Public Engagement Bulletin: November 2022

This bulletin is a compilation of information for communications and public engagement professionals working in global health, international development and gender equality to support them in their work, share best practices, and coordinate key moments in the sector. 

Start getting ready for International Development Week 2023!

CanWaCH is pleased to share the following information about IDW 2023 on behalf of Global Affairs Canada. Please note that some details such as the sub-themes may be subject to change. To share your IDW 2023 plans, including but not limited to event ideas and digital content, with Global Affairs Canada please email [email protected]

What is International Development Week? 

International Development Week (IDW) aims to draw attention to international development and shine a spotlight on Canadians’ contributions to eradicating poverty and contributing to a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. A unique Canadian tradition since 1991, IDW is held annually during the first full week of February. The week represents a whole-of-Canada “coming together”, including civil society, the private and philanthropic sector, schools, community organizations, and the general public, as well as at Global Affairs Canada (GAC) in Ottawa and at its missions around the world. During IDW, international development stakeholders collectively host over one hundred events from coast to coast to coast, and internationally. IDW 2023 will take place February 5th – 11th and is expected to feature both in-person and virtual/hybrid events to maximize the impact and reach of activities.  

IDW and GAC’s approach to Public Engagement: 

IDW is a central feature of the Department’s ongoing public engagement effort on international development issues. GAC seeks to engage Canadians as global citizens through partnerships with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in communities across the country with concrete experiences of partnerships and cooperation with developing countries. IDW is largely partner-led, coming to life through a range of grass-roots initiatives that target Canadians in the international development community and beyond. 

Global Affairs Canada, led by the Engaging Canadians Bureau, plays an active role in developing an annual framework for IDW to leverage key investments and Departmental priorities. This includes the provision of an overarching theme and sub-themes, along with promotional materials and key messages. GAC also enhances visibility and dissemination of partner events through an online events calendar, social media amplification, and coordination of high level and departmental official participation in the week. The Prime Minister and Minister of International Development generally issue each a statement to launch IDW. Global Affairs Canada’s headquarters in Ottawa, and its mission network abroad also participates in IDW by sharing stories from the field, hosting events and providing social media for a shared approach to engagement across the Department on international development. 

IDW 2023 Themes: 

For the fourth consecutive year, the theme for IDW 2023 will be “Go For The Goals”. This umbrella theme reflects a call to action to mobilize Canadians as global citizens in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The “Go For the Goals” theme reflects international development objectives, relates to the Prime Minister’s role as Co-Chair of the UN Secretary General’s SDG Advocates Group, and enables partners under one overarching message. CSOs have found this unifying message useful to rally around to encourage Canadians to get involved. By mobilizing engagement across the country, IDW is an opportunity to contribute to a whole-of-society approach to advancing the SDGs, thereby strengthening Canada’s contribution to global development. 

Taking into consideration the current international context and Canadian priorities, the Department has further proposed selected sub-themes for IDW 2023: 

  • Food security 
  • Climate Action 
  • Health 
  • Education 
  • Gender Equality 

These sub-themes will be highlighted by the Department in the lead up to, and during International Development Week. Partners will be able to reflect these international priority topics in their own events. 

IDW 2023 Objectives: 

  • Inform: Focus attention and inform Canadians of international development issues, to build awareness, understanding and solidarity of current development challenges and efforts. 
  • Inspire: Inspire Canadians to reflect on the importance of international development and international solidarity, and to consider connections between local and international issues. 
  • Involve: Provide opportunities for Canadians to be engaged and involved, as global citizens, in Canada’s international development efforts. 

Ultimate outcome of IDW 2023: To increase awareness across the country of Canadian engagement in international development efforts. 

To share your IDW 2023 plans, including but not limited to event ideas and digital content, with Global Affairs Canada please email [email protected]

Public Engagement and Communications Tips and Resources

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November 29, 2022