It's the People That Make Good Things Happen

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Coady international
St. Francis Xavier University 50 years of leadership
Please center the tile and not have the St. Francis …. Leadership so small and keep
same color blue as Coady title above
By Noah Richler
Dr. Riley would like to see the pictures of Michael Jean, Dr. Riley and Mary Coyle all
the same size.
I am delighted to mark the 50th anniversary of the Coady International Institute.
Throughout my travels and encounters, I have noted that young people see the world as one big
community that needs to be cared for collectively, and that the only reasonable and sustainable
solution for humanity is the globalization and the sharing of solidarities, knowledge and effort.
For 50 years, Coady’s graduates, staff and partners have been advocating such communal action and
civic engagement. They have the strong conviction that they can change the world, and I can attest
to the results of this commitment, because I have seen them in action in the countries of Africa.
Practising what they preach, they give the best of themselves to ensure collective well-being, to
build strong communities, at home and abroad.
I extend my warmest congratulations for 50 years of initiatives, action, outreach and hope, and for
the promise of a better future.
Michaëlle Jean
The Governor General
ADD Dedication
And put in box
This volume is respectfully dedicated to the founders, staff and graduates of the Coady International Institute
Good spot to insert campus aerial photo.
Dr. Riley plans to revise.
As you read these words, someone is waking up in one of the more than 130 countries in which
Coady is a word of human dignity and self-reliance.
The Coady International Institute at St. Francis Xavier University grew from a social movement in
rural Canada. Its roots are in the struggles of farmers, fishermen, and miners not simply to survive
but also to gain a better life and stronger community. A university came to be at the heart of this
struggle through the turbulent times of the 1920s and the Great Depression.
Today the unanticipated legacy is a leadership education institute that is a unique and powerful
contribution by Canada to the success of community- based organizations in developing countries.
This volume contains only fragments of the human story of the Coady International Institute. It is
nonetheless a tribute to three generations of leaders in the cause of human dignity and self-reliance
who united the beliefs and aspirations of communities to become, in the words of Moses Coady,
“masters of their own destiny.”
For the first decade and a half of its existence, I knew the Coady International Institute as a young
observer. The lives of my parents, Norman Riley and Sally Fraser, centered on the Antigonish
Movement and the growth of the Coady Institute. For the past decade and a half, I have had the
privilege of carrying on the Coady’s mission as a unique feature of St. Francis Xavier University.
Canada is, and must develop further as, a crossroads nation in the broad struggle for human values.
The Coady International Institute is a unique leadership education institute supporting that
Dr. Sean Riley
President, St. Francis Xavier University
Note Coyle photo same size as Jean & Riley photos. May need to pick different
photo of Coyle
“Human energy must be unleashed by the universal dissemination of ideas.” Moses M. Coady
The Coady International Institute story is a unique story of Canada in the world. It is a story of
leadership, compassion, innovation and global impact. It is a story I feel privileged to contribute to
as the seventh director of this dynamic forward looking institution.
26 years ago I was conducting research in Upper Egypt for the Canadian International Development
Agency. I was looking at how international donors supported the best practices in rural and urban
enterprise development. Reputable sources in Cairo suggested I go visit a successful and innovative
organization in El Minia called CEOSS. The Cairo sources were right. My CEOSS host in El Minia
was a dynamic young leader named Nabil Abadir. When Nabil discovered I was from Canada, he
asked me if I was from Antigonish. I have to admit I was taken aback and puzzled by his question.
Sometimes people overseas ask if I am from Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or even Niagara Falls but I
had never been asked if I was from the small Canadian maritime town of Antigonish. Within
minutes though, the pieces of the puzzle came together. Nabil was a 1975 graduate of the Coady
International Institute’s Diploma in Social Leadership. He had spent 6 months living and studying
on the campus of St. Francis Xavier University (StFX) in Antigonish. For Nabil, Antigonish and
Coady were synonymous with Canada and Canada’s commitment to international development.
For me, Nabil and his organization CEOSS, were the embodiment of a respectful and effective
development approach which was focussed on building community and institutional capacity for
durable, self reliant development.
As Director of the Coady International Institute for the past 13 years I have worked with my
talented team of colleagues to further hone that Coady approach to leadership development which
recognizes, mobilizes and unleashes human potential for positive results. The Institute’s namesake,
Moses Coady, was committed to creating “the Good Society”, a society where all people would
participate fully, enjoy a “good and abundant life” and be “Masters of their own destinies”.
There are now more than 5,000 Coady graduates in every region of the world working in
thousands of communities with millions of people to achieve that vision of “the Good Society”.
This volume has been created in celebration of these graduates and first 50 years of the dynamic
education, innovation and action agenda of the Coady International Institute. It pays tribute to the
many people who have forged and nurtured the identity of this unique “made in Canada”
international institution. Not meant to be a comprehensive recounting of the history of the Coady
International Institute, it is rather a series of portraits illuminating key highlights of the past half
century of international outreach as well as the local peoples movement out of which the Institute
was born.
It is essentially a book about leadership. It tells the stories of Moses Coady, Jimmy Tompkins and
the many women and men who worked for and with the StFX Extension Department, the
institutional home of the Antigonish Movement. These leaders were promoting leadership in
vision, ideas, action and successful results in the Maritimes and across the continent.
They were followed by Francis Smyth, D. Hugh Gillis, George Topshee, A.A. MacDonald, Eric
Amit, and Francois Belisle, my predecessors and the many gifted educators, community
developers, researchers and administrators at the Coady International Institute. We, as Coady
Institute staff have the daily privilege of working with inspirational, organizational, community and
societal leaders.
While every Coady graduate and partner makes an important contribution, we have had to choose a
few to illustrate our distinct approach, our reach and our collective impact. These remarkable
women and men are the true heroes of the Coady Institute story. They are the ones on the ground
making a difference.
We could probably publish a whole separate volume on the people who have invested their money
and time in the Coady vision. From Andrew Carnegie and the Sisters of St. Martha, to John F.
Kennedy, the Canadian International Development Agency, and our many generous scholarship,
program and campaign contributors there is a common belief that an investment in leadership and
innovation will lead to the positive change needed in our own society and societies throughout the
This book, celebrating 50 years of leadership, comes at a time when the Coady Institute is in a
position of strength. Today it is recognized worldwide as Canada’s centre for education of
development professionals and innovation in development practice. In 2009, the Coady Institute
laid down the foundation for an even more dynamic future with the opening of a vastly expanded
home in the historic heart of the St. Francis Xavier University campus. At the grand opening of the
new Coady home, on the occasion of the Institute’s 50th anniversary, we promised to honour our
past by building an ever more robust future. “Our ambitions, reach and vision” for the Coady
International Institute have never been greater and neither have the opportunities to fulfill our
Publishing this book has been made possible by the contributions of many people. Noah Richler was
able to capture so eloquently, in words, the essence of the Coady story. Dr. Sean Riley has
provided the essential vision, guidance and financial support. Frank Gagliano of St. Joseph’s
Communications provided generous support on the design and publication. Darren Rodenkirchen
and Udo Schliemann of Gottschalk + Ash International contributed their creative design talents.
Heather Sangster, Eric Amit and Catherine Irving carefully edited and provided fact checking
services. Susan Hawkes and Debbie Murphy helped track down photos and facts. Lori Ward
deployed her well-honed project management skills in finally bringing this important book to the
point of publication. Due to the very nature of this book, there will be omissions. I will accept
responsibility for any errors.
Ultimately it is the giants, the Coady leaders on whose shoulders we stand, to whom we owe the
greatest thanks. Without them there would be no Coady Institute, no history to celebrate and no
future of greater global impact to chart.
Mary Coyle Director,
Coady International Institute
University Vice President
St. Francis Xavier University
pg.01 The
Coady International Institute
Canada’s Centre of Excellence 50 Years of Leadership
pg.11 “We
Must Use Force! The Force of Ideas!”
The Genesis of the Coady International Institute
pg.43 “Education
for Action”
The Coady International Institute’s Distinct Approach
pg.75 “Development
Is the New Name for Peace”
The Worldwide Reach of the Coady International Institute
pg. 109 “It’s
the People That Make Good Things Happen”
The Future of the Coady International Institute
The Coady International Institute
Canada’s Centre of Excellence 50 Years of Leadership
“Education is the most powerful tool we have for
strengthening people’s capacity to lead and act.”
Mary Coyle
Coady Institute Director, Mary Coyle in India with the Self Employed Women Association (SEWA) members, and Coady
graduate. SEWA staff member Daxa Sujit Trivedi is a long standing partner of the Coady International Institute.
Unique in the World:
Education for LEadErship action
The Coady International Institute has been promoting community self-reliance since it opened its doors to
educate leaders from around the world 50 years ago. Established by St. Francis Xavier University in 1959,
the Coady International Institute is world-renowned as a centre of excellence in community-based
development and leadership education. The Institute
was named in honour of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady, a prominent founder of the Antigonish Movement
- a people’s movement for economic and social justice that began in Nova Scotia during the 1920s.
With its mission to reduce poverty and promote self reliance and prosperity carried out into the
wider world, the Coady International Institute is nothing less than a global leader in education and
action research for community-driven development.
The Coady Institute is an unparalleled facilitator of leadership building that advances the lives of
millions of men, women, and children, many from the world’s poorest communities. With its
growing number of partner organizations and an impressive network of more than 5,000 graduates
from more than 130 countries, the Coady Institute has become a prominent leader among global
organizations in the field.
For five decades, the Coady International Institute has been at the forefront of the multilateral
developmental effort to nurture the climate of peace and non-violence essential to improving the
lives of economically disadvantaged citizens—not just in “emerging” countries but also in Canada
and the rest of the developed world. It has a steadfast commitment to leadership, democracy, selfreliance, and to the political rights of all peoples, with a particular focus on less advantaged groups
such as indigenous peoples and women. At the heart of its teachings and its achievements is an
approach to development and to personal emancipation that is economic first of all. Said Moses
Coady, the institute’s namesake, “We want our men to look into the sun and into the sea. We want
them to explore the hearts of flowers and the hearts of fellow men. We desire above all that they
“In a democracy people don’t sit in the social and economic
bleachers; they all play the game.”
Moses Coady
PHOTO: Coady participants hail from over 130 countries
will discover and develop their own capacities for creation.” Coady said of the disadvantaged
communities that he felt had all the human resources they needed to advance their cause, “They will
use what they have to secure what they have not.”
The Coady International Institute is committed to the spirit of this same lofty dream and to the hard
work that made Moses Coady a practitioner and not a prophet. For above all, Coady understood
that what was necessary to the pursuit of economic improvement and social justice was a cultivation
of knowledge and leadership for action, so that even the most seemingly disadvantaged groups
could, in his unforgettable phrase, be “masters of their own destiny.”1
In a small university town in rural Nova Scotia, in the eastern part of Canada, known for its
international commitments, is an institute regarded as a jewel in the field of development work. This
jewel is the Coady International Institute, offspring of the Antigonish Movement and St. Francis
Xavier University. The university, which had been founded in 1853 provided the impetus and the
resources to grow and to spread ideas about poverty alleviation, economic improvement, and the
importance of leadership education to grassroots leaders, who then communicated their syllabus of
determination and hope to the fishing and farming communities of the province.
The modest town of Antigonish became an unlikely global centre of ideas about development that
were so appealing and so ahead of their time that within a decade of the 1928 founding of StFX’s
Extension Department, community leaders were travelling from as far afield as the Caribbean,
Africa, and Asia to absorb its message of human capability and economic emancipation.
From the late 1930s, handfuls of international visitors travelled to StFX to hear cleric and social
activist Moses Coady. Coady’s name had spread far and wide because of the effect of his teachings
and of the Antigonish Movement (of which he had been a leader) upon the prosperity and the sense
of purpose of Nova Scotians. This steady influx of interested peoples from elsewhere had a
profound influence on the way the university regarded its commitment to social justice and,
specifically, the work it was doing through its Extension Department to improve the fortunes of the
province’s working people, who had been struggling through the worst years of the Great
A movement of leadership education, community-driven economic development, and
organizational capacity that had started in hamlets within a couple of hundred miles of the
university was having repercussions throughout the world during a period of global history in which
there was a grand awakening vis-à-vis the injustices of Empire and an excited sense of the work to
be done in countries beginning to shed their colonial shackles. “The world was coming to
Antigonish,” and as a result, the Coady International Institute was founded fifty years ago.
Today the Coady Institute is a globally renowned organization with extraordinary objectives,
practices, ties, and influence, housed in state-of-the-art facilities that put it at the heart of
Antigonish’s St. Francis Xavier University campus and the enthusiasms of internationally orientated
new generations of Canadian and visiting youth. It offers
“The spirit of concern which St. Francis Xavier University
expresses in deeds through its Coady International Institute
among the poor of the world, is very close to my heart. Your
leadership role is deservedly acknowledged and universally
Mother Teresa
PHOTO CREDIT: StFX President Malcolm MacDonell presenting Mother Teresa with an honourary doctorate degree in
November 1975.
a continually evolving syllabus of courses in development leadership, community development,
adult education, microfinance, livelihoods and markets, organizational development, peace and
conflict transformation, and advocacy and citizen engagement.
For fifty years, the Coady International Institute has been improving the skills and knowledge of
development professionals from Canada and the rest of the world and tutoring youth on campus
and at locations overseas in a polynational environment unique among organizations of its kind. In
this unique leadership and community-development institution participants profit, not just from
state-of-the-art facilities and the proximity of a vital and interested student body but also from the
experience and dedication of Coady faculty and the front-line wisdom of their international peers.
The Coady International Institute is unique because it is the outcome both of an enlightened
university and of an historical social movement indigenous to Canada—one that, ironically, because
of a decades-long stream of interested visitors, possibly enjoys an even greater reputation abroad
than it does at home.
At the Coady International Institute, participants are immersed in a working culture of ideas but
also of practice. Their leadership abilities are enhanced by a curriculum honed by its constant
application in the field and by the experiences of other graduates. Learners are privy to a broad
range of participatory methodologies and tools for community capacity building, as well as
programs designed to strengthen and manage the sustainable and democratic development of
organizations on the front lines of community work. The high premium placed on the value of
learning and the importance of mission-related social networking ensures current knowledge of
best practices, innovatory techniques, and the profitable discussion of issues and trends in
development at the micro, meso, and macro levels of society. The Coady Institute encourages
conceptual linkages among methodologies of participation, economic development, good
governance, and social change. It lays the way for effective collective action through knowledge
sharing and strategic partnerships at all levels of organization, from villages to government and,
through the ties of the international community, beyond.
The Basic Principles of the Antigonish
2009 Coady Diploma in Development Leadership particpants in class.
Photo credit: John Berridge
Gathering of Coady Graduates
The Primacy of the Individual
This principle is based on both religious and democratic teaching: religion emphasizes
the dignity of human beings, created in the image and likeness of God; democracy
stresses the value of the individual and the development of individual capacities as the
aim of social organization.
