Newsletter July-August 2003: Building a Sustainable South Asia
(23 Jul 03) l
SOUTH ASIA PARTNERSHIP CANADA NEWSLETTER
Building A Sustainable South Asia
One Step At A Time
SAP Canada serves as
a forum of Canadian organizations that
together and with South Asian partners,
works for sustainable human development
in the region.
Join SAP Canada
South Asia Links
Connect with SAP Canada
MESSAGE FROM RICHARD HARMSTON, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Issues of peace and security have, in recent times, come into focus for the SAP family, its SAP partners in South Asia and many other civil society organizations. Activities on these issues were among the program highlights for our organization in the past year. The gender and security forum put a Canadian spotlight squarely on how women in South Asia, so often victims of insecurity, are providing leadership to change this major problem. We participated in the launch of a regional network to confront the menace of small arms and light weapons in South Asia, which our partners see as a community development issue.
In Canada, we have improved our communications and ICT capability to gather and disseminate information on South Asian development issues to a widening constituency. In particular, we held a Communication for Social Change Forum with an on-line list-server discussion in advance and as a follow-up tool. We also have a new look for our web site with new features for Members and the public – we welcome your feedback!
No end of challenges remain – as an organization in Canada to keep South Asian human development on the public’s agenda, and as a partner in solidarity with South Asian colleagues who champion a universal set of human values while working in countless communities of that vast region. We strive together to build a peaceful, sustainable and common future.
JOIN SAP CANADA:
Women’s Empowerment Workshop in India: On October 20-21, 2003, SAP Canada and the Institute of Social Sciences with the support of Canada’s International Development Research Centre will hold a free two-day workshop to bring together the growing body of research, practice and knowledge that has evolved over the past decade on women and local governance.
Measuring Impact of Increased Women’s Representation in Local Government: Lessons from India. SAP Canada and its South Asian partners plan to bring the lessons learned at this workshop back to Canada. We will present this information through events held in collaboration with Canadian CSOs and distribute it variously through the internet. Report will be made available soon.
SAP Nepal and Eco-Path Tours launched a joint venture that introduces travelers to international development in Nepal. Designed for the conscientious traveler, EcoPath Tours provides the opportunity to make a difference while exploring a country filled with breathtaking views, remarkable spiritualism, cultural treasures and a warm, welcoming, diverse population.
SAP Canada in the Media: Canada broadcasts each week recordings of its events on CHUO 89.1 FM. Support their fundraising drive. If you would like to broadcast SAP Canada’s latest clips on your community radio show, contact SAP Canada Communications.
RECENT EVENTS & PUBLICATIONS
SAP International at the United Nations: Chamilla Hemmathagamma, Program Officer of South Asia Partnership International based in Sri Lanka, addressed the spread of small arms in South Asia at the United Nations. She spoke as an NGO voice on the floor of the General Assembly to the UN Biennual Meeting of States to Consider the Action Programme on Illicit Small Arms Trade, in New York, in early July. She talked about the need to listen to community voices and pay attention to the impact of small arms on communities and about gender differences in the use of small arms. SAP International spoke alongside civil society groups WINAD, Foundation Paul Ango Ela, the Arias Foundation, Saferworld, among others. The debate was lively. For more detail, read the record of the proceedings.
SAP Canada Program Update: Daughters of Democracy in South Asia and Canada. This program promotes greater interaction and cooperation between civil society organizations in Canada and South Asia on the theme of women and local government.Read more.
Women’s Empowerment Celebrated in India: On April 23-24, SAP Canada’s India Program Manager attended the Women’s Political Empowerment Day Celebrations in New Delhi, India. This yearly event commemorates the coming into force of the 73rd and 74th Constitutional Amendments that have reserved 33 per cent seats at the local government level for Indian women. Ms. Gokhale spoke about Canada-South Asia linkages on this issue on a panel with Patricia Pinto, a municipal councillor from Panjim, Goa India, who toured Canada as a part of SAP Canada’s linkages programs in Fall 2002.
SAP Canada Chooses New Strategic Themes: On June 4-5, at SAP Canada’s 19th Annual Meeting Members approved a new strategic themes for our organization: Sustainable Livelihoods; Governance and Democracy; and Security and Human Rights. Read more in our 2002-2003 Annual Report. We would like to hear from you about your work on these areas. Contact us.
