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Section 2 : Program Activities

2.1 Fragile countries and crisis-affected communities

Program activity description

This program activity seeks to address developmental issues in selected countries identified as fragile or crisis-affected. Fragile countries are defined as those that face particularly severe development challenges, with complex national and regional contexts, given weak institutional capacity, poor governance, political instability, and ongoing violence or a legacy of past conflict. Improving the situation in these countries is frequently considered strategic in meeting Canada's foreign policy objectives. CIDA's programming in these countries seeks to enhance long-term development by improving the effectiveness of public institutions and society, fostering stability and security, as well as supporting the delivery of key services. This program activity also involves humanitarian assistance in response to man-made crises or natural disasters to ensure delivery of and access to essential emergency services to crisis-affected populations. In both cases, various partnerships offer flexibility and expertise to provide the most effective response.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
634,863 243

Expected result: Enhanced responsiveness of humanitarian assistance to address the immediate needs of crisis-affected populations.

Selected performance indicators

  • Effectiveness of humanitarian assistance delivery to crisis-affected populations.
  • Extent to which humanitarian assistance is delivered in a coordinated and cohesive way.

Expected result: Increased effectiveness in responding to basic needs and providing better access to key services.

Selected performance indicator

  • Level of access to key services for women, men, and children.

Hyperlinks to additional information
OECD-DAC Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations PDF (2.72 MB, 4 Pages)

Planning highlights

Humanitarian needs remain significant and will likely continue to grow in the coming years— both in terms of complex humanitarian situations and natural disasters. CIDA's past support is based on need and, in 2009-2010, was directed to more than 30 countries affected by humanitarian crises. Going forward, CIDA's humanitarian assistance will continue to address the short-term impact of humanitarian crises on vulnerable populations in crisis-affected communities.

With specific reference to fragile countries, the response by donors to the situation of fragile countries is a growing priority in international affairs. These countries face a number of challenges, including conflict, state failure, and acute vulnerability to natural and man-made disasters. These issues can threaten collective security, facilitate organized crime, and undermine development. To address these global challenges, Canada maintains a substantial presence through its humanitarian assistance and bilateral programs in several fragile countries, including Haiti, Afghanistan, Sudan, and West Bank and Gaza.

CIDA will continue to engage other Canadian government departments working to promote democracy, stability, and security, including the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and the Department of National Defence. Furthermore, collaboration, partnership, dialogue, alignment, and local ownership will be the key principles guiding CIDA's approach, consistent with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development–Development Assistance Committee (OECD-DAC) Principles for Good International Engagement in Fragile States and Situations.

Enhanced responsiveness of humanitarian assistance to address the immediate needs of crisis-affected populations

Over the past few decades, there has been a significant increase in the frequency and severity of natural disasters. Conflicts around the world, while decreasing in number, have become increasingly complex. CIDA provides funding for humanitarian assistance on the basis of need. Based on established practice, CIDA will:

  • continue to address immediate humanitarian needs through core lifesaving interventions that respond in an effective, timely, and coordinated fashion;
  • fund trusted humanitarian partners and deploy relief stocks and technical experts;
  • support partners to address the food, water, health, sanitation, shelter, and physical security needs of crisis-affected populations, including women, children, and youth; and
  • contribute to CIDA's food-security priority through the provision of emergency food aid.

CIDA will support humanitarian, early recovery, and reconstruction assistance to people affected by the devastating earthquake in Haiti in January 2010.

Increased effectiveness in responding to basic needs and providing better access to key services

To help reduce vulnerability and foster conditions for longer-term development, CIDA will:

  • undertake initiatives and projects aimed at rebuilding and reinforcing the capacity of public institutions to provide access to key services for their population;
  • help to strengthen the legitimacy of public institutions, that reflect respect for human rights and the rule of law, the equality between females and males, as well as accountability in public financial management;
  • focus on its priority to stimulate economic growth by promoting private sector development, notably in the agricultural sector; increase food security; and help secure the future of children and youth, notably through health and education initiatives; and
  • focus on supporting the well-being of girls and women as significant contributors to the well being and economic foundations of their communities.

