Government of Canada

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada

Canada's University Partners

Canada supports the efforts of Canadian universities to reduce poverty in developing countries through its Partners for Development: Canadian Universities program and through the Canadian Francophonie Scholarship Program.

DFATD's Partners for Development Program aims to leverage the development expertise and initiative of Canadians by funding the most meritorious proposals put forward by Canadian organizations to deliver development results on the ground.

Following a 2011 call for proposals, the government of Canada is partnering with Canadian universities to implement targeted development projects around the world for up to five years.

These selected Canadian universities will work with institutions and organizations in developing countries, to ensure that the results will directly benefit people in need. Their projects will stimulate sustainable economic growth, secure the future of children and youth, increase food security, and improve the health of mothers, newborns and children.

The successful projects that have been previously announced as a result of this call for proposals are as follows:

University of Alberta

Developing capacity to teach math in rural communities in Tanzania

Local Partner: University of Dodoma

In Tanzania, the majority of children fail math in the national primary school graduation exam and 25 percent do not attain a basic level of numeracy. This project will:

  • Help 430 teachers improve their knowledge of math and teaching skills, benefitting more than 13,000 children in three rural regions of Tanzania (Dodoma, Iringa, and Morogoro)
  • Develop a cadre of teacher educators able to train future teachers

Protecting the health of mothers and newborns in Ethiopia

Local Partners: St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College, Ministry of Health

Ethiopia has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. To reduce these rates, this project will:

  • Improve the skills of 200 primary health workers and 4,500 midwives to deliver healthy babies, benefiting more than 50,000 women and 100,000 children
  • Develop a program at St. Paul's Hospital Millennium Medical College to train midwife trainers

Dalhousie University

Local economic growth and food security in Cuba

Local Partner: University of Oriente

This project will support local economic growth and ensure that people in the four eastern provinces of Cuba—Las Tunas, Granma, Guantanamo, Santiago de Cuba—will have access to nutritious, safe and sufficient food. It will:

  • Improve the capacity of more than 200 government officials and university representatives to plan, implement and assess local economic development strategies and initiatives
  • Enhance the business skills of small farmers, enterprise owners, and cooperatives, providing support and technical assistance to micro-enterprise agricultural and food production
  • Train as many as 100 small farmers, increase the availability of microcredit, and increase the environmental sustainability of food producing and processing micro-enterprises
  • Strengthen the capacity of Cuban partners to implement industrial techniques in agricultural and food production that use waste for productive purposes and reduce the need for imported energy and resources
  • Leave behind environmentally sustainable technologies in local food production

Université de Moncton

Support to centres for rural development in Burkina Faso

Local Partners: Ministry of Agriculture and Water, Ministry for the Advancement of Women, Ministry of Youth, Vocational Training and Employment

This project will improve access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food in three regions of Burkina Faso. In cooperation with three local partners, as well as local civil society organizations, it will:

  • Train 50 trainers in three centres for rural development located throughout the country—these centres will train 362 women and 452 men per year in sustainable agriculture
  • Help five other centres for rural development improve their capacity to deliver training
  • Ensure the training is fair and equally accessible to women
  • Involve regional and national organizations that are able to sustain the centres after the project ends

University of Prince Edward Island

Rural training centre for aboriginal youth in Chiloé, Chile

Local Partner: Williche Council of Chiefs

This project will reduce poverty by establishing a rural training centre—the Wekimum Rural Training Centre—where 200 male and female indigenous people between the ages of 15 and 44, in the poorest communities of Chiloé, will learn skills in how to make a living in rural areas, as well as in resource management and business development. It will:

  • Help the youth become more employable and self-sufficient
  • Help the youth contribute to local governance and community development
  • Re-establish their confidence and pride in indigenous identity and traditional knowledge
  • Leave behind a training centre with high-quality curricula and programming
  • Help more than 200 youth and their families benefit from seed and livestock banks developed from the fusion of Chilote and Canadian knowledge

St. Francis Xavier University

Women's leadership for economic empowerment and food security in Ethiopia, Ghana and Zambia

Local Partners: Organization for Women in Self Employment (Ethiopia), University for Development Studies (Ghana), Women for Change (Zambia)

This project will help strengthen the leadership of more than 1,000 women and their organizations in these countries to address lack of access to sufficient, nutritious and safe food and promote sustainable livelihoods. It will improve the quality of adult education in these countries and empower women economically.