SAP Canada welcomes new President, Board Members: At the Annual Meeting, members elected Ann Thomson, Executive Director of USC Canada, as SAP Canada’s President for 2003-04. Three other new Board members were also elected: Bruce Herzog, Christian Children’s Fund of Canada as the new treasurer; Hugh Landry, Coady International Institute, as Vice-President, and James Astleford of the Adventist Development & Relief Agency of Canada. Shawna O’Hearn, formerly with Save the Children Canada, was re-elected for a second term. Continuing to complete their two-year terms are Kaleem Akhtar, Executive Director of Human Concern International and Maurice Alarie, formerly with Partners/Canadian Hunger Foundation. SAP Canada thanks Yvonne McKinnon, formerly with Match International and Erling Nielsen of Canadian Lutheran World Relief as SAP Canada treasurer, for their service on the Board. SAP Canada also thanks and wishes well both our 2002-2003 President Sunniya Durrani-Jamal and Board Director Barry Mackey on their new opportunities in the Philippines and India, respectively.
Sri Lanka Today: A Good News Story? Canada’s Role in Peace Making: SAP Canada Executive Director Richard Harmston, Hon. Bob Rae of the Forum of Federations and Foreign Affairs’ Glen Hodgins (South Asia Division) spoke at the public event in Toronto, Canada. The Centre for Research and Information on Canada (CRIC) and the Canadian Institute of International Affairs (Toronto Branch) organized the discussion.
Communications for Social Change Forum, an on-line and in-person event was hosted by SAP Canada in Gatineau, Canada in May. The Forum sought to answer the question: How can international development organizations use communications to achieve sustainable human development? The Forum started 4 weeks earlier with a lively on-line exchange among 80 communications practitioners from 15 countries on best practices in CSC. The final Forum Report will be available shortly. To read more about the Forum, visit the CSC forum page on our website.
Sign-up to the South Asian Human Development Forum Communication for Social Change list-server: Want to keep in touch on the communication for social change issue, theory and practice? Women and Leadership: Voices for Security ForumWomen and Leadership final report available. Write Jodie McGrath to request print copies.
Afghanistan: Beyond Kabul with Hon. Flora MacDonald sharing her experiences. Report on the slideshow now available.
Prospects for Peace in Sri Lanka: A Canadian Perspective: Read the speech by Canada’s High Commissioner to Sri Lanka, Valerie Raymond.
SOUTH ASIA LINKS
South Asian Small Arms Network, coordinated by SAP International, was launched on February 21-23, 2003. This civil society network will work with Saferworld and the International Action Network on Small Arms to draw attention to this security and development issue in South Asia. Read more. http://www.sapint.org/sasanet.html
At SAP International’s annual meeting, the SAP network decided to strike a new course in India by working with new partners for programming and partnership. This resulted from a decision by all other members to withdraw SAP India from the SAP International network after several years of growing incompatibility on matters of governance and direction. SAP International is now actively reaching out to other organizations and networks in India to build a new partnership in India.
Pakistan Social Forum: SAP Pakistan has been elected the central secretariat for the newly established Pakistan Social Forum (national chapter of the World Social Forum). This new partnership is due to SAP Pakistan’s leading role in mobilizing social forces and strengthening and supporting civil society rights-based movements. SAP Pakistan is funded in part through the Pakistan NGO Support Program funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).
Khoj India Directory: A Directory of Canadian Organizations Working on Indian Development Issues. This directory features the work of 48 Canadian non-government organizations and civil society organizations, eight private sector organizations and 22 academics on development issues in India.
CONNECT WITH SAP CANADA
SUBSCRIBE to SAP E-Link: Receive periodic notices of opportunities to participate, report releases and web site updates by email.
SUBSCRIBE to YouthAsia, a list-server for young Canadians and South Asians to discuss issues, share career information and keep in touch. http://list.web.net/lists/listinfo/youthasia-l
Thank you for reading this newsletter. Your suggestions and feedback are always welcome! Contact our Communications Officer by email or by telephone 613-241-1333 ext. 228.