Frequently Asked Questions - Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PSMNCH)- Call for Proposals

Call is now closed.

Last modified: 09/01/2015

This frequently asked questions (FAQ) section is designed to help applicants understand Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada's (DFATD's) for the Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health call for proposals, as well as to guide them through the application process. It is not a substitute for the application guidance sections, and applicants should continue to consult the guidance in the Call Application Form. Questions in this section may have been rewritten to protect the identity of the applicants and to ensure that the questions are more broadly applicable. When new questions/answers are posted, they will always be added at the top of list of questions for each category.

Due to the volume of incoming questions and the need to provide answers in a timely manner, the deadline to submit questions concerning the call for proposals is December 23, 2014, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (ET), UTC-5.

Important Information for new applicants:

  • Applicants must be organizations that are legally incorporated under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada and meet the minimum eligibility criteria listed on the application form.
  • If you do not meet the minimum eligibility criteria but are interested in this call, please consider the option of forming a consortium with a Canadian organization that does meet the criteria.
  • Private sector organizations can also apply if they meet the eligibility requirements or can choose to be part of a consortium.

Eligibility requirements

Are eligibility requirements for this call the same as those for DFATD International Humanitarian Assistance (IHA) funding for non-governmental organizations?

Different programs within DFATD have different eligibility requirements, and each Call for Proposals has specific eligibility requirements, which may vary from other calls. Please refer to each individual Call's Application Form and Guidelines to find out more about its eligibility requirements.

What do you mean by "outstanding debts due to Her Majesty"? Can you provide an example?

The form signed by the organization states that the organization has no outstanding debts due to Her Majesty, meaning no debts owed to Canada's federal government.

Will DFATD accept financial statements covering 12-month periods ending December 31 for each of 2013 and 2014 that are approved and signed by duly authorized officers?

Organizations must meet all financial eligibility requirements. Audited financial statements are preferred; however, the financial statements can also be signed by a member of the board of directors or a delegate.

Can a university professor submit a proposal under this call?

No. Applicants must be organizations that are legally incorporated or otherwise created under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada, and they must meet all of the eligibility criteria set out in the application form.

Are the eligibility requirements for this call for proposals the same as the eligibility requirements for International Humanitarian Assistance proposals?

No. Each call for proposals has its own eligibility requirements, which are identified in the call documents.

On page 1 of the Application Form it states that "Canadian organizations may choose to form consortiums with other Canadian and/or international organizations from civil society, academia and/or the private sector."

a) Could you please provide your definition of "international organization."

b) Does this preclude organizations outside civil society/academia/private sector, i.e. United Nations agencies?

a) For the purposes of this call for proposals, "international organizations" refers to civil society, academic institutions, private sector, or other organizations that are registered in a country other than Canada.

b) For the purposes of this call for proposals, multilateral organizations (including United Nations agencies) are considered "international organizations" with which Canadian organizations may chose to form consortiums.

Would an organization that is not incorporated but subject to the same rules and regulations as incorporated entities, such as a university, be eligible to lead a consortium?

Yes, a university will be eligible, as they are otherwise constituted under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada. The eligible Canadian organization may choose to form a consortium with other Canadian and/or international organizations, civil society, academia, and/or with the private sector. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it meets this requirement.

Is this call open to fundamental research to improve MNCH? If not, is DFATD planning to launch a complementary call for fundamental research?

No. This call is designed to fund initiatives that will contribute directly to reduced maternal and child mortality in targeted countries; it is not open to fundamental research proposals.

Typically DFATD does not fund fundamental research. That said, in order to be kept informed of future calls for proposals, organizations are invited to monitor DFATD's Call for Proposals web page and to subscribe to the RSS Feed.

On page 4 of the application form, under Eligibility Requirements, Section C – Capacity to Deliver, it states: ‘‘The average amount of revenues requested from DFATD's Partnerships for Development Innovation (PDI) per year of the project must not exceed 50% of the organization's annual average revenue or total unrestricted financial assets under the financial control of the applicant.’’ How will this criterion be applied under the PSMNCH call?

As noted on page 1 of the application form, organizations submitting an application through this call are not required to complete ‘‘Section C – Capacity to Deliver – Financial Resource Capacity and Financial Independence.’’ This criterion is no longer an eligibility requirement.

If my organization is identified in the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health programmatic partners list as part of a university, but the university and my organization are actually separate legal entities, will DFATD consider my organization eligible on its own and not under the university?

DFATD will consider applications from any organization that meets all eligibility requirements. An organization is required to provide proof of legal status in order to submit an application.

I would like to know if local governments, for example, a town or city government in Canada, can partner with another organization (non-profits or charities) to submit proposals for PSMNCH?

Applicants must be organizations that have been legally incorporated or otherwise constituted under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada. Eligible Canadian organizations may choose to form consortiums with other Canadian and/or international organizations, civil society, academia and/or the private sector. It is the sole responsibility of the applicant to ensure that it meets this requirement.

Can an agency lead a consortium of members where the lead does not have a presence in one or more of the countries being proposed?

The eligible Canadian organization that is the lead organization of a consortium is not required to have an established presence in any of the countries in which the proposed initiative will be implemented; however, the consortium is required to demonstrate proof of partnership with an established local partner in each country in which the proposed initiative will be implemented.

a) Do we need to have a named local partner with a partnership agreement in EACH of the countries we are planning to work in? Or is it possible to have named local partners (with partnership agreements) in SOME of the countries, but not ALL of the countries?

b) If we have existing partnership agreements in place with specific local partners, do we need to upload new/updated agreements with these partners that are specific to this call for proposals and its length (start/end dates), or can we use existing agreements that are in place?

c) Under what conditions can we use the existing partnership agreements in place?

a) The applicant organization must have a local partner in each of the countries where the proposed initiative will be implemented.

b) The applicant needs to provide proof of partnerships, such as agreements or letters of intent specifying the role of each local partner in each country and the anticipated length of partnership, specific to this call for proposals.

c) Existing partnership agreements can only be used as proof of partnership for this call for proposals, if they specifically cover the timeline and roles of each partner relevant to the initiative that is being proposed.

Are the Anti-corruption Declaration, Declaration regarding outstanding debts due to Her Majesty, and two financial statements within the past 30 months needed only from the lead applicant of a consortium?

For a consortium, the lead partner has to meet all eligibility requirements, which includes providing the anti-corruption declaration, the declaration regarding outstanding debts due to Her Majesty, and two financial statements. Other consortium members must only provide proof of their legal status.

Do other members of a consortium also have to submit proof of their organization's legal status, or only the lead applicant of a the consortium?

As noted on the application form in the section relating to Forms, the legal status of each member of a consortium needs to be proven. All consortium members must therefore submit a letter of incorporation or proof of legal status.

If an organization is currently receiving funding from DFATD for another project, would this organization be eligible to apply under this call for proposals?

Yes. Organizations that are currently receiving funding from DFATD for other projects are eligible to apply under this call for proposals, as long as they meet all of the eligibility criteria.

Is Cameroon an eligible country under this call?

The list of eligible countries under this call for proposals can be found in Section G, Geographic Alignment, of the application form.

I would like to know if my organization is eligible to apply for Stream 1 of this call for proposals, if we are a foundation that receives donations from Canadians and uses these funds to send volunteers to train medical personnel in developing countries.

Applicants under Stream 1 must be organizations that have been legally incorporated or otherwise constituted under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada for at least two years and must demonstrate at least two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives.

It is the responsibility of the applicants to demonstrate in their application form that they meet the requirements.

If we already submitted a proposal through one of the last calls for proposals (i.e. International Youth Internships Program, International Aboriginal Youth Initiative, Volunteer Cooperation Program ), do we have to upload the Anti-Corruption Declaration, Declaration regarding outstanding debts, Letter of incorporation, and two financial statements through Partners@International if nothing has changed since then?

Each applicant MUST provide all the forms identified under the Forms section of the Eligibility Requirements. If an organization has submitted a proposal through one of the recent DFATD calls for proposals, their organization must ensure that the letter of incorporation and financial statements in their organization profile in Partners@International are up to date.

If a consortium submits a proposal under Stream 2, does the consortium lead partner need the 5 years of MNCH experience, or can the experience of the consortium members be combined to meet the requirement of the 5 years of MNCH experience?

