Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health: Call for Proposals

Call is now closed. The deadline for proposal submissions was January 15, 2015.


Please note that the following is an amendment to the existing eligibility criteria:

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 with the private sector.

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) is launching a Partnerships for Strengthening Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (PSMNCH) call for proposals, with a total value up to $370 million. This call follows Canada’s strategy Saving Every Woman, Every Child: Within Arm’s Reach announced by the Prime Minister in May 2014. The PSMNCH call is in line with DFATD’s priority theme of Securing the Future of Children and Youth, specifically Maternal, Newborn and Child Health. Initiatives may be for a maximum duration of five years and must be completed by March 31, 2020. Canadian organizations may submit only one application for this call, either on their own or as the lead organization of a consortium.

The deadline for proposal submissions was January 15, 2015.

This call is designed to fund initiatives that contribute to progress on the issue of maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) and are in line with one or more of the four following paths:

  • Strengthening health systems to improve appropriate health service access and delivery at the local level by training more health workers and facilitating access for mothers and children to necessary health care facilities and interventions. For example, activities that improve access to antenatal care, skilled attendants present at childbirth, newborn survival, postpartum care, sexual and reproductive health care, and health education.
  • Reducing the burden of diseases that are killing mothers and children by increasing the coverage of interventions proven to address the main causes of death in mothers, newborns and children. For example, activities that contribute to the prevention, management and treatment of pneumonia, diarrhea, malaria and HIV/AIDS.
  • Improving nutrition by increasing access to healthy and nutritious food and nutritional supplements aimed at reducing mortality, especially among newborns. For example, activities that support nutrition, nutrition education and breastfeeding; improve consumption practices and community-level food security; and increase the provision of micronutrients.
  • Ensuring accountability for results to improve transparency and the quality of statistics and information made available to the public. For example, by supporting the strengthening of national civil registration and vital statistics systems, and disseminating timely and relevant data for planning and decision making.

This call has two streams: initiatives seeking less than $19 million, and initiatives seeking more than $20 million.

  • The first stream, less than $19 million, has a total budget of up to $100 million and will fund initiatives seeking between $1 million and $19 million in funding. The applicant organization must show that it has at least two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives.
  • The second stream, more than $20 million, has a total budget of up to $270 million and will fund initiatives seeking over $20 million in funding. The applicant organization must show that it has at least five years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives related to maternal, newborn and child health in developing countries.

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.

Only Canadian organizations that meet all eligibility criteria and every requirement indicated in the application form will be considered for the PSMNCH call for proposals.  Canadian organizations that meet all the eligibility criteria may lead a consortium, for example with other Canadian or international partners from civil society, academia and/or the private sector.

We encourage organizations with less than two years’ experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives to work in consortiums with more experienced organizations. Please consult the Canadian Network for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health’s list of programmatic partners to access a list of organizations to potentially partner with. This list is not exhaustive, and interested applicants may wish to consider working with organizations with more than two years’ experience for Stream 1 or with organizations with at least five years’ experience with MNCH for Stream 2.

Initiatives must be located in one or more countries eligible for this call as identified in Section G of the application form.

DFATD’s travel advice and advisories must be respected when Canadians are sent abroad. DFATD reserves the right to withhold all funding when it has issued an “Avoid All Travel” or “Avoid Non-Essential Travel” country or regional advisory to Canadians. Please keep this in mind and check the DFATD website regularly when preparing the application.

All initiatives (Stream 1 and 2) must also integrate DFATD’s three crosscutting themes: environmental sustainability, gender equality and governance.

Organizations must allocate resources for monitoring and evaluation against the indicators identified in the application form and those specific to the proposed initiative. A separate and itemized budget line item for monitoring and evaluation must be included under the appropriate Eligible Budget Categories in the application form.

Initiatives may allocate up to 10 percent of total direct program costs for public engagement activities in Canada. The purpose of this optional component would be to encourage Canadians to develop a deeper understanding of maternal, newborn and child health issues.

Assessment of applications

DFATD will review and assess only completed proposals. Failure to meet the eligibility criteria or to provide all requested information will result in rejection of the proposal.

DFATD will assess all proposals on a comparative basis against nine assessment criteria, explained in detail on the DFATD website:

  1. Rationale for the initiative
  2. Managing for results and responding to risks
  3. Initiative plan
  4. Environmental sustainability
  5. Gender equality
  6. Governance
  7. Sustainability of results
  8. Financial information
  9. Organization ability relevant to the initiative

DFATD will also assess the following additional criterion, as applicable; further details are available on the application form:

  1. Monitoring and evaluation

For all initiatives (Stream 1 and 2), DFATD will apply an initial merit screening against criteria 1 and 2 only. Proposals deemed unacceptable will not proceed for further review.

For all initiatives (Stream 1 and 2), preference may be given to proposals which demonstrate strong sustainability of results (Criteria 7).  For Stream 2 only, preference may be given to proposals which demonstrate strong monitoring and evaluation (Criteria 10).

Application process

  1. Please read the call for proposals application form carefully.
  2. Create or update your organization profile through Partners@International.
  3. Upload the completed application form and all of the mandatory documents listed in the Eligibility Requirements section of the application form to your organization profile on Partners@International. Documents that are not available in an electronic format must be scanned and uploaded to Partners@International. Please note that DFATD will not accept applications or supporting documentation by mail, email or fax.
  4. Submit your proposal by the deadline.

If a Canadian organization does not press Submit after uploading its application form and supporting documents, the proposal will be deemed a draft and will not be assessed.

To ensure transparency and fairness, DFATD will not discuss applications with applicants until all organizations have been notified of decisions regarding their application. However, applicants can submit questions about the application process by email to Organizations must submit questions by the enquiry closing date of December 23, 2014. DFATD will not answer inquiries received after that date.

DFATD will acknowledge the receipt of questions within one business day and will post all pertinent questions and answers about the call for proposals on its public website. Information posted on DFATD’s calls for proposals website, including the frequently asked questions about applying for funding and the frequently asked questions for this call, represents the only official interpretation of the application process.

Applicants will be advised of the results of the proposal assessment process once funding decisions have been made. A DFATD officer will then contact the successful applicants to discuss details regarding the funding agreement. DFATD will send a letter to all unsuccessful applicants to inform them of the decision.

Software for using online forms

To download, view, and complete forms, you will need Adobe Acrobat Reader version 9.1 or later.


Proposals received after the deadline, January 15, 2015, 3:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5) will not be accepted.

After submission of your proposal, you will receive an email confirming that your proposal has been received. If you do not receive a confirmation email, your proposal will not be considered received.