CIP’s International Outreach & Capacity-Building Programs
The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) has been engaged in a variety of international activities for some 20 years. This work has been undertaken with three primary strategic objectives:
- Education & Awareness Building: Influencing policy related to international urban affairs, export development, and international urban cooperation.
- Employment Opportunities & Business Development: Generating employment and business opportunities for CIP members.
- International Cooperation & Development Assistance: Contributing to social consciousness in Canada on the state of planning abroad, and participating in projects that advance the profession and establish stronger planning-related institutions at home and abroad.
CIP is pursuing these objectives through the following programs and activities:
Caribbean: The Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) has played an active role in the Caribbean since 1984 in order to enhance the recognition of planning and to expose professionals, decision-makers and the public to good planning practice. Since 1999, CIP has worked directly with partner organizations in Guyana, Trinidad & Tobago, Jamaica, and Cuba to strengthen planning practice in low-income communities vulnerable to natural disasters.
Following is a summary of CIP’s specific activities in the Caribbean region:
Latin American & Caribbean Program for Professional Planning: From April 2000 to June 2003, CIP was engaged in a Latin American and Caribbean Program for Professional Planning, funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The program was delivered in partnership with organizations in Trinidad & Tobago, El Salvador and Cuba to promote and strengthen urban and regional planning practices in the three countries and within the Caribbean region. The program’s goal was to contribute to stronger local governance by promoting good practice in urban and regional planning that, in turn, helps reduce urban poverty.
Trinidad: In November 2003, CIP launched a three-year CIDA-funded program aimed at reducing poverty and improving the quality of life in pilot communities in East Port of Spain, Trinidad. The program focused on strengthening local planning processes and the institutions that deliver them. For information on this project, visit the Pride in Gonzales website.
Grenada: In 2006, CIP entered into an agreement with Grenada’s Agency for Reconstruction and Development (ARD) and the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) to deliver a 13-month project, entitled Strengthening State and Community Capacity for Local Area Planning. ARD was established by the Government of Grenada as the national coordinating and monitoring body to facilitate effective implementation of the recovery and rebuilding process, following the widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Ivan on September 7, 2004. The project was implemented through the ARD, with the full support and cooperation of the Physical Planning Unit of the Ministry of Economic Development & Planning.
China: The opportunity to become engaged in China’s development and evolving professional planning capacity was initially formalized in a Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Lands and Resources (MLR) and CIP, signed in May 2002. Following the signing of this initial agreement, CIP conducted four successful advisory missions to China and hosted four Chinese State planners on a three-month training mission in Canada.
In 2006, an expanded agreement was signed between the Chinese Central Government and CIP, through which the CIP’s advisory services would be extended to 30 Chinese cities, and internships made available to 30 Chinese planners over a period of three years.
International Internships: Since 1998, CIP’s WorldLink International Internship Program has placed more than 100 young urban planning professionals with host organizations in some 30 countries. Consistent with the geographic focus of CIP’s other international work, nearly half have been placed in the Americas, including with municipal and national government agencies in Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago. The program has helped CIP build partnerships and networks in the region, provides excellent international work experience for young practitioners, and makes Canadian planning expertise available to developing and third world countries.
International Relationships: Over the past several years, CIP has also been broadening and strengthening its dialogue and collaboration with other national and international planning organizations worldwide. In 2006, this area of CIP activity culminated in the launch of the Global Planners Network (www.globalplannersnetwork.org) – a forum for sharing best planning practices, strengthening personal and institutional networks, and finding ways to bring planners together from throughout the world. More informationis available on the CIP & the World Urban Forum page.
For more information on specific international projects, please visit the pages available in this section on each location and program.