Canada's major missions in fragile countries


CIDA has provided more than $1 billion in assistance to the rebuilding of Afghanistan since 2001–2002. In 2006, the London Conference on Afghanistan established the framework for international cooperation with Afghanistan for five years. The Afghanistan Compact identifies security, governance, and development as three interdependent pillars of activity. In 2008, following recommendations made in the Report of the Independent Panel on Canada's Future Role in Afghanistan, CIDA increased its aid and development programming in Kandahar as part of Canada's whole-of-government approach. Consistent with Afghan development strategies, CIDA's programming in Afghanistan for the 2008–2011 period falls under three priorities:

Basic services

  • Supporting economic growth in Kandahar through the rehabilitation of the Dahla Dam and its irrigation system (signature project), accompanied by targeted support for strengthening agriculture and horticulture, as well as continued investments in financial services, such as microfinance for men and women, in key districts in Kandahar.
  • Enabling the Ministry of Education to implement the National Education Strategic Plan throughout Afghanistan, to deliver quality educational services for boys and girls, increase access for girls to formal education and training of female teachers, as well as to build, expand, or repair 50 schools in Kandahar by 2011 (signature project).

Humanitarian assistance

  • Supporting the Government of Afghanistan's goal of eradicating polio (signature project). This includes being the lead donor to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative in Afghanistan.
  • Providing food and non-food assistance to vulnerable people, including refugees, returnees, internally displaced persons, and conflict-affected communities, especially in Kandahar.
  • Continuing to be a lead supporter of demining action and mine-risk education.

Democratic development and national institutions

  • Providing financial and technical support in the elections process.
  • Collaborating with other international donors to provide technical and financial resources to support Afghanistan's Independent Elections Commission and its independent Electoral Complaints Commission.


Haiti's development efforts suffered an enormous setback in January 2010 when a major earthquake struck the capital city of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas, causing the loss of tens of thousands of lives, widespread destruction of public and private infrastructure, as well as the complete disruption of basic services. Following major natural disasters in 2008, this catastrophic event came as Haiti celebrated a year of relative stability, during which the security situation had remained stable and the human rights situation had progressed. Haiti had showed resistance to the world economic crisis, and momentum for economic development was growing following the Haiti Donors Conference, held April 2009 in Washington, which had endorsed an Economic and Social Recovery Plan.

Following up on Canada's important humanitarian assistance response to the earthquake, CIDA is reviewing its programming to ensure that it responds to Haitian priorities for early recovery, reconstruction and development. The revised programming will allow CIDA to continue implementing its current bilateral program, and to respond more directly to early recovery and reconstruction efforts with certain projects to be re-aligned, adjusted, accelerated or put on hold. Moreover, new interventions will be developed, subject to available resources. CIDA will also continue to help rebuild and strengthen the capacity of key ministries hard hit by the calamity, such as central Haitian government agencies in particular. CIDA will work from foundations established in 2009 with three thematic priorities which are aligned with Haiti's National Poverty Reduction Strategy and the new Economic and Social Recovery Plan:

  • Stimulating sustainable economic growth – Improving the enabling business environment, strengthening skills for employment, and increasing revenues and access to microfinance.
  • Securing a future for children and youth – Increasing access to quality education, ensuring stronger defence of children's rights and protection, and reinforcing child and maternal health.
  • Increasing food security – Increasing food production as well as crop diversification and marketing, providing more access to nutritious and good-quality food, and strengthening the stability and management of the food system.

Aid effectiveness, including close donor coordination, will continue to guide CIDA's work. CIDA will maintain a flexible approach, ready to respond to evolving needs and unforeseen circumstances, recognizing Haiti's inherent fragility. Haiti was not on track to meet most of the MDGs. It will remain a high-risk and volatile environment, with sustainability a constant challenge. Ensuring good governance, leadership, and ownership will be a key challenge for the Government of Haiti, given that elections scheduled for 2010 and proposed constitutional changes may not take place. As such, this could affect political stability. The year 2010 will be critical as Haiti and the international community join together to establish the foundation for building Haiti back better.

