The Canadian PDP
THE CANADIAN (PDP):
In order to promote the unity, the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs had initiated in a year 1998 an ambitious public diplomacy programme which aimed overall to illustrate the international domain to popularizing the domestic unity. The DPD has been basically formed to construct the national identity and attaches citizens to Canada, reveals a unified Canada, abroad, in return it expected to boost the national public debate about the unity. The programme is really an innovative approach. Originally, the duration time of the programme was two years, any potential extension or a permanent funding depended on the outcome results of the evaluation process. The following question will be gradually discussed in this blog context; to what extent did the programme successfully fulfilled its initial goals. It was necessary to look at some accompanied features and expose the ultimate findings, that have been connoted in a descriptive evaluation report which was released by the Canadian Foreign Affairs FAC ..
I had the first contact with the Canadian public diplomacy strategy when I was researching and working on an essay about the new public diplomacy, where I had the opportunity to come across this book: Branding Canada by Evan H. Potter published in 2009. It shows how Canada projects its soft power through public diplomacy. it was fascinating the notion of designing a programme of public diplomacy using foreign citizen, but in facts essential target is the promotion of Canadian’s unity. As it is known, there is a clash of culture between the French and English districts with serious attempts from the French nation to secede. While I was reading the PDP evaluation report and perceived its purpose, I started to think about the Canadian PDP aims to maintain the unity, despite the cultural differences. While my mother land Sudan had missed a golden opportunity to conserve the unity, when the warring parties signed in 2005 a comprehensive peace agreement, where politicians and peace negotiators from the Government of Sudan GoS and the rebel movement SPLA/M agreed upon many issues such as power sharing, an interim period of six years which should culminate with a internationally monitored referendum for southern region only, and secession. During the interim period a joined government so called “Government of National Union” should work towards making the unity attractive for the Southerners and persuading them to vote for united Sudan. The project of unity failed, because the Government of the National Union was not working efficiently and sufficiently to make the unity attractive. Far more culture and religious differences encouraged the option of secession. Consequently, Southern Sudan breaks away from the mother land Sudan in July 2007. Back to the Canadian PDP assessment: the evaluation led by the foreign affairs ensured that the programme has not changed, although new sub-objectives have been added in, and it started to prevail in improving, social cohesion and increasing the belonging sentiment which in return helps to promote the objective of unity. The PDP provided a funding for the Canadian’s missions to overseas encouraging diplomats to reflect efficiently Canadian’s culture and values which would promote the country image. The PDP has established a framework for the missions in a different geographical area and the funding provided must at least be used in one of these issues, values, culture and interests, promotion of democracy and good governance, promotion of La Francophonia and creating of dialogue in international policy issues.
PDP used the funding provided by foreign affairs and the national stakeholder to target in abroad specific media and civil institutions those who criticise the Canadian’s politics. Working in partnership and leverage of resources in abroad is an essential part of the programme. Canadian films have also played role to promote the image of the country in the posts a report to the evaluation of PDP shows the films have fulfilled the aim of reflecting the cultural and values broadly in some countries. The evaluation of the programme has also talked about evidence that there was a great achievement of positive influencing in domestic policy such as education, immigration and federalism.
The PDP is getting to fulfil its initial objectives through using the international arena in branding the image of Canada worldwide which will have good impact on promoting the Canadian’s unity.
Title : Branding Canada:
Author: Evan Potter
Publisher: McGill Queens University Press
Publication: 2009 Montreal
- Web site of:
Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada
Evaluation of Public Diplomacy Programme of the Foreign Affairs Canada July 2005