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Minister’s Message

The Honourable Beverley J. Oda

CIDA's Report on Plans and Priorities reflects its commitment to making a meaningful difference for people living in poverty in developing countries, and to being accountable to Canadians.

Canada's leadership in addressing food insecurity, supporting the health of mothers and children, and helping countries generate sustainable economic growth and offer sustainable livelihoods for all their people is recognized world-wide. Our ongoing commitment to these areas will drive our engagement in the year ahead following the paths outlined under each priority sector.

Building on a year of progress on Canada's Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, CIDA will continue to focus on saving the lives of mothers and children by delivering a comprehensive package of health services at the community level to reduce the disease burden, strengthen health systems, and improve nutrition. This includes improving accountability for women's and child's health-our collective ability to track and report real results in order to learn valuable lessons and inform future decisions. In support of the Scaling Up Nutrition movement, we will also accelerate efforts to combat global undernutrition, which accounts for 2.6 million preventable child deaths every year.

CIDA remains committed to helping developing countries achieve prosperity by growing their economies and building new opportunities for their citizens through its Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy focusing on: building economic foundations, growing businesses, and investing in people through vocational training. CIDA will lead the establishment of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development announced by the Prime Minister in October 2011. The institute will act as a focal point for Canadian expertise in the extractive sector and resource governance in order to help developing nations harness their natural resources to generate sustainable economic growth, thereby reducing long-term poverty.

The Agency will also continue to assist those affected by natural disasters or humanitarian crises, as demonstrated by our response to the droughts in East Africa and the Sahel, and the humanitarian crises in Libya and Syria. In Haiti, CIDA has delivered on its past earthquake relief and reconstruction efforts. I am pleased to report that CIDA will be revising its 5-year programming strategy to shift from meeting immediate needs to adopting a long-term development approach.

Canada's commitment to increased transparency and reporting was advanced with CIDA's Open Data Initiative and decision to join the International Aid Transparency Initiative (IATI). By making information about Canada's assistance easier to access, use and understand, we are fulfilling our commitment to put transparency and accountability at the forefront of aid delivery. This undertaking will be a priority for CIDA in 2012-2013.

Through 2012-2013, CIDA will strengthen its focus on results, accountability and maximizing the value of Canada's aid and development resources in alignment with the government's policies and priorities. We will further our work on partnerships with the private sector and new innovative approaches. Our investments will be consistent with the priorities of the Government and reflective of the needs of the world's poorest people.

These efforts, along with other initiatives, are reflected in the Agency's 2012-2013 Report on Plans and Priorities, which I am pleased to table for Parliament's consideration.

Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d’être

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 program effectively and accountably to achieve meaningful, sustainable development results, and to engage in policy development in Canada and internationally, enabling Canada to realize its development objectives.

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


CIDA is the lead government organization responsible for Canada's development assistance program and policy. Orders-in-Council P.C. 1968-923 of May 8, 1968, and P.C. 1968-1760 of September 12, 1968, designate CIDA as a department for the purposes of the Financial Administration Act. The authority for the CIDA program and related purposes is found in the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Act,[1] and in annual appropriation acts.

Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

CIDA's Program Activity Architecture

[text version of the Program Activity Architecture]

The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act,[2] which came into force on June 28, 2008, states that expenditures reported to Parliament as official development assistance must contribute to poverty reduction, take into account the perspectives of the poor, and be consistent with international human rights standards. CIDA's strategic outcome is in line with the intent of the Act.

Organizational Priorities

Poverty reduction efforts in developing countries must overcome a complex set of challenges such as weak, underdeveloped and often instable economies; weak institutions and lack of governance; hunger, poor health and low literacy level; disparities and marginalization, particularly of women and girls. These challenges can be made even more difficult by conflict and environmental degradation.

In May 2009, Canada introduced five thematic priorities to frame its international assistance efforts: increasing food security, securing a future for children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth, advancing democracy, and ensuring security and stability. CIDA concentrates its attention on the first three priorities[3] , which apply across all program activities and integrate environmental sustainability, gender equality, and governance. To achieve development results, CIDA collaborates with a full range of Canadian and international partners, including private, government, non-governmental, and multilateral organizations.

