With each passing week, seeing the need for reform at Development & Peace is becoming more and more evident. Last month, I commented on moral inconsistency; this month there is both that and some administrative quirks to note.
In June, I noted that the humanitarian agency of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, funded largely by the catholic parishioners via special collections taken during the Lenten period and also by the federal government subverts Catholic pro-active family teachings. I noted three cases.
It was suggested, elsewhere, that local bishops ought to give their approval to groups within their dioceses whom D&P is considering to partner with.
I have recently come across two other features of D&P requiring some tinkering, to say the least. First, the union representing D&P's approximately 60 employees is actively pro-abortion. The fact that the CSN – la Confédération des syndicats nationaux -- is pro-abortion is borne out in a document put out by one of the its working groups – i.e., le Comité national de la condition feminine. This document, entitled “Rapport du Comité national de la condition feminine,” came out at their annual congress in May of this year and presents the vision of the trade union –i.e., that abortion is a woman’s right. This document may be found here.
So, one wonders whether the union’s ideology has impacted and continues to influence D&P employees.
Second, setting aside moral accountability and turning to financial and administrative considerations, D&P has been ranked last in overall charity efficiency among international aid agencies by a Canadian financial magazine. MoneySense, a division of Rogers Communication, evaluated fifteen (15) companies in the “International Aid and Development” category, giving D&P a C+ rating for spending efficiency, the only one of the 15 to receive a C rating. Spending efficiency refers to monies that go directly to aid programs; 72.3% for D&P.
Each company was evaluated according to four criteria - program spending efficiency (C+), fundraising costs (A), governance and transparency (C-), and reserve fund size (B). I note in parentheses the grade attributed to D&P.
Commenting on these findings, John Pacheco, a social conservative blogger (www.socon.ca/or_bust/) observes that even though the overall rating attributed to D&P was a respectable B, this is misleading for not all criteria should be of equal merit. He writes:
1) The “B” Grade was one of the lower Grades given in the International Aid & Development category.
2) The compensating categories which helped increase the overall grade for Development & Peace concerned revenue generation and cash reserves, rather than efficiency and stewardship of funds. The latter two categories, however, are much more important categories for the individual donor because it concerns how the Charity spends donor money rather than how the Charity raises it. In one of these lesser categories, for instance, Development & Peace received an “A” Grade for fundraising efficiency. But this is very deceptive since D&P has a running tap of donations from a) the Catholic Church and its various organs and b) the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) of the Federal government. Every Lent, for instance, Development & Peace pulls in approximately $10 Million dollars from tens of thousands of duped Catholics while doing sweet jack all to earn it, except, of course, to wait for the 70 odd cheques to come rolling in from the various dioceses in Canada for their “Share Lent” campaign. And it’s a similar welfare program with their other partner in moral crime, CIDA, who keeps the abortion gravy train rolling with regular wire deposits into D&P’s bank account. That’s certainly efficient, but not in the way most people think of ”fundraising efficiency”.
In comparison, a much smaller Canadian-based aid agency with a Catholic identity, Chalice, earned an A rating.
These findings appear in the summer 2011 edition of MoneySense, but there is not electronic version yet. However, the 2010 evaluation, written by Sarah Efron, may be found here.