The lead applicant of a consortium is required to meet all eligibility requirements in the application forms, including the following experience requirements: two years of international development experience for Stream 1, and five years of MNCH experience for Stream 2. The combined experience of coalition members will not be considered to determine eligibility.

Can the developing-country partner be the local office of an international organization?

The developing-country partner can be a local, national or international organization with an established presence in the country where the initiative is executed.

Is there a limit on the number of consortium applications in which an organization can participate as a non-lead member?

There is no limit to the number of applications a consortium can submit in which an organization can be a non-lead member. However, the organization must be able to execute the work in all the proposals in which it is mentioned, simultaneously if all the proposals are approved.

Can a university's affiliated research partners submit separate applications in their own name?

As long as the affiliated partners are separate legal entities, have separate business registration numbers, and meet the eligibility criteria, they can submit an individual application.

Could you please confirm whether the information required under section C of the Eligibility Requirements, Capacity to Deliver, page 4, requires forecasted information, i.e. projected PDI contribution and projected organizational revenues, or historic information about the organization’s revenues and past PDI projects?

Please note that organizations submitting proposals through this call do not have to complete section C (Delivery capacity - Financial resources and financial independence capacity). That criterion is no longer an eligibility requirement.

What is meant by "Local Partnership Arrangements" for local partnerships?

A "local partnership agreement" could include a memorandum of understanding, a letter of agreement or any other document demonstrating that the Canadian organization and the local partner organization have agreed to work together to execute the proposed initiative.

Are infrastructure and shelter-related programming viewed as eligible and valued interventions under the MNCH funding path 'reducing the burden of diseases' (or otherwise)?

The applicant must demonstrate that the MNCH elements are substantial, sustainable, and clearly linked to at least one of DFATD`s four MNCH paths. The proposed initiatives must also show a clear linkage with one or more of the common indicators set out on page 2 of the applications forms. Funding will not be provided to projects that pertain exclusively to infrastructure.

Regarding the eligibility criteria for the PSMNCH call for proposals, does the two years of experience have to be in the country of the proposed project or does it refer to the total years of the organization's international development experience more generally?

For Stream 1, the organization must demonstrate that it has at least two years of experience managing and delivering international development initiatives, not necessarily in the country of the proposed initiative. For Stream 2, the organization must demonstrate at least 5 years of experience managing and delivering international development initiatives related to maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries, but this does not necessarily have to be in the country of the proposed initiative.

Can an organization – including a University – participate in more than one proposal should the University not be the leading partner?

A Canadian organization can submit only one proposal on its own or as a lead organization, but may participate in one or more consortium(s) in which they are not the lead.

Can private sector firms participate in this call?

Yes. Private sector firms that meet the eligibility requirements may submit a proposal through this call. Please note that if DFATD decides to contribute to this initiative, the recipient cannot use DFATD funding to generate profits.

Can an international organization submit a proposal through this call for proposals?

No. The lead organization must be Canadian and have been legally incorporated under the provincial, territorial or federal laws of Canada for at least two years for Stream 1 and three years for Stream 2, and be headquartered in Canada. However, a Canadian lead organization may form a consortium with one or more Canadian and/or international partners.

In section 9 of the application form should a consortium describe the capacity of each organization involved, or the capacity of the lead organization to manage the whole project?

Details about the expertise that each consortium member brings to the initiative should be included in Section 9.1 (Profile of Organization) and in Section 9.3 (Relevant Applicant Experience).

For a consortium, the lead partner must meet all eligibility requirements, which includes signing the declarations of non-corruption and the debts to Her Majesty, and providing financial statements. Other consortium members must demonstrate their legal personality.

Can volunteer-sending organizations participate in this call?

Any Canadian organization that meets the eligibility criteria may submit an application through this call.

Are Canadian colleges or universities eligible as lead organizations for this call for proposals? 

Any Canadian organization that meets the eligibility criteria may submit an application through this call.

Can more than one faculty or department of the same university submit a proposal through this call?

No. The university is considered an organization, and only one proposal may be submitted for a given organization.

If a university does not manage or directly provide maternal and child health initiatives in developing countries, but some of its professors do, does the university then meet the eligibility criterion?

The university is the organization that submits the proposal. As such, it must demonstrate that it meets all the eligibility criteria, including two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives for Stream 1, and at least five years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives related to maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries for Stream 2.

Is an organization eligible if it was legally incorporated under the laws of Canada one year before applying, and was formerly a special project by another organization legally incorporated in Canada (with annual revenues and expenditures reflected in audited financial statements)?

No. The applicant organization (or the lead organization of an applicant consortium) must have been legally incorporated in Canada for at least two years for Stream 1 and three years for Stream 2.

As there is a cost-share requirement, if a Canadian non-governmental organization (NGO) working in international development can demonstrate that it has confirmed support from institutional donors, does it also have to show a history of fundraising or mobilizing volunteers in order to be eligible?

Applicants need to be able to demonstrate that they have the capacity to provide their cost-sharing contribution, excluding the Government of Canada sources. Organizations must contribute at least 15 percent of total direct program costs, in cash and/or in-kind, of which at least 5 percent must be in cash, calculated on the total direct costs.

Does an organization need to have an established partnership with the proposed local partner, or can it be a new partnership created for this project?

Organizations are eligible to propose projects with local partners that include new or existing partnership arrangements.

Must local partner organizations be headquartered only in the developing country, or can they operate in the country while being headquartered elsewhere?

Local partner organizations must have an established presence in the country where the project will be executed but are not required to be headquartered in that country.

Can the local partner be a level of government, or must it be a local NGO?

Both options are acceptable. There is no guideline that excludes the various levels of government as local partners.

Can the same developing country partner be named as the local partner in more than one proposal?

Yes. A specific developing country partner may be named as the local partner in more than one proposal, but it should have the capacity to carry out the work in all proposals in which it is named simultaneously, in the case that all of these proposals are accepted.

Can a proposal be submitted for an initiative in a country not identified as one of the eligible countries for PSMNCH?

No. Proposals for initiatives in countries that are not identified as eligible countries for this call will not be considered.

Are proposals eligible for PSMNCH if they are for initiatives that are to be executed in several regions?

An applicant can submit a proposal for an initiative that will be implemented in multiple countries and different regions, as long as all of the countries in the proposal are identified as eligible countries for PSMNCH.

Must proposals address all four MNCH paths: i) strengthening health systems, ii) reducing the burden of disease, iii) improving nutrition and iv) ensuring accountability for results? Or will proposals be considered more favourably if they focus on only one or two of the MNCH paths?

Applicants may submit proposals that address one or more of the four MNCH paths. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of merit.

Are food security, nutrition, or water and sanitation initiatives considered as eligible MNCH experience?

In order for any past initiative to be counted as eligible MNCH experience, applicants will need to demonstrate that it corresponds to at least one of the 4 MNCH paths outlined for this call: strengthening health systems, reducing the burden of diseases, improving nutrition, and ensuring accountability for results).

Does PSMNCH allow organizations to include a public engagement component in their proposals?

Yes. According to the Application Form Summary, proposals can include a public engagement component. Activities of such a component can represent up to 10 percent of direct program costs.

If a proposal includes a public engagement component, should activities associated with this component be integrated into the Logic Model?

Yes. Activities and expected results associated with public engagement must be integrated in result based management tools, namely the Logic Model and the Performance Management Framework, irrespective of the level of investment of the component. The Logic Model of an initiative with a public engagement component must include a specific intermediate result for that component.

Can non-Canadian consultants be included in proposals?

Yes. Non-Canadian consultants may be included in proposals if the lead organization meets all of the eligibility criteria.

Can organizations that did not participate in the 2010 call for proposals or did not receive DFATD funding, participate in this call?

Yes. Any Canadian organization that meets the eligibility criteria may submit an application through this call.

Application process

Is there a detailed guide that explains budget categories?

The only valid guidelines are the ones available in the application form. Please refer to "Guidance" box in section 8.1, before the budget table, as well as the policies and directives such as Overhead and Travel Directives as listed in Annex 1, and the Information on Eligible Costs in Annex 2.

