Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Aid Effectiveness Agenda

In 2007, the Government of Canada  committed to making Canada's international assistance more efficient, focused, and accountable. Since then, Canada has undertaken steps to make its work more effective, in line with international agreements and recognized best practices. In November 2011, Canada re-affirmed its commitment to effective development cooperation at the Fourth High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness where it endorsed the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

Canada's aim is to help people living in poverty in developing countries. Supporting initiatives that are sustainable, have impact, and achieve results.

Canada continues to  increase its efforts to achieve greater efficiency, accountability, and focus, particularly in reporting on results and transparency, in order to maximize the impact of  public funds.

Focusing efforts geographically and thematically

Efforts in countries of focus are being enhanced to ensure coordination and coherence of Canada's international development programming to achieve results that are meaningful.

These countries were chosen using three criteria:
  • Needs
  • Ability to benefit meaningfully from Canada's assistance
  • Alignment with Canada's foreign policy

Canada continues to support initiatives assessed as being effective and achieving results, including humanitarian assistance, in other countries.

Canada has also chosen priority themes on which to concentrate its efforts. These are areas where Canada has proven its leadership:

Under food security, support is focused on:
  • Food aid and nutrition
  • Sustainable agricultural development, particularly for small-scale farmers and women
  • Research and development
For children and youth, Canada focuses its support on:
  • Child survival, including maternal health
  • Access to quality education
  • Safe and secure futures for children and youth
Canada's sustainable economic growth thematic strategy focuses on:
  • Building economic foundations
  • Growing businesses
  • Investing in people
Canada also continues to integrate three crosscutting themes in all of its programs and policies:

Maximizing value

As recently as 2007, more than half of Canadian food aid to developing countries had to be purchased in Canada, as was a third of Canada's non-food aid. Tied aid, as this practice is known, is not cost effective or efficient. It undermines the ability of developing nations to produce or buy goods for themselves and delays the assistance from reaching the people who so desperately need it.

To maximize the value of Canada's international assistance, the government untied all food aid in 2008 and all other goods and services delivered through Canadian aid programs in 2013.

Delivering results

The effectiveness of Canada's international assistance is measured by the progress made in reducing poverty and improving the lives of those living in poverty. To ensure that Canadian-funded assistance is making a difference, Canada supports work that has set clear objectives and outcomes to be achieved.

Development activities must be founded on evidence-based criteria. Identifying outcomes, both quantifiable and qualitative, enhances coordination and coherence of efforts by all donors and assistance partners. The setting of benchmarks enables beneficiaries and Canadians to measure progress against expected outcomes.

Canada has led international efforts to strengthen accountability for results and resources, first at the G8 and the Canadian-led Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, and then as part of the UN Secretary General's Global Strategy for Women's and Children's Health. The UN Commission on Information and Accountability for Women's and Children's Health co-chaired by Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, put country ownership and accountability for results at the centre of development.

Canada will continue to keep results and accountability at the heart of its development efforts. Moving forward, Canada will place even greater emphasis on results and empower developing countries to take the lead in defining, delivering and measuring results.

Increasing ownership of development outcomes

Development must be locally-led in order to produce and sustain meaningful results. Canada supports efforts that demonstrate local country ownership of development. These efforts include the identification of needs and priorities through national policies and strategies. Canada's programs and projects are aligned with the partner country's needs and national priorities outlined in such plans.

Increasing transparency and accountability

Canada regularly reports to Canadians on its plans, activities and results throughout the year. Canada is also increasing its efforts to improve aid transparency through a variety of new mechanisms and agreements, including the Open Data website, the Open Government Partnership, the International Aid Transparency Initiative and the Busan Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation.

Building partnerships to accelerate development results

Canada works with a wide range of partners at local, national, regional and international levels. Our partners in development include citizens in Canada and in developing countries, traditional and emerging donors, multilateral organizations, civil society and the private sector. As we move forward, Canada will work with all its development partners to achieve sustainable development results.

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