2.2 Low-income countries

Program activity description

This program activity focuses on addressing pervasive poverty in countries having an annual gross national income (GNI) per capita equivalent to US$935 or less (2007 data). This requires engagement in long-term development assistance supporting the national priorities of a selected number of low-income countries, as well as programming with regional institutions addressing transboundary issues. CIDA's support aims to help these countries achieve their priority development goals that differ from country to country and region to region. Programming aims at achieving reduced poverty and increasing economic opportunities. It focuses on areas such as basic health and education, agriculture/food security, income generation, and the foundations for good governance.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
811,636 414

Expected result: Improved access to key services and economic opportunities for women, men, and children.

Selected performance indicator

  • Evidence of improved access to key services and economic opportunities stemming from CIDA-funded endeavours.

Expected result: Enhanced accountability and effectiveness of institutions to respond to the needs and aspirations of women, men, and children.

Selected performance indicators

  • Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for each low-income country.
  • Evidence of policy improvements and increased capacity stemming from CIDA-funded endeavours.

Planning highlights

This program activity covers nine countries of focus (Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Mozambique, Pakistan, Senegal, Tanzania, Vietnam), as well as regional programs and other countries where CIDA maintains a modest presence. These low-income countries are found in Africa and Asia, and include some of the world's poorest populations. CIDA has developed a strategy for each of its country and regional programs based on country needs and Canadian value added in the priority areas of sustainable economic growth, children and youth, and food security. In many low-income countries that have capacity and processes in place for full accountability and fiscal management, CIDA—along with other donors—provides budget support as a means to improve focus, efficiency, and accountability, demonstrating Canada's commitment to the principles articulated in the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005) and the Accra Agenda for Action (2008).

Within this context, CIDA will work toward the following results:

Improved access to key services and economic opportunities for women, men and children

Approaches to achieve this result include:

  • addressing food security by increasing agricultural productivity and access to markets. In Vietnam, for example, production technologies, extension services, and input supplies will increase on- and off-farm employment and marketing opportunities for women and men in rural areas. In Mali, for example, support for irrigation and marketing, and to key public and private institutions' capacities, will enable farmers to increase local production, and improve marketing, food security, and price stability in urban centres. In Senegal, for example, support will be given to small producers in the agri-food sector throughout the entire value chain, from cultivation to transformation to sale.
  • supporting education and health services that contribute to the well-being of children and youth. In Bangladesh, for example, programming will increase the capacity of the education system to deliver quality and equitable education. In Pakistan, for example, CIDA will help strengthen inclusive and stable long-term economic growth by providing entrepreneurship and vocational skills training to women. In Tanzania, for example, CIDA will contribute to extending the reach of essential health services, such as HIV/AIDS testing, to rural communities in a partnership with local governments and civil society.
  • supporting financial services and credit to small and medium-sized businesses, a major source of job creation and economic growth. In West Africa, for example, a regional microfinance initiative will work to provide new banking and insurance services to 2.2 million members of savings and credit institutions.

Enhanced accountability and effectiveness of institutions to respond to the needs and aspirations of women, men, and children

Approaches to achieve this result include:

  • providing technical assistance and capacity building support to core government ministries and independent governance institutions for the development and monitoring of government policies and programs that support the thematic focus within CIDA's country plan, including the integration of gender equality.
  • promoting increased accountability and capacity of local governments to develop plans and strategies to address their development priorities. In Ghana, for example, resources will be provided to municipal and district assemblies for the implementation of local development plans based on results reported in published annual assessments on their performance.
  • increasing the effectiveness of oversight institutions and supporting public administration reforms. In Ethiopia, for example, CIDA programming will provide technical assistance and support to democratic institutions to improve their accessibility and effectiveness.

2.3 Middle-income countries

Program activity description

This program activity focuses on addressing specific challenges in attaining self-reliance for countries having a GNI per capita equivalent to more than US$935 but less than US$11,455 (2007 data). It involves strategic assistance in a selected number of middle-income countries, as well as programming with regional institutions addressing trans-boundary issues. These countries vary considerably in terms of their requirements, with CIDA programming tailored to respond as appropriate, but mainly involves engaging in strategic areas of their national priorities to sustainably enhance economic growth and the capacity to deliver social services, as well as building accountable, democratic institutions.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
430,573 190

Expected result: Strengthened citizen participation and institutional capacity to sustain social and economic progress.