Is there a specific citation style(s) or system(s) that we are required to use in the proposal? E.g Oxford, Harvard, MLA, American Sociological Association (ASA), American Psychological Association (APA).

No, there is no specific citation style or system required. Please also note that no annexes other than the ones required for this call for proposals will be accepted. Applicants must ensure they respect the page limit stipulated in the application form.

With regard to this part of the form:

Section 9.0: ORGANIZATION ABILITY
TABLE 8 EXAMPLES OF INITIATIVES

  • - Must we provide a maximum of three examples for the consortium?
  • - Must these three examples come from the lead organization only, or can there be a range of examples from each of the consortium's three organizations?
  • - Or must we provide nine examples (three for each of the consortium's member organizations)?

Details regarding relevant expertise and experience that consortium members bring to the initiative should be included in Section 9.0 Organization Ability Relevant to the Initiative. Three examples of current or past initiatives from the lead and other members of the consortium, as appropriate and relevant, should be included in Section 9.0, Table 8 Examples of Current or Past Initiatives.

Must all sections of the Local Partner Information Form be filled out, even if the local partner is a government agency?

Yes, all sections must be filled out. If you do not know the information for some sections, you can put "Unknown" or N/A.

Does the 30 page limit for Stream 1 include the budget? How strict is the limit?

As specified on the application form, completed application forms shall not exceed 31 pages in English and 34 pages in French, with unmodified margins in Courier New 11 pt. font. This excludes application form, guidance, and other required forms, and supporting documents.

In the Local Partner Information form, the last column asks “member of an umbrella organization/network”. The local partner we are working with is certainly a member of umbrella organizations and networks but they are not involved in the program. Shoud we write Yes or No in the column?

In this case, you should write Yes.

If there is only one country involved, a separate country annex is “not needed”. However, was the intention that even if only one country is targeted by the initiative, then a country annex could be submitted? If not, then where is the equivalent information to be given on the form – is it to be necessarily included in the Rationale section?

If a proposal targets only one country, the Country Annex form does not need to be completed or referenced. In a case where there is only one country, the specific information requested in the Country Annex is found across the proposal. The application should be completed as per the guidelines within each section.

The Country Annex template comprises categories that are also in the application form. If our application targets more than one country, how should we complete the sections of the application form that are also included in the country annexes?

It is up to the applicant to use the space provided in the application form and the country annexes to present the details of their proposed initiative as per the application guidelines.

I noted that the top of the website reports a  “last modified date” of 27/11/2014 while the bottom of the webpage reports a “date modified” of 2014-12-05. Please let me know which if these dates I should rely on.

The modification date on the top is the last date on which information was added, and the modification date on the bottom is the date on which any other minor or technical modification was made.

For Stream 1, if a Canadian organization is applying alone for implementation in one country only, with one local partner, does 9.3 refer to the ‘relevant applicant experience’ of the Canadian lead, or the local partner, or can it be a combination of both?

Section 9.3 of the application form refers to the Canadian applicant's relevant experience in delivering results in the relevant sector, country, etc.

Can we propose a project start date after 2015, such as mid-2016, with the understanding that all project activities would still be completed by March 31st, 2020?

If there is a specific reason for proposing a mid-2016 start date for a proposed initiative, this should be explained in the application, noting that project activities would still be completed by March 31, 2020.

In "Section F - Experience of the Canadian Organization" the application form states, "Further to documents required in this present form, organizations must demonstrate at least two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives."

What documents does this refer to? Can we submit any additional documents to demonstrate our experience?

It is up to the applicant to demonstrate the two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives in the space provided under Section F or under section 9.1 - Profile of the Organization. No additional documents other than those specified in the "Forms" section of the application will be accepted.

Section D requires information about donor-based fundraising efforts to support international development activities, but we are a non-profit organization that does not engage in that activity. How can we confirm that fundraising is not applicable to our organization without leaving a blank section?

The organization could explain, for example, how they are supported by other Canadian organization(s), if they will have volunteers, or if they will provide additional cash or in-kind contributions. If not, the organization could simply indicate N/A.

We would like to request an extension to the deadline for submitting proposals under the PSMNCH Call for Proposals, is this possible?

No extensions will be given. DFATD must receive all applications no later than the 3:00 pm EST January 15, 2015 deadline posted on the PSMNCH Call Page and Application Form.

With regard to table 5.1 Budget by Expense, given space considerations please provide recommendations or suggestions on what level of detail is required, and how best to provide this information?

The applicant can provide as much detail as possible in the Notes section of the application form. If the project is approved by DFATD, more detail might be requested when a funding agreement is negotiated.

Can you please tell us what constitutes the length of a page in the Application Form, in either word count or character count (and specify character count with or without spaces)?

Please refer to the official page counter at the top of the Application Form. This page counter counts characters as they are entered in the various tables and text boxes within the form, and performs a calculation that provides a page count. The page counter is the true indicator of the number of pages, and applicants should not exceed the number of pages allowed in the form. The content already in the application form when applicants download it from the DFATD website is not counted in the total page count allowed.

Can an organization submit a proposal within both components of this call?

No. As indicated in the application form, an organization may submit only one proposal, either on an individual basis or as the lead organization of a consortium. In submitting its proposal, it must choose either Component 1 or Component 2 of the Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Call for Proposals, and must use the corresponding application form.

An organization that does not meet the minimum eligibility criteria, but wishes to participate in this call, is encouraged to form a consortium with a Canadian organization that meets the established criteria.

For initiatives implemented in only one country, how should the Thematic and Geographic Summary (Section iii) be completed?

For initiatives implemented in only one country, only the first line of the table is to be completed. The intention is to identify the main sectors in which the initiative will be involved. The Country % of the budget will be 100% and Sectors % of country budget will be calculated according to the sector relevance of the initiative in that country.

I am not able to alter or delete any of the countries in the top row of the list of eligible countries on page 5 of the application form. The other rows work fine, it's the top one that can't be edited. What should I do?

The list of eligible countries on page 5 of the application form should not be altered, deleted or changed. The countries included in the organization's proposal should be inserted in the Thematic and Geographic Summary, as well as in the Country Annex that the organization must upload for each country targeted. If a proposal targets a single country, there is no need for a country annex.

We are a first-time applicant to a DFATD call for proposals. Is there anything we should be doing prior to submitting our application?

Prior to submitting an application through the Partners@International portal, organizations must first register in Partners@International.

Detailed instructions are available on the Registration Information page in the portal, as well as Frequently Asked Questions about using the portal and instructions on how to submit an application package.

Please note: at this time, registration in Partners@International is only available for Canadian organizations.

How should a consortium with a large number of members and local partners complete Section 9 of the application form? Can additional pages be added to provide sufficient space to describe the expertise that each consortium member brings to the initiative?

The relevant expertise of Canadian and international consortium members should be described in Section 9.1 and 9.3. Key information about local partners in each country should be included in Sections 9.2.1, 9.2.2 and 9.2.3; information about local partners should not be repeated in Sections 9.1 and 9.3. Note that country annexes may be used to describe local partner capacity and experience in greater detail, but these annexes can not be more than three pages long.

Applicants are encouraged to be concise in the information they provide; however, we recognize that consortiums with many members or organizations with a large number of local partners may require more space in Section 9.0. Therefore, we will accept an additional two pages of information related to Section 9.0 only. This will allow applicants to increase the current page limit by two pages. Any additional pages not related to Section 9.0 will not be considered. In this context, please disregard the system message indicating that you have exceeded the page limit.

If we have citations, can they be submitted as an annex or do they have to be included in the body of the application form and country annex forms?

Citations must be included in the body of the application form and the country annex form, and are therefore subject to the page counts for these documents. No annexes other than those specifically required in the application process will be accepted.

In the Country Annex Form, "Plan of Activities," should information be provided as a narrative description or in another format?

In the Country Annex Form "Plan of Activities", information should be provided in a narrative description format.

Is there a page limit on the length of the country annex(es)?

The only annex that will be accepted is the country annex which is mandatory in the case of a multi-country initiative. The country annex should not be longer than three pages.

The link to open the coding explanation in the application form does not work and we cannot access the table.

To open the link and all other links in the application form that direct you to a web page, hold Ctrl and click on the link.