Social Reform Must Come Through Education
Social progress in a democracy must come through the action of citizens; it can only
come if there is an improvement in the quality of the people themselves. That
improvement, in turn, can come only through education.
Education Must Begin With the Economic
In the first place, the people are most keenly interested in all concerned with
economic needs; and it is good technique to suit the educational effort to the most
intimate interests of the individual or group. Moreover, economic reform is the most
immediate necessity, because the economic problems of the world are the most
The Individual
The Economic
Group Action
 Social Reform
 A Full and
Abundant Life
Filipino fishers on the beach
Nepalese woman
Photo credit: John Berridge
Education Must Be Through Group Action
Group action is natural because people are social beings. Not only are people
commonly organized into groups, but their problems are usually group problems.
Any effective adult education program therefore, must fit into this basic group
organization of society. Moreover, group action is essential to success under modern
conditions; you cannot get results in business or civic affairs without organization.
Effective Social Reform Involves Fundamental Changes in Social and
Economic Institutions
It is necessary to face the fact that real reform will necessitate strong measures of
change that may prove unpopular in certain quarters.
The Ultimate Objective of the Movement Is a Full and Abundant Life
For Everyone in the Community
Economic cooperation is the first step, but only the first, towards a society that will
permit every individual to develop to the utmost limit of her/his capacities.
“We Must Use Force! The Force of Ideas!”
The Genesis of the Coady International Institute
Reverend Dr. Moses M. Coady
Photo by Yousuf Karsh
“Development Is the New Name for Peace”
The Worldwide Reach of the Coady International Institute
Leading in Ideas and
Over its first five decades, the Coady International Institute has established itself as a “go to” leadership
education and knowledge for development centre.
E.T. Jackson and Associates completed a third-party evaluation of the institute in 2003, indicating
“Coady is maintaining and strengthening a recognized international status as a professionally sound
community-based learning for development organization, one with strong social justice credentials.
It is working with the right people on the right issues in the right ways in realizing good quality
In 2000, Canada signed on, with 191 other nations, to eight ambitious Millennium Development
Goals aimed at eradicating poverty, ensuring education for all, a voice, role and share for women,
improved health, turning the tide on HIV/AIDS, renewing and sustaining our natural environment,
and fostering youth leadership and employment.
Capable people, the right ideas, and effective organizations are what will ultimately make the
difference in our world.
For five decades the Coady Institute has been working with organizational leaders world wide to
generate the right ideas and support their efforts to put those ideas into action for the betterment of
PHOTO: (Left to Right) Table banking in Kenya with CREADIS, a Coady partner.
Ela Bhatt, Mary Coyle & Jayshree Vyas at the Indian School of Microfinance for Women, India.
building on credit union successes
Raising capital at the microfinancial level in rural or hard-to-reach communities likely outside of the
economic mainstream is a challenge in today’s developing countries just as it was in the 1920s in Nova
Scotia, when Moses Coady, Father Jimmy Tompkins, and others first agitated for cooperative societies and
credit unions in order for fishermen and farmers to raise capital for forward-looking projects.
The legacy of this credit union work is to be found in today’s study and implementation of
microfinance. The honing of these ideas—notably by the Coady International Institute partners in
places as diverse as Angola and India; and championed in Bangladesh by the Nobel Prize–winning
economist and founder of the Grameen Bank, Dr. Mohammed Yunus—has been widespread and
invaluable to community development all over the world. Leadership training in microfinance has
allowed for many entrepreneurs, whose capacity for economic contribution was either not
recognized or discounted by often overburdened governments in the areas in which they were
living, to arrive at better and sustainable means for themselves and the society in which they were
From the very first days of the cooperative movement, now globally counting some 800 million
members and affecting 100 million jobs1 the extension of credit to those who would not normally
be able to avail themselves of it has been one of the great driving engines of community
The Coady International Institute has for a long time been instrumental in the spread of credit
unions and the evolution of its methodology, accomplishing this through developing training
curriculum and strengthening apex institutions. Most notably of those have been Uganda
Cooperative Savings and Credit Union, the South African Credit Union League, Silveira House in
Zimbabwe, SANASA Credit Union in Sri Lanka, and other networks in Grenada, the Philippines,
Tanzania, Nigeria, Ghana, and Senegal. With this background, the Coady Institute has developed a
strong reputation for its expertise in member-based microfinance models.
Microfinancial Successes
Self-Employed Women’s association (SEWA)
One of the most remarkable and long-standing alliances the Coady Institute has enjoyed with a cooperative organization
internationally is with the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) based in Ahmedabad, India. SEWA was
started as a trade union, in 1972. It is an organization of more than 1 million poor, self-employed women workers. The
SE WA Bank was started two years later by 4,000 women each contributing ten rupees. SEWA combines basic
cooperative principles of self- reliance, adult education, capacity building, and microfinance with full employment goals
and political advocacy on behalf of women members working in the “informal” or “unorganized” sector. Its work—
enabling local enterprise, often of an artisanal nature, and generating better conditions in the garment and construction
industry—with home-based workers and street hawkers and vendors has acted as a hedge against a pattern of migration
in India in which families and communities are broken up as they succumb to the pressure of having to leave their
homes to find work that is often badly paid and exacted in appalling conditions.
From 1999 to 2004, the Coady Institute implemented a CIDA-funded project with SEWA Bank focusing on building
the capacity of a training unit within the bank responsible for providing technical assistance to SEWA’s rural savings and
credit groups and district associations. This project resulted in the production of three training manuals focused on
district- association business planning, self-help group management, and financial literacy.
Through the project, SEWA Bank’s rural trainers were able to transfer basic business planning and financial
management skills to at least ninety neo-literate “spearhead team” members chosen from leaders of savings and credit
groups and district associations. Spearhead team members in turn use the training materials and processes to train the
remaining leaders of the savings and credit groups and district associations. As a result of this process, savings and credit
groups and district associations gradually become financially sustainable and self-managed, meaning they will no longer
be dependent on SEWA Bank. Coady graduates are active leaders at SEWA, Lalita Krishnaswami, is a Vice President,
Daxa Sujit is currently responsible for the rural lending operations of the bank, Pallavi Panchal lead efforts in financial
literacy, while other graduates expand both the services and opportunities available to SEWA members.
Indian School of Microfinance for Women (ISMW)
In 2003, the Self Employed Women’s Association, Friends of Women’s World Banking-India, and the Coady
International Institute joined together to start the first-of-its-kind Indian School of Microfinance for Women (ISMW),
which aims to build the capacity of like-minded organizations to respond to the financial needs of the millions of Indian
women eking out a living through their tiny enterprises—selling vegetables on the street, carrying goods to the market,
rolling cigarettes, and tailoring.
ISMW has emerged as a key resource for the microfinance sector in India in the areas of research, capacity building of
microfinance institutions, and financial literacy. In 2007, ISMW launched a campaign to reach more than 1.5 million
women across ten states with financial literacy training. With the development of an extensive financial literacy
curriculum, partnerships with microfinance institutions in different parts of India, and the creative use of television and
other media, the School’s Citi Centre for Financial Literacy is well on its way toward achieving this goal.
PHOTO: (Left to right) Coady faculty member Nanci Lee working with Angolan
Microfinance Institution, KixiCredito. KixiCredito was ranked in the top 100
Microfinance Institution in efficiency in 2006
Woman engaged in microfinance
Anthony Scoggins, Bangladesh, 1989 with Coady graduates.
Between 2004 and 2008, the Coady Institute (in partnership with Development Workshop Canada and the Mennonite
Economic Development Associates, with funding from CIDA) provided support to Angola’s first microfinance
institution, KixiCredito, as it transformed into a commercial entity. The Coady Institute not only provided direct
advisory support to KixiCredito, including its governance, products and services, operations, and human resource
management structure, but also provided direct training in financial education to KixiCredito staff and helped
institutionalize a training program. It also trained trainers in livelihoods development. Coady faculty Nanci Lee and
Rewa Misra provided the training and technical support.
Simultaneously with its work with KixiCredito, the Coady Institute was asked to support the Central Bank of Angola in
developing a regulatory framework for Non Banking Finance Companies that created an enabling microfinance
environment in Angola.
Building The Nepali Microfinance Movement - Partnering With CECI
Between 1995 and 2000, the Coady International Institute undertook a number of capacity-strengthening activities
with microfinance partners in Nepal.
Funded by USAID, the Ford Foundation, and the Canadian Centre for International Studies and Cooperation, the
Coady Institute took the leadership role in the Savings and Credit Development Project (SA/CRED), which aimed to
develop a viable and sustainable community-based savings and credit movement in Nepal.
During the same period, the institute also collaborated with CECI on the Micro Credit Project for Women, supported
by the Asian Development Bank, the Japan Special Fund, and the Governments of Norway and Nepal. As with
SA/CRED, Coady staff member Anthony Scoggins provided the training and technical support on this initiative.
Sri Lanka has a long history of thrift and credit unions—dating back to the early stages of the SANASA movement in
1906. For many generations SANASA offered a cooperative approach to community involvement with the goal of
creating a new social order based on cooperative principles and values.
In 1981 a key SANASA member attended the Coady International Institute diploma program, and upon his return to
Sri Lanka, Dr Kiriwandeniya was influential in expanding the SANASA movement during very challenging times in Sri
Evolving in response to emerging development needs, the SANASA Development Bank (SDB) was established in 1997
as the apex bank of the cooperative sector. Under the leadership of Dr Kiriwandeniya, SDB is the largest nongovernmental, community-based organization in Sri Lanka and is committed to the long-term development of
sustainable, self-reliant communities. According to SANASA philosophy, all development is to be undertaken from the
peoples’ own resources and capabilities—ensuring community empowerment through the linking of credit provision,
training, and sound business principles.
In a complicated post-conflict / post-tsunami Sri Lanka, SDB is one of the few national institutions capable of linking
economic, social, and development issues and continues to work at a community, national, and intyernational level to
do so.
Reaching the Hard to Reach
A comparative study of member-owned institutions offering financial services in remote
rural areas
People in remote, rural communities around the world still remain largely underserved with financial
services. These rural economies are characterized by low levels of cash liquidity, seasonality of
incomes, highly sequested markets, and increased risk. Outreach to people in these areas can be
expensive due to low population density and often poor physical infrastructure.
Interested in expanding financial services to remote-rural areas, the Ford Foundation’s Affinity
Group for Development Finance commissioned the Coady International Institute and a global team
of researchers to conduct a worldwide comparative study on member- owned financial institutions
(MOIs) in remote rural areas. Seven case studies were selected in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
The aim was to identify the potential of MOIs and their support structures to serve remote rural
pulations, particularly the poor.
Community Development
The models for such community-driven schemes are manifold and imaginative, as the Coady Institute
fosters approaches to economic development and not prescribed solutions. An outstanding but also
typical example of extraordinary wherewithal by a Coady graduate assessing local advantage with a
view to sustainable economic development that also advocates and addresses the political situation
of a region democratically is to be found in the work of Jaranya Daengnoy, a 1995 Diploma
Program graduate.
Like Jaranya Daengnoy, Coady graduate Anuradha Wickramasignhe has demonstrated
Jaranya daEngnoy
Jaranya Daengnoy was awarded a World Legacy Award for Destination Stewardship by National Geographic Traveler
magazine in 2003, following the International Year of Eco- Tourism in 2002, when her groundbreaking work in
Thailand came to light.2 Daengnoy, who was the youngest student in her Coady year, founded the first-ever ecotourism business in her native Thailand, having returned home with a particular interest in the social, cultural,
environmental, and economic impacts of globalization and mass tourism on local communities. Today, eco-tourism is a
significant and growing sector in an industry worth billions; in Koh Yao Noi in southern Thailand, the business she
established, the Responsible Ecological Social Tours Project (REST), became a new model for community-based
sustainable tourism. True to the Coady tradition of cooperative principles, but utterly new in its manifestation,
Daengnoy’s work with REST has since branched out to more than fifteen communities and become a national emblem
of not just hope but a better social and economic reality in a country in which, to great detriment, drug and sex tourism
is often the norm.
Community-based sustainable tourism (CBST) begins with the recognition of local resources—from the threatened
bounty of the ocean to the cultural attraction of local customs and ways of life. This recognition is followed by respect
and responsible but also enterprising stewardship. In Koh Yao Noi, an area threatened by overfishing as well as surplus
mass tourism from neighbouring provinces, Daengnoy encouraged local peoples in self-directed schemes to organize
tour programs that made a virtue of the customs that were under threat and communicated issues of seemingly local
interest to the wider, global community. As a result, a code of ethics has been developed in the region and a
Community Based Tourism Handbook published that describes the processes of CBS T and the lessons learned.
Tourists are invited into locals’ homes as “guests” and shown the area as their hosts see it—and know it. Tourists are
discovering Koh Yao Noi and other communities in a manner that is intimate, as well as informative, and both hosts and
guests are discovering that in our new interconnected world, no issue is local—that all issues today are, in fact, global.
innovative and effective leadership in his pioneering community work with the Small Fishers
Federation (SSF) in Sri Lanka. Working with 128 village-based fisherwomen organizations, 68
fisherfolk organizations, and 49 young fisherfolk organizations in the coastal and inland fishing
areas, SSF played a critical role in prevention of damage from tsunamis due to their extensive
mangrove rehabilitation programs.
PHOTO: (Opposite) Reaching the Hard to Reach: Comparative Study of Member-Owned Financial Institutions in Remote
Rural Areas funded by the Ford Foundation
1995 Coady Participant Jaranya Daengnoy.
PHOTO: Ilu Aga, Ethiopia, an ABCD community that has undertaken several community –driven initiatives since 2003
including: terracing several hillsides, replacing purchased fertilizer with organic locally available compost, irrigating
common land, forming a dairy cooperative, and working with local government to dig several wells – such as the one
pictured here.
ABCD Work—Strengthening the Capacity
of Lead and Act.
“They will use what they have to secure what they have not.”
In his July 2009 keynote address to the Coady Institute’s conference about community capacities and
necessities, “From Clients to Citizens,” John McKnight, the co-director of the Asset-Based Community
Development Institute of Northwestern University, spoke of the local character and the virtues of
neighbourhoods as the repositories of a resilient economy, health, and the site of care. From the work
the Antigonish Movement forward, Coady and his successors have insisted upon the vital and
strategic importance of the locality of neighbourhoods. “We are the people who know what we
need,” said McKnight. “What we need surrounds us. What we need is each other. And when we act
together, we will find our way. The citizen’s way. The community way. The democratic way.”
Today’s asset-based community-driven (ABCD) work is the benefactor of five decades of
development science and of improvements in the educational programs though still wholly in line
with Moses Coady’s belief that people were “masters of their own destiny” and that they should
“use what they have to secure what they have not.” The ABCD approach focuses on capacities,
rather than disadvantages and deficiencies, by directing the members of a community toward the
identification of assets and upholding these and all their potential.
