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Canada and Overseas Development

CIDA’s partners in development

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) does not implement development but, rather, administers a process through which its partners can do so.

In some cases, in a process called multinational development assistance, CIDA contributes to international partnerships brought together under the auspices of the United Nations and other international institutions. In other instances where bilateral agreements are signed with particular developing countries, CIDA forms partnerships with implementing agencies in Canada or abroad.

Canadian-based agencies include private-sector firms and NGOs with experience and expertise in various areas. For instance, CIDA might turn to CARE Canada, Save the Children Canada or Oxfam Canada when dispensing relief following an earthquake, a drought or a tsunami. For longer-term development projects, CIDA might put out requests for proposals that will bring private firms, universities and other NGOs together to mesh their capabilities and bid on contracts. These submissions are judged on the quality of the methodology proposed, the perceived capability of each implementation team and, all other things being equal, the cost attached to competing proposals.

CIDA partners with other federal or provincial departments and agencies as well. For example, CIDA and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) often team up on projects. IDRC, a Crown corporation, was founded in 1970 to help developing countries take the lead in finding practical, long-term solutions to social, economic and environmental problems. The focus is on research conducted in the developing countries by host-country researchers, and although funding comes from the Parliament of Canada, IDRC’s board of governors comprises people from around the world.

CIDA also forms partnerships with NGOs and private-sector firms outside Canada. These partners are sometimes based in the country in which the program or project will take place, or they may be located in other developed countries that have demonstrated the capacity to implement a project better than others.

In other cases, CIDA simply transfers budgetary support to governments in developing countries with a proven track record of spending money wisely or when involving other agencies would merely increase the administrative burden on the recipient nations.


In this piece, users can click to learn about the types of partners and organizations the Canadian International Development Agency funds on both a national and international scale, through a series of pie charts.


On the next page:

CIDA’s record of success

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Quiz :

How much of Canada's bilateral resources are concentrated on the 20 countries of focus it has identified?

80 percent
20 percent
50 percent