Subject: Annual Report 2002-2003
Posting Date: 21 Jun 04
Author(s): SAP Canada Secretariat
Summary of SAP Canada Annual Report 2002-2003
SAP Canada’s mission is to “serve as a forum of Canadian organizations that, together and with South Asian partners, works for sustainable human development in the region.” Begun in 1981, SAP Canada evolved from a field-oriented coalition that managed small projects and funds focused on community-based organizations (CBOs) in the region to include coordinating support for longer-term community-based programming, capacity building and initiatives to address public awareness as well as policy advocacy in Canada. SAP Canada is a membership organization composed of 27 other Canadian non-government organizations (NGOs) committed to working in South Asia and on South Asian issues.
In the past year, SAP Canada focused its programming on policy dialogue, capacity building, and linkages.
Policy Dialogue: SAP Canada hosted two forums and 15 lunch hour discussions, seminars, workshops. These events tackled many of the pressing questions of South Asia and identified new trends and concerns. These events included the November 2002 Forum Women and Leadership: Voices for Security and Development, which concluded that a lasting peace will not be possible if women are excluded from the peace process.
Capacity Building: SAP Canada helps build the capacity of other organizations through information and dialogue on important development issues. The South Asian Regional People and Policy Program’s goal is to develop networks of South Asian civil society organizations that will advocate, and influence policy, on key development issues, at the South Asian regional and international levels. Since its inception in September 2001, this program has focused on two main issues – women and local government and human rights. It is working to create a body of regional knowledge about the representation of South Asian women in local government and factors enabling and hindering their participation. It is also providing training to South Asian NGOs and women on this issue.
The Pakistan NGO Support Program (PNSP), managed by SAP Canada with the support of CIDA and implemented by SAP Pakistan, continues to provide support for civil society organizations in Pakistan. In the last 10 years the PNSP and SAP Pakistan reached more 102 districts in the four provinces of Pakistan through partners and projects reaching more than 2 million people in 1500 villages. This year the program added a new dimension to its focus: political education and electoral support for women’ representation in local governments.
A group of South Asian policy advocates founded the South Asia Human Development Forum (SAHDF) in 2000. The Regional Secretariat of the SAHD Forum, based with SAP Nepal, coordinates five National Focal Points in Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and India as well as four zones in India. The on-line segment of the SAHD Forum, HDFNet is hosted at http://www.hdfnet.org/ and is available to all members and non-members. On March 20-23, 2003, SAHDF organized in collaboration with OneWorld South Asia, a four-day training session in Kathmandu, Nepal on “Information Communication Technologies for Development”. SAP Canada with the support of CIDA in collaboration with Bellanet are supporting this Forum.
Linkages: On-line communications is becoming a major focus for SAP Canada. The SAP Canada web site www.sapcanada.org will serve as a platform for information on development in South Asia and a tool to build links among Canadians and South Asians. This year SAP Canada has doubled its on-line content, announcing current events, making reports, digital audio, photographs, Members’ events and employment opportunities available on its web site. In response, the number of web site visitors has doubled to about 3,000 visitors per month and rising. This on-line strategy is being complemented with the SAP (e)Link list-server, which posts key SAP information and event notices and Youth Asia, which provides a forum for discussion, information sharing and employment information for young South Asians and Canadians alike. In March 2003, SAP Canada sent its first email newsletter to over 4,000 supporters.
SAP Canada is an active participant in the following civil society networks:
– Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC)
– Canadian Peacebuilding Coordinating Committee (CPCC)
– Participatory Development Forum (PDForum)
– South Asia Working Group (SOAWG)
– International Action network for Small Arms (IANSA)
– South Asia Small Arms Network (SASA Net)
– South Asia Human Development Forum (SAHDF)
SAP Canada is also a partner in three bilateral projects supported by the Canadian International Development Agency: PLAGE I with CoWater International Inc. and Graybridge International Consulting Inc.; CESSD with CoWater International Inc. and the Child Rights Project with the Foundation for International Training.