It is a strength-based approach which promotes leadership and challenges the conventional needsbased, externally-driven development paradigm. It is an approach that could be used productively
in any part of the world and in any society at any stage of economic development.
During the ABCD course of the Coady Institute’s program, urgent and creative attention is paid in
early days with a view to understanding the human, social, financial, natural, and physical assets
within a community; aspects that are often discounted by more categorical and top-down
approaches to international assistance.
“There are a lot of groups that have focused on asset-building,” says Gordon Cunningham, the
current assistant director of the Coady Institute, “and there are a lot of others that have done a lot
of advocacy work, though much of it is not quite agency work as the advocating is done by these
groups on the communities’ behalf, but it is the Coady that has really been a central player in
pushing these two notions of assets and agency together in all the work that we do.”
Mobilizing these assets and fomenting agency forges bonds within a community and frees the
human energy, ingenuity, and loyalty necessary to the full realization of development processes on
a sustainable basis. In the last decade, the Coady International Institute has spearheaded its ABCD
work through specific programs of collaborative action research and the pursuit of advantageous
ties to other communities, peer groups, organizations, and governments at all levels of
administration and even internationally. ABCD work allows a community to better exploit its
position in a local or greater economy by diversifying, even over the course of seasons, and to make
the most of its investments and its comparative advantage.
“We are the people who know what we need. What we need
surrounds us. What we need is each other. And when we act
together, we will find our way. The citizen’s way. The
community way. The democratic way.” John McKnight
Such initiatives, and the consciousness of their worth, are supported by educational programs that
examine case studies of citizen-led development and the ongoing development of the best and most
suitable educational and training materials. Case studies are not just illustrative; as examples of
moral encouragement and knowledge sharing, they are fundamental to what the institute does. For
example, in 2008, thirteen exemplary cases of asset-based community-led development were
collected in the wonderfully instructive book From Clients to Citizens: Communities Changing the
Course of Their Own Development, which shows an astonishing array of enterprises that citizen
groups have found to alter and improve their futures and explores ways in which this accumulated
knowledge can be applied to other situations. The aim is not just to augment the knowledge base in
order to stimulate citizen-led development, but to see how such asset-based techniques affect the
participation and the role that donors, NGOs, local governments, and other intermediaries play.
Sustainable Development in East Africa
In 2003, the Coady Institute, Oxfam Canada, and three local non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
piloted the asset-based community development (ABCD) approach in five communities in Ethiopia (it has
since expanded to twenty-one).
The approach focuses on people’s assets, skills, and successes rather than on needs, deficiencies,
and problems—an approach commonly used by NGOs and aid agencies in these areas. Over time,
community groups participating in the ABCD process describe themselves (and are described by
government and NGOs) as being more creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial than they were
prior to the ABCD training and are shown to be more organized and to take more risks than they
had previously. These improvements in self-perception and organizational capacity have usually
resulted in action plans that put locally available assets (human, physical, natural, financial, and
social) and resources to use to address a particular issue—road clearing or classroom construction,
for example.
While the ABCD process in Ethiopia has undoubtedly reignited capacity and motivation to act, over
time nearly all these citizen-led initiatives have hit a “red line,” where additional resources from
outside the community were required to have broader reach and impact—often technology or
capital. From this realization was born an initiative called Sustainable Development in East Africa
(SDEA). Funded by the COMART Foundation, it was conceived to link ABCD communities with
agricultural research and technology institutions that can help them break through this “red line.”
For example, in Mulu Kersa and Illua Aga (Oromo Region), two dairy cooperatives were formed
to improve and expand the milk production process and to increase access to remunerative
markets. By creating linkages with the Ethiopian Institute for Agriculture Research, Land O’ Lakes
Dairy, the International Livestock Research Institute, the Selale Dairy Cooperative Union, and local
government, both communities now have their own fully equipped milk collection centre on land
they acquired from government and the necessary technical expertise to run the centre effectively
(management, livestock care, dairy product hygiene). These cooperatives are currently
investigating ways to add value to their dairy products to increase the price of sale for their three
hundred members.
“The people within the kebele wanted clean water. This would get rid
of the water borne diseases that are affecting many people. The
ABCD training showed us that we have different types of springs, we
have sand, stone, skill, money, and the capacity to organize. It
showed us that everything we need to solve our problem was within
our community. We were crawling but ABCD has shown us how to
walk.” Emmanuel, Doreba Village, Ethiopia
Another example comes from the Southern Nations, Nationalities Peoples Region (SNNPR). In
2003, a group of two hundred people from an area called Hobichequa used the ABCD approach to
plan an activity to secure access to potable water. The group got off to a good start and began
mobilizing local funds, labour, and skills to clean, protect, and improve access to three springs.
While road repairs and the construction of small bridges did improve access to water, the distance
to these springs meant that daily water collection was still arduous. Within months, they realized
that their plan was simply too ambitious. The core group was then linked to the Bureau of Water
and Mines for technical assistance in assessing other potential sources and technologies for potable
water. The feasibility study revealed that it would cost approximately 1.5 million birr
(US$150,000) to lay underground pipes to access the nearby spring, but the impact would reach
thousands as the spring is straddled between two districts—one located upstream and downstream
(both of different ethnicities).
Although the community was willing to contribute their time, labour, and savings, the cost was
well beyond what they could afford. However, if the project was broken into smaller pieces and
more actors were brought on board, then it might be possible. With help from Kembatta Women’s
Self Help, a local NGO, meetings were held with potential contributors (both financial and
technical), and a proposal has recently been submitted that divides
the responsibilities for the spring among the communities’ district, zonal, and regional
governments from both upstream and downstream areas. Consultations have also been held with
Catholic Relief Services and the International Water Management Institute to provide
technical support. Even students from the local high school in Antigonish have generously offered
to raise funds and make a donation toward the project.
These examples illustrate the considerable contributions that people considered “poor” can make if
given the opportunity. They also demonstrate that cost-sharing initiatives are a viable and attractive
option for community development initiatives in Ethiopia, which is important in a country with
limited resources. Finally, it highlights the importance
of “connectors”—key individuals who can straddle the gap between institutions and communities.
These people are usually located in research or technology institutions; who know and have
credibility with the players in government, research, and technology institutions; and their heart is
in supporting community-driven development.
A Waste-Recycling Micro-Empire -- Payatas Environmental Program
Often assets can take a form that is surprising to the observer, such as was the case with the Payatas Environmental
Development Program in a predominantly poor neighbourhood, or barangay, of Quezon City in the Philippines. After
the local “Smokey Mountain” garbage disposal site was closed in 1993, a fifteen-hectare open dumpsite in the
neighbourhood became the largest of its kind in Manila, attracting some four thousand “scavenger” families to the
materials that could be recycled in the mess.3 Rather than being appalled, these families regarded the dumpsite as a
valuable resource (prefiguring the way in which, a decade later, the cities of the West would begin to view their own
refuse). A community-led scheme of ABCD work in Payatas, pioneered by the Vincentian Missionaries Social
Development Foundations, Inc ( VMSDFI), led to the formation of an organized league of scavenger families, as well as
the introduction of microfinance measures that encouraged the development of waste recycling micro-enterprises.
Coady graduates Rev. Norberto Carcellar and Rev. Vens Lacorte work with VMSDFI.
The implementation of focus groups and consultation processes ensured that the scavenger families themselves
identified their needs and appropriate responses to them. It was not only the “people’s approach” of the Qayatas project
that was true to a model that Moses Coady had foreseen; for in the group’s negotiations with the mayor of Quezon
City, the families’ insistence on dignity rose to the surface and was there, too, in the community’s fight to be able to
work and remain where it was. Their demands included a number of practical measures and needs, such as the creation
of recycled goods trading stations, health facilities, training facilities, and land tenure but also a Scavengers’
Development Program that would allow participating families to secure legal status and raise their public image
through full participation in decision- making processes and the development of technology that would allow them to
increase their productivity and the value of their products.4 The Materials Recovery Centre, and the subsequent WaterDrilling and Handmade Paper Recycling Project, constituted evidence of the extraordinary and ongoing success of the
VMSDFI solid waste management scheme and its ABCD approach. Their success has generated interest from Tibet,
Burma, Vietnam, Indonesia, and Cambodia. Father Norberto and his colleagues have founded the International
Federation of Slum Dwellers to enable networking on common issues.
Indeed, these lessons will be carried over into the Coady Institute’s upcoming action research
partnership in Western Kenya, where a team from World Neighbors, the Kenya Agriculture
Research Institute, and the International Centre for Research in Agro Forestry is using the ABCD
approach in five communities located in a severely environmentally degraded area. These
communities are scattered at different altitudes along the same slope and all operate in relative
isolation. This is problematic since the activities of those located uphill can have serious
implications on the livelihoods of those lower on the slope (e.g., livestock grazing uphill can cause
erosion downhill). In this sense, this is a multistakeholder platform that will link communities both
to technology and research institutions, and also to each other. Through people-centred marketing
strategies and value chain activities, the hope is to build upon economic opportunities that are
better for the environment and will not endanger the livelihood sources of others as well as to
develop sustainable community natural resource management systems.
From Clients to Citizens:
Deepening the practice of asset-based and citizen led development
In celebration of the Coady Institute’s 50th anniversary, the institute and the Asset-Based Community
Development (ABCD) Institute at Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois) co- hosted a watershed
international forum in July 2009.
The forum brought together one hundred delegates from fifteen countries, representing the
vanguard of practitioners, researchers, donors, and leaders in the field of asset- based, citizendriven development. The Coady International Institute is committed to working toward a paradigm
shift in development—a shift away from development that is imposed and delivered toward
development that is owned and driven by the people. A shift away from development that only
takes into consideration problems and needs toward an approach that recognizes the assets,
capabilities, and thus dignity of people and communities. Development that is sustainable, not
dependency creating.
The idea of the Forum emerged from series of provocative papers, and a book by Coady faculty
members Dr. Alison Mathie and Gord Cunningham, entitled, From Clients to Citizens:
Communities changing the course of their own development. These publications challenge
development practitioners, researchers and donors to study and learn from the experience of those
communities that have been successful in driving and sustaining their own endogenous
People’s organizations—associations that may already exist formally or informally—are not just
means of spreading ideas but of making them stick and gauging their success. “Ideas have hands and
feet, they will work for you,” said Father Jimmy Tompkins. Eighty years later, the Coady
International Institute continues the Antigonish Movement’s work of grafting to living branches and
bringing out the best in the people and communities that are these plants.
Democracy Matters
Achieving a fairer society
“Democracy,” says the Coady Institute’s current director, Mary Coyle, “simply cannot flourish without wellequipped and well-motivated leaders and active and engaged communities and citizens.”
In the Coady Institute’s approach to community development, the drive toward economic
improvement has always proceeded with a staunch belief in advocacy and the extension of basic
democratic rights as a means of attaining a better, fairer society. Seventy years ago, Moses Coady
wrote, “The world calls loudly for a real democratic formula to bring life to all its people. It is not
going to be done by guns, making armies or bombs, but by a program in which the people
themselves participate. This is democracy not only in the political
sense but it is participation by the people in economic, social and educational forces which
condition their lives.” Moses Coady
In its leadership training, the Coady Institute recognizes that the best chances for any community’s
improvement rest on the meaningful expression and integration of a community as articulated and
managed by leaders sprouting from within it. From St. Andrews, a rural farming community
kilometres from the Coady Institute, to brethren communities throughout the 130-plus countries in
which the Coady has wielded influence, the institute’s teaching of leadership, self-reliance,
democratic advocacy, and citizen engagement is integral because it elevates the sense of self,
dignity, and potential of community leaders within a society and cultivates in these leaders, and the
people whose lives they affect, a practical working knowledge of their rights and responsibilities as
citizens of a democracy.
PHOTO: (Above) Appreciative inquiry process, Bungoma District, Kenya, undertaken by CREADIS, a Coady Institute
(Opposite) Sierra Leone Peace March.
“My time at Coady over forty years ago has helped to
shape my understanding and thinking about
education in a way that will continue to foster my
efforts as a Head of State to empower the
people of Antigua and Barbuda and the wider
Prime Minister W. Baldwin Spencer
Coady Graduates in Government Leadership: W. Baldwin Spencer and Alexia Ncube
Advocacy techniques help train constituents in civil society to participate in the revision or formulation of policies
affecting livelihoods and, in league with others, to build a capacity for change through “external linkages” with similar
or larger bodies out and inside of government that will cumulatively wield a significantly greater effect.
Sometimes these ties are already in effect because Coady graduates are a part of the government as representatives in
houses of assembly, such as is the case in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and elsewhere. At other times, as is the case
in Antigua and Barbuda, the prime minister is a Coady graduate. W. Baldwin Spencer earned a Diploma in Social
Leadership from the Coady International Institute. After he returned to the Caribbean, Spencer worked as a negotiator
with the Antigua and Barbuda Worker’s Union for twenty-five years before he entered political life in 1992. Spencer
became prime minister in 2004 (re- elected in March 2009) and immediately embarked upon a radical rebuilding of his
country’s educational system—and, as a disciple of the Coady’s belief in the viability of a third way, promoted regional
economic union and led his country into the Non-Aligned Movement.
In all sorts of ways, the Coady Institute’s idealistic but also pragmatic and uncompromising idea of the better society, of
“the good and abundant life,” has been extended with a particular emphasis to groups operating at the margins or
outside of society’s mainstream. A notable and bold example is to be found in the work of the Namibian Alexia Ncube,
a 1998 graduate of the Coady Institute who was already the chairperson of the Namibian Association of Differently
Abled Women (NADAWO), formed under the simple but effective slogan “Women’s Rights are Human Rights.”
Ncube was appointed in 2005 to the country’s national assembly by its president, Sam Nujoma. Ncube has been a
tireless advocate, agitating for better acceptance of differently abled people “as human beings and not just as objects of
pity,” and in particular for women, fighting for access, respect, and a fairer system of bank fees and capital access6 in a
continent where limited resources, enormous infrastructural challenges, and a limited tax base have tended to put
disability issues on the political backburner.
Ncube, however, has been irrepressible—and a role model to thousands. “Political participation,” says Ncube, “is not a
single event [and] can only be achieved through a process that utilizes a variety of means.”
Democracy and Active Citizen
In recent years, the major role of civil society groups, particularly NGOs, has become not only building the
constituency for change, but also enhancing their own capacities and the capacities of disadvantaged
people to work for change at all levels of possible engagement. Around the world these groups are
educating, organizing, mobilizing, and supporting the efforts of landless labourers, women, tribal
peoples, the differently abled, and urban slum dwellers among others, to network and join in the
struggle to achieve the “full and abundant life for all.”
