Working to strengthen Canada’s contribution to a better world

Vision and Mission

The McLeod Group is made up of professionals with many years of experience in government, civil society and academia, working across the fields of international development, diplomacy and foreign policy. We work with others who value human rights, inclusion, equality and sustainable development to advance Canadian policy and action in international cooperation and foreign affairs. Read More…

Canadian Foreign Policy

Canadians expect their government to do the right thing, and to do things right when it comes to international affairs. However, a partisan domestic agenda is now implemented internationally. It includes suppression of discussion about human rights, an opportunistic Middle East policy, turning our backs on much of Africa, cutting our aid budget, backsliding on gender equality, and becoming an embarrassment on environmental issues. Read More…

Recent Tweets


While international and local NGOs can provide maternal and child health services, what happens when the external funding runs out? The emphasis needs to be on delivering health care through national systems and strengthening those systems, not setting up special, time-bound initiatives that will fail when salaries can no longer be paid or supplies run out. It’s not only today’s babies and mothers that need ‘saving’ – it’s tomorrow’s too. This essential element of ‘local ownership’ is key to effective, sustainable development assistanceMr. Harper’s Maternal and Child Health Summit, Part 5: What’s still missing?, The McLeod Group

The word ‘focus’ is used 13 times in the brief government press release announcing an increase by 25% in the number of countries where Canada will now, um, focus. The problem with all this focus—or rather defocus—is that if you want to do anything serious with the money, it takes time to develop the kind of programs the Harper government keeps talking about. You know, the ones that deliver real results. Impact. Good projects can be shut down lickety-split—as in Burkina Faso and Benin five years ago—but starting up an effective development partnership that is country-driven isn’t so easy. Out of Focus: Canadian Aid Merry-Go-Round, The McLeod Group

Hundreds of millions of dollars set aside to help the world’s poor went unspent in the last fiscal year, new figures from the parliamentary budget office show, prompting fresh concerns about the future of Canadian foreign aid.The data collected from quarterly spending reports shows that by the end of the fiscal year in March, the Canadian International Development Agency had failed to spend nearly $419 million, or more than 13 per cent, the $3.14 billion Parliament authorized it to spend in grants and contributions.–Lee Berthiaume, PostMedia News

While it is perfectly legitimate for the Harper Government’s development cooperation agency to revise and update performance standards and funding criteria, the current secretive process of malign neglect ignores 40 years of hard-won development experience, and alienates a significant number of Canadian and international partnersChanging Canadian International Development by Malign Neglect, The McLeod Group