Canadian Perspectives on International Development: Report of Results
In February 2015, Engineers Without Borders Canada, in partnership with the Inter-Council Network (of which the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation is a part) and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, commissioned a public opinion poll to gain an understanding of Canadians’ knowledge of, opinions on and engagement in global poverty issues. This poll intends to build on similar polls conducted in Canada, such as the 2012 Canadian Engagement in Global Poverty Issues poll by the ICN, and those conducted in other G7 countries through The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Narrative Project.
The report presents the results of the poll, and features the following highlights:
- There is a national consciousness in Canada about global poverty reduction, with 94% of Canadians saying it is important to improve health, education and economic opportunity for the world’s poorest and 76% of Canadians agreeing we have a moral obligation to help expand health, education, and economic opportunity for the world’s poorest.
- Most Canadians are optimistic about our world’s future, as the majority believe that conditions in the poorest countries will improve in the next 15 years and that both the government and individuals can play a role in reducing global poverty.
- Canadians want their government to take a leadership role in global poverty reduction, with 62% of Canadians agreeing that Canada should be one of the leading countries in providing international development.
- Canadians have a good grasp of how much the government currently spends on foreign aid, and 46% believe the government should spend more.
- The Government of Canada can—and should—enhance the country’s leadership role in addressing global poverty by aspiring to surpass Canada’s 2010 Official Development Assistance (ODA) levels of 0.34% of gross national income (GNI) before the end of the 42nd Parliament, as a step toward meeting the United Nations’ target of committing 0.7%.