In order to support and learn from these initiatives, the Coady International Institute hosted a
Learning & Innovations Institute on “Democracy and Active Citizen Engagement: Best Practices in
Advocacy and Networking” on the St. Francis Xavier University campus August 16 to 18, 2001.
Chosen for their advocacy work with trade unions and human rights groups, as well as the
environmental, disability, and women’s movements, the L&I Institute brought together fourteen
prominent activists, academics, researchers, and development professionals from twelve countries.
The primary objective was to provide a forum where they, along with Coady teaching staff,
students, and colleagues from the university and community, could reflect on and share their
experiences, explore current and future challenges for successful
PHOTO: Women’s self help group in action.
advocacy, and identify ways to improve their practice. In particular, the three-day forum focused
on the advocacy and networking strategies used by popular organizations, NGOs, and citizen
networks, both locally and globally, to have a genuine voice in decision making and to contribute to
the creation of new, more progressive public policies and institutions at all levels.
Advocacy has been a central component of the Coady Institute’s annual Diploma Program since
1999. In 2002, it became a three-week specialization area within the program and is also offered as
a separate certificate. This area of teaching and learning builds on the historical roots of the Coady
Institute and the social justice traditions of the university where it is based. At its core is the
emphasis on citizens getting involved—using their minds, skills, and common bonds with each
other—to achieve a better life for all.
The Coady Institute in South Africa
The Coady International Institute has been engaged in South Africa since the 1970s. During that period,
Coady worked across a spectrum of organizations resisting apartheid, including, educating leaders of
various political and labour movements, the cooperative movement, and across religious affiliations. The
Canadian International Development Agency provided the Coady Institute with more than $1
million in the apartheid years to enable the institute to engage in building a strong cadre of civil
society leaders. More than one hundred South Africans are graduates of Coady International
Institute’s educational programs in Canada. Thousands more have participated in training programs
the Coady Institute has facilitated within South Africa.
In the early to mid 1990’s the Institute partnered with the Centre for Adult and Continuing
Education (CACE) at the University of Western Cape. Rieky Stuart, coordinator of Coady’s
Gender and Development Programs worked with Dr. Shirley Walters and her team on developing
a gender and anti-racism framework.
South Africa Coady graduate Ruth Bhengu, a twice elected ANC Member of Parliament and former
president of the South African National Civic Association, until 2004, is well known for making
public her daughter’s struggle with AIDS. Her willingness to draw attention to the issue of AIDS
had a great impact on her fellow politicians during an era of denial and
stigmatization of AIDS sufferers.
Today the Coady Institute is still drawing South Africans to its Canada-based programs in significant
numbers while also working with a variety of organizations, from national and city governments to
community foundations, universities and non-governmental organizations to help create an
enabling environment for citizen-led development at the community level.
The Coady Institute and the Role of
Have photo of organizational leader.
“We could never have imagined how investing in women’s leadership and participation has brought about
economic and social transformations in so many countries.”7 Noeleen Heyzer, UNIFEM .
The plight and economic burden that women bore in the countries in which the Coady Institute
started to operate in the 1960s was blatantly apparent to the Coady faculty. Moses Coady and his
confreres had always been supportive and staffed the Extension Department’s offices with bright,
capable women and insisted on women’s leadership roles in governance in the new economic
entities established through the Antigonish Movement.
It was a sensibility that was handed on to the Coady International Institute, and so, in 1965, the
institute’s director, Monsignor Francis Smyth, was invited to give a series of lectures to the
International Conference of the Countrywomen of the World in Dublin, Ireland, at which some
1,600 delegates from various national movements of women had gathered.
In March 1972, a Conference on the Role of Women was held on campus, and by the 1980s, the
deplorable state of women in the South and the critical importance of their leadership were issues
at the forefront of the Coady Institute. In 1984, a group of sixteen women gathered at the institute
for Women in Development Consultation conference, coordinated by Dr. Teresa MacNeil, then
director of StFX’s Extension Department.8 True to the Antigonish Movement’s creed, it sought “to
identify existing women’s economic development organizations internationally and to identify
gaps”—i.e., by making “connections between economic development at the local level and national
policies and support systems for change” and developing plans for “developing collective leadership
potential among participants,”9 as had always been the Coady way. In 1997, Mary Coyle was
appointed as the first female director of the institute, bringing to it more than twenty-five years’
experience in related fields of development work. In 1999, Ela Bhatt, the founder
of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India and an exemplary women’s leader,
attended the fortieth anniversary of the Coady International Institute and received an honourary
As the women of Coady’s Nova Scotia or of India before the existence of the Self Employed
Women’s Association (SEWA) and now Afghanistan know, the availability of credit irrespective of
gender is just one step in a complicated but emphatically necessary unravelling of oppressive and
often politically enforced abuses of half of these countries’ populations. They are less likely to be
able to find employment, own property, or pass it on to their children.
PHOTO: Adisa Yakubu, Africa 2000 founder of Ghana’s Onyansana Women’s Group
Operating in any sort of partnership, or training community leaders who will be working in such
situations, underscores the ways in which even the smallest schemes demand political awareness and
action. Some of this action is achieved through proclamations such as the United Nations Declaration of
Universal Human Rights in 1948 or the Vienna Declaration and Program of Action resulting from the
1993 UN World Conference on Human Rights, in which it was asserted that “the human rights of
women and the girl-child are an inalienable, integral and indivisible part of human rights.”10 This
principle has been reiterated many times since, including at the Platform for Action of the Beijing
Conference on Women in 1995, which identified twelve objectives with the aim of “the empowerment
of all women,” and went on to say that:
The full realization of all human rights and fundamental freedoms of all women is essential for the
empowerment of women. While the significance of national and regional particularities and various
historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless
of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and
fundamental freedoms.
The great realm of action, however, must circumvent or at least not wait for the legislative processes of
states or of the United Nations as, even in healthy liberal democracies, most progressive laws tend to
follow social realities rather than pave the way for them. Subsequently, the sort of social activism that
the Coady International Institute promotes seeks to improve the rights of women through example and
the demonstration of the interconnectedness of all human beings.
It is widely recognized that women’s empowerment is closely linked to improving social conditions not
only for women themselves, but across societies.
An investment in supporting women with tools for effective leadership is one that promises significant
dividends for our world.
Like Madam Adisa, many women pursue professional leadership programs at the Coady Institute. The
institute has made a concerted effort to increase accessibility to its diploma and specialized certificate
programs through generous scholarship support for women and also the introduction of specialized
women’s leadership programs.
Adisa Yakubu, a.k.a. Madam Adisa
In 2008, the Royal Danish Government recognized Ghana’s Adisa Yakubu—or “Madam Adisa,” as she is
fondly known by UN officials, co-workers, and villagers—for her work with the Ghanaian chapter of the
Africa 2000 Network (A2N), now an independent Civil Society Organization in Ghana.
Madam Adisa is one of the founders of Ghana’s Onyansana Women’s Group, and was a tireless community
literacy educator when she came to Antigonish to attend the Coady Institute in 1988. (and again in 2004.)
She has been vigorous in her work with the Onyansana Women’s Group, founded in 1993, identifying assets
and means to develop these in myriad ways—from using irrigation pumps to prolong agricultural activity
and produce crops throughout the year, to the introduction of organic farming techniques, new crops, and
the fostering of external linkages with government, the UN, other NGOs, and local universities. She has also
been responsible for small enterprise startups, such as bakeries and an association of shea butter producers,
and the establishment of community centres. Of the success she has had with Ghanaians women tackling
poverty, and the confidence she has remarkably instilled, Yakubu has said, “ We make them dream, and
dream big.”
Work in gender and development seeks not only the affirmation of women’s rights through
legislation in all levels of government, but the prohibition of discrimination and the provision of
equal political, social, and employment opportunities for both sexes and the identification and
subsequent elimination of hindrances to women achieving these due rights. Its objectives are aided
by the opportunities that credit unions and cooperative associations make happen and in the
networking of kindred organizations across borders that augments capacity and therefore the
opportunity for change in policy and, most of all, in human action. The work that the Coady
International Institute has done with organizations such as the Self-employed Women’s Association
of India (SEWA), or through its environmental, health, agricultural, microfinance, and
management programs, places a practical emphasis on so-called “second-generation” socioeconomic rights such as access to housing, education, health care—and, of course, the capital
acquisition that is of the essence
Katherine Fleming International Development Award
One special award for Coady women was established in 2000 by classmates and family to honour StFX
alumna Katherine Fleming. The remarkable women leaders who have received the award are pictured
PHOTO: (Left) Katherine Fleming
Photos of the women should be larger
(Below, Left to Right) Katherine Fleming Award receipents, Constance Hambwalula, Zambia; Annie Brisibe, Nigeria;
Sophia Ayoo, Kenya; Emily Sikazwe, Zambia; Enith Phumzile Ndlovu, South Africa; Idah Nambeya Mukuka, Zambia;
Amina Mlawa, Tanzania; Dawn Bosele Makgautsi, Botswana; Viness Lourens Mangoye, Zambia; and Inviolata Mmbwavi,
PHOTO: Former National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, , with Coady staff member, Christina Paul, at the
Assembly of First Nations 28th Annual General Assembly in Halifax,July 2007. The Coady Institute has a long history of
working with Canadian Indigenous communities to strengthen leadership.
to improving women’s situations worldwide. Partnerships with SEWA or the fostering of programs and
similar organizations that is achieved through the development of community leaders that occurs at the
Coady International Institute every year put into concrete being the incontrovertible assumption that, in
Coady Associate Nancy Peters’ words, “Assurances of the human rights of women cannot be separated
from a process of equitable sustainable development. Women’s basic needs will not be met consistently
unless their social, political, and economic rights are guaranteed.” 12
Examples of Coady graduates tirelessly dedicating their lives to this urgent agenda of the new century
are too numerous to catalogue. They extend from the work that is being done with Aboriginal women’s
groups to that which Ruth Bengu, a 1991 graduate, has been doing with the South African parliament
and now with municipal government and Saloni Singh in Nepal, to that which the formidable Ida
Mukuka has been achieving in Zambia. Mukuka is justly celebrated for having organized Zambian
women with HIV/AIDS into support groups under the inspiring slogan “Thinking Positively” when she
was the community outreach coordinator for the country’s Center for Infectious Disease Research.13
Mukuka came to Antigonish in 2005 and was fortified in the work that she was doing in true Coady
spirit. The best weapon, she told the Canadian journalist Stephanie Nolen, is a better education.14 Ida
is now with the Stephen Lewis Foundation.
In Nepal, Saloni Singh has been equally zealous in the work that she has done with DidiBahini and the
Women in Health, Education, Environment and Local Resources (WHEEL) project—promoting rights
for rural women and their place in a more participatory democracy. Singh’s program is also true to the
proven principles of the Coady International Institute, the DidiBahini organization enabling rural
women to work on all
“Assurances of the human rights of women cannot be
separated from a process of equitable sustainable
development. Women’s basic needs will not be met
consistently unless their social, political, and economic rights
are guaranteed.”
Coady Associate Nancy Peters
stages of the WHEEL project’s planning, implementation and monitoring; promoting access through
external linkages to “outsiders” and the women’s place in these dialogues; and the development of
methods and tools for intervention in support of marginalized groups. “Women have often understood
power in terms of power over them,” says Singh. “Very few women have experience in working with
both other women and men in pursuit of social goals.”15 Singh’s work is well respected internationally
and critical in the efforts to build a strong and fair democracy in Nepal.
Indigenous Outreach
As early as 1962, Norman Duck, a graduate16 of the 1962 Social Leadership Diploma, travelled to Australia
to share his experiences of the Antigonish Movement with the Aborigine Summer School of the Antipodes.
Then, from 1963 to 1969—at the peak of what was, more than
coincidentally, a heady decade of Canadian self-awareness and discovery—thirty-eight Aboriginal
Canadians, arriving from every province except Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island, were among
those attending programs at the institute, sponsored by the federal government’s Indian Affairs Branch
as part of an adult education program designed to develop indigenous leadership and organize
communities around initiatives such as fishing, woodlot ownership, and the establishment of a radio
The reach was immediate. In 1968, Ray Gould, a 1966 graduate, became the youngest Aboriginal chief
in Nova Scotia, having been elected the chief of Sydney’s Membertou First Nations.18 The Dene
National chief, Bill Erasmus, a former leader of the Assembly of First Nations, was a Coady 1974
graduate, and in 1984, another Coady graduate, Terrance Paul, became the Membertou First Nations
chief. Paul earned his Diploma in Social Leadership in 1977 and distinguished himself through his swift
implementation of new revenue streams and business partnerships for the Membertou reserve and the
emphasis he placed on education and career-related training programs in order to maximize the
employment opportunities that ensued. (Chief Terrance Paul was elected to the St. Francis Xavier
University Hall of Honour in 2006.)
Neither is the Coady’s success with Canadian indigenous communities restricted to the South. Today’s
commissioner of Nunavut, the federal territory created in April 1999, is Ann Meekitjuk Hanson, who
graduated from the Coady International Institute in 1975.
Combining its leadership in asset-based development , its commitment to aboriginal advancement, and
women’s leadership, in 2009 the Institute initiated an effort to develop a new education program for
indigenous women emerging leaders.
The new Indigenous Women in Community Leadership Program has been initiated to develop
leadership among the next generation of First Nations, Metis and Inuit women
Ann Meekitjuk Hanson
PHOTO: Ann Meekitjuk Hanson
Ann Meekitjuk Hanson19 was born on the island of Qakutut, outside Kimmirut, and knew a traditional Inuit
upbringing on the land (she spent the first eleven years of her life speaking only Inuktitut) before joining the federal
government in 1964 in what were then the Northwest Territories. At the Coady Institute, Meekitjuk Hanson honed
valuable communicative skills and a reinvigorated respect for knowledge networks. She worked for the Canadian
Broadcasting Corporation out of Iqaluit, then Frobisher, for a while before becoming the first editor of the magazine
Inukshuk, now the Nuntsiaq News. Meekitjuk Hanson has described her course at the Coady Institute as “one of the
most beneficial I have ever taken as a community worker” and, after returning, used the networking and resource
recognition approaches she developed at the institute to help found a number of organizations in Iqaluit, including the
Juvenile Court Committee, the Elders Group, and the Inuit Cultural Group. (In 2007, in her third year as
commissioner, Meekitjuk Hanson established a $10,000 award for the arts, in Nunavut.) In a territory that is
challenged by profound cultural changes, as well as unique economic challenges, Meekitjuk Hanson characterizes
herself in her role as commissioner to Nunavut as a “keeper of tradition.”
in Canada. The program’s focus is on building community self-reliance starting with existing
Coady and youth
PHOTO: Coady intern, Jonathan Ferrier catalogues and photographs plant species while working with Honey Care Africa
in Kenya
PHOTO: The Coady Institute hosted a Peace Camp for youth from Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2007
Today, more and more young people are becoming interested in development work and choosing to
participate within its broader sense of community—in what Moses Coady described “the greater challenge of
the international sphere”—from an earlier age. Today’s youth see themselves as actors and agents in this
community, and their sense of responsibility to it is enabled by greater connectivity and advanced
by the actuality of experiencing the greater world more directly than any previous generation has
done. In Antigonish, the StFX community has worked to make concrete ties between youth and
Coady participants and visitors in ways that make a virtue of the university’s proud legacy. Making
the best of the singular development resources that are already on campus, facilitating a
rapprochement between Coady participants and the university’s student body, and in this way
assuring the ongoing flourishing of the institute has been achieved principally through two
initiatives—by building a new central home for the Coady Institute and by improving the Youth
Internship Programs started in 1997. The new facilities, inaugurated in 2009, stand to integrate the
lives of StFX students and the Coady’s learners more so that the role of youth as well as their
exposure to exemplary community leaders and the commitment to encouraging global citizenship
that ensues will only be enhanced.
