Governing Structures | Development and Peace

Governing Structures

1- Membership
2- Local and Regional Structures
3- The National Council
4- National Council Committees

The Governing Structures Chart

General By-laws of Development and Peace

1- Membership

Development and Peace is a bilingual membership-led organization. Membership is obtained upon application to the National Secretariat and the payment of a fee determined by the National Council. Membership application can be filled out and paid for directly on this website.

Members accept the Organization’s mission and objectives and are prepared to participate in or to support its activities.

Members seeking to deepen their involvement in the Organization are invited to participate in a local group.

The participation of members in Development and Peace's democratic processes allows them to influence the direction, composition and scope of action of the organization.

2- Local and Regional Structures

Local Groups are made up of members of a parish, school or community who work together to implement and promote the objectives and programs of Development and Peace in their area.

Diocesan Councils are normally composed of representatives from active groups within the Diocese who plan and co-ordinate the activities of Development and Peace within the Diocese. Diocesan Council Officers are elected at the annual meeting of the Diocesan membership. The Diocesan Council elects delegates to the Orientation Assembly and the Regional Assembly.

Regional Assemblies are composed of Diocesan Delegates who have been active for at least one year. The mandate of the Regional Assemblies is to facilitate Development and Peace’s activities within their respective regions. Recommendations on the Organization’s programs, activities and operations are made at the Regional Assembly as well as the election of the regional representative(s) to the National Council.

The Orientation Assembly sets the direction of Development and Peace’s programs for the coming five-year period by defining the Organization’s general objectives, themes and expected results.

The Orientation Assembly is a national meeting which takes place every five years. Voting delegates include Diocesan Council delegates and National Council members. Southern Partners and representatives of Canadian social-change groups may also be invited to participate in this meeting.

3- The National Council

The National Council is the primary decision-making body for Development and Peace with the ultimate responsibility for the management of its affairs.

It is made up of 21 elected members from across Canada and three non-voting participants including the Past-President, unless he/she is still the national representative of his/her region, the Executive Director and a representative of the Employees Union.

National Council members are elected at the Regional Assemblies to a three-year term renewable once. To be eligible, they must have been  Development and Peace members for at least three years.

The Council’s responsibilities include:

  • Establishing the Organization's programs in accordance within the orientations received from the Orientation Assembly;

  • Approving the Organization’s budget and the distribution of financial resources for all programs;

  • Approving the Organization’s financial statements;

  • Establishing the necessary committees to accomplish the Organization’s goals including the Executive Committee, Operations Committee, Finance and Audit Committee, and all national committees pertaining to development and In-Canada programs;

  • Appointing the Executive Committee members and hiring the Executive Director.

The Executive Committee is the main decision-making body between meetings of the National Council.

The National Council appoints the members of the Executive Committee. It is made up of a Chairperson (also President of the National Council), Vice-Chairperson (also Vice-President of the National Council), Secretary, Treasurer, and one to three National Council members at large. Members of the Executive Committee are chosen for their experience on the National Council, their leadership and professional capacity and with the objective of ensuring regional, gender and linguistic balance.

Responsibilities include:

  • Overseeing the implementation of all decisions of the National Council;
  • Recommending the adoption of the annual budget and receiving quarterly financial statements;
  • Reviewing the Executive Director’s performance and establishing annual objectives;
  • Appointing resource persons to the various committees.

4- National Council Committees

The Standing Liaison Committee is responsible for liaising with the Standing Committee for Development and Peace of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) in order to assist the Organization in fulfilling the mandate and mission entrusted to it by the Catholic Bishops of Canada, and to maintain and strengthen a collaborative relationship with the CCCB.

The Operations Committee works with the National Council to improve its functioning. The areas in which this committee is active are elections and training. In elections it acts as: a nominations committee for the Executive Committee and for the appointment of National Council members to National Committees and delegations; as a credentials committee in overseeing the appointment of Diocesan delegates to the Orientation Assembly and solves any problem that may happen; facilitator of elections to the National Council. In training, it: facilitates the integration of new National Council members; organizes training sessions for the Council; ensures the self-evaluation procedures of the National Council and of the Executive Committee are implemented.

The National Council Operations Committee is made up of the Past-President and a National Council member from each of the four major regions (Atlantic, Québec, Ontario and the West).
The Finance and Audit Committee assists the Executive Committee in developing the Organization’s policies concerning financial administration, income, and expenditures. The Committee studies the different budget proposals as well as any other question which could impact the Organization’s financial health.

The Finance and Audit Committee is composed of the Treasurer, two members of the National Council, one resource person specialized in finance and management. The three National Council members on the Finance and Audit Committee act as the Audit Committee for purposes of receiving the Organization’s Annual Financial Statements.

The In-Canada Programs Committee offers support and guidance to the In-Canada Programs Department in developing its strategies in the areas of Education, Advocacy, Communications and Fundraising. It is subdivided into three working groups each focused on one of the following mandate areas: Education/Advocacy, Fundraising and Communications.

The In-Canada Programs Committee is made up of six members of the National Council and up to six resource persons with specific expertise in one of the three mandate areas. That is, one to two resource persons in each working group. Members of the Committee are appointed by the Executive Committee on the recommendation of the Director of the In-Canada Programs Department.

The Development Programs Committee contributes to define Development and Peace’s support program in the Global South. This committee analyses individual projects and programs submitted by partners and approves the funding for requests over $50,000.

The Executive Committee appoints the resource persons on the committee. These resource persons are required to have a good knowledge of the Global South. The Director of the Development Program Department recommends the candidates to the Executive Committee from a national Development and Peace name bank.

The Theological Reflection Committee acts as an advisory committee to the National Council on theological questions that may affect the movement or Development and Peace itself. The role of the committee consists in offering to both members and staff the necessary tools to understand our commitment in light of the Gospel, Catholic Social Teaching and the realities of our times.