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Message from the Minister

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda When our Government took office, we set out to make our international assistance more effective, focused, and accountable, so that we could achieve real results, and make a meaningful difference for people living in poverty.

Since then, the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) has made major changes that Canadians can all be proud of.

CIDA's work is now guided by three thematic priorities: stimulating sustainable economic growth, securing a future for children and youth, and increasing food security. In the coming year, we will continue to apply these strategies to all of CIDA's policies and programming, as well as integrating our cross-cutting themes - equality between women and men, governance, and environmental sustainability - across the board.

The next year will also be vital for implementing Canada's Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH). We are focusing on countries that not only have high child and maternal morbidity and mortality rates, but have also demonstrated they can make progress in these areas. Canada is also leading international action on accountability for resources and results through the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health.

As we move forward, CIDA continues to deepen its work in its 20 countries of focus, as well as assist other nations in a variety of ways, including providing humanitarian assistance and working closely with multilateral and non-governmental organizations. In Haiti, our work was set back by a major humanitarian crisis in 2010, but Canada remains firmly committed to supporting the reconstruction of that country, in accordance with its Government's plans and priorities.

In 2011-2012, the Agency will also be more effective in the way it does business. Last year, Canada streamlined the application process for Canadian partners and introduced an approach to increase the engagement of Canadians in international development. This included calls for proposals on Haiti, MNCH and the Partners for Development Program. This year, we are also going to implement our new Global Citizens Program, which will provide new ways for Canadians to get involved and increase their knowledge of Canada's international development work by focusing on public awareness, education and knowledge, and youth participation.

CIDA's plans for next fiscal year reflect our commitment to effective development. This means being effective, focused and accountable in all the work that we do.

These efforts and CIDA's many other initiatives are reflected in the Agency's 2011-2012 Report on Plans and Priorities, which I am pleased to table for Parliament's consideration.

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, P.C., M.P.
Minister of International Cooperation


1.1 Role and responsibilities

CIDA's mission is to lead Canada's international effort to help people living in poverty.

The mandate of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is to manage Canada's aid resources effectively and accountably to achieve meaningful, sustainable development results, and to engage in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada's effort to realize its development objectives.

Canada recognizes that achieving significant economic, social, democratic, and environmental progress in the developing world will have a positive impact on the prosperity and long-term security of Canadians, reduce poverty for billions of people in recipient countries, and contribute to a better and safer world.

1.2 Strategic outcome and program activity architecture

The structure of this Report on Plans and Priorities reflects CIDA's strategic outcome and program activity architecture (PAA), which place an emphasis on measurable results, as well as the new policy environment in which the Agency is operating.

Strategic outcome

Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development.

CIDA pursues poverty reduction mainly by focusing on stimulating sustainable economic growth, increasing food security, and securing a future for children and youth. Environmental sustainability, gender equality, and good governance are integral to these themes. To achieve poverty reduction, CIDA collaborates with a full range of national and international partners, including private, government, and non-governmental sectors and institutions.

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act, which came into force on June 28, 2008, states that expenditures reported to Parliament as official development assistance (ODA) must contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards. CIDA's new strategic outcome is in line with the intent of the Act.

CIDA's PAA has six program activities that support the achievement of the strategic outcome, providing an appropriate framework for CIDA to exercise its leadership in shaping international development assistance and policy within Canada and abroad. It also reflects how CIDA manages its activities based on shared objectives, risks, and programming approaches.

1.3 Planning summary

Financial resources
(planned spending in thousands of dollars)
Human resources
(full-time equivalents)
2011–2012 2011–2012
3,445,590 1,911
Strategic outcome: Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development.
Performance indicators
  • Reduction in the percentage of population below the international poverty line of US$1.25 per day [1] of countries in which CIDA engages in international development.
  • Progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in countries in which CIDA engages in international development.
  • Increase in the value of the United Nations Gender-related Development Index [2] of countries in which CIDA engages in international development.
Program activity Forecast

of dollars)
Planned spending
(thousands of dollars)
Alignment to Government of Canada outcomes
Fragile countries and crisis-affected communities 705,190 708,373 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development.
Low-income countries 906,299 935,930 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development.
Middle-income countries 416,600 355,550 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development.
Global engagement and strategic policy 1,122,111 1,026,430 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development.
Canadian engagement 302,623 309,369 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development.
Internal services
 Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government
104,400 109,939 N/A
Total planned spending 3,445,591

1.4 Risk analysis

Development outcomes take a long time to become clearly visible. In the past two to three decades, progress toward key development outcomes has been generally positive although uneven, as trends below show:

  • There is less poverty in the developing world today than a generation ago, but progress has been uneven across and within countries, and remains acute in fragile and conflict-affected countries. Between 1981 and 2005 the share of the population living below US$1.25 a day in developing countries was halved, dropping from 52 percent to 25 percent. That proportion is expected to be 15 percent by 2015.
  • Historically, the number of undernourished people around the world has steadily increased, reaching its all time high of 1.02 billion in 2009. 2010 saw a slight decrease, due to improved access to food through economic growth in developing countries, and the lowering of food prices. However, as food prices rise again and near the levels that pushed the developing world into a food price crisis, it is likely that levels of global undernourishment will again approach, or even exceed, 1 billion people.
  • The number of armed conflicts continues its long-term decline (from 38 in 1987 to 29 in 2010), although the risk of armed violence remains significant in countries and regions with high rates of poverty and poor development indicators.
  • The number of children of primary school age who are out of school in developing countries has declined from 105 million in 1999 to 72 million in 2007, with the gender gap shrinking. However, girls are still less likely than boys to enrol and stay at school.

Although the long-term outlook is positive, international development gains remain inherently uncertain, particularly in the short term. Any number of significant political, economic, social, and environmental events, most of which are beyond the Agency's control, can threaten the attainment of development outcomes, and even reverse gains made.

To remain relevant in the present and future international development environment, CIDA must adapt to changes and conditions on the ground. Its success is closely linked to its capacity to monitor and adapt to global and regional developments, as well as its ability to manage risk.

CIDA continually assesses risks and develops appropriate responses. An important factor taken into consideration in its 2010 risk assessment is that large-scale, unanticipated changes may affect CIDA's ability to deliver on its mandate. In response, CIDA has renewed its policy framework to bring clear focus and direction to its development assistance. CIDA programs are now guided by three thematic priorities: increasing food security, securing a future for children and youth, and stimulating sustainable economic growth. In addition, the Agency has developed strategies for its 20 countries of focus and for its engagement with major multilateral organizations. It has integrated equality between women and men, governance, and environmental sustainability into all its programming and policies.

CIDA's fiduciary risk exposure-the risk that funds are misappropriated or mismanaged-is mitigated by strong controls and by working with a portfolio of diverse partners, many of which are low-risk international organizations. Pre-funding risk assessments are done systematically and CIDA has strengthened its audit function. CIDA is updating its policy on fiduciary risk assessment, and is rolling out a fiduciary risk evaluation tool to ensure that funds are well spent and that administrative requirements for funding recipients are proportionate to risk.

An important risk is human resource management. Any organization is only as good as the people it has. CIDA runs specific programs, such as the New Development Officers Program, aimed at recruiting promising employees upon graduation from university. The Agency has also instituted specific learning programs such as the Development Officer Learning Program and the Leadership Learning Program to ensure that staff is equipped with a solid knowledge of development issues and CIDA's priorities, programs, and processes.

Budget 2010 fulfilled Canada's commitment to double the international assistance envelope (IAE), the principal means by which Canada allocates foreign aid, bringing it to $5 billion in 2010-2011. With the achievement of this target, future IAE levels will be capped at this level and will be assessed alongside all other government priorities on an annual basis in the budget. CIDA will remain focused on ensuring that each aid dollar delivers concrete results and that the government can deliver on its international commitments, such as the Muskoka Maternal, Newborn and Child Health initiative and Canada's engagement in Haiti and Afghanistan.

CIDA priorities

The Agency's multiyear strategic plan aims to make it an international leader and partner in Canadian foreign policy; a highly respected development agency known for its effectiveness, efficiency, and sustainable results; an organization characterized by teamwork, excellence, and respect; and a catalyst that engages and mobilizes Canadians to maximize Canada's development impact.

Operational priorities Type
Canada's strategic role in Haiti and Afghanistan Ongoing
Increasing food security Previously committed to
Securing a future for children and youth Previously committed to
Stimulating sustainable economic growth Previously committed to
Management priority Type
Achieving management and program-delivery excellence Previously committed to

Canada's strategic role in Haiti and Afghanistan

The January 12, 2010, earthquake in Haiti caused widespread devastation and suffering. In March 2010, Canada announced a commitment totalling $400 million over two years (2010-2012) for humanitarian assistance, early recovery, and the reconstruction and development of Haiti in support of the action plan and priorities of the Government of Haiti. Canada is a key member of the Commission intérimaire de la reconstruction d'Haïti and of the Fonds de reconstruction d'Haïti.

As part of Canada's whole-of-government engagement in Afghanistan, CIDA will deliver development assistance to advance the long-term and sustainable development of Afghanistan. On November 16, 2010, Canada announced its renewed engagement in Afghanistan for 2011-2014. CIDA will continue to invest in the future of Afghan children and youth through education and health programming. In support of Canada's G-8 commitments, CIDA will program in the area of maternal, newborn, and child health. CIDA will also provide humanitarian assistance and with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade work to advance human rights. As committed by the Minister of International Cooperation, CIDA will place a specific focus on women and girls in all of its development programming in Afghanistan.