Effectiveness and accountability for results are the hallmark of CIDA's agenda. Canada has taken concrete steps to strengthen accountability for results by all stakeholders at the country and sector level. For example, Canada led international efforts at the G8 through the Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health and as part of the United Nations Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health to set a new global standard for ensuring country ownership and accountability for results in development. CIDA is also increasing transparency and accountability through open data on its website to offer quick access to already published information. In November 2011, at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, Canada endorsed the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation[4]. This partnership is premised on the principles of country ownership, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and transparency and accountability. These principles permeate all of our poverty reduction efforts.

Priority Type[5] Strategic Outcome
Increasing food security Previous commitment Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development

Why is this a priority?

Ensuring access to safe and nutritious food is one of the most effective ways to reduce poverty in developing countries.

Plans for meeting the priority

CIDA's Food Security Strategy focuses on hunger and malnutrition for some of the world's most vulnerable people. The strategy focuses on three paths:

  • sustainable agricultural development to build the capacity of small-scale farmers, agriculture-related organizations, and governments and to support national and regional agricultural and food security strategies;
  • food aid and nutrition to provide more flexible, predictable, and needs-based funding to meet the emergency and long-term food and nutrition needs of the most vulnerable and higher-risk populations; and
  • research and development to broaden and deepen publicly available research that makes significant improvements to food security outcomes.

This approach, combined with Canada's 2008 decision to untie 100 percent of its food aid, is helping to address immediate food needs and find solutions for lasting food security so people can escape the cycle of poverty.

More specifically within the strategy, over the planning period, CIDA will:

  • support smallholder agriculture, especially through the empowerment of women farmers, to enable developing countries to shift from emergency food assistance to environmentally sustainable agricultural development;
  • reduce under-nutrition through support for nutrition programs and the Scaling Up Nutrition movement; and
  • improve the coordination and dissemination of agricultural research to help address the food security needs of vulnerable populations, in particular, women.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Securing a future for children and youth Previous commitment Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development

Why is this a priority?

The issues faced by children and youth are core to the development agenda and to poverty reduction. Each of the Millennium Development Goals[6] has an impact on children and youth, either directly or indirectly, and many include specific outcome indicators for these groups.

Plans for meeting the priority

By launching the Children and Youth Strategy in November 2009, CIDA placed the prospects and well-being of children and youth at the centre of Canada's international efforts to improve human development outcomes. The strategy focuses on three paths:

  • child survival, including maternal health to ensure the survival of newborns and that of children to the age of five and a safe delivery for pregnant girls and women through strengthening national health systems to provide quality services;
  • access to quality education to improve the quality and relevance of education for girls, boys, and youth, as a basis for poverty reduction, social development, and economic growth; and
  • safety and security of children and youth to support efforts to ensure safe and secure environments for children and youth so that they can contribute to society.

Over the planning period, to implement these paths, CIDA will:

  • continue to implement the 2010 G8 Muskoka Initiative for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) including supporting country-led efforts to strengthen health systems to deliver integrated MNCH services at the local level;
  • advance access to basic education, promote girls' education, and build national education systems, including in fragile states; and
  • work with partners to ensure the safety and security of children and youth by improving the livelihoods of street youth, establishing laws that protect children, and offering youth-at-risk positive alternatives to violence and crime.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Stimulating sustainable economic growth Previous commitment Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development

Why is this a priority?

Sustainable economic growth creates employment and economic opportunity, raises incomes, increases public revenue generation, and reduces poverty in developing countries.

Plans for meeting the priority

CIDA's Sustainable Economic Growth Strategy focuses on stimulating lasting, inclusive and sustainable private sector-led economic growth. The strategy follows three paths:

  • building economic foundations to support willing governments to build the necessary legislative and regulatory business, industrial, and financial framework upon which sustainable growth can take place;
  • growing businesses to enhance the financial viability, productivity, and competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized private sector enterprises, resulting in increasing employment opportunities for the poor; and
  • investing in people to improve the employment potential of individuals to increase access to, and benefits from, opportunities in the informal and formal business sectors.

Over the next fiscal year, to implement these paths, CIDA will:

  • lead the development of the Canadian International Institute for Extractive Industries and Development to foster the sustainable use and management of natural resources in developing countries. The Institute will act as a focal point for Canadian expertise in the extractive sector and resource governance and build on and leverage world-class knowledge, innovation and experience;
  • place particular emphasis on empowering women to contribute to, and benefit from, economic growth by targeting initiatives that increase women's economic opportunities, strengthen their economic leadership, and advance the rights of women worldwide;
  • strengthen its engagement with private sector actors as partners in development and ensure sound environmental management to enable long-term economic viability;
  • establish sound macroeconomic and fiscal fundamentals to promote stability, reduce corruption, strengthen domestic resource mobilization and encourage investment and innovation;
  • strengthen business and investment climates by, for example, helping build the legal and financial frameworks of partner countries that enable a competitive business environment and enhance access to economic opportunities; improving trade facilitation, economic integration and infrastructure; encouraging responsible investment in extractive sectors; and fostering better and more sustainable economic planning; and
  • deepen value chain development and strengthen business development services, especially for micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in both the informal and formal sectors.