Selected performance indicators

  • Country Policy and Institutional Assessment (CPIA) for each middle-income country.
  • Evidence of public institution reforms stemming from CIDA-funded endeavours.

Planning highlights

This program activity covers seven countries of focus (Bolivia, Caribbean, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia, Peru, Ukraine), primarily in the Americas, as well as regional programs and other countries where CIDA maintains a modest bilateral presence. These middle-income countries often have stark disparities along geographic, gender, ethnic, or urban-rural lines, as well as pockets of deep poverty. They also often face common challenges such as a lack of administrative capacity, corruption, inequitable access to key services, and failure to respect human rights. While generally on target to meet many Millennium Development Goals, targeted assistance is required to meet other development goals and ensure their sustainability.

To address these issues, CIDA developed a strategy for each of its country and regional programs based on country needs and Canadian value added in the priority areas of sustainable economic growth, children and youth, and food security. As several of the middle-income countries are in the Americas, this program activity is aligned to support Canada's Americas Strategy to promote basic democratic values, strengthen economic linkages, and meet new security challenges.

Within this context, CIDA will work toward the following results:

Increased benefit to citizen from strengthened sustainable social and economic progress.

Approaches to achieve this result include:

  • developing citizens' ability to contribute to and participate in their country's sustainable economic development, improving the productivity of small- and medium-sized enterprises, and strengthening capacities to manage and protect the natural resource base needed to support economic growth. In Honduras, for example, technical assistance in agricultural production, diversification, and sustainable management techniques provided to small holder farmers, particularly women, will improve sustained production and access to markets, contributing to food security and economic growth.
  • ensure women, men, girls, and boys are all able to contribute to and benefit from the development of their societies. In Peru, for example, public management training and coaching programs for key regional actors on competitiveness, social inclusion and non-discrimination will increase the participation of these key groups.
  • support non-governmental organizations, community groups, and local authorities to improve citizens' access to, and quality of, local services. In Indonesia, for example, local governments, civil society, and the private sector will be provided with training and technical assistance to ensure local plans and budgets integrate the needs of the poor.
  • developing the capacity of, and citizens' access to, judicial bodies, legal institutions, and democratic oversight institutions in countries where lack of security or respect for human rights is a concern. In Colombia, for example, government and non-state actors will be trained in children and youth rights to assist in the development of programs and policies that reflect the needs of vulnerable populations.

Strengthened institutional capacity to sustain social and economic progress

Approaches to achieve this result include:

  • providing technical assistance in agriculture production, diversification, and sustainable management techniques, thereby promoting food security and sustainable economic growth. CIDA's Ukraine Program, for example, is providing support to farm producers to increase their productivity through innovative and environmentally friendly agricultural practices.
  • developing the capacities of institutions and other actors that provide essential services, such as education and health, which will improve the literacy and health outcomes of children and youth. In Bolivia, for example, CIDA will support the training of women, children, and youth on health issues, and provide water and sanitation infrastructure to vulnerable populations.
  • improving the management of public finance, developing the capacity of governments to formulate, and implement the needed policies, regulations, systems, and services required for a stable economy. For example, in the Caribbean region, support to regional authorities to develop and implement strategies will foster competitiveness and economic growth.

2.4 Global engagement and strategic policy

Program activity description

This program activity shapes international development policy in Canada and globally in support of CIDA's strategic direction, and Canada's broader international assistance objectives and commitments. It also engages with multilateral and global organizations for two main purposes: to contribute effectively to the achievement of development results, and to influence partners' policies, planning, strategic directions, and organizational governance in pursuit of greater development results.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
961,969 153

Expected result: Increased policy influence in Canada and globally.

Selected performance indicators

  • Evidence of Canadian influence (e.g., G8 summits, OECD-DAC, the media) to advance Canadian views on international development.
  • Integration of development considerations in other Canadian policies that have an impact on development (e.g., foreign, defence, environment, and immigration).

