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Canada and Overseas Development

How CIDA funds its partners

Some Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) partners receive direct federal funding, such as the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), but many do not and rely on CIDA contracts and/or private funding to drive their initiatives. The following examples illustrate how various partners work with CIDA to assist developing countries.

IDRC received $173 million in federal funds in the 2009-10 fiscal year and was established to empower developing countries to stimulate development, rather than doing the work for them. IDRC funds applied research, providing expert advice to researchers and helping build local capacity to research and innovate. It supports research under four general themes: agriculture and environment; information and communication technologies; innovation, policy and science; and social and economic policy. In addition to partnering with CIDA on many projects, IDRC has recently strengthened its network of partners that are devoted to international development and knowledge sharing. In many cases, IDRC works together with institutions, such as the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the Australian Agency for International Development.

In partnerships with NGOs that do not receive direct federal funding, CIDA provides money through core funding or implements particular approved programs or projects. An example of this type of organization is Resource Efficient Agricultural Production Canada (REAP-Canada), “ an independent, non-profit organization that has been working since 1986 with farmers, scientists and the private sector to improve the sustainability of farming systems and develop ecological ways of producing food, fibre and fuel in Canada and abroad,” according to the organization’s website.

“REAP-Canada has become one of the world’s leading organizations that work with communities to develop agro-ecological farming systems and bioenergy for rural development.”

According the organization’s website, REAP-Canada’s mission is to build partnerships with communities, individuals and organizations and to provide research, development and training services that support the creation of sustainable crop production. Since 1997, REAP-Canada has received financial support through CIDA’s Canadian Partnership Branch and bilateral branches for its agrarian community-development programs in rural villages in the Philippines, Gambia and Senegal. CIDA’s long-term support has been integral to the development of the Agro-Ecological Village model that focuses on fighting poverty without degrading the environment.

CIDA partners with private-sector firms that have — or can gather — expertise in priority areas of development and can administer projects in a manner prescribed by CIDA. One of CIDA’s regular partners is Cowater International of Ottawa. Cowater’s core areas of expertise are water-resource management, environmental management and sanitation and hygiene. Cowater has implemented over 100 projects in more than 30 countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean, as well as some assignments in eastern Europe and the Middle East.

On some occasions, the most effective method of dispersing development funds is through international agencies with significant administrative capacity and reach. In this way, CIDA can join hands with countries around the world and take on huge challenges that require more resources than any one country can afford. One obvious example is the Global Environment Facility, which was established in 1991 as a World Bank pilot project and now unites 182 member governments to address environment issues. By funding these kinds of international agencies, CIDA can often address problems on a more massive scale.


This piece gives information about Resource Efficient Agricultural Production Canada and its development approach, Agro-Ecological Village. A chart comparing various methods of the approach to traditional farming systems supports this piece.


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Multilateral projects

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Quiz :

What is the focus of Canada's International Development Research Centre?

Selling Canadian products
Researching barriers to development
Government relations