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Achieving management and program-delivery efficiency Previous commitment Reduction in poverty for those living in countries in which CIDA engages in international development

Why is this a priority?

Operational excellence and efficiency are critical for the successful delivery of CIDA's mandate. Positioning a critical mass of CIDA's workforce closer to program delivery will result in better harmonized, aligned, and coordinated investment strategies and decisions, increase opportunities to leverage resources with other development stakeholders, and strengthen accountability. It will also ensure that necessary skills are placed in the field and in headquarters. Simplifying processes will result in increased responsiveness and transparency of aid delivery. Efficiency in management and program delivery will serve to maximize and sustain programming results.

Plans for meeting the priority

CIDA will carry out a series of activities to meet this priority within the context of the Agency's Business Modernization Initiative (BMI). BMI will continue to transform the way the Agency delivers programs by, for example, decentralizing 4 country programs in 2012-2013 (Peru, Tanzania, Mozambique and Ethiopia), and streamlining and standardizing program-delivery processes. CIDA will support excellence in people management and strive to be a workplace where people feel respected and valued.

Risk Analysis

Achieving CIDA's strategic outcome requires responding to a complex set of external and internal factors. Events in Canada and across the globe—whether political, economic, social or environmental—can evolve rapidly and significantly impact the effectiveness of CIDA's programs and policies, as well as the confidence of stakeholders. CIDA regularly assesses trends and potential risks related to its external and internal management environments in order to effectively adapt to evolving international development challenges and changing priorities and manage risk on a proactive basis.

Major trends

  • Projected economic growth in developing countries remains strong[7], but economic and political factors have the potential to disrupt this growth and in some developed donor countries Official Development Assistance levels have been reduced. Risks include continued vulnerability to the effects of ongoing global financial and economic challenges. The greatest challenges to growth over the long term include the significant underinvestment in public goods, the lack of economic diversification, and a weak policy environment that restrains private initiative and investment.
  • The proportion of people who are food insecure is declining (from one third in the 1960s to one sixth in 2011), but the actual number of undernourished people has not decreased, remaining at about 1 billion people worldwide.
  • The lack of effective governance is cause for instability in many countries, especially in fragile states and conflict-affected communities. Increased internal violence, state fragility, and corruption continue to be particularly critical obstacles to sustainable development in such contexts.
  • The annual average number of natural catastrophes has increased over the last decade from 630 to 790, disproportionately affecting developing countries. Environmental degradation and natural disasters will continue to hinder development in the poorest and most vulnerable regions of the world.

Key risks

  • Among external risks, the volatility inherent to fragile and conflict situations makes it challenging to establish realistic result expectations and exercise due diligence in monitoring of effective implementation.
  • Among internal risks, human resources decisions must be planned and implemented in such a way as to ensure that CIDA continues to benefit from a qualified and motivated workforce required to deliver on its mandate.

Fighting Corruption

Corruption can occur in any country; however, the risk is greater in developing countries where partners and institutions often have weak capacity.

CIDA has zero tolerance for fraud and corruption. To ensure that aid dollars go to the right people for the right reasons, CIDA has a robust set of controls to prevent the mismanagement of funds. CIDA only invests funds where it can provide reasonable assurance to Parliament that it can assess, monitor and manage risk during project implementation, so that CIDA's funding is used for its intended purposes.

CIDA also works with developing countries to build good governance and to help them build their own systems to manage public finances in an open and accountable way.

Risk response

Risk is inevitable in international development. There is a risk that progress will be lost because of natural or man-made crises or that resources are misused because of weak governance and accountability. These risks must be assessed and managed, and they must be balanced against the risk of doing nothing at all.

CIDA's success depends on its ability to lay out clear, achievable, and measurable results; understand the risks involved; and put measures in place to monitor and manage risks. These steps will maximize the achievement of sustainable results.