In Section iii Thematic and Geographic Summary, the table allows only for two sectors. For large-scale initiatives that cover more than two sectors, how are applicants able to address the percentage of budget allocated per sector when the table will not allow adding another column?

If your initiative covers more than two sectors, please indicate in the table the two major sectors per country. In this case, the sector percentage of the country budget shown in this table will be less than 100%. The full list of sectors covered in each country may be included in the relevant country annex in the Summary Initiative Description.

When will DFATD notify successful applicants of their decision?

Following DFATD's overall assessment process of the submitted proposals, organizations will be informed of a decision pertaining to their proposals by email, and subsequently, through an official decision letter sent by mail.

How do I submit an application as a lead organization of a consortium?

The lead organization of a consortium must create an organizational profile in Partners@International and submit the consortium's application through this profile.

Please note that an organization can submit only one proposal either on its own or as the lead of a consortium.

Does the deadline for submission require a full proposal or can a concept paper be submitted by the deadline, followed by a full proposal at a later date?

No, concept papers will not be accepted. To assess proposals fairly and provide clear guidance and consistent access to all applicants, DFATD does not accept concept papers. DFATD assesses only complete applications, submitted through Partners@International, that meet all the requirements as detailed in the application form.

Will DFATD give preference to old or new partners when selecting successful proposals?

No preference will be given to any partner. Proposals will be evaluated on the basis of merit.

Can organizations submit a proposal if they already have one or more active initiatives, or if they have an initiative currently being assessed by Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch?

Yes.

Can an organization submit more than one proposal in response to this call?

 No. An organization, either on its own or as the lead organization in a consortium, can submit only one application. The application can be for either Stream 1 or Stream 2.

Can an organization submit a multi-country proposal?

Yes. The list of eligible countries is included in the application form.

In an application by a consortium, must all partners be registered in Partners@International?

No. Only the lead organization, which must meet all of the eligibility requirements, must be registered in Partners@International.

Is a call for proposals an invitation to bid, where all proposals are opened at the end of the bidding and processed and assessed on the basis of merit, or will proposals be assessed on a first-come, first-served basis.

A call for proposals is not an invitation to bid. They are two different processes. After the closing date of the call for proposals, specified in the announcement, DFATD will analyze only proposals deemed eligible through a comparative selection process, based on eligibility criteria posted in connection with this call.

Can an applicant submit a proposal with some parts (including annexes) in English and others in French?

Yes. Applicants can submit their proposals and annexes in either English or French or a combination of the two.

When I type my answers on the form, only two lines appear. The others are hidden. This keeps me from seeing my answer as a whole or seeing if I am exceeding the required number of paragraphs and pages. Is this normal? Do you want the answers to be in a separate Word document? Is there another way to do this?

You can work in a Word document and copy and paste the text into the appropriate section in the form, or work directly on the form. Sections will expand and allow you to view more text; there may simply be a time lag depending on the speed of your computer and internet connection. Only two sections in the form have a character limit – under "Eligibility for Canadian Organizations" sections A and D. Requested information must be provided in the application form and not sent separately (unless indicated otherwise).

The application form on the PSMNCH call page will not load. I am working with the most recent version of Adobe. What can I do?

Try using the latest version of Internet Explorer. Chrome has a built-in PDF viewer and is the default when users click on a link. However, Chrome does not allow you to open the application form. We suggest that you download the file instead of following the link. You can do this by right-clicking on the Application Form link, choosing "Save Link As”, and saving the form on your desktop (or somewhere on your system). You should then be able to open the document from where you have saved it.

Our organization's financial statements are available on our website. Can we provide a link to those statements or how must we include this information with our application?

All mandatory forms must be uploaded to the Partners@International portal. This portal does not allow you to provide a link to financial statements online. 

General

Can you clarify the requirement that travel advisories be respected since many of the avoid all travel and non-essential travel countries are eligible countries for the PSMNCH Call?

Travel advisories are updated on a regular basis and can change. However, they need to be respected and although they may represent additional challenges, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure and demonstrate how the initiative will be managed, monitored and coordinated as requested in Section 3.2.1 and 3.2.2 Management of Plan of the application form.

Can you clarify whether all health activities (health worker training, health promotion etc.), other than those under family planning, are classified as Category B on the EIP Screening Tool, thus necessitating an environmental analysis?

Health activities typically fall within Category B of the EIP Screening Tool and therefore require additional environmental analysis. If your initiative focuses solely on the specific sectors or activities identified in Category C of the EIP Screening Tool, you must explain this in box (b) of section 4.0 and then proceed to box (h). If your initiative does not focus solely on the specific sectors or activities identified in Category C, you must complete all of section 4.0, providing as much detail as is known at the time of the application.

What are some of the key lessons learned by DFATD in the last call for proposals for MNCH (Muskoka) and how will those affect the way applications will be reviewed in this new call for proposals

The parameters of the Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health call for proposals build on experience and programming through the Muskoka Initiative Partnership Program and consider the evolving MNCH landscape. The current call is designed to fund initiatives that contribute to progress on the issue of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH), and include direct links to increasing the coverage of key health interventions scientifically proven to prevent, manage and treat the leading causes of death in vulnerable groups of women and children. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate how initiative activities support and/or include proven MNCH interventions in their application.

Please define a consortium and the role of a consortium member?

How do we determine if a partner is 1) a local partner or 2) a consortium member?

A consortium is a group of organizations that come together under the leadership of an eligible Canadian organization to present an initiative that combines their individual expertise and contributions to produce a more significant development outcome. Eligible Canadian organizations may choose to form consortiums with other Canadian and/or international organizations, civil society/academia, and/or the private sector. It is the responsibility of the consortium to determine the composition of its membership and to define the roles and responsibilities of each member. Note that the consortium is required to demonstrate proof of partnership with an established local partner in each country in which the proposed initiative will be implemented.

If the proposed project includes public engagement activities in Canada, should Canada be included as a target country for iii. Thematic and Geographic Summary?

Yes, applicants to this call for proposals whose project will include public engagement activities in Canada should include Canada as a target country in their Thematic and Geographic Summary.

In the document, Local Partners Information, please clarify the last question - Member of an Umbrella Organization/ Network - is this information on whether the local partner, is for example, a member of Save the Children International, or Red Cross, etc. OR is this question asking whether the local partner is connected to other networks, such as a local network on maternal health or other local or national network?

The information requested in Local Partners Information pertains to both, whether the organization is a member of an umbrella organization and whether the local partner is connected to other networks.

In the section where the applicant is to provide examples of past experience can current or ongoing programming be cited? Must the programming have concluded in order to be considered past experience?

In Section 9.3, including Table 8, examples can be drawn from relevant current or past experiences; however, it is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the examples provided demonstrate how the applicant has actually met requirements similar to those in the proposed initiative.

How does DFATD define direct beneficiaries vs. indirect beneficiaries?

Direct beneficiaries are a set of individuals and/or organizations that experience the change of state at the ultimate outcome level of a logic model, although they could also be targeted in the immediate and intermediate outcome levels. Also referred to as "reach" or "target population" (Treasury Board Secretariat lexicon). This can be found under results-based management tools in Annex 1: Links to Reference Documents.

Indirect beneficiaries are further removed from project activity, but still benefit from the results of the project.

In terms of indicating “beneficiaries”, if there is a public engagement component, are Canadians who are engaged considered “beneficiaries”?

Yes. If an initiative has a public engagement component, Canadians are considered "beneficiaries."

Is there somewhere where questions others ask and accompanying responses will be posted?

Yes. All pertinent questions about this call for proposals are answered and posted on this page.

What are DFATD's definitions of improved sanitation facilities and improved drinking water sources?

DFATD does not have its own definitions for the common indicators provided in the application form summary. The common indicators are standard global indicators used to measure changes in population coverage of key interventions and represent the latest thinking in best practices for MNCH results analysis by relevant global technical groups. Countdown to 2015: Maternal, Newborn and Child Survival provides a comprehensive list of indicator definitions in its reports.

If an organization proposes scaling up the use of a device (the innovation) for a DFATD-funded MNCH project, does the intellectual property continue to reside with the original owner?

