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International development must be sustainable

International development must be sustainable

February 7, 2022
International Development Week (IDW) shines a spotlight on the important contributions that Canadians are making around the world. Now in its 32nd year, the theme #GoForTheGoals is a call to action for CICan, for our members, and for all Canadians!

This #IDW2022, take action by joining us in signing the SDG Accord! As signatories, we maximize the impact of our efforts, share knowledge, commit to doing more, and hold each other accountable.

At CICan, we make sustainable development the heart of all that we do! Each one of our programs is tied to the SDGs as a model for collaboration to ensure that our actions contribute to positive change for people, communities, and the planet.

This year, we are also celebrating our 50th anniversary and looking back through the history books at our international projects, on how our work in international development has evolved over the years, and how the Canadian model for education contributes to sustainability abroad.

Start from our flagship multi-national EFE program and work backwards!

Does anybody remember “institutional twinning”? It’s our process of sharing Canadian expertise with international partners! As early as the mid-1970s, our advisory groups wanted a way for Canadian colleges and institutes to support the growth of similar institutions in developing countries – and so began our international projects!

“Twinning” arrangements paired Canadian colleges and institutes with international partner institutions to support access to quality education and training, while helping them align their training programs with their country’s labour market needs.

  • By 1991 (the same year as the very first IDW!), our member institutions had been involved in 65 partnerships in over 30 countries!

Fast-forward to 2007, when we inaugurated our first Education for Employment (EFE) projects in Mozambique, Tanzania, and Senegal.

  • EFE is a unique approach that puts quality education, gender equality, reduced inequalities, decent work and economic growth, and climate action (SDGs 4, 5, 8, 10 and 13) at the heart of its international development approach.
  • Today, our EFE projects are active in 15 countries: (Belize, Chile, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Kenya, Mexico, Mozambique, Peru, Senegal, St. Lucia, Tanzania, and Tunisia). Each project contributes to all 17 of the SDGs by empowering all people to achieve their full potential through education. 

After 50 years, we’ve learned a lot about supporting international sustainable development. All our international programs proudly showcase and champion this capacity of Canadian colleges and institutes worldwide.

The SDG Accord is an opportunity to mark our global leadership for another 50 years! Help us reach our goal of getting 45 members on board to mark Earth Day on April 22.

  • We signed last year, and so have 15 of our members (so far). Watch the video: Be inspired by their vision for what we can accomplish through collective action.
  • Congratulations to the early adopters and thank you for leading the way! Cégep du Vieux Montréal, Cégep Édouard-Montpetit, Cégep Gaspésie et des Îles, Cégep Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Confederation College, Dawson College, Georgian College, Humber College, Lethbridge College, Nova Scotia Community College, Olds College, Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Selkirk College, Seneca College, Sheridan College.