The Inter-Council Network (ICN) has long advocated for civil society and youth representation on official Canadian delegations to international meetings. The 2017 High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on sustainable development, which took place in July in New York City, was the first occasion that this call was heard and was launched back to the ICN to manage the selection process. The HLPF 2017 Civil Society and Youth Delegate Participation – An ICN Synthesis Report, includes: an outline of the ICN’s role, process, and resources invested; a summary of the experience and outcomes of the civil society (CSO) representatives and youth participation as official delegates; and recommendations for similar processes in the future, for the organizing entity, Global Affairs Canada as well as future CSO and youth delegates. The report was informed by the ICN’s own experience, reports submitted by the four delegates to the ICN (as part of their agreement with the ICN), as well as their feedback through a satisfaction survey.
In response to Minister Marie-Claude Bibeau’s public review and consultation of Canada’s international assistance policy and funding framework, the ICN submitted an in-depth report highlighting the importance of The Addis Ababa Action Agenda on financing for development, Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the Paris Agreement on climate change point to the need for urgent action by Canada and others to address global sustainable development challenges.
In 2016, the ICN commissioned a study on the current state of funding for Canadian development organizations, which highlighted the disproportionate cut in funding to small and medium-sized organizations. The study also provides empirical evidence of the key role that small and medium-sized organizations play in engaging the people in their communities and achieving international development objectives. On May 9th, 2017, Minister Bibeau announced a $100 million dollar fund for Canadian small and medium sized organizations.
In 2015, the Inter-Council Network (ICN) and Engineers Without Borders (EWB) co-launched the poll results report Canadian Perspectives on International Development. The report, launched on April 23rd, 2015, is based on a public opinion poll undertaken in February 2015 by the ICN and EWB in partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. It builds on similar polls conducted in Canada, such as the ICN 2012 Canadian Engagement in Global Poverty Issues, and those conducted in other G7 countries through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Narrative Project. The Report is one of many ways in which the ICN is working to increase Canada’s awareness and support for international cooperation and active global citizenship.