In truth, too much of contemporary development work relies on stereotypes. And while overly simplistic and ingrained ideas about men, women and the poor may be useful for fundraising purposes, when put into practice by organizations they contribute to ineffective development planning.
We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
As a teacher, my dad has worked hard to instill in me a love of language and learning. Now, as a writer and editor with World Vision, I get to hear lots of stories of dads who, like mine did, are building a foundation for their children's futures. The reality is though, that my father has had more opportunities in life than the dads we meet with World Vision. And there's no better time to highlight those dads than on Father's Day.
Will Antalya now stir our pro-poor Canadian government into moving from talk to walking via a new focus on aid for the LDCs/fragiles? The immediate option is easy and cheap -- but a real partnership requires more than funding.
One of the pre-eminent goals of economic sustainability is improving gender equality. In many developing nations, women are still underrepresented in positions of power. They continue to receive unequal pay for equal work and are quite often targets of sexual and physical abuse. Women-owned enterprises face economic and legal disadvantages and continue to struggle for opportunities.
When companies or wealthy individuals dodge taxes, governments either have to cut back on essential services, such as health care and education, or make up the shortfall by levying higher taxes on everyone else. Both options see the poorest people lose out and the inequality gap grow.
Agenda 2030's Universality principle requires all developed (and developing) countries to set published targets for the Sustainable Development Goals. But these are days of economic distress, both globally and in Canada. Can we any longer afford to increase our support for the poorest nations or even the catch-up bill for our indigenous population, long left behind?
For every tragic incident in the world today, there are countless more women and men humanitarians -- changemakers -- making the world a better place in their own respective capacities. Light is more potent and powerful in effacing darkness; let's each of us resolve to spread more light around us, in our communities, and throughout our world.
The problem is that the way we help the poor is, in a sense, wrong. If you sponsor a family, you're ensuring that they survive, but you do not secure a brighter future for them. We need to focus on skills that will help them in the long run, not just sponsoring their survival.
We need policies that enable the poorest to benefit most from economic growth. Of the 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2010, 200 million could have escaped extreme poverty if poor people had simply benefited equally from the proceeds of growth -- particularly women and youth, two groups being left behind.
The next global goals -- the SDGs that will take us to the year 2030 -- will need to build on the progress of the MDGs and go beyond them to reach the most marginalized and vulnerable population -- especially girls, and including people in the poorest and most remote rural communities, refugees, and women in minority groups.
The new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are not for the faint of heart -- they are bold, broad commitments striking at the core of society's critical social issues. The first goal is as daunting as it is resolute: end poverty in all its forms everywhere. And as a universal agenda, these commitments apply to all countries -- including Canada.
At the heart of Agenda 2030 is one simple message: "leave no one behind." Agenda 2030 is about a farmer's rights to vote and to have meaningful expectations of a better future for himself and his family, with access to health services, to education, decent work, clean water and freedom from fear.
Pregnancy is still one of the leading causes of death of girls in developing countries between 15 and 18. Worldwide, 16,000 children under five die every day. Girls and boys are left behind because of who they are or where they live. Women and girls from ethnic minorities have fared worst, and discriminated against because of their sex and race. Girls living in towns or cities are much more likely to have access to a skilled birth attendant than young women living in remote parts.
One aspect of the climate change debate I find particularly troubling is the extent to which CO2 has come to dominate the narrative. By limiting our discussions to CO2 we ignore the topics we can all agree upon. Today I will talk about a topic about which even the most dedicated denialists and the most excitable catastrophists should be able to agree on: black carbon.
In September, I take up my new responsibilities in Geneva, Switzerland as Canada's Ambassador to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament. The UN reflects the dreams and aspirations of not just Canadians but of the world. My new role will allow me to address global challenges from a different perspective than I've had at Plan Canada, but as I prepare to leave I reflect on a few proud accomplishments that bolster my confidence and hope for the future.
Poverty, inequality, violations of human rights and other forms of social injustice aren't usually associated with humour. But growing numbers of international development organizations are using humour both to catch our attention and to make us think more deeply about serious issues of global injustice. While some global charities still use pictures of sad, hungry children in their communications, others are using much more creative strategies involving humour -- from satire to parody to slap-stick comedy.
A recent trip to Ghana's Volta region affirmed for me that there is so much more to aid and development than one prosperous nation giving to another in need. I was still taken aback by what I saw upon arrival. In short, people in Volta are not living with a lot. But they are far from powerless.
While the right to food is a basic human right, food insecurity is a serious problem around the world. The global evidence is clear. Countries that make investments in agricultural development are better equipped to eliminate hunger, reduce rates of undernourishment and accelerate their economies. What's more, increased farm incomes stimulate employment both on farms and in the broader community. Further, the World Bank found that GDP growth originating from agricultural development is twice as effective in reducing poverty as GDP growth stemming from alternative industries.
The World Bank's ambitious goal to end poverty by 2030 requires large transformations in the global political economy so everyone has a chance for a better life. According to World Bank President, Jim Kim, defeating poverty requires a surmounting push from $131 billion dedicated to development, to a trillion dollars.