The Agency's thematic priorities set out a clear direction for CIDA programming. In 2010, CIDA published strategies mapping out the concrete results to which Canada's aid will contribute in every country in which CIDA works, and through key international institutions and initiatives it funds.

Based on these strategies, CIDA has developed frameworks against which it monitors progress and manages the delivery of results.

For all investment decisions, the Agency performs a thorough analysis of risks—including fiduciary concerns, natural disasters, security, and partner capacity risks—and identifies mitigation strategies.

Ultimately, managing risk pro-actively increases the effectiveness of CIDA's efforts to achieve real development results.

Planning Summary

Financial Resources ($ thousands)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
3,582,471 3,264,272 3,268,706

Human Resources (FTEs)

2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
1,803 1,803 1,803

Planning Summary Table
($ thousands)
Program Activity Forecast
Planned Spending Alignment to Government of Canada Outcomes
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Fragile states and crisis-affected communities 755,439 697,063 565,550 565,966 Global poverty reduction through sustainable development
Low-income countries 954,171 937,770 946,940 947,340
Middle-income countries 362,593 360,832 356,737 357,281
Global engagement and strategic policy 1,375,694 1,168,592 1,001,750 1,006,187
Canadian engagement for development 309,729 317,996 293,065 291,702
Total 3,757,626 3,482,253 3,164,042 3,168,476

($ thousands)
Program Activity Forecast
Planned Spending
2012-13 2013-14 2014-15
Internal services 113,743 100,218 100,230 100,230
Total 113,743 100,218 100,230 100,230
Grand total 3,861,369 3,582,471 3,264,272 3,268,706

CIDA's Contribution to the Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

The Federal Sustainable Development Strategy (FSDS) outlines the Government of Canada's commitment to improving the transparency of environmental decision-making by articulating its key strategic environmental goals and targets. CIDA ensures that consideration of these outcomes is an integral part of its decision-making processes. In particular, through the federal Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) process, any new policy, plan, or program initiative includes an analysis of its impact on attaining the FSDS goals and targets. The results of SEAs are made public when an initiative is announced, demonstrating the Agency's commitment to achieving the FSDS goals and targets.

CIDA contributes to Theme IV — Shrinking the Environmental Footprint — Beginning with Government as denoted by the visual identifier below. This contribution falls under the Internal Services program activity outlined in Section 2.6 of this report.

Theme IV: Shrinkin the Environmental Footprint - Beginning with Government

CIDA's activities to support sustainable development
Federal Sustainable Development Strategy

Expenditure Profile

The following graph illustrates CIDA's funding level trend from 2008-2009 to 2014-2015.

Departmental Spending Trend

Expenditure Profile - Spending Trend Graph

[text version of the Spending Trend Graph]

For the period of 2008-2009 to 2010-2011, actual spending represents the actual expenditures as reported in the Public Accounts, whereas for the 2011-2012 fiscal year, the forecast spending represents the planned budgetary and statutory expenditures as presented in the Estimates documents (Main Estimates and Supplementary Estimates). For the period of 2012-2013 to 2014-2015, the planned spending reflects approved funding by Treasury Board to support the departmental strategic outcomes. Supplementary Estimates (A) items are also included for 2012-2013, however carry forward adjustments are not reflected.

Annual fluctuations in spending is largely accounted for by Canada's response to humanitarian crises. In 2008-2009, CIDA responded to requests of assistance following numerous natural disasters such as the Cyclone Nargis in Burma, the earthquake in China, and the Atlantic hurricane season; whereas, in 2009-2010, the Agency responded to the crisis following the earthquake in Haiti as well as humanitarian needs in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Another important factor in annual fluctuation is the timing of the encashment of notes to support International Financial Institutions (IFIs).

A third factor in annual fluctuations is the relative strength of the Canadian dollar (CIDA commits funds to IFIs in US currency). CIDA's spending level is lower in 2010-2011 due to the relative strength of the Canadian dollar at year-end, which is the time at which Canada makes its payments to IFIs.

The forecast spending increase in 2011-2012 includes $345 million (and $171 million only in 2012-2013) for Canada's commitment to the Copenhagen Accord (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change) and an additional $47 million for humanitarian assistance in response to the ongoing drought in East Africa.

CIDA's planned spending levels are further reduced in 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 as ongoing authorities for the Crisis Pool quick release mechanism ($50 million) and Food Aid Commitment ($70 million) are not reflected in CIDA's spending levels starting in 2013-2014.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational appropriations, please see the 2012-13 Main Estimates publication.