Increasing food security

On October 16, 2009, the Minister of International Cooperation outlined CIDA's Food Security Strategy [3] with the objective of addressing the extreme hunger and malnutrition of some of the world's most vulnerable people. The strategy focuses on three paths: sustainable agricultural development, food aid and nutrition, and research and development.

This new approach to increasing food security, combined with Canada's 2008 decision to untie 100 percent of its food aid budget, is helping communities address immediate food needs, and find solutions for lasting food security so they can rise out of the cycle of poverty. As part of the strategy, Canada's support for agriculture will focus on the production of smallholder farmers, particularly women farmers.

Securing a future for children and youth

On November 20, 2009, the Minister of International Cooperation announced CIDA's Children and Youth Strategy [4] to respond to the needs of the world's most vulnerable and help them to become resourceful, engaged, and productive young men and women. The strategy focuses on three paths: child survival, including maternal health; access to quality education; and safe and secure futures for children and youth.

In 2010, Canada led G-8 efforts in launching the Muskoka Initiative to improve and save the lives of mothers, newborns, and young children, and is now leading efforts to deliver results. Canada will concentrate its Muskoka Initiative efforts on strengthening health systems, improving nutrition, and preventing and treating severe illnesses and diseases. It has committed $1.1 billion over five years in new money to the initiative, and will maintain $1.75 billion in existing funding, for a total commitment of $2.85 billion over the next five years. Eighty percent of the new Canadian contribution will flow to sub‑Saharan Africa. Canada will also support international organizations and Canadian non‑governmental organizations to address high rates of maternal and child mortality in developing countries.

Canada is also leading international action on accountability for resources and results. Prime Minister Stephen Harper will co-chair, along with the President of Tanzania, Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, the UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health. The Commission will agree on a framework that tracks whether maternal and child health results are being achieved and resources are being spent wisely and transparently.

Stimulating sustainable economic growth

On October 25, 2010, the Minister of International Cooperation announced CIDA's Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy, [5] which seeks to create long-term sustainable economic growth that will increase revenue generation, create employment, and lead to poverty reduction in developing countries. The strategy focuses on three paths: building economic foundations, growing businesses, and investing in people.

CIDA will focus on key targeted investments that directly support private sector led economic growth in developing countries. The outcomes of these investments will contribute to a stable foundation on which viable businesses and industries can thrive, increasing opportunities for employment in the formal economy for citizens and their contributions to the public resources available for investment in the welfare of the population. CIDA's strategy builds on Canada's own experience on sustainable economic growth, underscoring the importance of empowering women to participate in the economy, ensuring the environmental sustainability of economic activities and of adopting open trade and free markets governed by prudent policy and sound regulation.

Achieving management and program-delivery excellence

To increase the effectiveness and efficiency of CIDA's programming, the Agency will be strengthening its presence in the field and streamlining its business processes. Using a phased approach over three years, CIDA will decentralize its operations, including people, systems, infrastructure and authorities, to 15 countries of focus, drawing on earlier decentralization efforts and the experience of other donors.

Gains expected from decentralization include strengthened country knowledge, improved policy dialogue with recipient countries, increased donor coordination, faster and more responsive interventions in fluid operating environments, and enhanced risk management capacity. The redesign of CIDA's business processes will increase administrative efficiency by maximizing the use of common processes, thereby cutting costs and speeding up Agency-wide learning.

1.5 Expenditure profile

CIDA plans a budget of $3.446 billion[6] in 2011-2012 to carry out its program activities and contribute to its strategic outcome. The figure below displays the allocation of CIDA's planned spending by program activity.

2010-2012 planned spending: Allocation of funding by program activity

CIDA's increase in budgetary spending of $280.7 million, or 8.9 percent, is due to an increase in grants of $160.6 million, an increase in contributions and other transfer payments of $121.5 million, and a decrease in operating costs of $1.4 million. Factors contributing to the net increase include:

  • an increase of $211.6 million to support maternal, newborn, and child health programming activities in developing countries;
  • an increase of $50 million for the establishment of a Crisis Pool Quick Release Mechanism to allow Canada to respond quickly to major unforeseen humanitarian crises; and
  • a net increase of $17.4 million in the Encashment of Notes to International Financial Institutions due, in part, to Canada's increased commitment to the Global Environment Facility.

For information on CIDA's organizational vote and statutory expenditures, please see the 2011-2012 Main Estimates publication at

1.6 CIDA's contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS)[7] represents a major step forward for the Government of Canada by including environmental sustainability and strategic environmental assessment as an integral part of its decision-making processes. Departments are asked to indicate which of the following four themes they contribute to:

Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality Theme I: Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality

Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability Theme II: Maintaining Water Quality and Availability

Theme III: Protecting Nature Theme III: Protecting Nature

 Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government Theme IV: Shrinking the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government

CIDA will contribute to the fourth theme. Additional information on CIDA's activities in support of this theme is provided in Section 2.6 of this report, ''Internal services,'' as well as in the departmental Greening Government Operations table at