Members Meetings

May 31, 2011 - Introduction to the New Proposal

With so many CSOs operating in the world, development work seems to take on a different form everywhere we look. Development effectiveness tactics, though adjusted to accommodate the unique characteristics of various projects all over the globe, tend to follow common trends. The key to more united global CSO front may be in striving to apply an overarching set of framework goals to the many projects attempting to, seemingly independently, change the world around.

The BCCIC held its first members’ meeting since the approval of a new three year proposal to CIDA. The goal was to create a concrete link between members, the BCCIC proposal and the policy framework behind it. Members were invited to take part in a dialogue with the BCCIC as discussion turned to the newly proposed  capacity building and public engagement programs, the details of the inter-council network (ICN) and the framework behind the entire proposal:  The Istanbul Principles as well as CIDA’s themes to guide development work.

The overall goal of the BCCIC’s new 3-year proposal is to enhance the scope and scale of CSOs’ ability to be more effective in the field while also engaging Canadians on global issues. Public Engagement and Capacity Building are heavy focuses as the BCCIC introduces activities including: Peer learning circles, lunch and learn sessions,  a province-wide youth competition and international development week.

The Inter-Council Network (ICN) is planning on stepping it up a notch with learning exchanges, webinars, polls and engaging new stakeholders.

The Istanbul Principles and CIDA’s three themes are the glue holding the proposal together and the proposed light to guide future programming and projects. A series of development effectiveness principles drawn up at a CSO open forum in 2009, the Istanbul principles lay out the bare skeleton of tactics CSOs around the world have decided best translate into effective development work. In addition, CIDA has established three themes to guide its work that the BCCIC will attempt to mirror in upcoming events and programming: Increasing food security, securing the future of children and youth, stimulating sustainable economic growth.
The room was abuzz with conversation about proposed programming, as well as with new ideas and feedback from members. Questions that were explored included:

(a) How does the policy framework being drawn upon, the Istanbul Principles and CIDA’s themes, how do they tangibly apply to developmental work? What do they look like in practice?

(b)   What role do CSOs play in Canada at the national level? How do we create a united national front of interconnected CSOs?

(c) What untapped resources lie within the more rural BCCIC partner communities and how can they be more actively pursued, included and learned from?

Breaking into small discussion groups at the end of the day, members focused on coming up with ideas for making communication more effective, and how to deliver on the public engagement and capacity building activities outlined.

The BCCIC uses meeting opportunities to actively engage their members in creating a common point of reference. All topics and projects are encouraged to consider the policy framework set up by the BCCIC’s new proposal based on the Istanbul Principles. With members adhering to a common framework, there is a movement created for greater strength, clarity, unification and solidarity in development effectiveness work.



March 17, 2011 - "Why Failure Works"

On Thursday, March 17th, BCCIC sponsored an interesting workshop on the perspective of “Why Failure Works”. Facilitated by Mike Simpson of One Sky, an organization based in Smithers, the 2.5 hour workshop was an in-depth look at the psycho-social development of perspectives. In particular the workshop examined our assumptions as development practitioners, how these assumptions change over time, the patterns of these changes and how the field of development has, in itself, gone through a distinct series of stages, moving from charity, to partnership to recipient led programming to the dissolution of the boundary between “us and them” that evolves out of global issues like climate change, the economic meltdown or global health.  


Using a philosophical approach known as integral theory, the workshop participants explored their own stages of development and examined approaches to development challenges as an unfolding holarchy (embedded and nested stages). The workshop also examined how development projects unfold in terms of individual and collective perspectives as well as our interior perspectives regarding an “objective” or exterior world. Exactly how does a failure serve and when and how do we view failure or measure failure in terms of ego-centric, socio-centric and world-centric perspectives. Are we able to honestly identify our own motivations and make distinctions between our ego-centric, socio-centric and world-centric reasoning for development initiatives.


Seeped in philosophy, the participants enjoyed applying the theory to current events such as the crisis in Japan and better understanding how to approach project design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation using an integral lens.  The workshop followed a successful panel discussion initiated earlier on February 7th and, based on the positive feedback received so far, there is a keen desire for a follow up workshop in the coming months. The presentation can be found here. For more information contact: