GEOG 3 Assignment 3 2017-2018
Canada’s Role in Global Development…
Charity or Social Justice?
Throughout this course we have examined how the lives of people in different parts of
the world are interconnected through processes of economic, political and cultural
globalization. In recent decades there has been a significant growth of civil society
organizations (CSOs) in Canada and across the globe. In the lectures you are learning
about the role of civil society organizations in raising awareness of issues of human
rights, social justice and environmental sustainability.
But what exactly is ‘civil society’? And what precisely is the role of CSOs (sometimes
called non-governmental organizations or NGOs)? To what extent do they use a ‘charity
model’ versus a ‘social justice model’ to frame and guide their work?
The Goal:
Using two examples of Canadian CSOs with operations in other countries, you will
examine to what extent these organizations respond to the principles of social justice
advanced by the Canadian Council for International Cooperation. Conversely, you will
examine to what extent the ‘charity model’ defines their work.
Key Concepts:
Geographers and others have defined ‘civil society’ in various ways. For example, the
United Nations defines civil society as the “third sector” of society, alongside
government and business. Scholars often point to the organized nature of ‘civil society’,
and focus on those organizations and movements that are not motivated by profit or
accumulation (sometimes called Non-profit Organizations). As such, ‘Civil society’ is a
distinct sphere that is separate from states, governments and international
governmental organizations (IGOs, sometimes called ‘intergovernmental organizations’)
like the United Nations. Some CSOs, including the ones you will study in this assignment,
focus on issues related to other countries.
Key Concepts (continued)
Two models for CSO work are:
Ø The ‘charity model’, motivated by individual responsibility for the well-being of
others. This model is critiqued as paternalistic and responsible for reinforcing
existing power imbalances;
Ø The ‘social justice model’, focused on collective/long-term action that seeks to
reshape globalized connections between different countries, societies, peoples
and individuals through an analysis of power and anti-oppressive practice (AOP).
This model is critiqued as less effective in mobilizing needed resources to quickly
address crisis situations.
The Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) is the key umbrella
organization for Canadian-based CSOs that do work in other parts if the world.
Detailed Instructions:
In this assignment, you will examine the work of Canadian CSOs in another part of the
world, assessing to what extent their work employs a charity versus a social justice
approach. Your assignment is to compare and contrast two Canadian organizations and
their work in one particular country, and to consider how their work responds to one of
the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
First, learn about the UN’s SDGs (https://
?menu=1300), and choose one of the SDGs as the main focus of your assignment.
Second, learn about the Canadian Council for International Cooperation (CCIC) by
examining its website ( Over many years, the CCIC has developed a guiding
framework for its member organizations meant to reflect the social justice aspirations of
Canadian civil society in the area of international development. To learn more, pay
particular attention to the “About Us” tab, specifically to the CCIC’s “Code of Ethics and
Operational Standards” and its “10-point Agenda” (originally adopted in 2008 and
reconfirmed in 2017 as its “guiding framework”), and to the “What we do” tab.
Third, choose two Canadian organizations that are members of the CCIC to examine for
this assignment (there are more than 80 organizations to choose from). The Member
Organizations are listed under the “members” tab on the CCIC homepage. You will find
links to the organizations’ own websites there. You need to find two organizations that
work in the same country doing comparable work, i.e. work that responds to the same
Fourth, examine the websites of the two organizations. Consider how they conform to
the standards and agenda of the CCIC. Also, assess the work they do in the country of
your choosing in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goal(s) on which you are
focused and in light of the standards and agenda set by the CCIC. Compare and contrast
these organizations and their work.
Fifth, find a recent independent source (a newspaper, blog, etc.) that you consider
reliable (recall SPARK) and that addresses the issue(s), country and/or organizations you
have examined. Cite this source and reference it in your analysis. How does this source
affect your view of the two organizations and their work?
Sixth, read one academic article from those listed below that discuss the concept of civil
society and the role of civil society organizations. How does this source affect your
view of the two organizations and their work? Use the author’s ideas to further analyze
the work of the two organizations you are considering. Cite this source and reference it
in your analysis.
Seventh, read one article from the list below that discusses the differences and
similarities of a charity approach versus a social justice approach. Think about whether
you see the work of the CSOs you have considered as classic “charity”, i.e. trying to
“help” without thought to how their work conforms to the tenets of social justice and
undoing-oppressions. Cite this source and reference it in your analysis.