Youth Leadership Education
The Coady International Institute regards youth as a hugely and intrinsically important demographic group,
one that matters not just to the institute’s future but to the whole endeavour of development work.
The role of young people and the contribution they make has for a long time been at the forefront
of Coady policies and was given specific form in 1997 when, with support from CIDA, the Youth
in Partnership program was founded. In July 2003, the Coady Institute organized an Africa-Canada
Youth Symposium in which Louise Arbour, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human
Rights, spoke. The symposium gathered more than one hundred youth from eighteen African
countries and seven Canadian provinces.20
In 2004, the year of the United Nations’ International Youth Day,21 some 1.15 billion people—
approximately 18 percent of the world’s population—were, according to the UN’s own definition
of a young person, aged between 15 and 24 years, classifiable as “youth.” Steadily shifting
demographics mean that by 2050 youth will extend to a full half of the world’s population. And 85
percent of the world’s youth were estimated, in 2004, to live in the emerging countries of the
South, their number accounting for as much as 70 percent of the population of some of these
Significantly, 2004 was also the year in which the Coady’s Youth Leadership Certificate was
inaugurated. Imara Rolston, a youth intern from Mississauga, Ontario, who worked with Xtending
Hope in Gaborone, Botswana, for eight months, said, “When I went looking for opportunities to
get involved with development I was immediately taken with the Coady International Institute.
Through their certificate, diploma, and internship programs, it was clear to me that the Coady
Institute’s primary mandate fit closely with a major focus of my own—the empowerment of people
and communities. Before I went overseas, I was told this experience would change my life. I now
know that this experience not only changed my life, but it also changed the lives of others for the
PHOTO: International Youth Forum at St. Andrew’s High School, Dartmouth with Governor General, Michaëlle Jean,
PHOTO: Coady Youth Intern, Lindsay MacMillan with street children at the YMCA in Bangalore, India.
The Coady International Institute, says director Mary Coyle, regards its youth interns “as another
category of graduate, and the certificate as fundamental to its leadership education program,” its
goal to equip young people to be able, in the Coady mould, to identify and mobilize their strengths
to create positive change in their communities and to further build their skills, knowledge, and
commitment to being engaged citizens—globally and locally.23 TheYouth Internship Program
(YIP), says Coyle, was specifically instituted “to improve
the capacities and skills of youth leaders in the development process and to strengthen their
understanding of the global context, as well as to foster a deeper commitment to sustainable
community-driven development.”24 The Coady International Institute has concertedly ramped up
the youthful emphasis of its programs—hiring younger people, participating in Youth Leadership
programs in Africa, sending young people into the field on internship programs, holding Youth
Forums every year, and adjusting courses to harness, in Coyle’s words, “the energy, spirit,
knowledge, ideals and vision of youth,” whether directly or in partnerships.25
Youth is where the world’s future lies.
This Is Canadian Work
This idea has a particular resonance in Canada, a young country formed in its modern state by an influx of
peoples from all over the globe, many from troubled states, arriving into the shared space
Lindsay Macmillan
North Sydney, Nova Scotia, native Lindsay MacMillan completed a five-month Coady internship in Bangalore, India,
with the YMCA’s Children in Crisis Program, contributing a comprehensive case study of the program. The Children
in Crisis Program was started in 1988 by the late Dr. Edward Kirubakaran, former YMCA general secretary and 1985
Coady graduate, to provide shelter and vocational training for Bangalore’s 60,000 street children. MacMillan says her
experience changed her life. “I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t go on the internship. It was an amazing
experience.” Following her internship, MacMillan went on to pursue a degree in family medicine. In February 2004,
she went overseas once again through the Xtending Hope Partnership, St. Francis Xavier University’s HIV/AIDS
project, to complete a practicum for her medical degree. She provided much needed medical support at the
Nyangabgwe Hospital and with the District Health Team in Francistown, Botswana. MacMillan graduated from
Dalhousie University Medical School in 2004. Currently practising family medicine in Toronto, MacMillan also
provides front-line medical services in northern Aboriginal communities and in Asia.
Xtending Hope
Since 2001, the Xtending Hope Partnership (XHP) has been mobilizing the St. Francis Xavier University community to
assist and support the people, governments, and non-governmental organizations of Botswana and Rwanda to address
the HIV/ AIDS pandemic. With a specific focus of girls and women, Xtending Hope has worked in partnership with
twenty-seven organizations, including the Kigali Health Institute, to help prevent the disease and treat people infected
and affected by the pandemic. The XHP initiative strives to provide appropriate and effective skills and knowledge to
key partner individuals and organizations. XHP staff and volunteers have worked in the areas of program development,
family planning, health management, research, and behaviour change communication.
of a new country where it is possible to enjoy the “full and abundant life,” but it is incumbent upon all to
consider the other and what are the accords of the good society that make it possible. It is in Canadians’
nature to ask what it means to be a good citizen, as the country is young and enjoys especially good fortune,
and the effect of living in a sometimes geographically inhospitable land is to feel our presence, collectively,
as guests and ask what it means to be the other. As was true of Moses Coady, Canadians want their good
fortune not just for themselves but for everyone. Canadians feel the world as family.
Still, even today, and after so much achievement, the quality of the Coady International Institute experience
that diploma and certificate students celebrate most of all is the international nature of the school. This
internationalism has not one but two dimensions. It is not only a matter of the world coming to a small,
predominantly rural Nova Scotian university town, but of the extraordinary and even less commonplace
opportunity that is provided to “Coady people,”
“You have a great history at this university of fighting for
social justice. Just take a look at the Xtending Hope initiative
here at StFX. When I meet government officials or activists
from Rwanda and Botswana, they thank me—thank me!—for
what StFX is doing. They actually thank me for being a
Canadian. It’s an extraordinary university you’re a part of. So
far as I can determine, no other university in Canada has
responded as you have responded. I salute you!” Stephen Lewis
development leaders from across the globe, to meet their activist and working peers from other countries.
In Antigonish, the adivasi from North India is the companion of a woman from Zambia and of the budding
microfinancier from Afghanistan; the cooperative worker from Azerbaijan confers with colleagues from
Lebanon, Tanzania, and the Philippines. All of them are engaged in the front lines of community work in
their countries and are able to exchange ideas with the people whom they would never usually meet who are
their peers from across continents. This is a very Canadian circumstance. It is a Canadian’s social reality, in
fact—a multicultural environment and a brokering of experience across a full panoply of communities that is
irrefutably tilted toward the idea of a better future, rather than being hindered by the problems of the
present or the seemingly insuperable injuries of a burdensome past.
Photo of Stephen Lewis should be larger.
PHOTO: Stephen Lewis, the United Nations Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa and Coady participant Sanyambe
Mutambezi (Zambia) at the 2006 Coady Celebrates event in Halifax.
Founders Gallery Photos – add one of John Gaventa
Mary Coyle
1997 to 2010
Msgr. Francis J. Smyth
D. Hugh Gillis
Rev. George Topshee
Dr. A.A. MacDonald
Dr. H.R. (Eric) Amit
1991-1994 & 1995-1996
Dr. Fracois Belisle
“It’s the People That Make Good Things Happen”
The Future of the Coady International Institute
PHOTO: Ida Nambeya Mukuka, a field representative for the Stephen Lewis Foundation in
Africa, where she uses her extensive knowledge and experience to help build the capacity
of grassroots AIDS organizations throughout sub-Saharan Africa.
Igniting Leadership
Today the donor countries of the world and their institutions have embraced the ideas and practices of
community participation and development that the coady international institute has been refining for fifty
years. The thinking behind what was first called “international assistance,” then “aid” and now
“development” has progressed from its overbearing top-down model and then the well-intentioned
but often demeaning politics of aid as charity (with a set of user’s instructions) that were the
consequences of the early 1960s decolonization period and the handover dynamic of one
government bequeathing another, sometimes in contrition.
“There was a significant period of time,” says Coady Institute Director Mary Coyle, “when people
felt that the only truth for the South was in the South, so that lessons from Botswana were applied
to Brazil. There was a lot of validity to this view, as it was a natural reaction to the bad
development that was current then and the habit of trying to apply Northern constructs wholesale
to the South without endeavouring to understand the contexts in which they were being
implemented. Today, however, our focus must be global. Globalization is a reality, and it has an
impact on the local wherever the local may be. There are successful models of urban development
in the Philippines that we can learn from in Canada, and innovative and sustainable natural resource
development initiatives in Scandinavian countries that may have some application is Africa, Asia, or
the Americas.”
The Coady International Institute is renowned for its leadership education programs, best practice
research, and commitments to innovations in community development. Its reach now extends to
more than 130 countries and touches the lives of millions in some of the world’s poorest nations
and communities. The influence of the Coady Institute extends through the community leaders it
continues to draw every year to Antigonish, and through an existing network of more than 5,000
alumni.1 Its knowledge of best practices is enriched by these ongoing relationships and by working
in the field with some of world’s leading non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in development,
organizational capacity, and leadership education.
PHOTO: 2009 Diploma in Development Leadership participants Lalhmingsangi, Tia Joyce Lamisi, Sr. Sancta Kandulna,
Siadeyo Melike Torgbenu, and Bandita Thapa, with Mary Coyle, director of the Coady Institute, 2009
The Coady Institute is working with the Community Research in Environment and Development
Initiatives (CREADIS) in Kenya, the Oxfam Canada network in Ethiopia, the Greater Rustenburg
Community Foundation in South Africa, the South East Asia Rural Social Leadership Institute
(SEARSOLIN) in the Philippines, and the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) in India.
Supported by the Ford Foundation, the Coady Institute has worked with the Center for
Development Services (CDS) in Cairo and throughout Egypt. The Institute has partnered over the
years with the community development organization Coptic Evangelical Organization for Social
Services (CEOSS) in Egypt headed by Coady graduate, Dr. Nabil Abadir. It is also working with
Jambi Kiwa in Ecuador2—an organization that has distinguished itself for managing to maintain its
associative character even as its success has propelled it toward the size and methods of a major
In the various countries from which community leaders have travelled to the St. Francis Xavier
University campus for leadership development and education in current techniques applicable to
their fields of work, there has been unquestionable success in the encouragement of prosperous
activity at the grassroots level of society. A constantly evolving program means that visitors now
attend the Coady Institute for new approaches, and an altered terminology has affected the way that
other ideas first disseminated by the disciples of the Antigonish Movement are described. What
started as a credit union management course now teaches highly specialized microfinance
techniques. A course in cooperatives now rests on a host of international approaches to livelihoods
and asset-based community development (ABCD) work and study clubs on the wonders of
information technology. Although the programs the Coady International Institute teach have
become progressively more sophisticated, the basic principles behind them remain fundamentally
“At its core,” says Gordon Cunningham, the institute’s assistant director, “the Coady has always
been about citizens mobilizing, assembling collective will and working together to change their
situation. The Antigonish Movement was an anti-poverty self-reliance strategy.
Its mechanisms of community organization and education had underpinnings in a particular
economic approach, and the Coady continues to stand by that in its concentration on asset- based
community development and microfinance. Everything the Coady does is about the process by
which people build their own capacity, confidence, and momentum.”
Citizen-driven initiatives built on indigenous knowledge, experience, and capacity are a resource
not just to the communities themselves but to the regions and nations they inhabit, and so the
Coady Institute has made a point of looking at specific examples of ABCD work and the larger
economic opportunities they represent—such as dairy and vegetable production with Oxfam
Canada in Ethiopia and training the staff of the Rural Community Development Center (RCDC) in
Vietnam to see how that country’s Ministry of Agriculture can exploit the ABCD methodology to
support community-driven development where it has arisen and stimulate similar projects in other
“Nothing will happen without well-motivated and -equipped people, and nothing will
last without the strong, sustainable organizations they lead. It’s the people that make
good things happen.”
Mary Coyle
The Value of Leadership Education
“The Coady,” says Gordon Cunningham, “is a small actor in the development industry, but it is a very
important actor in trying to refocus the field on the aspect of agency, building people’s capacity to lead and
act. The work that we do at the Coady is about building confidence and self-esteem. It’s about
building the power to actually do things—the power to work with others and the power within.”
This igniting of leadership is unquestionably the Coady’s most valuable work. And yet, while the
importance of leadership training is wholly understood in industry and business—sectors of the
economy in which MBA schools subsequently exist in abundance—the Coady International
Institute is the only institution in the world, which is born out of a social movement and that offers
this unique brand of community leadership education—and that does so to as diverse a body.
The Coady Institute’s education is a highly valued and sought-after good. Says Mary Coyle,
“Nothing will happen without well-motivated and -equipped people, and nothing will last without
the strong, sustainable organizations they lead. It’s the people that make good things happen.”
In the progressive world fostered on the StFX campus, it is necessary to recognize the invaluable
ferment that comes with bringing people from various countries and contexts together, and to view
the returns on the Coady and society’s investment in its leadership education more equivocally.
Today, these are more broadly dispersed than ever, which means that the benefits taught in the
small university town of Antigonish, Nova Scotia, truly accrue to the global community. As is true
of today’s labour markets worldwide, a person may come from one community and be attached to
a particular organization there and then apply his or her learning to a different organization in
another country. This is perplexing to bodies that persist in quantifying the success of an investment
by assuming it will remain in a targeted community, even if the actual effect of leadership education
is much greater.
This amazing photo gets lost/wasted here.
PHOTO: Coady Diploma in Development Leadership participants Anupama Hial (India) and Sherry Botros (Egypt) share
their perspectives with peers from around the world in the classroom.
The New Reality
Today there is a general and widespread realization that development work is only sustainable if the seeds
of the better society are sown locally. The asset-based community development, microfinance,
advocacy work, and leadership education that together form the substance of the Coady Institute’s
work are finding fresh applications at home and abroad. There is such depth of experience that the
Coady has gathered since the pioneers of the Antigonish Movement were working in Nova Scotia
and that today, in so many parts of the world, the institute is meeting through the actions and
influence of its web of graduates and external links.
