Our approach

Based on the principles of Catholic Social Teaching, our approach ensures that most of our programs overseas are led by local grassroots organizations. We support and empower these local partners to strengthen the capacity of their communities. We thus help the most marginalised people become agents of their own development.

The following are the guiding principles of our partnership model:

Preferential option for the poor

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is committed to reaching the most vulnerable populations through its community development programs abroad.

In emergency situations, we work with local partners who are best placed to reach the most vulnerable and deliver aid. 

Human Dignity

The organization puts human dignity at the heart of its development projects, forming cooperative and equal partnerships with local groups around the world to achieve lasting change.

In situations of emergency, we defend the human dignity of those affected by providing relief.

Dans les situations d’urgence, nous défendons la dignité humaine des personnes touchées en leur apportant du secours.


The principle of subsidiarity states that those closest to a particular situation are usually the ones best able to manage it.

Rather than sending “development experts” to manage projects in the Global South, or Canadian volunteers to work on projects abroad, Development and Peace – Caritas Canada supports local grassroots organizations.

Recognizing the expertise of local people on issues that affect their communities, we support them in their role as agents of their own development.

Community participation

The main characteristic of subsidiarity is community participation.

From long-term social change programs to humanitarian aid and reconstruction activities, the local communities in the Global South with whom we work are actively involved in identifying their needs, proposing solutions and implementing new ways of working. 

Development and Peace – Caritas Canada is itself a democratic organization run by its members. Their participation in the life of the movement allows them to influence the orientations, composition and fields of action of the organization.


Living solidarity is essential to the mission of Development and Peace – Caritas Canada. By solidarity, we mean standing with our partners as equals against injustice in their countries and supporting their efforts through fundraising, education, mobilization and advocacy initiatives here at home.

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