Expected result: Increased effectiveness of Canadian development cooperation, as a result of engagement with multilateral and global organizations, to address global cooperation issues.

Selected performance indicator

  • Evidence of CIDA's increased effectiveness as a result of working with multilateral and global organizations.

Planning highlights

International outreach and dialogue occur bilaterally with donors and other partners and in multilateral forums to discuss development policy issues and approaches. CIDA's engagement with other partners is key to enhancing its own aid effectiveness and advancing Canada's development agenda.

CIDA's engagement with multilateral and international organizations enables Canada to contribute to global efforts to reduce poverty and improve the lives of people across a wide range of countries and sectors. These partnerships also provide effective ways for Canada to respond to humanitarian crises, to address the complex challenges of fragile states, and to mobilize large-scale financial resources in a coordinated manner.

Increased policy influence in Canada and globally

CIDA's international engagement strategy for 2010–2011 is three-pronged:

  • Building support for Canadian priorities and initiatives related to development, including through Canada's G8 presidency, and actively engaging at key international forums in consultation with Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) and other government departments;
  • Consolidating relationships with like-minded donor partners to identify opportunities for joint initiatives and increased donor coordination and accountability, and enhance Canadian and international aid/development effectiveness; and
  • Engaging with emerging donors in international assistance.

In 2010, CIDA will play a lead role in shaping the development aspects of the 2010 G8 Summit. As well, Canada and USA will engage substantively in preparations for the upcoming UN Plenary on the MDGs scheduled for September 2010. Canada will also influence the review of the OECD's development efforts, including a review of DAC's mandate in 2010 and the implementation of number of initiatives aimed at strengthening coherence and accountability for development.

Increased effectiveness of Canadian development cooperation, as a result of engagement with multilateral and global organizations to address global cooperation issues

The Government of Canada is committed to making its international assistance as effective as possible through greater efficiency, focus, and accountability for results. This includes ensuring that CIDA's multilateral and global programming and partnerships are effective in contributing to the achievement of real results on the ground and remaining in line with Canadian priorities for international assistance.

In 20082009, CIDA undertook a comprehensive review of its multilateral partners receiving core funding. The review, which assessed performance and relevance to Government of Canada priorities, found that CIDA's core funding is highly focused (with 95 percent of core funding going to 15 organizations). The review enabled CIDA to determine which organizations are the most effective and closely aligned with Canadian priorities, and then to reprioritize CIDA's programming accordingly. Going forward, CIDA will seek to increase the effectiveness of its cooperation with multilateral and global organizations through three main actions:

  • Focusing funding on organizations that are aligned with Canadian priorities and that are able to deliver results effectively. This includes continuing to promote multilateral effectiveness and accountability through CIDA's active participation in the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN), which is developing a joint approach for assessing multilateral organizations;
  • Helping to strengthen the performance of organizations in areas where Canada has relevant expertise, such as gender equality, results-based management, evaluation, and the integration of environmental considerations;
  • Helping to strengthen the multilateral system to improve results achieved to reduce poverty and to support the achievement of goals related to development and humanitarian assistance. In particular, CIDA will contribute to reforms within the United Nations system, and to improving the coordination and accountability of humanitarian assistance.

2.5 Canadian engagement

Program activity description

This program activity involves supporting the overseas initiatives of Canadian organizations, promoting international development in Canada, and informing the Canadian public. CIDA does this by co-investing through various delivery mechanisms with a range of Canadian civil society organizations (CSOs) and other partners. In turn, these organizations partner with developing-country civil society counterparts, as well as with governments and the private sector, to strengthen their capacity to deliver programs and services in support of CIDA's strategic outcome. Public engagement in Canada is achieved through the education and outreach activities of Canadian non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, labour unions, and professional associations, and through CIDA's own efforts to reach the general public.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
296,863 164

Expected result: Improved effectiveness in the participation of CSOs in international development activities.

Selected performance indicators

  • Percentage of developing-country partners indicating that Canadian partner projects and programs are increasingly aligned with their sustainable development needs
  • Average rating of integration of gender equality and environmental sustainability in partner proposals

Expected result: Increased information for, and participation in, development efforts by Canadians.