Recent conflagrations such as the conflicts in Sudan, in Afghanistan and Iraq and the economic crisis
at home have educated populations in matters not just of peace-building, women’s rights, and assetbased development but of the necessity of available credit in the developed economies, They’ve
also made the job of communicating the problems of the world and illuminating the work that
NGOs do to counter them easier. They are a reminder of all the ways in which the Coady
International Institute cannot be complacent and of all the urgent work that is still to be done. They
are a call to the Coady Institute to continue to re-evaluate its methods and to share its “best
practices” as a part of the communal drive toward a “good and abundant life” for as many of the
human family as possible.
Globally, the specialized leadership and capacity-oriented corner of the vast field of community
development work that the Coady International Institute used to occupy with only a few others is
now more crowded. “Community development work has become professionalized,” says Gordon
Cunningham. “It’s a field largely populated by NGOs and by governments that is starting to look
very much like an industry. It has a mainstream approach that is mainly problem-solving and mainly
based on a social sciences model of stages of development that a society is seen to pass through—
you see a problem and you go in and fix it. But the Coady has always bucked that trend, not least
because it regards development work as a process, rather than a project. Building the capacity to act
over and over again as agents is what makes it possible for the wells to be built, for the land to be
irrigated, or the enterprises to be created.”
“A lot of the institute’s present work is to be constantly refining the program and to be
cognizant of the ways in which the institute can remain, despite its size, a world leader.”
Dr. Sean Riley
PHOTO: Assistant Director, Gord Cunningham in conversation with Coady 2009 Diploma participants Katrina Collins (St.
Vincent) and Bernice Naah (Ghana)
The Coady Institute’s Distinct Approach
As Mary Coyle outlines, the Coady International Institute applies four strategies in its programs that render
its role in development unique: it invests in leadership education, focuses on innovation, leverages its
shared learning through an extraordinary network of graduates and external partnerships, and
influences youth within Canada to contribute human capital in their role as global citizens. The
education of organizational leaders, whether by bringing them to campus or reaching out to them
on the ground or through distance education, is the institute’s first and greatest priority. Leadership
education is a wise and remunerative investment that provides the means for actors on the front
line of development work to interact with others working in similar positions worldwide.
The second way in which the Coady Institute distinguishes itself is by providing an innovative forum
in which leaders from around the world are able to gather and in which graduates are frequently
reinvigorated through the extraordinary exchange of knowledge that takes place. “The kind of
education that is offered here is not a top-down lecture model at all,” says Coyle. “Our approach
focuses on best practices, but also on what leaders already know. The person from South Africa or
Colombia is benefiting from the experience of best practices and the knowledge of the Coady staff,
but they are also learning from each other.”
What occurs on the Coady Institute campus is not just a vital exchange of knowledge but a singular
opportunity for learners to remind themselves of why they have chosen to undertake such exacting
work in the first place.
“When we talk about leadership education,’ says Coyle, “it is important to understand that we do
not see the people who come here as empty vessels but as leaders already. They all have a lot to
both learn and teach. A lot of what we are doing is renewing passion and commitment.”
Today, a burgeoning number of training institutes fashioned in the Coady mould exist in several of
the more than 130 countries from which graduates originate (ones that sometimes take the names
of pivotal Antigonish Movement educators—such as, for instance, the Alex Laidlaw Centre in Sri
Lanka). But while these institutions offer invaluable leadership training in situ, what is not available
in these development forums is the unique global intersection, on campus, that has historically been
an integral aspect of the
PHOTO: Gladys Nafula Nabiswa (Kenya) and Halimatou Jallow (Gambia) members of the 1999 Diploma in Development
Leadership program. Photo by John Berridge.
Coady approach. The Coady International Institute brings together not just people but, in the
interconnection and cross-fertilization of ideas that it fosters, a constant and vital examination and
amelioration of best practices from around the world.
“This will always be the niche and the hallmark of our approach,” says Coyle. “‘Best practice’ is not
just what works but what is working best in a particular context. It is not a matter of one size fits
all, but a very practical thing. If I am working on an HIV/AIDS pervention awareness campaign,
then I will be asking what in a campaign of broadcast and billboard media, or a youth program of
peer-to-peer education, works, or what are the best models in terms of savings and credit that are
actually meeting the needs of the poorest women or others in remote rural areas. We are an
organization focused on innovation and learning, but if you are teaching, then you must also be
learning constantly and feeding those learnings into the education processes.”
The agenda of innovation and learning that results from the second distinguishing aspect of the
Coady approach is carried out on campus and through the observation and documentation of best
practices in the work that it undertakes with partners such as Oxfam in Ethiopia, SEWA in India, or
CEOSS in Egypt. These innovate directly toward success and catalyze new ways of working.
Coady’s relationships with its partners in the North and South have been applauded by the CIDA
for their “openness, flexibility, responsiveness and relevance,” and noted for “providing valuable
contributions to the conceptualization and theoretical bases for sustainable asset-based community
development [and] revitalization and nurturing of individual, community and organizational selfreliance.”3
The Coady Institute’s third distinguishing factor is its extraordinary leverage of its agenda of
innovation and learning. The broad dissemination of the institute’s knowledge and its subsequent
influence is achieved through digital and web-based technologies, through a network of alumni
developed over five decades and their activity on the ground, and through the institute’s work with
partner organizations. “Going forward,” says Coyle, “it is
through the leverage of education, innovation, and the fostering of knowledge exchange where we
see a tremendous ripple effect in the investment that is made in the work that we do.
“For development to be sustainable, the approach we take is crucial. The people who
“We are an organization focused on innovation and learning,
therefore if you are teaching, then you must also be learning
constantly and feeding those learnings into the education
process.” Mary Coyle
come here are working in organizations on the front lines facing issues of poverty, youth alienation,
HIV/AIDS, environmental degradation, conflict, and tremendous human rights abuses including
the denigration of women and children. They are people who do not get many chances to step
outside of those realities and to consider the issues that they are facing and their possible solutions
or even their roles as leaders in those societies.”
What is Success?
in which
the actual effectiveness of development work is at the top of every decent government,
organization, or donor’s agenda. Coyle does this through an application of what the director calls
“the three I’s.”
For an institution such as the Coady, the measurement of success is critical, especially in this era
Measuring Success
The first of these is innovation. A
lot of people associate the concept of innovation with the field of
science and technology. “We are successful,” says Coyle, “if we are pushing the edges of
development practice in a whole variety of ways on a regular basis. Are we, in fact, learning how
you get microfinance services to those hardest to reach people up that mountainside or in that
remote valley?”
The second is influence. “Are we,” asks Coyle,
“sharing and extending the innovation that we are
constantly striving toward through the people and the organizations that matter most? As we
ourselves learn new lessons are we shining a light on them? And as we connect with others who are
themselves learning things that are relevant to our cutting edges, are we picking up on this
knowledge? Are we seizing successful results and running with them and experiencing this success
so as to influence practices on the ground, in how people carry out their work and the results that
they are seeing from it, more broadly? Ultimately we want to significantly influence development
practice and policy.”
The third and last is impact. Most
critically, the Coady International Institute concerns itself with
actual results and the follow-through achieved when graduates from its leadership education
programs, partnerships or those who benefit from the institute knowledge or publications are able
to implement what they have learned with greater facility. Are
PHOTO: Gladys Nafula Nabiswa (Kenya) and Halimatou Jallow (Gambia) members of the 1999 Diploma in Development
Leadership program. Photo by John Berridge.
Need photo of recent CIDA rep – Darren Schemmer .
PHOTO: (Left to Right) Dr. Allan P. Markin a leading supporter of the Coady Institute spoke about the lessons of
leadership, and supporting people to do their best as an act
of compassion, on the occasion of receiving his honorary doctorate at the St. Francis Xavier University 2009 fall
The Coady Institute’s 50th Anniversary included celebrations with alumni, partners, staff, and friends in Antigonish and
overseas in Zambia, Ghana, South Africa, India and Nepal
Funding support from both the public and private sector are vital to ensuring the Coady Institute is able to carry out its
Michael Jay, Director General Human Development Directorate/Canadian Partnership Branch, CIDA and Steve Smith,
Co-Chair of the local campaign for the Coady Institute.
the graduates and partners able to lead organization and development processes more effectively?
Are the communities and societies in which they operate better off?
In some cases, it is possible to measure impact because a graduate has gone back and formed their
own organization and, after the Coady’s programs, tried a different approach to their community
situation. In others, success can be measured by the performance of a graduate who has risen to a
very senior position in a governmental or non-governmental organization. In truth, it is not always
easy to measure impact—to measure the depth of influence upon a situation that comes from
having affected a leading player’s approach to specific issues and challenges in community
Mary Coyle explains, “as more people are graduating from the Coady Institute and St FX with a
better knowledge of our approach and philosophy, and with a higher level of commitment and
inspiration; as they return to the organizations in which they work, or start with new ones; or as
our Youth Interns go out to Calgary, Toronto, or onto an international career, it matters less
where they go than how they end up incorporating and applying what they’ve learned here in the
work that they do and the life that they lead.”
“It’s easier to get a handle on the measurement of success,” says Cunningham, “where we are
actually on the ground, doing action research, and where we have baseline information that comes
from having worked with communities and organizations over a number of years. Sometimes we’re
one or two steps removed from these communities, but we’re working with organizations that are
changing the way they are entering and interacting with communities, and that are investing in
opportunity rather than trying to ‘solve problems.’ In places such as Ethiopia, we’ve been doing
this with Oxfam over a period of more than six years—taking baseline information and them
coming back and actually being able to measure changes as a consequence.”
Cunningham adds, “If we can influence leaders and they go back to the organizations they have
made, and that these leaders become more and more prominent in their countries in terms of their
reach, then we are having an effect.”
Supporting the Coady Vision
A legion of supporters stand behind the Coady Institute’s vision and have been essential in creating a
platform for the future. The philanthropy of hundreds of individuals, foundations, and businesses
provided vital scholarship support for Coady participants since its inception and has allowed for the
steady growth in numbers of participants able to access Coady programs.
The test of support for the Coady vision came in 1999 when StFX decided to launch a capital
campaign to revitalize the campus. Moving the Coady Institute into the heart of the historic campus
was a key element in the plan, recognizing the Coady Institute as a unique asset in the context of
Canadian academia. A new home would provide room to grow programming, increase
opportunities to collaborate, raise the institute’s profile, and share both its rich history and
knowledge with the larger StFX student base. An ambitious but needed goal to ensure the
institute’s long-term place as a leader.
After a protracted start, the campaign was propelled forward with a milestone gift of $1 million
from local businessman and philanthropist, John ”Nova” Chisholm, and continued to gain
momentum with the support of a dedicated volunteer cabinet. The response was overwhelming,
including the remarkable local effort to provide $2 million to match a $1 million challenge made by
the family of Stephen and Kathy Smith. These were followed by million-dollar gifts from Halifax
Herald publisher Graham Dennis, community leaders Susan Crocker and John Hunkin, and Peter
Vegso, publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. Gifts were not limited to the region as word
of the Coady vision inspired others; a multi-million gift was made by renowned Calgary
philanthropist Alan Markin. By September 2007, the campaign had raised more than $14 million
from private sector donors and the board of governors of StFX approved plans to start construction
on the new home.
Honourary campaign chair Frank McKenna, co-chairs Mark Wallace and Susan Crocker, and the
entire volunteer team had accomplished a previously unimaginable feat.
Sixteen gold-coloured shovels broke ground on June 14, 2008, signalling the start of a year-long
project that would see the renovation and restoration of four historic buildings, the construction of
two new sections, and the creation of an inspiring garden. A total of $16 million had been raised for
the new Institute facilities by this time. On June 28, 2009, the 50th anniversary Diploma in
Development Leadership participants began their program in the new facilities.
World leaders and community members came out in full force on September 26, 2009, to
celebrate the Coady International Institute’s fiftieth anniversary and the grand opening of its
“Perhaps Coady’s greatest impact on the world is the influence on practice and policy
effected by our graduates and partners as they become not only leaders of their
organizations but leaders in their respective fields and countries.”
Gordon Cunningham
This photo should be bigger
PHOTO: Donors, volunteers, leaders and graduates took part in the historic announcement in September 2007 that the
Coady Institute had reached their fundraising goal of $14 million in support of new facilities. the heart of St. FX’s historic
On June 14th 2008, a group of volunteers, supporters and leaders broke ground on the site of the new Coady
International Institute home in the heart of St. FX’s historic campus.
new home in the heart of the St. Francis Xavier University campus.
In the crowd stood global leaders, Coady graduates, community members, faculty, staff, and
students who came to celebrate the Coady Institute’s rich past and its vision for the future. Many of
those gathered in the crowd of more than 1000 remarked on the community pride permeating the
air and the sense of accomplishment with all that has been done over the last fifty years and with the
new building.
The official opening ceremonies began when local campaign co-chairs Steve Smith and John “Nova”
Chisholm joined a ribbon of flags, stretching to the east and west wings, together at the Moses
Coady monument. With a cut of the ribbon, Mary Coyle officially opened the Coady International
Institute, with the following hope for the future: “May our foundations support us, may our
dedication sustain us, and may our hopes continue to inspire us all to work together for a better
The event was marked by powerful and emotional speeches from global leaders, volunteers,
graduates, and 2009 Diploma in Development Leadership participants. Prime
“May our foundations support us, may our dedication sustain
us, and may our hopes continue to inspire us all to work
together for a better world.”
Mary Coyle
Minister Baldwin Spencer (Coady Diploma 1968) shared his gratitude for the institute and
proclaimed himself “a proud graduate of the Coady International Institute and a satisfied beneficiary
of the knowledge gained in this fine institution of learning.” He went on to note that he was
“confident that the Coady Institute can play a very significant role in helping to reshape and
reorganize the destiny of the poor and marginalized of this world to a more just and socially
equitable way of living.”
Inviolata Mmbwavi, executive director of Grassroots Empowerment Trust, Nairobi, Kenya, spoke
on behalf of the fiftieth-anniversary Diploma in Development Leadership class: “We are a united
group of global development leaders who are committed to change and we commend the Coady
Institute for sharing our dreams. We feel honoured by your support and encouragement: we are
not lonely and we are not alone.”
The events highlighted the impact of the Coady Institute’s legacy and set the stage for the vision for
the future. Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin gave examples from his work in Africa
and with Canadian Aboriginal peoples that illustrated the potential of communities to create their
own solutions and the need to support local efforts in ways that
PHOTO: Former Prime Minister Paul Martin and Coady participants Inviolata Mmbwavi address the crowd at the Coady
Institute’s 50th anniversary gala celebration.
do not create dependency but rather build on the strengths that already exist; in short, the approach
the Coady Institute has lived and continues to promote.