  • In Ethiopia, the project will train 2,000 marginalized women and girls from 10 communities, in business development and life skills. The project will also help strengthen 50 cooperatives networks to improve their access to markets
  • In Ghana, the project will train 500 women and youth, in 20 communities to grow, process and use indigenous foods
  • In Zambia, economic empowerment training will benefit 800 local groups and 80 area associations

University of Saskatchewan

Mama Kwanza (Mother First) socio-economic and health initiative in Tanzania

Local Partners: Green Hope, Nelson Mandela African Institute of Science and Technology

This project will give the most vulnerable women and children in Arusha district in Northern Tanzania, particularly in households headed by children or grandmothers, access to better maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services. It will:

  • Establish family-centred care, integrating MNCH services with socio-economic support
  • Help 3,000 women access newborn and child programs and services, by increasing the capacity and number of service providers and partners trained on evidence-based approaches
  • Increase women's empowerment and engagement by providing socio-economic support related to water purification, solar food drying, community gardening, and an alternative payment system

Vancouver Island University

Building capacity in the Ukrainian government by developing geographical information systems

Local Partners: National University of Kyiv

This project will develop and deliver training for Ukrainian public sector institutions in the use of geographic information systems. This will help the government to privatize rural lands and demarcate its national borders. The project will:

  • Support the development of a local training program run by local professionals
  • Train faculty and staff of the local partners, who in turn will train approximately 100 civil servants in the application of geomatics technologies

Western University

Farmer-to-farmer agro-ecology in Malawi

Local Partners: University of Malawi Chancellor College, Ekwendeni Hospital

This project will:

  • Strengthen the farming practices of more than 30,000 smallholder farmers in organic farming
  • Support the development of farmer associations and improved marketing through farmer exchanges and field trips
  • Pilot a youth-led food processing and small business initiative to promote youth livelihoods and the supply of nutritious foods on the local market
  • Train 6,000 farming households on sustainable agro-ecological methods, nutrition and gender issues and provide technical support to farmers in production and cooperative development
  • Train 200 youth in small business operations and market development, food processing and preservation methods
  • Establish a Farmer Centre in Agriculture and Health for on-going farmer-to-farmer training

York University

Reducing unemployment among persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, India and Nepal

Local Partners: Protibandhi Kallyan Somity (Bangladesh), Swadhikhaar Centre for Disabilities Information, Research and Resource Development (India), National Federation of the Disabled (Nepal)

This project will help 10,000 women and men with disabilities find sustainable employment and increase their household incomes. It will:

  • Identify and address the key causes of chronic unemployment, underemployment, and poverty of women and men with disabilities in Dhaka, Bangladesh; Hyderabad, India; and Kathmandu, Nepal
  • Focus on three sectors that employ a proportionally large number of persons with disabilities—cottage or home-based industries, the hospitality sector and food processing
  • Influence small and medium enterprises to hire and promote people with disabilities
  • Increase the employability of women and men with disabilities

Improving refugee teaching capacities in Dadaab, Kenya

Local Partners: Kenyatta University, African Virtual University, Moi University, Windle Trust Kenya

This project will provide better quality education to 18,000 vulnerable elementary and secondary students in the Dadaab refugee camps as well as in Dadaab, Kenya itself. It will:

  • Train 400 uncertified refugee and local Kenyan teachers through on-line, on-site university-based teacher education programs at the primary and secondary level, improving their teaching skills and helping to ensure that their students do better in school
  • Serve as a high-quality model for other developing countries offering asylum to refugees

Ryerson University

Empowering and supporting the human rights of children and youth in the Dominican Republic

Local Partners: Pontifical Catholic University Mother and Teacher, Dominican Republic Federation of Municipalities, Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, and the National Council for Children and Adolescents

This project will improve the safety and quality of life for 10,000 boys and girls, often of Haitian origin, in the poorest and most vulnerable communities of the Dominican Republic. It will:

  • Improve the skills of government agencies and civil society organizations responsible for protecting these boys and girls from abuse and sexual or labour exploitation;
  • Enhance the ability of these agencies and organizations to include youth in the design and implementation of child protection programs;
  • Support the implementation of Dominican child protection laws; and
  • Help create a robust child protection system

University of British Columbia

Sustainable clubfoot treatment in Bangladesh

Local Partners: BRAC and the International Centre for Diarrheal Disease Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR, B)

In Bangladesh, an estimated 5,000 children a year are born with a clubfoot. This is a major cause of poverty, as it results in discrimination and limits educational and earning opportunities. This project will:

  • Treat 25,000 children born with a clubfoot;
  • Train 30,000 community health workers in clubfoot treatment; and
  • Establish national guidelines for using the Ponseti method of clubfoot treatment.