In the case of a DFATD-funded initiative, all intellectual property rights are vested to the applicant organization, however, the applicant organization hereby grants Canada a worldwide, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive, commercial free-of-charge, and royalty-free licence authorizing to reproduce, disseminate and translate said work to achieve the objectives of the program targeted by the department. DFATD encourages organizations who are looking for the scaling up of a device to seek their own legal advice as DFATD is not in a position to provide legal advice on this matter.

Does DFATD have a list of elements required for Memorandums of Agreement (MOU) or Letters of Partnership? Or is the content handled between the two organizations?

This is handled between the two organizations. It is up to the applicant organization to demonstrate that a partnership has been established with the local partners.

In section 9.3 on the three examples of relevant initiatives of the organization, can we include an example of an initiative carried out by an organization that agrees in writing to collaborate with the consortium—notably by way of a technical contribution—but that is not part of the consortium?

No. The experience referred to in section 9.3 must be that of the lead organization or a member of the consortium.

What are the reporting and audit requirements for a DFATD-funded project?

The frequency and content reports, as well as the audit requirements, are determined based on a number of factors and may vary from one project to another. The specific reporting and audit requirements for each approved project will be set out in the agreement between DFATD and the lead organization.

Could we build on/scale up a current project funded under the Muskoka Initiative either in the same geographic area, or in a different location?

Applicants may propose to build on or scale up an existing Muskoka initiative, however, each initiative will be assessed on its own merit. It is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that their proposal meets the PSMNCH requirements and to clearly describe how the results of the expanded initiative would differ from those of the existing initiative, i.e. in terms of scope and reach.

Do we need a mimimum number of Canadians present in the field (for example, does the project director have to be Canadian?).

No. The organization that submitted the application must demonstrate its ability to manage the initiative to achieve the expected results. There are no guidelines on the number or nationality of team members on the ground.

Is there a limit to the number of active DFATD-supported projects that an organization can have at the same time in a particular country?

DFATD does not apply any limit on the number of initiatives a particular partner may have in a specific country. However, the applicant will need to show that it has the capacity to manage the proposed project as well as other ongoing initiatives. In addition, in the case of multiple initiatives in a single country, the applicant will need to demonstrate the specific focus and value-added of each initiative and to clearly distinguish the resources, activities and results of each initiative.

Is it required to work with a local partner? What is the definition of a local partner for the purposes of this call?

Yes, it is essential to work with a local partner. A local partner is an organization in the country where the proposed initiative will be executed.

The applicant must complete and upload the Local Partner Information Form, outline the local partner(s)' experience in working with international or Canadian organizations, and if necessary, describe the local partner(s)' previous professional experience with the local partner(s) and the nature of the relationship.

Is there a specified date for successful applicants to start implementing the project?

No, the project start dates will be negotiated with the selected applicants once the funding decisions are communicated. Please note that the maximum duration for proposed initiatives is five years (2015 to 2020) and that all activities must be completed by March 31, 2020.

Why is Ukraine not on the list of eligible countries for the PSMNCH Call for Proposals, since it is both a priority country and on the list of the knowledge centre's country strategies?

The 40 countries eligible for assistance through the PSMNCH Call for Proposals represent a combination of Canada's development countries of focus or development-country partners and the 75 developing countries that are part of the Oversight Platform for Accountability for Women's and Children's Health of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Can volunteers from countries other than Canada be included in projects under this call for proposals?

Only Canadian volunteers can be counted as part of the in-kind contribution to the project. Canadian organizations may choose to include non-Canadian volunteers in their projects; however, these volunteers cannot be counted as part of the in-kind contribution.

In light of the current situation in Syria, why are Syria and countries such as Turkey, which are hosting Syrian refugees, not included in the list of eligible countries for the PSMNCH Call for Proposals?

The 40 countries eligible for assistance through the PSMNCH Call for Proposals represent a combination of Canada's development countries of focus or development partner countries and the 75 developing countries that are part of the Oversight Platform for Accountability for Women's and Children's Health of the World Health Organization (WHO)."

Why is the list of eligible countries for this PSMNCH call smaller than the last MNCH call?

The list of eligible countries for this call has been streamlined in order to improve focus and to align more closely with DFATD's priorities.

Why have Uganda, Bolivia and India been dropped from the eligible list?

The list of eligible countries for this call has been streamlined in order to improve focus and to align more closely with DFATD's priorities.

Burkina Faso is one of the eligible countries listed under the PSMNCH call. On November 4, Canada suspended its direct funding to the Government of Burkina Faso. Does this mean that proposals with projects in Burkina Faso are no longer eligible?

Burkina Faso remains in the list of eligible countries. Only direct funding to the Government of Burkina Faso is suspended. Funding to civil society projects is not suspended as long as these projects do not directly involve government authorities.

* Please note on November 26, 2014, Canada lifted its suspension of direct development assistance to the Government of Burkina Faso.

How were the eligible countries for the PSMNCH Call for Proposals selected?

The 40 countries eligible for assistance through the PSMNCH Call for Proposals represent a combination of Canada's development countries of focus or development partner countries (http://www.international.gc.ca/development-developpement/countries-pays/index.aspx?lang=eng) and the 75 developing countries that are part of the Oversight Platform for Accountability for Women's and Children's Health of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Where can I find information on MNCH activities currently being carried out in various countries by other Canadian partners?

General country-specific information about DFATD-funded initiatives is available in DFATD's Project Browser.

Do MNCH initiatives automatically promote gender equality?

No. MNCH initiatives do not automatically promote gender equality just because the main beneficiaries are vulnerable women and girls. In line with DFATD's policy on gender equality, MNCH initiatives that promote gender equality aim to:

  • reduce gender-based inequalities that limit women’s access to and use of MNCH services (e.g. reduce user fees, improve the provision of gender-responsive health services, improve sexual and reproductive health care services, promote women’s decision-making power to use health services, etc.);
  • support women and girls in the realization of their full human rights (e.g. promoting sexual and reproductive rights; ending child, early and forced marriage; ending female genital mutilation; ending gender-based violence, etc.); and/or
  • advance women and girls' equal participation with men and boys as decision makers in shaping the sustainable development of their societies (e.g. decision making related to family planning, child spacing, marriage, nutrition, etc.).

Where can I find more information on gender equality analysis and how to integrate gender equality into my proposal?

Please refer to the gender equality web page on the DFATD website for the department’s policy on gender equality, more information on gender analysis and good practices to promote gender equality.

Results-Based Management and Accountability

The application form outlined four types of beneficiaries (# of women, men, boys, girls). Are these examples, or is DFATD looking for targets set specifically for these 4 types? (# of women, men, boys, girls).

At a minimum, the applicant must ensure that all information and data on adult and child beneficiaries is sex-desaggregated.

In the PMF - Outputs section - do I just choose 2 Outputs to provide Indicators and Targets, or every Output in the logic model?

All outputs identified in the Logic Model by the organization need to be included in the PMF, with no more than two indicators identified for each output.

In the section titled "Completing the Application Form" is states "Partners are expected to include additional indicators, as required; however, these additional indicators cannot replace the common indicators". Could you please elaborate on how local partners are required to include additional indicators, and which sections of the Application Form these indicators would pertain to?

In this case, the word "partners" is used to refer to "applicants," not local partners.

In addition to incorporating at least one of the common indicators outlined in the application form, it is the responsibility of the applicant to identify those indicators that are most appropriate for their proposed initiative and relevant to the initiative's theory of change. Mention of the indicators can be included in relevant results-based management sections of the application form, such as sections on Managing for Results and Responding to Risks and Monitoring and Evaluation. Relevant indicators must be included in the Performance Measurement Framework at the intermediate and output levels in Table 3 of Section 2.3.

Are HIV prevention for mother to child transmission services covered within the MNCH scope?

It is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate that its proposed initiative focuses on MNCH elements that are substantial, sustainable and clearly linked to at least one of DFATD's four MNCH paths indicated on the application form. As indicated on the application form, "Proposals must have direct links to increasing the coverage of key health interventions scientifically proven to prevent, manage and treat the leading causes of death in vulnerable groups of women and children."

Are delivery and accessibility of anti-retroviral vaccinations including the rotavirus vaccine allowed within the MNCH proposal framework?

It is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate that its proposed initiative focuses on MNCH elements that are substantial, sustainable and clearly linked to at least one of DFATD's four MNCH paths indicated on the application form. As indicated on the application form, "Proposals must have direct links to increasing the coverage of key health interventions scientifically proven to prevent, manage and treat the leading causes of death in vulnerable groups of women and children."

