Tuesday, December 10, 2013

CIDA does IPPF site visits in only two of five countries

It seems DFAIT's (formerly CIDA) due diligence criteria of making field visits to ensure that the $6 million funding to IPPF does not include abortion services, didn't happen in three of the five countries involved.

This latest ATIP request to DFAIT was based on an email I had received previously from a CIDA media person that stated:

"Field visits to projects and regular monitoring by CIDA field representatives also provide key information that permits CIDA to determine and assess whether the implementing organization is performing or delivering services in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement."

So I asked for:

"all information regarding these field visits to the five countries benefiting from the $6 million funding to IPPF."

This is what I received.

There were site visits to Bangladesh between February 12, 2012 and Feb 23, 2012.

And this note:

"All partners were very pleased to have a CIDA officer visit. Some have been receiving funding for several years but have never had the opportunity to welcome a CIDA officer."

Sounds like this is the first time CIDA had done any checking as to how our funds are being used in Bangladesh in several years.

We know that FPAB [IPPF's member association in Bangladesh] does menstrual regulation in Bangladesh, but supposedly no Canadian funds are being used for this. But then we read this comment in the report under their "advocacy program":

"...the management team indicated that FPAB does a lot of advocacy work. Advocacy is part of everything they do, either at the policy making level through activities targeting the MoHFW (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare) or at the district and grassroots levels, whenever there is an opportunity during formal meetings with local authorities and religious leaders at training sessions etc. They envision this staying the same over the next few years."

Would that mean then, advocacy for menstrual regulation and abortions? One would assume so, since it is a well known fact that IPPF wants to make abortion legal everywhere and never shies away from telling us so.

The "background" portion of the information does make one reference that abortion services will not be funded under the initiative.

Pages 76 and 77 identify a site visit to Tanzania, but it says virtually nothing about how the funds are used here. It does say that:

"IPPFAR [IPPF Africa Regional Office] also mobilizes resources for its MAs ([member Associations], and advocates for sexual and reproductive rights at the county, regional and international level."

There's that "advocacy" word again.

And you may be asking, what about the due diligence that our money is not being used for abortion services is Afghanistan, Mali and the Sudan? Good question. My ATIP revealed this:

"Please note, no records were found for Afghanistan, Mail or Sudan."

Apparently those field visits and regular monitoring to three of the five countries to "determine and assess whether the implementing organization is performing or delivering services in accordance with the terms and conditions of the funding agreement." never even happened.

(Note: this ATIP was for the first Annual Progress Report for the project: 27 January - 31 March 2012, and for the Mid-year Report: 1 April - 30 September 2012. There will be additional reports for each year of the funding.)

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