Idea alert

Glen Pearson lobbies for accountability in foreign aid.

The Harper government presented its first annual accounting report on the Aid Accountability Act to Parliament two weeks ago, and many waited with keen anticipation to see if the government would continue hiding CIDA within a cloak and dagger operation or if it would finally use such a solemn occasion to finally treat the issue with a hoped for trait of transparency. I worked with a team of NGOs, large and small, to analyze the paper once it was presented and, sadly, it was unanimously agreed that the accountability inherent in C-293 is not being accurately reported – the smoke and mirrors remain…

We examined the new report in comparison with the accounting the British version of CIDA (Department For International Development) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development must undertake each year. While CIDA’s accounting for $3.75 billion comprises only six pages, the other reports run in the dozens of pages. In the area of health, where the other reports are expansive, CIDA’s report offers the reader no idea of the details of the Canadian programs, their overall impact, or even the location where those programs took place.

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