Report from the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace to the CCCB Plenary Assembly

Wednesday, October 18 2006
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1 INTRODUCTION

The fiscal year ending 31 August 2006 marked a year of significant change at Development and Peace. Major decisions were taken by the National Council in June 2006 to begin a process of organizational renewal and to restructure the organization to reflect more conservative revenue estimates.

This restructuring resulted in changes in the operations of all six of the organization’s administrative units; the merger of the English- and French-language Education Sectors into one, nation-wide Education Department; the merger of the Communications Department and the Fundraising Unit into a new entity called the Advancement Department; and changes in a range of services that we provide our members from one end of the country to the other.

Following several years of planned deficits, financed by “operationalizing” our accumulated surpluses, the operating budget for 2006-2007 is a balanced one, based on anticipated revenue of $20 million (a reduction of $4 million from the previous year).

While the restructuring process was a major preoccupation of the National Council, management, and staff, our ongoing development work continued with our overseas partners and our education, advocacy, and fundraising work in Canada. Highlights are presented in the following report.

2 DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMS

The year that just ended was the third and final year of our “Support for the Democratization of Development” program, which was designed to

Over the long term, the program will foster the emergence of global, sustainable human development based on the principles of social justice, public participation in decision-making, gender equality, and respect for the environment.

During the year, a new five-year funding proposal (2006-2011) was prepared and submitted to the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) for core program funds and support of our international partnerships, to supplement the financial support we receive from Canadian Catholics. The new agreement, our first long-term agreement of five years, continues our accompaniment of our southern partners under the theme “Building More Just and Equitable Communities”.

Within the constraints of our financial re-structuring, we have maintained the number of countries in which we will be active with our programs (approximately 30 countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia), but have focused on consolidating the number of our projects and partners. We will reduce our number of projects by approximately 30%, and the number of partners by approximately 25%. Based on our partnership principles, we are maintaining our long-term relationships while reducing the number of short-term projects and activities.

3 Development Education / Solidarity Programs

3.1 advocacy campaigns

The advocacy campaign on water issues completed its third and final year, the first multi-year campaign conducted by Development and Peace. The theme of the campaign has resonated well with the Canadian public, with more than 460,000 individual Canadians signing the Action Cards over the course of the campaign, asking the Federal Government that access to water be recognized as a human right and urging Ottawa to support publicly controlled water services, protect natural sources of water and oppose measures in federal, bilateral or multilateral agreements and policies that promote the privatization of water.To date 183 municipalities, including Victoria, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Halifax have also passed resolutions recognizing water as a basic right and stressing the need to maintain public and collective ownership of water. The Federation of Canadian Municipalities also adopted a resolution supporting these principles last fall.

The new five-year program on Access to Resources, as adopted by the 2005 Orientation Assembly of Development and Peace, is being launched as our Fall Action 2006 campaign focused on the mining sector.

3.2 election observation mission – democratic republic of congo

Most Rev. Luc Cyr, Bishop of Valleyfield, led a joint CCCB-Development and Peace delegation to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to monitor the July elections in that country. Delegation members included National Council member Claude Berthiaume and three staff persons of Development and Peace – Julie Perrault, Sylvie Bélanger, and Serge Blais.

Bishop Cyr’s mission followed a visit to Canada during our annual Share Lent Campaign by Most Rev. Fulgence Muteba, Bishop of Kilwa-Kasenga.

Bishop Muteba served from 2002 to 2005 as Secretary General of the DRC’s National Episcopal Conference (CENCO). In that capacity, he was one of the principal architects of a civic education project run by an organization called CARTEC (Coordination for a Successful Transition) to increase public awareness about democracy and the electoral process. The group trained 50,000 volunteers in parishes across the country. It was the most ambitious nation-wide project in the Congo’s history.

During his visit to Canada, Bishop Muteba asked CIDA and the Department of Foreign Affairs to support the democratization process underpinning the July elections the first democratic elections in his country in 40 years. Bishop Muteba also participated in a symposium on the management of mining operations in the Congo, where he underscored the importance of ensuring that foreign investments benefit the local economy as well as provide profits to companies overseas.

Bishop Muteba’s diocese is located in Katanga Province, in the country’s southeast a region deeply affected by war that is currently home to tens of thousands of displaced people. Development and Peace, in collaboration with Caritas Internationalis, supports an emergency aid project in the region.

