Coady International Institute, St. Francis Xavier University

The Coady International Institute is a world-renowned centre of excellence in community-based development and leadership education based in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada.

Mission and Purpose

The Coady International Institute is dedicated to identifying, developing and disseminating knowledge on effective, community-based development practice. The Institute’s state mission is to: 

  • Provide the best leadership education programs for development professionals from around the world;
  • Work with partner organizations around the world to help them build their capacity;
  • Provide programs for young Canadians that encourage them to become active, more engaged global citizens;
  • Continue to develop a knowledge network to grow and share the accumulation of new knowledge that supports successful development practice.[1]

Origins and Development 

The Coady International Institute was established by St. Francis Xavier University in 1959. The Institute was named in honour of Rev. Dr. Moses Coady, a prominent founder of the Antigonish Movement for economic and social justice that began in Nova Scotia during the 1920s.[2]

Organizational Structure, Membership, and Funding

The Coady Institute is part of St. Francis Xavier University, representing the international arm of its commitment to social justice. Both entities are registered as a charity with the Canada Revenue Agency.[3]

Specializations, Methods and Tools

The Institute collaborates with partners in Canada and the global south to strengthen local economies, build resilient communities, and by promote social accountability and good governance. By bringing Canadians together with people from the global south, Coady is transforming the North/South divide and fostering the exchange of innovations and knowledge. Through its adult education programs, effective partnerships, and applicable research, the Coady Institute shares the knowledge and practical tools needed to bring about positive change.[4] 

Coady offers on-campus educational programs in the following fields: 

  • Asset-Based and Citizen-Led Development (ABCD)
  • Building Resilient Communities
  • Promoting Accountable Democracies
  • Strengthening Inclusive Economies
  • Indigenous Women in Community Leadership
  • Social Enterprise for Inclusive Economies
  • OceanPath Fellowship
  • Global Change Leaders
  • Women’s Leadership in Community Development
  • Diploma in Development Leadership[5]

Major Projects and Events

Innovations in North American Community Development

Hosted by StFX’s Extension Department and Coady International Institute, a 2013 forum brought together more than 150 community development practitioners, policymakers, researchers and funders from across North America to explore common themes in citizen-led sustainable change through eleven case studies from Canada and the United States. Case presentations were made by authors and community leaders followed by facilitated discussions among participants. A panel discussion of citizen-led sustainable change featured several leaders in the field and forum participants were drawn from development practitioners, researchers, policymakers and funders. Thematic discussion groups explored various themes, such as the use of culture as an asset for change and the kind of wealth needed for sustainable development. The innovations marketplace was a networking event, providing attendees with the opportunity to share and learn from community-development experiences. The final plenary was focused on translating learning into action, encouraging participants to reflect on the new knowledge and perspectives offered through the conference, and how they can be applied to their own initiatives. [6]

Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence

One of Coady’s major collaborative initiatives is the Haitian Center for Leadership and Excellence (Centre Haitien du Leadership et de l’Excellence – CHLE), a committed group of Haitian private, government and community sector leaders inspired by the Coady Institute’s respectful approach to development. They approach development using Coady’s model: building the capacities of the local people and organizations to utilize their strengths and assets to drive their own development.[7]

Student Projects

Coady’s students have been involved in the development, implementation, and research of various international programs and initiatives, such as:

Analysis and Lessons Learned

Want to contribute an analysis of this organization? Help us complete this section!


Coady produces publications on the institute’s convenings and documentation of practice and experience. The Institute also houses the Marier Michael Library, an online collection of development-related resources.[8] 

See Also

Hearts & Hands’ PATH Process in L’Arche Antigonish

The Social Accountability for Education Reform Initiative in Ba-Ziyd, Beni Suef, Egypt

The Women’s Advisory Platform in Juaboso District

Participedia Entries Base on Coady Students’ Research & Study

Asset-Based Community Development

Community Development Associations 

Community-Based Participatory Research 

Community-Based Monitoring 


[1] “About Coady,”

[2] “Our History,”

[3] “Governance,”

[4] “About,”

[5] “Education Programs,”

[6] “Citizen-Led Innovation for a New Economy,”

[7] “Initiatives/Partners,”

[8] “Resource Centre,”

External Links

Official Website: