Thank you very much.
First of all, it's good to be here.
To summarize my comments, what I'm talking about is that smarter money from the Canadian government and collaborative networks can produce sustainability and long-term results for people who need help. I don't really have any silver bullet, but I hope to be able to provide some silver thread to sew together some existing parts that exist in Canada today.
Going back in international development, my first experience with that on a very intensive basis was with a student whom I mentored in the late 1970s. He wrote his master's thesis in African history, and I helped him focus on business. He discovered that the NGOs were 13 times more successful than government-to-government money in Africa.
He took that master's thesis and is now a very senior manager at CIDA. His name is David Foxall. I hope that through our government, I'll be able to find him, because they moved him around quite a bit and he's difficult to find.
Currently I'm a director for the Fig Tree Foundation in Calgary. It's a non-profit organization that networks 45 NGOs, including CAWST, the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology, which involves water and sanitation throughout the world; Light Up The World, which involves solar-powered lights; Opportunity International; and many other organizations. One of the things we found is that most NGOs spend a lot of money on infrastructure and don't necessarily collaborate, so we have a round table of 45 NGOs talking with each other and sharing best practices.
In addition to that, one of my former students, Avik Dey, was the chief financial officer for Remora. He was in the Llanos Basin in Colombia looking for oil and gas. Unfortunately, the company was sold, and now he's available again. The key aspect he presented—he and I had the same idea—was to network the receiving organizations.
In South America, most companies have to spend 1% of their capital expenditures and revenues in social enterprise. They do that only on their own. They don't collaborate. The concept that we have is to form a network in Canada of NGOs that should be working together with companies that are in the receiving areas, which are putting money in for oil and gas or extractive industries. Get them to network together, and then we can source what's actually needed after doing a needs analysis on the local scene.
There are also some new technologies, which would be available to developing countries, in coal, energy, and water. I'm a director of a very small skunk-works company in Calgary, which has major breakthroughs in coal with a very low CO2, irrespective of where Canada is in the Kyoto accord. In addition to that, the intellectual property is not necessarily in the university, and this inventor has had major successes in many areas for coal, hydrocarbons, and water purification.
In Africa, part of the network again is John Waibochi of VirtualCity in Kenya. He won the $1-million Nokia prize for the best IT application in Africa and the world, where he takes smart cards that the farmers have and he's able to drive corruption out of the supply chain. I asked him why he's not dead already, and he said because they make the pie bigger for everyone.
What I'm trying to say here is that there are many puzzle pieces that I know of, and other puzzle pieces that people know of in Canada. It would be very helpful if this committee could help sew these pieces together.
Another foundation was mentioned by the previous speaker—the Aga Khan Foundation, which is based in Ottawa. And CAUSE and CARE are already involved in international development. Indeed, in Calgary there's a very large Ismaili Muslim community. I've done the academic awards for that community for 15 years. Elizabeth Florescu is the research director for the millennium development goals. She lives in Calgary. So there are lots of opportunities for networking.
The key aspect that I want to encourage again, and I'll stop here, is that smarter money and collaborative networks produce sustainability and long-term results. One of my faculty colleagues, Loren Falkenberg, is a co-author of a paper called “The Role of Collaboration in Achieving Corporate Social Responsibility Objectives”, where again they talk about collaborating networks.
The key aspect here is whether the government in Canada and the private sector can co-lead—work together—to help more people and spend less money doing it.
Thank you very much.