CIDA and the Contribution of Government
The field of development work is now more crowded because its endeavours are regarded as essential by a
growing number of NGOs, educational institutions, by the rapidly increasing portion of youth that sees the
world and not just one country as its home and responsibility, and by governments spending billions of
dollars in the field. And yet the financing of development work is still scarce and an overwhelming
challenge. At the Coady Institute— in partnership with the Canadian International Development
Agency (CIDA), its most significant partner and funder—a concerted effort is being made both to
continue to improve the quality of programs and access and to shift attention and accessibility to
community leaders from particular countries where demand is growing.
The Coady Institute is dealing with a wide array of issues that all come back to leadership and selfreliance, and the constant challenge is to be able to deliver on a very big mission with a very slender
financial base. Says Sean Riley, the president of St. Francis Xavier University, “A lot of the
institute’s present work is to be constantly refining the program and to be cognizant of the ways in
which the institute can remain, despite its size, a world leader.” These measures include a focus on
igniting leadership among women, young people, and Aboriginals; building on core strengths; and
augmenting the efficacy of the Coady’s knowledge-sharing measures.
PHOTO: (Right) Paul O’Regan, Coady Institute supporter and StFX Board emeritus, joined a study tour to India and Nepal
in November 2009 to visit with Coady graduates and partners and see first hand the impact they are having in their
(Below) Jayshree Vyas, managing director of SEWA Bank, explain how small loans are being used by women to improve
their households in Khodiyarnagar, India, joined
by Susan Crocker, Coady Advisory Committee Chair, Cecile Miller, CWL representative,Mary Coyle, Irene MacDonald,
and Paul O’Regan
No Time to Rest on Its Laurels
With the Coady International Institute programs running smoothly in the new state-of-the-art facilities and the
fiftieth anniversary celebrations culminating in the December 5, 2009, StFX fall convocation after events held
in Pretoria, Lusaka, Accra, New Delhi, Kathmandu, and Antigonish, the focus is now more than ever on the
future. StFX President Sean Riley and Coady Institute Director Mary Coyle both emphasized in their
anniversary celebration remarks “that the best way to honour the past is by building an even more
ambitious future vision for the next generation Coady International Institute.” There is much
demand, opportunity, and potential yet to pursue and fulfill. The institute’s approach has proven to
be valuable, innovative, scaleable, and durable. The Coady International Institute is poised, at this
historic juncture, to accelerate and redouble its efforts to make an even greater contribution to
global leadership development, poverty reduction, and community self-reliance.
The Coady International Institute was created by visionary risk takers in 1959. The next generation
of visionary risk takers at StFX and the institute are committed to propel the institute forward into
a dynamic future of innovation and dramatically increased influence and impact.
The Coady International Institute’s plan for the future calls for it to:
• Build the next generation of development leaders and young people ignited by a sense of global
responsibility and equipped to change the world. Special emphasis will be placed on women and
• Accelerate and increase the Coady network of worldwide innovation partners working on the
ground to find the best ways to build a world where all people can fully utilize their talents and
resources to build better self-reliant societies.
• Create more opportunities for young Canadians to experience the world.
• Launch a new International Centre for Women’s Leadership.
• Capitalize on the power of new technologies to dramatically increase the number of development
leaders benefiting from Coady knowledge resources and education programs.
• Establish partnerships and programs with Aboriginal peoples of Canada.
The institute’s overall plan is to build on the positive momentum it enjoys and create the greatest
multiplier effect possible. Changing the world was Moses Coady’s ambition. His namesake institute
is just as boldly ambitious in that regard.
Why Coady Was a Visionary
Building on the Vision – A Future Propelled by Innovation
He and
his colleagues in the Antigonish Movement believed in education as a prime and vital means of
empowerment in the struggle of underprivileged communities toward the “good and abundant
life.” He understood, in the well of his being, that if beleaguered groups within society were to
achieve a “good and abundant life” with dignity, and that if the social improvements that brought it
closer were to be lasting, then the men and women and children who were the objects of such
schemes of social activism needed, also, to be the subjects and actual agents of the changes they
brought about. He and Father Jimmy Tompkins and A.B. MacDonald and Sisters Marie Michael and
Irene Doyle and others realized that the people themselves needed to be the ones to identify the
needs, challenges, and advantages that stood in their way because that they were the ones in the
best position to do so. By virtue of their position at the centre of things, people themselves, Coady
realized, were the best implementers and guarantors of change that would be sustainable. “Trying
to help,” as if aid could be bestowed, irrespective of recipients’ participation in a scheme, simply
would not work or be grafted upon a community with the same degree of efficacy.
Moses Coady was a visionary because his guiding principles, so simply expressed, guide us still.
Self-reliance and identifying the resources and abilities at hand to secure what is not; the belief not
only in people’s capabilities but also their responsibilities to bring about change in their own
environment; and the ultimate benefit of group action and cooperation were the fundamentals of
the Antigonish Way. There are many further aspects of Coady’s work that make it so compelling
and that drew visitors not just from other parts of North America but from the Caribbean, Africa,
and Asia to the Extension Department of St. Francis Xavier University, when travel from these
places was no easy proposition.
The interested arrived because, beyond whatever was the inspiration of his pronouncements, they
knew Moses Coady to be a fundamentally practical man who understood that lofty ideas meant
little without meaningful implementation. They came to Antigonish for what the Coady
International Institute’s current director, Mary Coyle, describes as “an incredible cocktail of ideas,
experience, and inspiration”—for study
clubs and lessons in the establishment of cooperatives and credit unions that amounted to
transferable ways of achieving” the full and abundant life”—methods that, having been tried and
tested in Canada, would provide swift and effective results that could be measured.
They came, too, because the Antigonish Way was democratic in its essence. Moses Coady believed
that the “good society” was a democratic one. For it to be able to flourish, everyone needed to have
the opportunity to be “masters of their own destiny,” to be able to contribute and to have enough to
eat. Coady understood that the good society was to be achieved by investing in efforts that built the
capacity of communities and their leaders and that the key to this undertaking was education.
People needed awareness, but also the skills and knowledge to actually do something about their
situation. It would never be enough just to analyze.
“They came,” said Coyle, “because the message of being
‘masters of their own destiny’ was an extremely empowering
one that promoted the primacy of the individual, and the
necessity of people driving their own fates. It was
fundamentally respectful; and they came because the
Antigonish philosophy was accompanied by a package of
very practical tools showing how you could actually achieve
that philosophy on the ground.” Mary Coyle
Other attributes of the Coady approach were implicit but no less of the essence. Coady, it could be
said, offered tough love. For if, on the one hand, he believed that all human beings have it in them
to be “masters of their own destiny,” and that the way individuals and groups are most able to do
this is by using “what they have to get what they need,” then the corollary of these imperatives was
that human beings have a responsibility to do just that. It is incumbent upon individuals, as it is
upon governments and NGOs and donors and the rest of us, to honour their circumstances by
making the most of what God, or circumstance, has provided them.
The Love of Place
If dignity always sat comfortably at the forefront
of the Antigonish Movement’s doctrine, it is because in his profound belief that the first elements of
the better life were immediately at hand, Moses Coady was preaching and acting upon a love and
respect, not just of human beings, but of the places we find ourselves in. Specifically, in its
elucidation of assets that might not have been recognized as such (or even previously have been
considered as encumbrances), the Antigonish Movement and then the Coady International Institute
was never asking a person or place to be anywhere or anything else—or, critically, to adopt the
one-size-fits-all solution of some pre-formed general model that implicitly infers that whatever is
on hand is not adequate. This, Coady knew, was the prescription for a program of development
that simply would not stick. “The Coady,” says Coyle, “just isn’t in that mould.”
Moses Coady also taught an ennobling love of place.
Keeping the Enterpreneurial Spirit Alive
The danger, however, of a rich and commanding legacy is that it can also become a burden— a shadow that
decrees what can and cannot be done, which can ossify an organization and deprive it of the spontaneity,
the freedom to revise, and above all the unfettered creative opportunity that provides its dynamism.
“One can quickly sit back and rest on laurels and become complacent. The legacy becomes a burden
if you say, ‘We’ve got the brand, we’ve got the name, let’s just continue along and not worry
about innovating or looking and asking what, in this changing world, we should be doing today.’
But Coady was someone whom today we’d call a social entrepreneur, and he would certainly not
have burdened himself with doing something today exactly as it was done in the 1930s just for that
reason. He was always innovating. ‘True to the movement’ does not mean steadfastly using the
same techniques and tools and approaches with the same players, but is a matter of applying the
principles and philosophy and inspiration that are a part of that legacy and applying them in the best
possible way to achieve the Coady’s ends.”
Most significant is Coady’s uniqueness as a long-standing and integral part of the civil society
movement for just and equitable development as framed within the Antigonish Movement. It is in
what it is, not simply in what it does, that Coady reflects the importance of interdependent action
at and among local, national, and global levels through capacities of knowledge generation and
analysis; communication and application of ideas; and creating, sharing, and adapting innovation.
Unlike private sector executing agencies, universities, and even most NGOs, the Coady Institute
exists because of the development philosophy it espouses, not simply to promote it.
Coady’s status as a development outreach institution of St. Francis Xavier University adds
Coady was someone whom today we’d call a social
entrepreneur. He was always innovating. ‘True to the
movement’ does not mean steadfastly using the same
techniques and tools and approaches with the same players,
but is a matter of applying the principles and philosophy and
inspiration that are a part of that legacy and applying them in
the best possible way to achieve the Coady’s ends.
to its uniqueness. As a hybrid combining both NGO and academic characteristics, it is increasingly
able to create and sustain a blend of learning-based development initiatives, with both activist and
academic Southern partners, and through both formal on-campus education programs and nonformal community-based ones. It is further able to add value to all these activities through building
more comprehensive document and information systems, a well-informed research practice, and
links with an engaged university staff and student base.
John needs to do a prologue
We Are All Global Citizens
The truth of an historical legacy is that it is also a singularly powerful and tremendous positive.
“The guiding principles and the philosophy of the Antigonish Movement are as valid today as they
were in the 1930s,” Mary Coyle says. “They haven’t gone out of fashion, they’re not out of style,
and they’re not stale at all. The Coady was not plucked out of the air. We stand for something. This
university was in the business of community engagement very early on. This was a university built
‘for the people by the people.’ It could be said to have been born out of and into a tradition of
community engagement right from the start, and you will find in the Extension Department the
authentic legacy of a university engaged with the broader community from the 1920s. And there is
also the legitimacy that is associated with the fact that the world came to Antigonish. People came to
us. They flocked to Antigonish, Nova Scotia, to see what they could take back with them and apply
to their organizations, their communities, their societies and governments, and they are still
Today, the language that the decidedly non-denominational Coady International Institute uses is
secular, the language of the United Nations, even though the visionary principles remain the same
as they were in the first days of the Antigonish Movement when so much of its momentum was
derived from the dedication of men of the cloth. When the Extension Department of St. Francis
Xavier University was founded in 1928—two full decades before such language became part of the
everyday lexicon of household usage after being permanently enshrined in the United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights—Moses Coady was already conceiving of the “good and
abundant life” as just that, a right. That he, President Hugh Somers, and the governors of StFX
should have decided, in 1959, that the “great challenge [was] in the international sphere,” 4 shows
how, as we become global citizens (and there is no one who can truly avoid, any longer, this
extraordinary evolution of modern times), our world becomes smaller—and our sense of
community becomes larger. The Coady legacy is weighty, but also invigorating.
PHOTO: (Below) Chantal Pauley, Youth in Partnership Program 2008-2009 associate collecting lemongrass in Ecuador
where she worked with Jambi Kiwa.
(Opposite) Coady Diploma in Development Leadership participants at their convocation
Coady Core Staff
Smyth Gillis Topshee MacDonald Amit Belisle Coyle
Abdou Adams Amit Arsenault Ash
Ashe Bean Beaton Beaton Becigneul Belisle Bernasky Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Cameron Chafe Chiasson Chiasson Chisholm Chisholm
Chisholm Corkum Coutizho Coyle Cunningham Davison DeCoste Delaney Delaney Delorey Desjardins Durley Edwards Enriquez Feltmate Fiander
Fletcher Foroughi Foster Fougere Francuz Fugere Fuller Gardiner Gerrior Ghore
Msg. Francis J. D. Hugh Rev. George Dr. A.A.
H.R. Francois Mary
1959-1970 1970-1973 1973-1979 1979-1991 1991-1994, 1995-1996 1994-1995
Natalie Sue H.R. Ellen Ida Donna Dr. Wilf Sr. Donalda Maria (Anna) Sr. Maria Margaret (Dolena) Janet
Francois Tammy Carmen Colleen Derek Raymond J. Zita
Rev. A. Audrey Joseph T. Catherine John
Sr. Daniel Marie Lola Rev. B. Mary
Gord Phil Charlene James Laura Joseph Winifred Betty Christina Dr. Charles Tammy Kate
David Behrang Megan Sr. John de la Salle (Anne) Joan
Dr. Robert Reema Rev. Harold Ben
Gillen Gillis Gillis Gillis Gillis Gillis Gladkikh Glasgow Gosbee Greyeyes Gurriaran Hall Hamelin Hawkes Hawley Hemlow Hogan Hopkins Huett
Irving Jain Lamey Landry Lang
Lee LeMorvan Livingstone Longobardi MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald
MacDougall MacIntosh MacIsaac MacIsaac MacIsaac MacIsaac MacKay MacKay Mackey MacKinnon MacKinnon
Sr. Marie Colleen D. Hugh Danny Fr. Michael Mary Beth Olga
J. Frank Peter Carol Rev. Luis Krista Louise Susan
Fr. Pius Beverly Andy Natasha Suzanne Catherine Anuj Christina J. Hugh Sue Nanci
Dr. Kevin Sr. Mary Bernadine (Viola) Zita Alexis Cheryl Clare Dr.A.A. Fr. Joe A. Janet Jeff Jordan Moira Leo Pauline Beverly Peggy Sr. Justina Sr.