What criteria should we use to confirm that our beneficiaries are "children" for the purposes of this call for proposals?

For the purposes of this call for proposals, "children" are defined as those five years of age and under. Adolescent girls who are pregnant or are mothers could also be beneficiaries of projects funded through this call for proposals.

Can applicants change the ultimate outcome that is included in the logic model in the application form?

No. The ultimate outcome that is included in the logic model in the application form should not be changed. All proposed initiatives should contribute to this ultimate outcome.

Is it acceptable to take slightly different approaches than those presented in the four MNCH paths outlined in the application form?

The applicant must demonstrate that the proposed initiative clearly addresses at least one of DFATD's four MNCH paths as outlined in the application form. Applicants may adjust the intermediate level outcomes presented in the application form to reflect their specific initiative, but the description of DFATD's four MNCH paths cannot be altered.

For the Performance Measurement Framework, it indicates in section 2.3 that we are required to include targets in our PMF. However, if we have not yet collected baseline data, how can we be expected to set realistic targets?

The Performance Measurement Framework (PMF) submitted at the time of the submission will be considered as a draft. If the applicant is successful, the PMF will be finalized at the time of the negotiation of the agreements with DFATD.

Can we have other intermediate outcomes in addition to including/linking to at least one of the four listed in the application form?

It is the applicant's responsibility to demonstrate that their initiative is aligned with one or more of the four intermediate outcomes listed in the application form; however, applicants are not required to use these specific outcomes in their logic models. Initiative-level results are expected to be more specific and linked the initiative's theory of change.

The application form logic model limits the applicant to defining three intermediate level outcomes per initiative, in keeping with best practices for results-based management. However, when necessary, applicants may include additional intermediate outcomes. This can be done by including a description of the additional intermediate outcome(s) in the section 2.2 of the application form: "Narrative description of the Logic Model."

Are initiatives that include a public engagement component expected to have a specific public engagement intermediate outcome in the logic model, or should public engagement be integrated in one of the four intermediate outcomes listed in the application form?

If an initiative has a public engagement component, a separate intermediate outcome specific to public engagement must be added to the logic model.

In the case of a multi-country initiative, is it possible to provide a separate logic model for each country? If so, would this annex be reviewed by the assessment team?

Additional logic models for each country of a multi-country initiative cannot be submitted as part of the application and logic models sent as annexes will not be reviewed. Applicants should present the most representative logic model possible for the initiative and include a description of the main results to be achieved in each country in section 2.2 "Narrative description of the Logic Model."

Should we address the four proposed MNCH paths in various capacities, or would it be possible to target only one, two or three of them, if that is where our expertise lies?

Proposals must target one or more of the DFATD MNCH paths.

Can you provide examples of shelter-related indicators that have been used in the logic models for previous/current MNCH projects?

It is the responsibility of the applicant to identify the indicators that are most appropriate for their proposed initiative, bearing in mind that each proposal must incorporate at least one of the common indicators outlined on page 2 of the application form.

Under the PSMNCH FAQs it states re: public engagement, “The Logic Model of an initiative with a public engagement component must include a specific intermediate result for that component”.
Does this imply the need for a stand-alone intermediate outcome on public engagement, or can an intermediate outcome reflect results from both public engagement outputs and other outputs?

If an initiative has a public engagement component, a separate intermediate outcome specific to public engagement must be included in the logic model.

Why are the intermediate outcomes and common indicators listed in the Application Form Summary but not included in the Logic Model? Are proposals expected to include and/or use these exact results statements and report against them?  Are the common indicators to be used at the intermediate level for measuring the achievement of results?

The intermediate outcomes listed in the Application Form Summary are meant to provide an overarching results framework for this call for proposals. The results framework will allow DFATD to monitor and track progress of the portfolio of successful initiatives under a common framework. Initiative results at the intermediate level are expected to be more specific and align with one or more of the call for proposal's intermediate outcomes.

The common indicators provided in the Application Form Summary are in line with the UN Commission on Information and Accountability's recommendations and include indicators to cover the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as nutrition and accountability for results. It is expected that the results framework for proposed initiatives will include one or more of the common indicators as relevant to the proposed initiative's theory of change. It is expected that proposed initiatives will supplement this indicator framework with project-specific indicators as determined based on initiative design, local programming context and data availability.

Some of the common indicators are intermediate level indicators and others are immediate and output level indicators. It is up to proponents, based on the theory of change specific to their initiative, to position indicators within performance measurement frameworks according to existing DFATD guidelines on results based management.

How are initiatives expected to demonstrate collaboration with local governments and stakeholders on accountability for results and data collection?

In their initiative-specific monitoring and evaluation systems, proponents are expected to demonstrate consideration of long-standing principles of harmonization, coordination and alignment with stakeholders at the country. Where possible, initiatives should work closely with local health information systems used by governments at the national, regional and local levels.

Financial information

Define the Country % of total budget in the Thematic and Geographic Summary Table. Does this include amounts spent in the developing countries and/or spent in Canada while providing support to developing countries?

In the Thematic and Geographic Summary Table, the total of the initiative must be distributed among each country targeted by the initiative. The percent of budget allocated per targeted country must include all expenses related to each country. Expenses related to Canadian public engagement activities should be listed under Canada in the table.

If a university faculty member spends a substantial amount of time on this PSMNCH initiative and do not charge this to the DFATD funding, will their time be considered as part of the university's in-kind contribution?

In order for any partner contributions to be considered, in-kind or in-cash, they have to be identified in the budget at the time of application submission. For any activities to be considered in-kind, they must be goods or services that the applicant would have otherwise paid for. In the case of faculty members contributions, time-sheets must be kept, and activities must be auditable.

If a Canadian private sector donor provides funds to our organization (eg. University) specially for this PSMNCH initiative, will this funding be considered as part of our eligible cash contributions?

Yes. The requirement is that all contributions be from Canadian sources. This should be included in the budget table at the time of submission.

Where in the budget can we record the salary of staff on long-term and short-term assignments who are not Canadian (for example, Europeans)?

You must use the same budget lines that you would use if the staff were Canadian. If your initiative is approved, the budget line description included in the contribution agreement's budget table will be amended to reflect this. We recommend that you mention this detail in your budget notes for Table 5.

In the application form, Annex 2, item 1.8.1, what do you mean by "bulk purchases of goods," and beginning at what amount do you consider expenditures to be "large capital expenditures"?

We recommend that you consult the Overhead Compensation Policy for CIDA's (now DFATD's) Contribution Agreements, since Section 5.3.2 provides details on this subject. A link to this document can be found in the application form, Annex 1.

Does the 15% cost-share requirement apply to the project overall or to the contribution of each member of a consortium?

The 15% cost-share is calculated on the basis of the total direct cost of the project. Contributions towards the 15% cost-share must come from Canadian sources. Non-Canadian partners may contribute to the project and those contributions should be listed under the "Other" organizations column of the Budget Table 5.1.

For yearly cost of living increases for salaries, over the five years of the project, what percentage increase do we use for both Canadian and local country salaries?

Please refer to Annex 2: Information on Eligible Costs, Section 1.3 Annual Direct Salary Increases outlines DFATDs policies and procedures.

What exchange rate do we use to convert in country costs to the Canadian dollar - current, six months average, year average, or other?

A one to three year period average is recommended. This will help minimize any short-term fluctuations of the currency.

Would non-lead consortium members be deemed “sub contractors” at the Contribution Agreement stage, and if so, are they limited to the 20% of budget ceiling imposed in Contribution Agreements?

To be considered under the 20% ceiling, a contractual relationship must exist between the lead organization and the person/organization providing the service. If, for example, a consortium member, makes an employee available to work on this initiative, that contractual relationship does not exist, and the cost for that employee should be allocated under the remuneration budget lines.

Should Consortium member activities and contributions be part of the overall project budget, or factored in as "sub-contractors"?

To be considered under the 20% ceiling, a contractual relationship must exist between the lead organization and the person/organization providing the service. If, for example, a consortium member, makes an employee available to work on this initiative, that contractual relationship does not exist, and the cost for that employee should be allocated under the remuneration budget lines.

