Canada announces funding for public engagement in international development

News release

February 9, 2023 - Ottawa, Ontario - Global Affairs Canada

International Development Week is a time to reflect on the incredible difference that development assistance makes for families and communities around the world. It is also a chance to highlight the innovative and exciting ways that Canadians can engage in advancing the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

As part of International Development Week 2023, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada, today announced a total of $23.4 million in funding to extend programming for Canadian public engagement. By informing, inspiring and involving Canadians in international development and the SDGs, Canada will be better placed to deliver meaningful and lasting international development results and help build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world.

Of this amount, $17.4 million will be provided to extend the Inspiring Action for Global Citizenship program to the 8 members of the Inter-Council Network (ICN). With this funding, the ICN will build bridges between local and global issues, raising awareness of international development issues in communities across the country.

The funding announced today also includes $6 million for the Aga Khan Foundation Canada for the International Development Education and Awareness project. Through school and youth-group programs, this project will spark young Canadians’ interest in development priorities, such as eliminating poverty and promoting gender equality.

In addition to the funding announcements, Minister Sajjan made a commitment to Canadian civil society organizations to improve how Global Affairs Canada works behind the scenes so that it can be more efficient, effective and responsive in relation to its programs and partnerships. Over the next 5 years, Global Affairs Canada will be on a mission to streamline how it oversees the more than $5 billion it manages for grants and contributions through its Grants and Contributions Transformation Initiative. The goal of the initiative is to improve, modernize and harmonize the way the department works—starting with a review of its business processes.


“By raising awareness and promoting action, the Inspiring Action for Global Citizenship program and the International Development Education and Awareness project will have powerful ripple effects. The more Canadians understand about international development and the more ways they find to get involved, the richer our work and our communities will be.”

- Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

Quick facts

  • The ICN’s programming is a core element of Global Affairs Canada’s approach to public engagement through partnerships. Each of the councils, which are located across the country, has a project under the Inspiring Action for Global Citizenship program.

  • The program has been successful in engaging Canadians across the country through youth leadership programs; curriculums and training for teachers to use in schools; safe space dialogues with youths; round table discussions on international development; and a web-based global citizen program.

  • The extension of the program will allow the councils to expand their reach and increase the effectiveness of Canadian development partners in delivering innovative and inclusive programming that advances gender equality.

  • The Aga Khan Foundation Canada’s International Development Education and Awareness project will enhance the engagement of Canadians, especially youths between 12 and 18 years old.

  • It will do this by creating memorable experiences that include workplace learning opportunities; designing and delivering learning products, curriculum resources and maps; co-developing innovative mass media campaigns and products; enhancing the creation of communities of practice to have more meaningful exchanges about international development.

  • The goal of the 5-year Grants and Contributions Transformation Initiative is to improve Global Affairs Canada’s funding system for international assistance and build a new integrated system with enhanced technology. This will minimize administrative burden, as well as improve risk assessment and access to more targeted performance and financial data.

  • These announcements took place at the Cooperation Canada Awards ceremony, which was organized in collaboration with the World University Service of Canada (WUSC). Each year, Cooperation Canada recognizes outstanding individuals and projects through awards for women’s leadership, as well as for organizational and individual innovation and impact in the international development sector.

Associated links


Haley Hodgson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of International Development

Media Relations Office
Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @CanadaDev
Like us on Facebook: Canada’s international development - Global Affairs Canada
Follow us on Instagram: @canadadev

Page details

Date modified: