Global Affairs Canada manages the Government of Canada’s international assistance, as well as its diplomatic and consular relations, humanitarian assistance, and international trade. Canada has recently undertaken a review of its international assistance resulting in a new Feminist International Assistance Policy, which prioritizes Inclusive Governance as one of six action areas for Canada’s international assistance.
Global Affairs Canada is also a member of the Freedom Online Coalition (FOC), a coalition of 30 governments which seeks to support Internet freedom and protect fundamental human rights – free expression, association, assembly, and privacy online – worldwide.
In the CIMA survey, each donor was asked to rate from high to low in terms of priority the types of media interventions it supports.
The majority of Global Affairs Canada’s media support falls under Freedom of Expression activities focusing on:
Global Affairs Canada uses a variety of funding tools – global multilateral, multi-donor and bilateral – and focuses its projects on areas where civil society, human rights, and freedom of expression in the media are under threat.
Over the last three years, Global Affairs Canada has spent approximately $8.8 million U.S. dollars (or $11.2 million Canadian dollars) on international media development projects. In 2016, the total was $3.0million USD ($3.9 million Canadian dollars). Project funding is typically for one to three years with project support ranging from $800,000 to $ 4.0 million USD ($1 million to $5 million Canadian dollars).
In 2016, Global Affairs Canada’s geographic media support breakdown was:
Africa – 6 percent
Asia – 30 percent
Europe – 54 percent
Latin America – 10 percent
Organizations seeking funding can search Global Affairs Canada’s data base for different sources of funding, including current “Calls for Proposals,” some of which are open only to Canadian organizations. If a group’s project corresponds to Canada’s international development priorities, it can submit an unsolicited proposal for work in a country where Canada is doing development assistance. A group can also reach out to Canadian diplomatic or consular missions on funding for local initiatives.
Funding for International Media Development Projects in 2016
In Ukraine, the goal of Global Affairs Canada’s two projects – Strengthening Conflict-affected Community Communication for Internally Displaced Persons and Strengthening Investigative Reporting – is to improve access to quality, free and independent media. The projects focus on increasing access to information going to internally displaced persons and host communities and providing technical advice and training for investigative journalists to produce programs on effective governance, economic development, environmental protection and social justice.
In Mexico, the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives supports Red de Periodistas Sociales to strengthen the capacities and skills of women journalists. The program supports the provision of trainings on secure communication and investigative and human rights reporting.
Global Affairs Canada’s Digital Inclusion Lab held a two-day conference in Ottawa in early 2017 entitled “Leveraging Technology to Counter Online Hate,” bringing together civil society activists from North America and Europe. Discussions focused on countering the proliferation of online hate and abuse, as well as the role of social media and the interactions between freedom of expression and freedom of the press.
Report Author: Marguerite Sullivan
Last Updated: March 2018