Political game changers: how generations of Results volunteers made an impact

By: Results Canada Published: 14/04/2023

By Chris Dendys, Executive Director

As we celebrate National Volunteer Week, we want to take a moment to recognize the incredible impact that our Results Canada volunteers have had over the years. Since our organization was founded, we have been fortunate to connect with countless passionate and dedicated volunteers.  

Through their efforts, our volunteers have helped to raise awareness about the root causes of poverty, mobilize communities to take action, and engage with government decisionmakers to build the political will to end poverty in low- and middle-income countries.  

a long history of impact 

From its inception, Results Canada has played a leading role in advocating for the Canadian government to allocate resources and champion policy changes that support big impact for, and alongside, people living in poverty globally.  A special focus for Results Canada has been an emphasis on maternal newborn and child health – fighting for Canadian leadership to the point that Canada has played a significant role in advancing a revolution in child survival which has seen under-five child deaths cut in half over the past three decades.   

Results Canada volunteers were instrumental in securing Canada’s engagement, and pushing for then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney’s leadership, at the World Summit for Children in 1990. The World Summit for Children was a milestone event for the United Nations, UNICEF, and most importantly for the world’s children.  It marked the largest gathering of world leaders committed to advancing a global agenda in support of child health and nutrition.  Ultimately, it served as a precursor to the creation of the Millennium Development Goals, which in turn lead to the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals that followed and still serve as a blueprint for global ambition in support of a better world.    

In the decades that followed, Results Canada built on this early leadership in support of maternal, newborn and child health.  In 2010, Results Canada worked with a small group of NGO allies to secure the Muskoka Initiative at the Canadian-hosted (then) G-8 meetings outside of Toronto. The Muskoka Initiative, championed by then Canadian PM Stephen Harper, leveraged $1.1 billion CAD, and an additional $7 billion globally for high-impact interventions to save at least 1.2 million children’s lives.  RC volunteers worked hard again to ensure the government renewed the Muskoka Initiative in 2015 and then again to ensure it carried forward, with an added infusion of investments in sexual, reproductive, health and rights, when a new Liberal government was elected later that same year.   

Along the way – and in addition to these significant milestone investments in support or maternal, child, and newborn health, Results volunteers successfully advocated for billions of investments in high-impact multilateral instruments like the Global Fund to Fight Aids, TB and malaria, GAVI (the Global Vaccines Alliance), the Global Financing Facility for maternal, newborn and child health, and many others.  On the Global Fund, specifically, Results Canada has engaged in every GFATM replenishment effort since the Fund’s inception in 2002.  Most recently, in 2022, Results Canada lead a coalition of Canadian NGO’s in securing a $1.2 billion Cdn pledge to the Global Fund – representing the single largest investment in a multilateral health instrument in Canadian history. 

With a commitment to ensuring that children not only survive, but thrive, Results Canada has also leveraged significant resources for education.  In 2018, at another Canadian-hosted G7, Results volunteers advocated for Canada to lead on an initiative to educate the world’s most vulnerable children, especially girls, living in emergencies and refugee settlements.  Canada’s Charlevoix declaration committed $400 CAD and leveraged an additional $3.8 billion globally to advance quality education.  

Today, Results Canada volunteers continue to engage deeply and regularly with decision-makers, parliamentarians, and the media to advance cost-effective, proven, and effective interventions and initiatives that can have the most impact globally.  They stand in solidarity with other global advocates and make an impact that goes beyond shaping policies and programs. By advocating for change and demanding that Canada prioritize global equity, our volunteers have shown that collective action can make a real difference in the lives of those who need it most. Their powerful advocacy work has helped to bridge the gap between communities affected by poverty and policymakers, ensuring that the voices of those on the ground are heard and that their needs are prioritized. 

 you continue to be game changers

As we look to the future, we know that our volunteers will continue to be a driving force for change. With their passion, dedication, and tireless efforts, we are confident that we can build a more just and equitable world, where no one is left behind. As it stands now, we’d need to speed up the pace of our progress five times faster to meet most of our goals. Although things sound dire there are always hope and solutions to be found. This is where you step in. We need advocates to be pushing for the policies and funding decisions that are going to get the world back on track to achieve the SDGs.  

To all of our Results Canada volunteers, thank you for all that you do - we could not do this work without you! You are true game changers.


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The theme of our Results Canada National Conference this year is Game Changers because our thinking and action needs to be bold and innovative. Learn more about our 2023 National Conference.

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Everyday people empowered to generate the political will to end extreme poverty. Change is possible.
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