- What is Aga Khan Foundation Canada?
- What are the Foundation's priorities?
- What are the Foundation's programming principles?
- What work does AKFC do in Canada?
- Where does AKFC obtain its funding?
- How is accountability assured in Foundation programming?
- In which countries is AKFC working?
- Who are AKFC's partners in solving the problems of global poverty?
Aga Khan Foundation Canada is a non-profit, non-denominational development agency established in 1980 that promotes sustainable and equitable social development. It is a registered Canadian charity (charitable number: 10007 2586 RR0001), governed by a National Committee.
The Foundation operates on the principle that effective social and economic progress is based on partnership with individuals, communities, businesses, governments, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Many of its efforts are undertaken in partnership with the government of Canada through the Canadian International Development Agency.
AKFC is part of the Aga Khan Development Network, which focuses on social, cultural and economic development. It was founded by His Highness the Aga Khan in the belief that everyone has the right to the dignity that comes from self-reliance.
Aga Khan Foundation Canada supports development programs that achieve sustainable results over the long term, and that can be ultimately implemented by communities without permanent outside support. These are programs and initiatives that are cost-effective, sustainable, effectively managed, community-based and adaptable to other contexts. The Foundation is currently involved in more than 40 development initiatives in Asia and Africa. We support programs in four important areas - health, education, rural development and strengthening community organizations. AKFC also pays special attention to the environment, as well as to problems faced by women in developing countries.
AKFC's primary objective is to help create new social and economic opportunities for women and men living in vulnerable communities throughout Asia and Africa. This is achieved through programs that are based on a number of fundamental programming principles . All AKFC programs are designed, implemented and managed in collaboration with local staff responding to the needs of local communities. AKFC makes a long-term investment in the communities it works with to ensure that they achieve sustainable independence.
To achieve sustainability, the Foundation believes it must take a holistic view of development; one that incorporates economic, social and cultural factors to improve a community's overall quality of life. At the institutional level, AKFC fosters partnerships between civil society organizations that share a commitment to helping poor and isolated communities become active participants in a vibrant, pluralistic society.
The Foundation focuses on countries where it has experience and expertise and where highly skilled local staff can help monitor progress, ensure that results are achieved and that resources are used effectively. At the moment, AKFC operates in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, India, Bangladesh, the Kyrgyz Republic, Syria, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Mozambique and Mali - countries that are home to some of the world's poorest people.
The Aga Khan Development Network has worked in some of these countries for more than 100 years, and enjoys considerable support among volunteers, local organizations and governments. Through AKDN, the Foundation is able to utilize the resources of other member institutions and community organizations that have a proven track record of managing schools, hospitals and clinics in Africa and Asia. In this way, even small projects can have an immense impact.
In addition to supporting overseas programming, AKFC has several educational programs aimed at improving the quality of Canada's development assistance and showing Canadians how they can contribute to the solution to world poverty. Our international management training fellowships are shaping the next generation of global leaders by annually sending dozens of young Canadians abroad to learn about the challenges of development from our in-country partners. AKFC invites students from developing countries to study in Canada where they can begin to form life-long professional relationships. The Foundation also sends Canadian specialists overseas to share knowledge and expertise with their colleagues in the developing world.
AKFC regularly contributes to the ongoing dialogue on Canada's development policies. It collaborates with many Canadian institutions, including University of Guelph, University of Toronto, University of Calgary, Queens University, Ryerson University. Thanks to the Aga Khan Development Network, AKFC forms a unique link between Canadian development professionals and their colleagues in the developing world.
The Canadian government, through CIDA, provides funding for a number of programs that AKFC supports in developing countries. AKFC also raises funds for its programs with generous donations from corporations and many thousands of individuals. Every year the World Partnership Walk and World Partnership Golf tournaments raise millions of dollars that go directly to our programs.
AKFC places great emphasis on effective management and accountability. Through its affiliation with the Aga Khan Development Network it has established an important "on-the-ground" presence in developing countries. Highly qualified local staff ensure that resources are used effectively. Canadian staff visit Foundation projects to assess their programs and make recommendations.
The Foundation asks external organizations such as the World Bank and CIDA to independently monitor and evaluate its projects, and makes these reports available to the public. Evaluators commissioned by CIDA have strongly endorsed AKFC-supported programs and concluded that AKFC's "stewardship and utilization of donor funds are impeccable."
AKFC has collaborated with a number of institutions and partners on a wide range of projects focused on international development. These include the Canadian International Development Agency, the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, International Development Research Centre, Harvard University, World Health Organization, World Bank, United Nations Development Fund for Women, Ford Foundation, North-South Institute and Conference Board of Canada. The Foundation widely disseminates lessons learned from its programs to other development practitioners and policy-makers, actively encourages the replication of successful programs and promotes greater understanding of development issues in Canada and around the world.