Wow, this report states that CIDA has not made a difference in the last 40 years and that the whole institution should be disbanded. The Senate had interviews with hundreds of Canadians and Africans on the state of development in Africa and CIDA's work in the field and found that 80% of CIDA staff are in Ottawa, not in the developing country. The recommendation is to reverse this trend and see 80% of staff in Africa and have an Africa-located office. I like that prospect... especially since the people living in Africa are part of the process and more likely to experience the struggles of the people here.
As I have been a CIDA intern in the past, I think that there are certain benefits of sending Canadians abroad to work in the field and actually have a better glimpse of the true nature of development.
They also recommended more economic development projects instead of social welfare programmes... unsure where I stand on this but I suppose if Canada supports economic growth, they assume that the growth will immediately go to social programs - um, bad assumption, especially where civil society and governance is still extremely weak. As much as I support economic development, there still needs to be integration of social policy in order to see that education and health are driving priorities for the countries.
What a wonderful time to re-examine CIDA's work and see how more effective change can take place.