If an organization has received funding from non-DFATD donors for a specific project, yet a funding gap exists for certain components of that project; can the organization apply to DFATD for funding of just those components, such as monitoring and evaluation, or learning?

An organization can apply for DFATD funding to fill a gap in activities where other donor funding has not been acquired. However, the project must not already be in existance and the organization must be prepared to report on the project as a whole, not just the portion for which it may receive DFATD funding. The complete project must be detailed in the application form, include the total budget and all sources of funding. The objectives and activities of the project must be in line with those of the PSMNCH call.

In the form, in Section 8 - Financial Information, should Canada be considered a "country," or by "country" do you mean only the country or countries of intervention?

In Section 8 - Financial Information, Table 5.2, Budget by Country, DFATD is referring to the countries targeted by the initiative, which includes Canada if an initiative has public engagement activities in Canada.

In the form, in Section 8 - Financial Information, does the total budget of the activities in Table 6, section 8.1.2, have to equal the total budget that appears at the end of Table 5.1, "Budget by Expense," or does the total of the activities instead have to represent the direct costs of the activities, excluding other direct management costs (e.g. salaries) and excluding indirect costs (12%)?

The total of the activities in Table 6, section 8.1.2, must equal the total costs of the initiative (Table 5.1), excluding indirect costs (12%).

Is a human resource hired as a contract worker by the country of intervention's ministry of health considered a ''Recipient Country Government Employee" under item 1.6.5 of Annex 2 on eligible costs? Or does the "Recipient Country Government Employee" category apply only to people appointed as public servants?

Anyone employed by a local government, regardless of status (permanent, part-time, other), is considered a recipient-country government employee under item 1.6.5 of Annex 2 on eligible costs.

Are tuition or scholarships (i.e. for Master of Public Health Leadership program) considered eligible costs?

Scholarships and tuition costs may be considered eligible costs if they apply to project beneficiaries, but not if they apply to staff of the applicant organization. Please note that it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that their proposed initiative meets the PSMNCH objectives and requirements.

Could you please clarify if the cost of local (in-country) employee travel/transportation required for project implementation should be incorporated into the Travel line, or in Other Direct Costs, or elsewhere?

All expenses that relate to local employee travel/transportation should be include in the budget line 'Travel Costs' in Table 5.

It is stated that there is a 15% cost share requirement as a percentage of total direct costs. Please confirm that we should calculate the required percentage before factoring in indirect costs. 

Yes. The calculation of the 15% applies to total direct costs.

Can DFATD funds be used to support payment and tuition of local PhD students who will play a direct role in the project? If so, does the policy in the Management of Students and Trainees in Canada apply to these students?

DFATD funds can be used to support living expenses and tuition for students who are project beneficiaries, but not for project staff.

The policy in the Management of Students and Trainees in Canada applies only to situations where developing country citizens are brought to Canada to study. Please note, it is the responsibility of the applicant to demonstrate that this proposed initiative meets the PSMNCH objectives and requirements.

Can you clarify what constitutes a "Canadian source" in the context of an applicant's cash contributions to meet the cost-share requirements for this call, and explain why non-Canadian sources are not applicable?

DFATD is requesting that all in-kind and in-cash contributions be from Canadian sources such as the Canadian public, private sector, institutions, and other Canadian organisations, independent of the Government of Canada. In part this serves to demonstrate that the organizations has a support base in Canada for its activities.

In the case of a consortium, are the salaries of employees of Canadian member (non-lead) organizations considered cash contributions or in-kind contributions?

If the lead organization reimburses the consortium's member organization for the salary of the employee in question, then the lead organization is making a disbursement, and that disbursement must be supported by a cash contribution, that is, revenues from the lead organization. If the lead organization does not reimburse the consortium's member organization for the salary of the employee in question, then the partner organization is donating its employee's time to the lead organization, and it is therefore an in-kind contribution.

Can I get clarification on how the 12% overhead is supposed to be divided between the Canadian and non-Canadian partners? Can the Canadian organization keep all of the 12% overhead, and the non-Canadian partner include administration costs as direct costs, or should the 12% allowance be split among all partners?

The overhead allocation of 12% is provided to the lead organization (signatory). It is the responsibility of the lead organization to determine how these funds should be allocated to cover the project's indirect costs in Canada. The lead organization could decide to split these funds among consortium members and/or local partners or to use them for Canadian overhead costs only. Please note that no overhead costs can be claimed as direct project costs.

When it comes to construction costs - specifically the construction of WASH infrastructure such as spring capping and latrine facilities - is there a maximum allowable percentage vis-à-vis the global project budget? 

There is not a maximum allowable percentage for construction costs vis-à-vis the total project budget; however, funding will not be provided to projects that pertain exclusively to infrastructure. Please note that some construction costs may not be eligible for application of the 12 % overhead rate (refer to section 5.3.2 of the Overhead Compensation Policy for details).

As an international organization, should we be including an overhead rate that includes both Canada and a non-Canadian entity (up to 12%)? Is there room for going above the 12% total if another non-Canadian entity is involved?

The eligibility criteria for this call for proposals states that ''applicants must be organizations that are legally incorporated or otherwise constituted under the provincial, federal or territorial laws of Canada...". Since the overhead a+D11llowance is provided to the applicant/lead organization, the Overhead Compensation Policy's reference to "non-Canadian organizations" is not applicable to this call for proposals.

If it is possible to pay a local government employee who has been seconded from the government to work on the project?

No, the contribution shall not be used to reimburse fees or salaries of government employees of the recipient country as per Annex 2, section 1.6.5, of the application form.

Would a contribution that comes from funding for a project supported by a non-federal donor that enhances the achievement of results be eligible?

The requirement regarding the source of the contribution is that the source must be Canadian, excluding funds from the Canadian government. The organization submitting a proposal must itself ensure that the funds it is contributing to the initiative are not subject to specific constraints on the use of that funding.

Are there any restrictions on the type of funding that can be used for the minimum 5% of the contribution that must be in cash, calculated on the total direct costs?

The organization's contribution must come from an unrestricted contribution from Canadian sources, excluding funding from the Canadian government. An unrestricted contribution means that it is not tied to any specific allotment or expense

Are the salaries of staff working on a project in a country of implementation considered direct costs?

The salaries actually paid by the organization to its employees during a project implementation activity can be considered direct eligible costs of the project. The costs have to have been incurred after the signing of the contribution agreement with DFATD.

Can you clarify if the Total Initiative Value percentages calculated at the end of table 5.1 Budget by Expense will be used to confirm cost share, as this does not seem to match with instructions on cost share?

The cost-sharing is based on the Total Direct Project Costs including eligible and non-eligible direct program costs for the application of the overhead rate. The last line entitled “Total Initiative Value %” will not be used to validate your cost-sharing because the percentage includes the “Allowance for indirect/overhead Costs”. Rather, calculations will be based on the sub-total direct project costs eligible for the application of the overhead rate.

Will successful applicants be expected to budget for an independent impact evaluation of the initiative, or will DFATD be conducting this, external to the application process?

Applicants are not required to plan or budget for an impact evaluation. Under the Monitoring and Evaluation component of an application to this call, applicants are expected to propose monitoring and evaluation activities that support the ongoing management of performance and the achievement of outcomes during the implementation of initiatives. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that proposed monitoring and evaluation activities will assess, analyse and interpret progress made against proposed expected outcomes. Applicants must also demonstrate that their proposed monitoring and evaluation plans are commensurate to the scope and value of their proposed initiatives.

Separately, DFATD may undertake external evaluation activities related to the portfolio of projects selected through this call for proposals.

If our proposal is approved, is it possible to adjust the cash and in-kind portions of our cost share at the negotiation stage or later during project implementation?

The minimum cost-sharing requirement (cash and in-kind) is 15% of the total direct costs. The cash contribution needs to be a minimum of 5% of the direct costs. The distribution between the cash and in-kind can vary as long as it meets the minimum requirement over the duration of the initiative. If in the organization's proposal the cost share is higher than 15%, it will have to remain the same for the duration of the initiative.

Please provide a definition of the "Other Organizations" column in budget table 5.1, and clarify whether there are conditions as to what should be included in that column.