Selected performance indicator

  • Value of human and financial resources mobilized by Canadian partners.

Planning highlights

Canadian engagement goes beyond informing and increasing Canadian participation in development. It includes mobilizing Canadians to support their civil society counterparts to obtain results and foster local ownership for greater development impact. CIDA acts as a development catalyst, leveraging and harnessing the innovation, expertise, and resources of Canadians. It also involves Canadians through volunteer cooperation, youth internships, and public engagement and training programs. CIDA will develop and strengthen its focus and effectiveness in communicating with Canadians with new approaches that increase the information available, active participation of Canadians in events, access and exposure to CIDA's work in countries around the world.

Improved effectiveness in the participation of CSOs in international development activities

CIDA harnesses the innovation and expertise of civil society to maximize Canada's development impact in economic growth, food security, and children and youth. Strategies to enhance the effectiveness of CIDA's development assistance include:

  • encouraging Canadian partners to focus their efforts by working in fewer countries and in thematic priority areas;
  • establishing funding mechanisms and strategic alliances with high-performing partners. For example, the newly established Canadian International Food Security Research Fund contributes to CIDA's priority on food security;
  • fostering increased local alignment by ensuring funding mechanisms are consistent with local development priorities and capacity-building requirements;
  • increasing local ownership: for example, developing-country counterparts now lead CIDA's technical and vocational training and university programs;
  • enhancing support for innovative development approaches, which includes reviewing the Voluntary Sector Fund to promote access by a wide range of partners with new ideas and innovative approaches. Within this context, CIDA will put in place a risk-management strategy to manage new and untested partners and ideas;
  • leveraging the capacity and value added of Canadian organisations and institutions to achieve greater sustainable impact.

Increased information for, and participation in, development efforts by Canadians

Continued support and engagement in Canadian international development are vital for effective, long term development. It enables CIDA and its partners to benefit from a broad range of expertise and resources to implement effective aid initiatives. Key strategies to engage Canadians more effectively include:

  • investing resources in a more focused and coordinated way to mobilize Canadian support and resources;
  • working with partners and other international donors to increase accountability for results and public account;
  • encouraging the use of social media and other participatory media to better communicate CIDA's development efforts and results to Canadians while deepening the public's understanding of development issues.

2.6 Internal services

Program activity description

This program activity provides support services to CIDA programming for the delivery of the Canadian aid program. It includes governance and management support, resources-management services and asset-management services.

Planned spending and human resources for 2010–2011

Planned spending (thousands of dollars) Full-time equivalents
112,093 791

Planning highlights

CIDA has identified the following management priority.

Achieving management and program-delivery excellence

Achieving management and program-delivery excellence requires that CIDA design, develop, and implement a new business model. This business model will involve the re-engineering of CIDA's core business processes and further decentralization of programming responsibilities to the field. The overall objective is to ensure that CIDA's business processes are faster, more efficient and cost-effective while strengthening the effectiveness and responsiveness of CIDA's development programs overseas. In addition, fully implementing integrated business planning will establish the foundation for the more effective and efficient use of scarce resources going forward. It will allow CIDA to have a more comprehensive tool to measure the costs of delivering programs, monitor and report on results, and to be able to shift resources in response to changing priorities.

The Business Modernization Initiative will shepherd together all initiatives related to the achievement of management and program-delivery excellence to ensure the coherence of Agency policies, processes, people management, and infrastructure. Consistent and repeatable core business processes will provide operational efficiency. This multi-year initiative will focus on evolving the CIDA business model for the future.

To further advance this priority, CIDA will renew its organizational capacity and be a place where people feel respected and valued by:

  • developing a recruitment strategy to ensure that the Agency recruits the best talent to meet business priorities, and has a workforce that reflects Canada's diversity.
  • improving excellence in people management and continuing to address the results of the 2008 Public Service Employee Survey through leadership training and mandatory harassment and discrimination awareness programs.
  • implementing a new performance management process for non-executive employees, as well as a mentoring program.
  • developing a workforce strategy to support business modernization.