3.3 Solidarity visitors

In addition to Bishop Muteba, representatives of five other of our overseas partner groups visited Canada during Lent to inform our members and the public about key issues in the field of international development and to explain the importance of Development and Peace work in their countries. Our guests were Paz Bareiro Decidamos from Paraguay; Anne Mukole Kabangewa, also from the Democratic Republic of the Congo; Wardah Hafidz from Indonesia; Sélome Houetognon from Togo; and Speciose Mukandutiye from Rwanda.

3.4 CIDSE Bishops’ Forum

In January 2006, Most Rev. Martin Currie, Bishop of Grand Falls, accompanied Development and Peace Executive Director Michael Casey to Amsterdam for the triennial Bishops’ Forum of CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity), the international network of Catholic aid agencies. Bishop Currie addressed the group on the subject of social justice in Canada.

3.5 International Aids Conference (AIDS 2006) -Toronto
Development and Peace worked closely with the Archdiocese of Toronto and the CCCB to ensure a Catholic presence at events related to the United Nations-sponsored XVI International Aids Conference (AIDS 2006) in Toronto. Among other things, Development and Peace participated in a two-day Ecumenical Pre-Conference August 10 and 11, 2006 called Faith in Action: Keeping the Promise. The event involved several hundred people from faith groups in 30 countries who reflected on the challenges posed by the HIV/AIDS pandemic to people of faith. Delegates evaluated actions taken to date to fight HIV/AIDS and planned strategies to put the Gospel into action in the Christian response to the pandemic.

4 Emergency Relief

Development and Peace designates 10% of its Share Lent proceeds for emergency relief projects to alleviate suffering caused by natural disasters and civil conflict. Our principal partner in emergency response is the Caritas Internationalis network, through which approximately 85% of our emergency relief funds are channelled to victims around the globe.

We continued our ongoing support to Jesuit Relief Services for their programs with internally displaced persons and refugees in disaster areas.

5 Share Lent

As always, the annual Share Lent collection represents the single most important fund-raising event for Development and Peace, accounting for approximately 40% of our total annual revenue. The support received from Canadian Catholics through this special collection is the foundation of our movement and our work to promote development and social justice throughout the world.

The support of our Bishops is critical for the success of this annual collection. There has consistently been a direct positive link between the active involvement of the Bishops (in the form of pastoral letters or discussion and promotion of the collection) and the amount contributed to our work. Development and Peace is very grateful for this support and encouragement.

Our 2006 Share Lent collection is approximately $9 million, slightly below the amount of the 2005 collection, continuing the gradual downward trend in contributions as identified in previous reports.

6 Fundraising

Fundraising activities outside of Share Lent are increasingly important to Development and Peace. As a result of promotional programs during the year, our number of monthly donors (Share Year Round) increased by approximately 20% to 5,500 individuals. Other contributions and planned gifts were at approximately the same level as 2005, providing $2.5 million in supplementary revenue.

7 Networking

Development and Peace continues to maintain active global linkages with international and Canadian development networks and organizations. We are closely linked with and active members of (among others) Caritas Internationalis; CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity); Kairos; the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC); the Association québécoise des organismes de cooperation internationale – AQOCI; Pax Christi; and the International Civil Liberties Monitoring Group (ICLMG).

These networks and relationships enable us to work in close partnership with other organizations and leverage our resources to expand our reach and effectiveness in achieving our development goals.

8 Institutional Affairs / organizational renewal

The restructuring process begun in June 2005 continued during the year, designed to address key challenges facing Development and Peace, including:

The new organizational structure will enable Development and Peace to fulfill its mission while addressing the current challenge of a growing gap between revenues and expenses.The restructuring followed a series of consultations held between September 2005 and June 2006 involving the organization’s membership (through Regional Assemblies and the National Council), with staff, and with the CCCB. The Limited Institutional Review (conducted with the national membership in 2002) was also considered as part of the reflection process.The $20 million base budget for the organization’s core program in 2006-2007 includes all regular work in international development, popular education, communications, fundraising, advocacy, administration and governance. Emergency relief and overseas bilateral programs are not included in the core program; they have separate budgets paid for through specific and restricted funds.

Among other things, the restructuring plan:

The new structure and operating budget are in place for the fiscal year beginning September 2006.


For more information contact:
Sylvain Salvas
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Last Updated on Friday, March 05 2010