Policy and Advocacy
While Oxfam Canada comes from an activist tradition, we've always invested considerable energy in policy analysis and dialogue. On our own and as a participant in Canadian coalitions, we've played a leadership role in discussions on aid, trade, debt and development. We've worked with Foreign Affairs and CIDA in Ottawa, at the United Nations and in the field to inform Canada's foreign policy and aid program, and to change the policy and practice of other governments. We've met with ministers and opposition critics, appeared before parliamentary committees and briefed traveling delegations of elected representatives and government officials.
Through participation in roundtable discussions, background briefings with embassy staff, sharing research and policy papers or a discreet alert to a looming issue, Oxfam Canada works to inform opinion shapers and influence decision makers.
For example, this past year Oxfam Canada played an important role in changing government policy on food aid, reducing the portion of tied aid from 90 per cent to 50 per cent. Working with the Canadian Foodgrains Bank over several years, Oxfam Canada was able to demonstrate the compelling reasons to make such a shift, including the strong support from Canadians including grain producers for such a move.
As with other areas of our work, Oxfam Canada's impact is exponentially enhanced by our active participation in Oxfam International. Drawing on the strong research and analytical capacity of the Oxfams collectively and our collective presence on the ground in more than 100 countries, Oxfam Canada has access to a wealth of contacts, information and intelligence. With Oxfam International policy staff at the United Nations, World Bank, World Trade Organization, European Community and African Union, Oxfam Canada is in a strong position both to influence and be informed by this global process of policy dialogue.