The "Other Organizations" column can be used primarily for other donors (large donors) that are directly involved in the results of the project submitted, and that are making an investment in the initiative, but are not providing these funds to the applicant organization. The column "Other Organizations" should be seen as "for information only". These funds will not be reported on the financial reports, are not part of the cost-share requirement, and are not subject to audit.

Funds that are not directly under the management of the applicant organization should be reported in the "Other Organizations" column of the budget table. Costs that will be paid by the applicant organization directly from DFATD funds or the organization's internal funds must be presented under the first three columns of the budget.

If there are contributions to the initiative by local partners, in terms of revenue or cost-recovery, where should this be reflected in the application?

In the Table 5.1 Budget by Expense, a specific budget item should be presented net of 'cost-recovery'. If this element (cost-recovery) is important in your proposal, please provide narrative explanations under section 3.2.2 Management of Plan - Coordination.

Is our understanding correct that the 15% cost share is calculated on the total direct costs, including both DFATD's contribution and the organization's contribution?

The cost-sharing ratio is 85% DFATD and 15% organization of the total direct costs (i.e. Total direct costs $100: $85 from DFATD and $15 from the organization).

In the case of a consortium, must the 15% contribution come solely from the lead organization, or can it come from other members of the consortium?

The sum of the contributions from the lead organization and contributions from the other organizations to the project must be equal to or higher than the 15% mimimum cost-sharing threshold.

Please note that the lead organization is still responsible for the 15% cost-sharing payment. Should a partner organization withdraw its anticipated contribution, the lead organization must make the contribution.

Under this initiative, for public engagement activities in Canada there is the option to allocate up to 10 percent of total direct program costs for public engagement activities.

If an initiative includes a 10% allocation for public engagement activities in Canada, how should this be reflected in the Thematic and Geographic Summary table in the application form?

If an initiative includes a public engagement component, the percentage of the budget allocated to those activities should be listed under Canada in the Thematic and Geographic Summary table, with the remaining proportion of the budget distributed against the other countries of implementation.

I would like to inquire if it is possible to pay a local government employee who has been seconded from the government to work on the project?

No. This is not an eligible cost.

Can a Canadian organization’s office rental fees be included under section 1.6.7 – Initiative Administrative Costs?

No. This falls under overhead costs.

Can conference costs be included under section 1.6.7 – Initiative Administrative Costs?

The nature of the conference will be important to determining if the costs are eligible. For example, costs required to organize a conference where the beneficiaries of the initiative will participate, and which is necessary to achieve the results of the initiative, are eligible costs and should be allocated to budget line 1.6.8 – Other Direct Costs. Costs required for the participation of employees at a conference in order to improve their knowledge or competency are not eligible direct costs to the project.

Can salaries for administrative and finance staff for Canadian organizations be included under remuneration costs for their time spent specifically on the PSMNCH initiative?

Administrative and finance staff positions are considered overhead positions, however, if the organization is able to demonstrate that the administrative and finance staff positions are necessary to implement the project, the position costs could be eligible. The approval of administrative/finance staff positions will be limited to the positions that demonstrate a direct link to the project and a high level of effort against the project. Please note that administrative and finance staff who work a small amount of time on multiple projects are not considered an eligible cost and are covered by the overhead allocation of 12%.

What would be the maximum in-kind contribution authorized to an organization for human resources and IT resources?

As stipulated in the application form, organizations must contribute at least 15% of total direct program costs, in cash and/or in kind, of which at least 5% percent must be in cash, calculated on the total direct costs.

Could Canadian staff salary be considered as an in-kind contribution?

The Canadian staff salary paid by the lead organization cannot be considered as an in-kind contribution because there is a disbursement from the lead organization. This would be a cash contribution.

In the case of projects managed by a consortium, if non-lead members of the consortium provide the time of their employees without compensation from the lead organization, this can be considered as in-kind contribution. (Note: It must be a direct cost to the project and be auditable with timesheets).

Overtime provided by employees without remuneration is not accepted as an in-kind contribution.

Does the 12% overhead rate apply to the Canadian partner, the local partner or both?

The Overhead Compensation Policy for CIDA 's Contribution Agreements stipulates in Section 5.2 that "the 12% overhead rate is an allowance to cover the organization's indirect/overhead costs of their office(s) in Canada." Section 5.3.1 of the policy indicates that "Overseas costs deemed by CIDA to be required for the execution of the program/project (e.g. rent, leasehold improvements, utilities, office expenses, office computer, general maintenance)" are eligible direct program costs. It is the responsibility of the applicant to manage the 12% overhead allocation according to their needs.

What costs are deemed to be overhead costs and subjected to the 12% maximum?

See Overhead Compensation Policy for CIDA's Contribution Agreements on Annex 1, page 29 of the Application Form (Section 5.2 – Indirect/Overhead Costs Covered by the 12% Overhead Rate).

Should proposals seeking funding between $19 million and $20 million be submitted under Stream 1 or Stream 2?

Proposals should follow the requirements for each stream. Proposals submitted under Stream 1 may request between $1 million and $19 million in funding, and for Stream 2, may request $20 million or more. Proposals requesting between $19 and $20 million in funding will not be considered under this call for proposals. The total requested funding is defined as total DFATD contribution as per table 5.1 in section 8 of the application form.

Is this call a matching process or a straight funding mechanism?

This call for proposals is not a matching process. It offers direct funding for selected initiatives.

If we obtain goods or services at a lower price, can we calculate the unpaid remainder of the true value of these goods or services as in-kind contributions?

No. If you acquire goods or services at a discount, you may not claim the difference of the actual value you would have normally paid as in-kind contributions.

Under a consortium, do all members of the consortium receive funding and overhead?

Funding provided for a proposal submitted in a consortium, including overhead, will be provided to the lead organization of the consortium.

Could you please direct me to the latest DFATD Financial guidelines (e.g. guidelines for budgeting and reporting, etc.)?

The only valid guidelines are the ones available in the application form. See under the "Guidance" box in section 8.1, before the budget, as well as the policies and directives such as overhead and travel directives in Annex 2 - Information on eligible costs.

What is meant by "cost-sharing"?

Cost-sharing has to do with the nature and relative proportion of the resources that the organization and DFATD will each allocate for the development initiative. Cost-sharing criteria are used to establish the minimum contribution that the organization must provide (and the nature of this contribution), and the maximum contribution that DFATD will provide.

Are there any guidelines regarding the proportion of funding for in-kind versus cash cost-sharing contributions?

Yes. Organizations must contribute at least 15 percent of total direct program costs, in cash and/or in-kind, of which at least 5 percent must be in cash, calculated on the total direct costs.

Must the applicant's cost-sharing contribution, in cash and in-kind, come entirely from Canadian sources?

Yes. The applicant's contribution to the initiative must come entirely from Canadian sources outside the federal government.

What do you mean by "in-kind" contribution?

The in-kind contribution is related to materials, goods, services or time to which a dollar value can be attributed, that would otherwise be purchased and paid for by the organization. To be eligible, the in-kind contribution must be provided for eligible direct costs and be contributed at no cost or other compensation. An in-kind contribution must be based on a fair value. Fair value is an amount that would be agreed upon by informed parties dealing at arm's length in an open market. Its value must be accepted by DFATD. In-kind contribution must be identifiable, verifiable and auditable throughout the initiative life cycle.

DFATD does not recognize unpaid overtime by salaried employees of the organization or any other person working on the initiative as an in-kind contribution. In-kind contributions from non-Canadian sources can be made available to the project but will not be considered in the contribution of the applicant organization within the cost-sharing requirements.

Can DFATD's overhead compensation be used to pay the overhead of local partner organizations, as well as that of the Canadian partner?

Yes. Note that DFATD no longer calculates overhead compensation separately for Canadian and local partners. The total value of overhead costs (Canadian and non-Canadian) may not exceed 12 percent of eligible costs requested from DFATD.

Does the 12 percent overhead rate apply to both the applicant organization's in-cash and in-kind contributions?

The 12 percent overhead rate applies only to DFATD's contribution.

Useful information

What does UTC mean and why is it used?

UTC or Coordinated Universal Time is the world time standard. World time zones are defined as positive or negative offsets from UTC. UTC has replaced Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

UTC-5 refers to Eastern Standard Time.