Your essay requires a clear thesis regarding the extent to which the CSOs fit under the
‘charity model’ versus the ‘social justice model’. It should also provide the reader with a
coherent review of the study and analysis you have conducted by going through the
above steps. While it is important to briefly describe aspects of the work of the
organizations in order to ground your analysis, remember that the assignment is
principally analytical rather than descriptive.
Timeline for Assignment 3:
• Tutorials February 15/16: Assignment distributed.
• Tutorials March 1/2: Full discussion of the Assignment. Come to tutorial with
several possible SDGs, CSOs and countries in mind that interest you.
o Note: You will have to complete steps 1-3 prior to this tutorial session.
Your TA will have a sign-up sheet on which you will list the SDG, the
CSOs and the country that will be the focus of your assignment. No two
students in your tutorial group will be permitted to use the same set of
SDG/CSOs/country and no more than five students may choose any
specific SDG, pair of CSOs or country. So come to class prepared with
some back-up options if your first set is already taken.
• Tutorials March 15/16: Bring a 1-2 paragraph summary of your argument to
share with a small group of other students (print five copies before class). This
will not be assigned a mark; however, failure to produce this brief summary in
this tutorial will result in a 5% reduction in your final assignment grade.
o Students are strongly encouraged to send a draft of their papers by email
to at least one other student for review. You will find an Assignment
Feedback form on Moodle. Students who engage in peer-review
generally earn higher grades because this step improves their work.
• Tutorials March 22/23: Assignment Due in Tutorial and using Turnitin.
o Hand in the essay in your tutorial.
o The essay should also be submitted via Turnitin on Moodle by 11:59 pm
on the due date (the date of your tutorial).
o If you choose to use remaining grace days, the printed copy should be
submitted to the drop box in North Ross 4th Floor, and submitted to
Turnitin on the same day.
The essay should be typed, double spaced, with 12-point font and one inch margins. Be
sure to type your name, student number, your TA’s name, and tutorial time at the top
of the first page. Also put the word count in bold. You may be penalized if the essay
exceeds the preferred length of 800 words. Remember that the bibliography does not
count as part of the total word count. The essay will be marked for both content and
writing style. Please re-read, proofread, and revise your work before turning it in. Don’t
forget to use spell-check.
You must be careful to cite all of the sources that you used. This means including in-text
citations whenever you are drawing on or quoting information from an external source.
Every source you cite should be in a bibliography at the end of the paper, and every
source in the bibliography should be cited somewhere in the paper. In this course, we
use APA format for citations and for the bibliography.
Remember that information gleaned from websites must be properly cited. For a
discussion of how to cite websites, see:
For an explanation of how to cite a web page that has no author, see:
Academic Articles on Civil Society and the role of CSOs:
Amagoh, F. (2015.) Improving the credibility and effectiveness of non-governmental
organizations. Progress in Development Studies, 15(3), 221-239.
Castells, M. (2008) The new public sphere: Global civil society, communication
networks, and global governance. The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and
Social Science, 616(1), 78-93.
Dupuy, K., Ron, J. and Prakash, A. (2016.) Hands off my regime! Governments’
restrictions on foreign aid to non-governmental organizations in poor and middleincome
countries. World Development, 84, 299-311.
Kaldor, M. (2003.) The idea of global civil society. International Affairs, 79(3), 583-593.
Macdonald, L. and Rückert, A. (2016.) Continental Shift? Rethinking Canadian Aid to the
Americas, in Stephen Brown, Molly den Heyer and David Black, eds., Rethinking
Canadian Aid, 2nd edition, Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press. 133-150.
Full text online:
Mawdsley, E. (2017.) Development geography 1: Cooperation, competition and
convergence between ‘North’ and ‘South.’ Progress in Human Geog, 41(1), 108-117.
Sheikh, K.S., Ahmad, K., Farooq, A. and Alvi, F.S. (2017) Concept and conception of civil
society in western and Islamic traditions: A comparative analysis of secular and Islamic
Faith-based civil society practitioners in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Journal of Political
Studies, 24(1), 191-225.
Open access:
Academic/Grey Literature on ‘charity’ versus ‘social justice’ model:
Addams, J. (1910.) Charity and Social Justice. The North American Rev., 192 (656), 68-81.
Alexander, D. (2010.) Responsibility to the poor: A matter of justice, not charity. The
Guardian, October 8.
Clarke, M. and Ware, V. (2015) Understanding faith-based organizations: How FBOs are
contrasted with NGOs in international development literature. Progress in International
Development, 15(1), 37-48.
Fauzia, A. (2017) Islamic Philanthropy in Indonesia: Modernization, Islamization, and
Social Justice. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 10(2), 223-236.

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