With its growing popularity, obtaining an international development position is becoming increasingly competitive. At the same time, there are many Canadian International Development Organizations (CIDOs) that would readily benefit from increased access to students and young professionals, with their fresh perspectives and in-demand skills. The Canadian International Council – Toronto Branch has organized a NGO Networking event on March 19th, to assist in bringing these two groups together, as well as offering our members a view into the work and priorities of CIDOs. Below are some recommended readings that will hopefully be beneficial for anyone looking to break into the international development field, as well as for those interested in learning more about Canada’s contributions to international development.
Our first set of readings come from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD). Recently, the 45-year old Canadian International development Agency (CIDA) was folded into the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT). DFATD holds an International Development Week every year to help those who are looking for employment in the field. DFATD is now “Canada’s lead department for development assistance.” DFATD vacancies and internships offer students and young professionals the opportunity to contribute to international development projects all over the world, including in Afghanistan, Vietnam, the Ukraine, Ethiopia and Haiti. DFATD also openly posts the effectiveness and overall results of its international development projects. These reports can help us better understand the nature of these complex projects and how to improve upon them in the future.
DFATD also has a “Find a job in International Development” site, which lists the type of candidates they are looking for and how to apply for their positions. For those interested working in international development through the Canadian government, there is also the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), a Crown corporation “established in 1970 by an Act of Parliament to help developing countries find solutions to their problems.” The IDRC’s four program areas are Agriculture and Environment, Global Health Policy, Science and Innovation, and Social and Economic Policy.
Our final reading comes from the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC). The CCIC is a “coalition of Canadian voluntary sector organizations working globally to achieve sustainable human development. CCIC seeks to end global poverty and to promote social justice and human dignity for all.” In 2008, the CCIC produced a 10-point Agenda for ending global poverty and injustice. The agenda begins with a message from CCIC’s President, outlining how “Canadian (international development) efforts are woven into the tapestry of global struggles for a fairer world.” The President then states that ” (t)his 10-Point Agenda for Global Action to End Poverty and Injustice lays out a Canadian civil society vision of how Canada can play a decisive role in helping to end global poverty and injustice.” The reading goes on to delineate the 10 points chosen as focus areas for Canadian international development efforts, including the promotion of health and education for all, women’s rights and equality, and ensuring corporate accountability. The CCIC website also has a job board, which lists open positions from a variety of sources. The Ontario Council for International Cooperation will be present at our event for those who would like to learn more about this organization.
Other organizations that will be present on March 19th are the Development and Peace Organization, HelpAge Canada, CUSO International, Inclusion International, AMREF Canada, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada, Institute of Cultural Affairs Canada, Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief, and Free the Children. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our unique Networking event, which will feature a keynote speech by the Ontario Council for International Cooperation Board Chair, Ikem Opara.
Caitlin Reid, Event Coordinator and Administrator
Canadian International Council – Toronto Branch