2011 Conference Follow up

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Dear CAIDC Members and Friends:


You have received a number of messages over the past weeks about various aspects of the CAIDC conference, “Developing the Future” which took place in Ottawa last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, followed by the CAIDC Annual General Meeting, on Friday afternoon.  I want to thank all of you who attended for your participation in the event.  A special thanks is due to the conference sponsors and the group of volunteers who worked so tirelessly through the event; the financial support of our sponsors and the efforts of the volunteers were crucial in helping make the conference happen.


The Board was pleased by the turnout – a total of over 150 participants – and with the range, quality and relevance of the presentations and the overall organization of the conference.  Those of you who attended will, I’m sure, recall many stimulating discussions and learning opportunities in both the formal sessions and during networking breaks.  Over the coming days, we will be reviewing the conference evaluations in detail in order to determine how we can do things better or differently in future and to initiate appropriate follow-up measures including planning for a conference next year. 


One of the things we’ve started already is to set up a ‘youth circle’ to advance the initial discussion that took place in the youth session with a view to identifying concrete measures and partnerships we can explore to help young people gain a foothold in international development work and also expand the youth outreach and membership of CAIDC.  We are also writing to the President of CIDA to propose a roundtable with staff of CIDA and possibly other agencies on directive programming that was suggested at the conference.  We will be posting a detailed report on the conference on the CAIDC website as well; you’ll be informed when the report is posted.


The AGM that followed the conference provided an opportunity to review what CAIDC has achieved since the last conference in November 2009 and, more importantly, the challenges – and opportunities - for our organization for the coming year and how we can deal with them.   The minutes of the meeting are being posted as this message goes out to all of you.


One major challenge over the coming months will be the consolidation and expansion of CAIDC’s membership base.  We know that there have been technical obstacles for current and past members to renew their memberships but are confident that these have now been resolved.  We therefore encourage anyone who has still to renew a membership to do so as soon as possible.  We will be contacting members individually to ensure that they renew their memberships at the appropriate time.


The AGM also saw the election of a new Board for CAIDC.  We will be posting their names and contact information on the CAIDC website as well as short bio’s for them so that you can see what an impressive group of development professionals you have representing your interests.  Now that we have a new Government we have written as well to the Minister of International Cooperation, proposing a meeting to discuss issues of concern to CAIDC members.  We’ll keep you posted on any relevant developments in this regard.


So, as you can see, there are lots of challenges – and hopefully some opportunities - for CAIDC over the coming weeks and months.  With the leadership of the new Board and with the continued support of our members and friends, I am sure these will be creative and productive times ahead.  Stay tuned through the CAIDC website for news of future developments as well as of opportunities to become more directly involved in the work of your association, CAIDC.