Copeland: Is the folding of CIDA into DFAIT the end or a fresh start for Canadian international development?

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March 28, 2013

With a few exceptions, the role and significance of official development assistance has been declining in recent years, while the contributions of overseas remittances and private philanthropy have been increasing. That said, integrating long-term, human-centred and sustainable development objectives more centrally into the diplomatic agenda could both improve policy coherence and pay important international security dividends.

The challenge will be to construct a suitable model for the new organization, and to contain the enormous administrative and personnel management overheads which inevitably attend departmental mergers. A failure to think through the full implications of the decision, or a collapse into endless bureaucratic wrangling would more than cancel out any possible gains.