Mary Thomas (Sarah Eulalia) Debbie Susan Sr. Berthold Rev. Alex Sr. Marie Michael
MacLean MacLellan MacNeil MacPherson Maddison Mahon Marlow Martin Martin Mathie McIver McLean Michael Mifflen Misra Morrow Murphy
Murphy Myers Nolan O’Connell Oja
Okafo O’Keefe O’Regan Paul Peters Peters Power Ramshaw Riley Rogers Savage Scoggins Sears Smyth Strapps Stuart Stuart Thompson Tinkham
Toogood Topshee Trudeau Turay Walsh Ward Wicks
Nancy Sr. Catherine (George Aidan) Marie Kim Allison Katy Jim Catherine Gloria Dr. Alison Rev. John Betty Sr. Marie Rev. Frank Rewa Heather
Breton Debbie Heather Sr. Mary Ruth (Winifred) B. Leonard Daren Marie Sr. Joanne Christina Brianne Nancy Sr. Margaret (M. Mark) Dylan
Norman Roberta Shelagh Anthony Cathy Msgr. F.J. Sarah Colin Rieky Cindy Leslie Mildred Rev. George Daren Thomas Tom Lori George
Coady aSSoCiate Staff
Abel Ackland Aeschleman Amaratunga Barry Bartle Blackwell Bopp Braid Brake Brisibe Broughm Burgess Burkholder Callaghan Cameron Cameron
Campbell Carabbink Castle Coady Codorette Cujes Curley Currie Currie Davidovic Delaney Devoe Dobson Dodaro Dorrance Doucet Eaton Edgar
Edwards Eger El-Sheikk Eno Fonseca Forest French French Fuller Godin Gora Goree Goulet Graham Halloway Hamadziripi Hamboyan Hansen
Hemphill Hogan Holder Holloway Hourihan Houston Howard
Dr. Helen Douglas C. Dr. Carol Donald Phil
John Dr. Michael Dr. Florangel Rosario Kim Annie Lesley Camilla Avon Herbert Donna Derek Vivian Catherine Debbie Maureen Raymond Dr.
Rudi Eileen George Rachael Dr. George Jennifer Rev. Richard Dr. John Santo Stirling Frank Susan Wayne John Hugh Dr. Akiva Dr. Salah Jeannette
Rev. Dr. J.A. Eric Dr. David Mrs. David Judith Joseph Vikas Toni Lucie Jennifer Katherine Alfred Lucy Larry Ellen Andrew Margaret Catherine M.
Jim Rosalyn
Humerez Ives Johnson Kang Kasibante Kearney Kennedy Kibuywa Knockwood Koroma Krishnaswami Lacoursiere Laidlaw Landry Lansang LaRoche
Long Longobardi Loosen Lowe Ludlow Ludlow MacAdam MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonald MacDonnell MacDougall
MacEachen MacInnes MacIntosh MacIntyre MacIsaac MacKenzie MacKinnon MacLean Maclean MacLean MacLellan MacLeod MacMahon MacMullin
MacNeil Madesi Mahaney Mahon Mahoney Marion Martin McKenna McMahon McMahon McMahon Mehmet Messer Milne Milner
Nora Rob Francesca Augustine Michael John Joseph Sophie Noel Peter Lalita Rev. Jean Dr. Alex Hugh Flora Natasha Urbain Shannon Zita Norm
Richard Basil Dorothy Alex Allan Donald Jordan Rev. Brian Shirley Paul Dougald Hon. Allan J. Dr. Dan Pauline Duncan Moira
Ms. Jane Elaine Sandra Shirley Dr. Edwin David Brie
Rod Dr. Teresa Sam Sara Peggy Adam Peter Gloria Paula Brie Fred Mary Dr. Ozay Melanie Matthew Dr. Phil
Milner Moffat Molina Moore Morell Morin Mpedzisi Mulcahy Mulwa Murphy Musial Naylor Ncube Newman Nunn O’Neil O’Shea Parpart Parsons
Pavey Pierce Pluta Polestico Power Queinnec Queinnec Rausch Read Recchia Riestra Rovers Russell Ryan Ryan Sanchez Schurman Selim Shaw Shea
Sikazwe Spekkens St. Clair-Ryan St. Laurent Tadros
Toma Trueman Tulkens Tulus Tyan Venkatesh Villeneuve Vyas Wallace Wallner Webb Webb Wehrell Wickham Wittgens
Marilyn Jeanne Digna Tom Shannon Philip Patrick Caitlin Francis Ed
Paul Brian Jabulani Manombe Rev. J. Emily Bernard Nancy Dr. Jane Eva Lila Fred Dr. Leonard Rachel Most Rev. W.E. A. Young Hee Rev. John
Tom Maria Jose Arroyo Dr. Ria Keith Rev. William Ron Juan Peter Dr. Gul Rukh Dr. William Rev. John Emily Dr. Hubert Maureen Carole Nader
Marguerite Dr. Howard Paula Robie Ron Balakrishna Ms. F. Jayshree Rick Joseph Fr. Jim Tom Roger Trevor Frances
Coady adviSory memberS
CountrieS of Coady GraduateS and PartnerS
Carol Eric Peggy Wilf Francois Ed
Tim Eric Mary Susan Gord Shiraz David Myra Olga Tim Jim Beth Budd Louise Shirley John Natasha Bryan Elsa Montasser Huguette Gabrielle J. Tom
David Denis Kevin
Xu Zita Dr. A.A. Dr. J.J. Janet Allan J. Fr. Alex Teresa Alison Jeff Roger Hilary David Betty Bill Harold Sean Denis Colin Bruce Leslie Robby
Thomas Tom Roger Bill
Amaratunga Amit Antrobus Bean
Belisle Broadbent Broadhead Claus Coyle Crocker Cunningham Dossa Fletcher Freeman Gladkikh Goddard Greenlaw Haddon
Hall Hamelin Hartery Harvey Hopkins Inglis Jensen Kamal Labelle Lachance Langley Lawless Leclaire LeMorvan Liu Longobardi MacDonald
MacDonald MacDonald MacEachen MacKinnon MacNeil Mathie
Orr Parent Pearson Peterson Plewes Radford Redekopp Riley Ryan Stuart Thordarson Tinkham Tulus
Turay Webb Wehrell Young
1992-1995 1991-1997 1986-1989 1992-1995 1994-1996 1994-1996 1986-1989 1999-2003 1997-present 2006-present 2006-present 1992-1995
2007-2009 2010-present 2007-present 1995-1998 1997-1999 1999-2002 2004-present 1998-2006 2004-2006 1992-1995 2004-2005 2002-2004
2005-2010 2010-present 2000-present 2000-present 1996-1999 1992-1996 1992-1995 1996-1999 1986-1989 1995-1998 2000-2001 1986-1996
1986-1989 2010-present 1996-2000 1986-1989 1992-1995 1998-2001 2003-2006 1998-2003 2004-present 2005-present 2000-2006 2007-2009
2005-present 1996-present 2006-2009 1986-1989 1986-1989 2003-2005 1992-1995 2001-2003 1997-1999 2002-2006 2006-present
Afghanistan Anguilla Antigua & Barbuda Argentina Australia
Austria Bahamas Bangladesh Barbados Belgium Belize Benin Bolivia Botswana Br. Virgin Island Brazil
Brunei Burkina Faso Burma Cambodia Cameroon Canada Chile China Colombia Costa Rica Cuba Democratic Republic of the Congo Denmark
Dominica Ecuador Egypt El Salvador England Eritrea Ethiopia Fiji France Gambia Germany Ghana Grenada Guatemala Guyana Haiti Honduras Hong
Kong India Indonesia Iran Iraq Ireland Israel Italy Ivory Coast Jamaica Japan Jordan Kenya Kiribati Korea Kosovo Kyrgyzstan Lebanon Lesotho Liberia
Macau Macedonia
Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Mali
Malta Mauritania Mauritius Mexico Micronesia Montserrat Mozambique Namibia Nepal Netherlands New Zealand Nicaragua Nigeria Norway
Pakistan Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay
Peru Philippines Portugal Puerto Rico Rwanda Samoa Scotland Senegal Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Solomon Island Somalia South Africa
Southern Sudan Spain Sri Lanka St. Kitts & Nevis St. Lucia St. Vincent & the Grenadines Sudan Suriname Swaziland Switzerland Syria Taiwan
Tanzania Thailand Togo Trinidad & Tobago Uganda Ukraine Uruguay USA Vanuata Venezuela Vietnam Wales Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe
Section 1
Coady document, “Moses Coady Quotes,” p. 2.
Section 2
January 3, 1882, as reported in Jim Lotz, The Humble Giant: Moses Coady, Canada’s Rural Revolutionary.
Novalis, 2005. 3
Lotz, p. 13. 4
Ibid, p. 2 5
Alexander F. Laidlaw, The Campus and the Community, p. 62. 6
Father Jimmy
of Nova Scotia, a pamphlet published by The Cooperative League of the
U.S.A., undated, and in the Coady collection. 7
Mary Arnold, Father Jimmy, p. 1-2. 8
Coady’s “Impact Events” document, p. 1. 9
Mary Arnold,
Father Jimmy, p. 3. 10
Coady timeline in the document, “Impact Events.” 11 Masters of Their Own Destiny, p. 7. 12
Coady document, “Moses Coady
Quotes,” p. 2. 13
All Mary Arnold, ibid. 14
“Impact Events” document, p. 1. 15
Michael Welton, A New and Disturbing Presence: Father Moses
Michael Coady and
the United Maritime Fishermen, In Canadian Co-operatives in the Year 2000, p. 101 as
reported on 16
Mary Arnold, Father Jimmy, p. 11. The full idea is that they have hands and feet because
they are borne by men. The rest of the quote is, “Work together. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But lobstermen are not dogs. They are men. And men can read
and think and learn new ways so long as they live.”
Lotz, p. 31. 18
Lotz, p. 32. 19
“Coady Masters of Their Own Destiny Quotes,” p. 3. 20
Lotz, p. 71. 21
Lotz, p. 62. 22
“Impact Events” document, p. 2. 23
Lancelot Press, 1985. 24
Delaney, p. 31 25 Coady International Institute Newsletter 1979 09 p. 6. 26
Interview, November 2008, circa 37.20. 27 Int MacKinnon, p. 7. 28
This anecdote comes circa 37.30 in the same first interview. 29
and Community: The Antigonish Movement Beyond 2001, p. 11. 30
Michael Welton, Little Mosie from the Margaree, p. 40 31
“Impact Events,” p. 2. 32
“Coady Quotes” document, p. 2. 33
Lotz, p. 54-55. 34 “Impact Events,” p. 2. 35
This figure was calculated using, powered by
the Consumer Price Index for USD. 36
Anne M. Alexander, The Antigonish Movement, p. 88. 37
Roy F. Bergengren, Credit Union North America. Southern
Publishers Inc., New York,
1940, pp. 262. 38 MD M Coyle. 39
“Impact Events” document, p. 3. 40 41 See Chronicle Herald, November 3,
2008, Bill Power. 42 Canadian Cooperative Association Annual Report, 2007-8, p 17, www.coopscanada.
coop/pdf/Resources/annualreports/2007-08_Annual_Report_EN.pdf. 43 Coady “Impact Events” document p. 2. 44 For the People, p. 333. 45
Francis Smyth was the first director, followed by Dr. D. Hugh Gillis, Fr
George Topshee, Dr. Alexander Angus MacDonald, Prof. Eric Amit, Dr. Francis Belisle,
and Mary Coyle. 46 Jim Cameron, For the People, p. 335. 47 Newsletter, 1967, vol. 3, p. 3. 48
Personal correspondence of Dr M.M. Coady to Mr A. A.
MacDonald, St. FX Archives,
as quoted by Mary Coyle in The Coady Connection, vol. 20, no. 1, March 2000, p.1. 49
“Impact Events” document, p. 3; The Coady Connection, vol. 20, no.
1, March 2000, p.1.
Section 3
Mary Coyle. 2
Newsletter, 1967, vol. 3, p. 3. 3 Newsletter, February 1971, p. 1. 4
Newsletter, April 1965, p. 2. 5 From The Antigonish Way,
as cited in Newsletter, 1967, vol. 3, p. 2. 6 Newsletter, 1967, vol. 3, p. 1. Italics added.
Newsletter, November 1963, p. 1. 8
Newsletter, 1967, vol. 3, p. 4. 9 Interview, James Cameron, November 2008. 10
Ibid, November 2008. 11
Newsletter, November 1963, p. 2, and mention of Jose Thielen, p. 4. 12
Newsletter, November 1964, p.2. 13
Newsletter, November 1963, p. 1.
Ibid, p. 2. 15
Ibid, p. 3. 16
“Institution Strengthening and the Program of the Coady International Institute,” June
1992, p. 19-20. 17 Newsletter, September 1979, p. 1. 18
“Impact Events,” p. 5. 19
A.A. MacDonald, “The Coady International Institute: A Perspective on
Development,” p 5. 20
Ibid, p. 17.
“Impact Events,” p. 5 . 22
Newsletter, Fall 1983, vol. 3, p. 8. 23
Eric Amit, “Participation in Development,” Newsletter, Spring 1983, vol. 3, p. 3.
Newsletter, December 1997, vol. 17, p. 1. The newsletter reports on Coady’s
work with CARE on an environmental monitoring system (EMS) for a freshwater prawn cultivation project under the aegis of GOLDA (Greater Options for Local
development) in the Bagerhat and Khulna districts of Bangladesh. Principally, the EDMS focused on wasteful byproducts (the shells of snails used as bait; the effects of
possible overexpansion of the gher system of diked enclosures on wetlands, habitation, and other agricultural activities, and of a sudden abundance of capital within small
sectors of the community propagating theft and increased dowry amounts. All this was happening, note, ten years ahead of general awareness of the problems of the prawn
fishery as now exposed in a number of books.
Newsletter, November 1964, vol. 1, p. 3. 26
Newsletter, July 1965. 27
Newsletter, November 1964, vol. 1, p. 4. 28
August 1968, p. 3.
Newsletter, February 1979, p. 6. 30
“Impact Events,” p. 4. 31 32
Newsletter, February 1979, p. 6,
supplement. 33
The Coady Connection, vol. 20, no. 1, p. 8.
Section 4
Canadian Cooperative Association, International Development Review, 2007-2008, p. 15,
Newsletter, February 2004, graduate profile. 3
Strategies, June 1997, p. 1. 4 Ibid, p. 2. 5
“Coady Masters of Their Own Destiny Quotes,”
p. 3 6 7
Noeleen Heyzer, former executive director of UNIFEM.
Newsletter, Spring Summer 1985, vol. 5, p. 3; Newsletter, Spring 1983, vol. 3, p. 1. 9 Dr. Teresa McNeil, “Women in Development, An International
Consultation,” as
quoted in Newsletter, Spring Summer 1985, vol. 5, p. 3. 10
As quoted in Strategies, June 1998, p. 1. 11 12 Strategies,
June 1998, p. 3. 13 Stephanie Nolen, 28: Stories of AIDS in Africa, (Vintage, 2008), p. 295. 14 Ibid. 15
“Gaining Gender equity ...” in Democracy and Active
Citizen Engagement, , p. 126. 16
Newsletter, August 1968, vol. 3, p. 2 17 See “Impact Events,” p. 4, and James Cameron, For the People, p. 347. 18
Newsletter, August 1968, vol. 3, p. 2. 19 20 Newsletter, 2003-4, p. 6. 21 Held in Barcelona on August 12,
2004. 22 Annual Report 2004-5, p. 7. 23 Ibid. 24 Newsletter 2003-4, p. 5. 25 Ibid,p.1.
Section 5
Brichure, Educational Programs 2007-8, p. 3. 2