CIDA and the role of the private sector in international development

A new study on the role of the private sector in international development, by the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development (SCFAID), has been generating a great deal of public debate in recent weeks.  The study recommends, among other things, that the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) forge new partnerships with Canadian companies, consider offering loans to the private sector, set up staff exchanges between CIDA and the private sector, and help open up developing countries to more foreign direct investment.  To read the committee’s full recommendations, as well as a shadow report by the Official Opposition: “Driving Inclusive Economic Growth – The Role of the Private Sector in International Development” – November 2012 (en français)

The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) – the umbrella group for Canada’s international development NGOs, of which KAIROS is a member – has published analysis and some critical questions regarding the Standing Committee report.  KAIROS considers CCIC’s paper (en français)  to be a valuable contribution to this debate about the role of the private sector in international development.

While the Government of Canada has 90 days to issue a formal response to the standing committee’s report, International Cooperation Minister Julian Fantino has already started outlining the agency’s new approach to the private sector in speeches, media interviews and even in testimony at a Parliamentary committee hearing earlier this week.

For more information, please contact Ian Thomson, Program Coordinator for Ecological Justice through Corporate Accountability, tel. 613-235-9956 ext 222, or

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