Government of Canada / Gouvernement du Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada


Version of document from 2019-06-23 to 2022-03-31:

Official Development Assistance Accountability Act

S.C. 2008, c. 17

Assented to 2008-05-29

An Act respecting the provision of official development assistance abroad

Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate and House of Commons of Canada, enacts as follows:

Short Title

Marginal note:Short title

 This Act may be cited as the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act.


Marginal note:Purpose

  •  (1) The purpose of this Act is to ensure that all Canadian official development assistance abroad is provided with a central focus on poverty reduction and in a manner that is consistent with Canadian values, Canadian foreign policy, the principles of the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness of March 2, 2005, sustainable development and democracy promotion and that promotes international human rights standards.

  • Marginal note:Official development assistance

    (2) Canadian official development assistance abroad shall be defined exclusively with regard to these values.


Marginal note:Definitions

 The following definitions apply in this Act.

Canadian values

Canadian values means, amongst others, values of global citizenship, equity and environmental sustainability. (valeurs canadiennes)

civil society organization

civil society organization means a not-for-profit or charitable organization whose governing structure is independent of government direction, and includes, but is not limited to, registered charities, non-governmental development organizations, community groups, women’s organizations, faith-based organizations, professional associations, trade unions, self-help groups, social movements, business associations, coalitions, human rights organizations and advocacy groups. (organisme de la société civile)

competent minister

competent minister means the Minister for International Development, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Foreign Affairs or any other minister who is providing official development assistance. (ministre compétent)


democracy includes, but is not limited to, political and civil rights as defined by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. (démocratie)

international agency

international agency means any organization whose objectives include global poverty reduction or international human­itarian assistance. (agence internationale)

international assistance

international assistance means funding provided by government for international development, international financial institutions, global peace and security, crises overseas and international development research. (aide internationale)

international human rights standards

international human rights standards means standards that are based on international human rights conventions to which Canada is a party and on international customary law. (normes internationales en matière de droits de la personne)


Minister means the Minister for International Development or any other minister designated by the Governor in Council as the Minister for the purposes of this Act. (ministre)

official development assistance

official development assistance means international assistance

  • (a) that is administered with the principal objective of promoting the economic development and welfare of developing countries, that is concessional in character, that conveys a grant element of at least 25%, and that meets the requirements set out in section 4; or

  • (b) that is provided for the purpose of alleviating the effects of a natural or artificial disaster or other emergency occurring outside Canada. (aide au développement officielle)

  • 2008, c. 17, s. 3
  • 2013, c. 33, s. 196

Official Development Assistance

Marginal note:Official development assistance

  •  (1) Official development assistance may be provided only if the competent minister is of the opinion that it

    • (a) contributes to poverty reduction;

    • (b) takes into account the perspectives of the poor; and

    • (c) is consistent with international human rights standards.

  • Marginal note:Disaster or other emergency occurring outside Canada

    (1.1) Notwithstanding subsection (1), official development assistance may be provided for the purposes of alleviating the effects of a natural or artificial disaster or other emergency occurring outside Canada.

  • Marginal note:Consultation

    (2) The competent minister shall consult with governments, international agencies and Canadian civil society organizations at least once every two years, and shall take their views and recommendations into consideration when forming an opinion described in subsection (1).

  • Marginal note:Calculation of contribution

    (3) In calculating Canada’s official development assistance contribution in Government of Canada publications, the competent minister or the Governor in Council shall consider only official development assistance as defined by this Act that meets the criteria in subsections (1) and (1.1).

  • Marginal note:No limit or restriction imposed

    (4) Nothing in this Act shall be construed so as to limit the funding or restrict the activities of the International Development Research Centre.


Marginal note:Report to Parliament

  •  (1) The Minister or the competent minister shall cause to be laid before each House of Parliament within one year after the end of each fiscal year or, if either House is not sitting, on any of the first five days on which that House of Parliament is sitting, a report containing

    • (a) the total amount spent by the Government of Canada on official development assistance in the previous fiscal year;

    • (b) a summary of any activity or initiative taken under this Act;

    • (c) a summary of Canada’s activities under the Bretton Woods and Related Agreements Act that have contributed to carrying out the purpose of this Act.

    • (d) [Repealed, 2018, c. 27, s. 658]

    • (e) [Repealed, 2013, c. 33, s. 193]

  • Marginal note:Statistical report

    (2) The Minister shall issue a statistical report on the disbursement of official development assistance within one year after the end of each fiscal year.

  • (3) [Repealed, 2018, c. 27, s. 658]

  • (4) [Repealed, 2018, c. 27, s. 658]

Coming into Force

Marginal note:Coming into force

Footnote * This Act comes into force 30 days after the day on which it receives royal assent.

Date modified: