Development Co-operation Reviews: Canada 1998

The OECD Development Assistance Committee's 1998 review of Canada's development aid programmes and policies. It finds that in its foreign policy statement Canada in the World, the Canadian government reaffirmed its commitment to playing an active role in international efforts towards global peace and prosperity and set out a range of ambitious goals for the development co-operation programme.

Canada is deploying great efforts to develop coherent responses to global challenges and the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) commended the comprehensive renewal process being undertaken by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to equip itself with the means to tackle its challenging mission. CIDA is among the pioneers in the DAC in redirecting its programmes from a traditional-sector focus to a theme-based approach, concentrating on actual results rather than inputs. These promising efforts deserve careful monitoring and should yield valuable lessons for other donors.

The reach and depth of Canada's international involvement -- clearly rooted in the country's values, interests and capabilities -- have, however, been constrained by public sector expenditure cuts, implemented in response to Canada's public debt burden. The Committee expressed concern that successive reductions in Canada's aid budget could affect Canada's ability to meet expectations, both at home and internationally.

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