For over twenty-five years Canadians have considered the activities and programs of the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) to be the most important international expression of Canadian social values. Consonant with this, the government has always claimed that CIDA's primary objective is to meet the basic human and development needs of the poorest countries and peoples. Many have argued, however, that narrow commercial and foreign policy considerations have often proven more decisive than humanitarian concerns. This collection of essays provides contemporary and independent analyses of the major components of the Canadian aid program, the major issues which have challenged and perplexed CIDA, and the many and conflicting pressures that have influenced the agency.
Topics covered include Canadian food aid and the varied factors that have determined its use, the complex relationship between CIDA and Canadian non-governmental organizations, and CIDA assistance to the major multilateral institutions. There is also detailed discussion of CIDA's choice of recipient countries; its use of aid for trade promotion, human rights and development assistance; issues relating to the administration of the aid program; its recent support for the International Monetary Fund and World Bank leverage on the economic policies of the recipient countries; and two case studies, one of public policy dialogue on aid policies in Central America and the second of Canadian aid for development in Asia. In the final chapters the work of CIDA is assessed from a comparative international perspective and the editor, Cranford Pratt, reviews the main determinants of Canadian aid policy and explains why there has been such a significant erosion in CIDA's declared objective of helping the world's poor.
This timely and important book contains contributions by Tim Brodhead, Marcia Burdette, Mark Charlton, Tim Draimin, David Gillies, Terence Keenleyside, David Morrison, Katharine Pearson, Cranford Pratt, David Protheroe, Phillip Rawkins, Martin Rudner, and Jean Philippe Thérien.