In May 2016, Global Affairs Canada launched the International Assistance Review (IAR), kicking off a consultation process and signalling Canada’s intent to make its assistance spending count. The Review involved broad consultations. The Canadian International Council (CIC)’s National Capital Branch and its Politics @ the Pub (P@P) series were at the forefront of this process. On June 27th the National Capital Branch held a P@P event at the Red Lion Pub on Youth Inclusion in the International Assistance Review.

Following brief presentations, our panel of experts engaged the audience in a lively discussion. Photos of this event are now available here.

The People:

Deirdre Kent, Director General, Development Policy, Global Affairs Canada

Jean Daudelin, Professor, Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, Carleton University
Louise Ouimet, Former Ambassador, and Chair of the Africa Study Group of the CIC
Nadia Abu Zahra, Professor, University of Ottawa
Marc Bonomo, Director of Partnerships, SOS Children’s Villages Canada

Ehsan Torkamanzehi, Chair, Politics at the Pub, CIC


Deirdre Kent is the Director General for Development Policy within Global Affairs Canada responsible for the advancement of strategic development policy and emerging issues, including the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Since joining the Foreign Service in 1994, Ms. Kent’s career has focused on multilateral diplomacy, including international development policy, peace and security issues, and human rights. From 2012-2015, she was responsible for operational responses to complex crises, police and civilian deployments, and program finances with the Stabilization and Reconstruction Task Force (START) which coordinates Canada’s whole-of-government engagement for stabilization and reconstruction in fragile and conflict-affected states. Previously, she served for four years as Director of the Development Policy and Institutions Division with responsibilities within the Foreign Ministry for international development policy, food security, and international financia l institutions. Her last overseas assignment was as Human Rights Counsellor at the Canadian Permanent Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, from 2002 to 2006, where she was elected Rapporteur for the United Nations Human Rights Commission in 2005.  She has also served abroad in Israel and the West Bank/Gaza.  Deirdre Kent holds a Bachelor of Science and an International Masters of Business Administration (MBA). She is married with two children.

Jean is a Professor at Carleton University’s Norman Paterson School of International Affairs, where he teaches on development and conflict. Jean is a specialist on Latin America, particularly Brazil, Central America, and Columbia, where he has researched religious movements, indigenous politics, urban violence, economic integration, and regional politics. Jean’s current research focuses on property rights and conflict, on Brazilian foreign policy and international relations in the Americas, and on crime and violence in Latin America.  He has expertise in conflict and development (particularly tenure regimes, property rights, and land conflicts); Brazilian foreign trade and security policy; Canadian foreign and security policy; inter-American politics; insurrections and political violence; and Indigenous mobilizations.

Louise is Director of the Canada office at ACT-for-Performance and Chair of the Canadian International Council affiliated  Africa Study Group. She has over 40 years of experience in international development (mostly with CIDA), with a particular emphasis on Africa. Among other positions, Ms Ouimet was posted as Canadian Ambassador to Burkina Faso from 1995 to 1997 and Mali from 2001 and 2005. In 2000-01, she was Senior Advisor, Development and Africa for the Prime Minister of Canada, working at the Privy Council and Chief of Staff to the President of CIDA in 2007-08. Ms. Ouimet is founding partner and Vice President at ACT-for-Performance and provides support to public sector reforms in DRC and Mali.

Nadia is an Assistant Professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development and Global Studies. She has broad research interests in health, environmental issues, human rights, and education.  Working with Oxfam-Quebec, and on other projects sponsored by UNICEF, the EU, and CIDA, Nadia has explored the possibilities of raising awareness of these issues. As a result of these projects, as well as academic work, Nadia continues to think about the ethics of research and international development. Her writings are generally within these subject fields, with a recent focus on how states – and particularly their policies of identity documentation (passports, IDs, databases, etc.) – affect individuals and groups at personal levels.  Nadia also has expertise in development assistance, refugees, and the Middle East and North Africa. Nadia holds a doctorate from Oxford University and a Masters degree from the University of Toronto.

MARC BONOMO – Youth Panelist
Marc is the Director of International Partnerships at SOS Children’s Villages Canada, part of the umbrella organization of SOS Children’s Villages International, which offers safe and nurturing family homes to over 75,000 orphaned and abandoned children in 134 countries around the world. Marc joined SOS Children’s Villages Canada in 2010. He has spearheaded SOS Children’s Villages Canada’s work in engaging the private sector in development, Maternal and Child Health programs, Youth Livelihood programs, and International Humanitarian Assistance. As part of Marc’s work and education he has traveled extensively throughout Latin America, South East Africa, and Asia. Marc represents SOS Children’s Villages Canada on the Humanitarian Response Network, the Devonshire Initiative, the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, as well as in the Canadian Coalition for International Cooperation. In 2010, Marc received his Bachelor of So cial Sciences from the University of Ottawa’s School of International Development. Prior to joining SOS Children’s Villages, Marc worked in several federal government departments and on Parliament Hill for the Honourable Belinda Stronach.

Ehsan is Chair of Politics at the Pub (P@P) for the Canadian International Council’s National Capital Branch. He started his career in the private sector working for Novatek International, a Canadian multi-national software firm, as Associate Director of International Business Development. In 2007, Ehsan co-founded BenAstrum Life Sciences Institute, a life sciences consulting firm.



Photos of CIC NCB’s June 27th P@P Panel: Youth Inclusion in the International Assistance Review