement activities;
  • refining methods to evaluate the impact of CIDA’s activities on Canadian engagement by establishing and reporting against meaningful performance indicators;
  • reaching out to new audiences, such as diaspora communities—people with roots in developing countries; and
  • improving the use of new media, particularly the Internet-based social networking media.

2.6 Internal services

Program activity description
This program activity includes activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. These are management and oversight services, communications services, legal services, human resources management services, financial management services, information management services, information technology services, real property services, materiel services, acquisition services, and travel and other administrative services. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, not to those provided specifically to a program.
Planned spending and human resources for 2009–2010
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Full-time equivalents
113,561 760

Planning highlights
Internal services support both of CIDA’s strategic outcomes defined in section 1.2. The Agency has identified the following management priority under this program activity.

Implement CIDAs Public Service Renewal action plan

The Clerk of the Privy Council’s action plan has four public-wide priority areas: planning, recruitment, employee development, and enabling infrastructure. Below is a description of what CIDA will undertake in support of these four priority areas.

Planning: CIDA will build an overarching integrated planning and reporting framework to facilitate the achievement of CIDA’s strategic direction, improve the information available for decision making, strengthen accountability, and allow CIDA to better demonstrate ‘‘value for money’’ to Canadian taxpayers. CIDA will fully implement integrated planning and reporting by March 2011.

Recruitment: By March 2010, CIDA will have implemented collective staffing strategies aligned with branch integrated business and human resources plans. As well, the Agency will have met its new annual recruitment targets for post-secondary indeterminate appointments.

Employee development: By March 2010, CIDA will have expanded talent management to include all EX minus 1 employees; implemented a new learning strategy termed ‘‘Creating Change through Commitment: A Learning Strategy for CIDA,’’ including an e-learning strategy; continued to refine learning plan tracking, monitoring, and reporting; started implementing a learning strategy to support enhanced field presence; and continued to roll out the Leadership Learning Program.

By March 2010, CIDA will have renewed its Performance Management Program (PMP) for EX minus 1 employees, in line with EX PMP; integrated a discussion on learning needs and development of learning plans into the midyear review exercise for the EX feeder groups; and provided learning events on performance measurement.

Enabling infrastructure: By March 2010, CIDA will have implemented service standards for classification, staffing, and compensation, and communicated these to staff.

6 For more information, see the Report to Parliament at