Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Political Science


Political Science, General.




The Canadian International Development Agency plays an integral role in the promoting of democracy abroad. In fact, CIDA has spent more than $1 billion in meaningful democratic aid since 1990 on both multilateral and bilateral programmes. Despite this, CIDA policies are not conducive to developing effective and quality projects in recipient nations, due to the secretive nature of the institution. This study examines the organization's "Democracy Project Database," which contains the listing of all democracy projects for all nations from 1990-2005. Additionally, it evaluates the availability of reports and conducts interviews with CIDA personnel. Various CIDA human rights and democracy programme studies, CIDA project evaluations and the Auditor General's reports are all examined to provide a comprehensive view on the agency. The findings illustrate that while CIDA does distribute more funds to more democratizing nations, aid is greatly dispersed and this results in a loss of effectiveness. In addition, no comprehensive database of information exists to the public, with reports that are often done on an ad hoc basis. The OAG reports indicate that the organization, in the past, has not been evaluating their programmes and much of the information is informal in nature. Yet, it is only through evaluations that a knowledge process can occur. CIDA cannot learn from its mistakes and this is also evident from the interview process. The interview phase of this study elicited little participation from CIDA officials and the personal experiences of the author also reinforced the closed-nature of the institution. This creates an obvious problem with donor coordination, cooperation and learning. It also produces difficulties in fund distribution. Results indicate that CIDA has overpaid for certain agreements and has even released ineligible expenses to executing agencies. Together, the faulty fund disbursals, inadequate evaluation methods, and lack of concentration of assistance have created an institution that is not effective at promoting democracy. Interview and programme reports indicate that democracy projects need to increase the recipient government's involvement, the sustainability of funds, and more localized involvement.Dept. of History, Philosophy, and Political Science. Paper copy at Leddy Library: Theses & Major Papers - Basement, West Bldg. / Call Number: Thesis2005 .P365. Source: Masters Abstracts International, Volume: 44-03, page: 1217. Thesis (M.A.)--University of Windsor (Canada), 2005.