Call for Proposals – Technological Platforms to Strengthen Public Sector Accountability and Citizen Engagement

This call is closed. The deadline for proposal submissions was October 27, 2015.

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Global Affairs Canada is launching the Technological Platforms to Strengthen Public Sector Accountability and Citizen Engagement call for proposals. This call for proposals is valued at up to twenty-five million Canadian dollars (C$25,000,000) over a period of five years. Canadian organizations may submit only one application for this call, either on their own or as the lead organization of a consortium.

The purpose of the Technological Platforms to Strengthen Public Sector Accountability and Citizen Engagement call for proposals is to fund initiatives that will support public sector institutions and civil society in their ability to advance equitable democratic reform, deliver effective and sustainable development results to citizens, improve service delivery, combat corruption, and engage meaningfully with citizens through the use of technological platforms.

The deadline for proposal submissions is October 27, 2015, at 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4). Proposals received after the deadline will not be accepted.

This call is open to initiatives in Official Development Assistance (ODA)-eligible countries. To the extent that the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) ODA-eligible countries are among the top ten on the list of global economies, these countries would be excluded from this call. For more information, please consult World Bank statistics.

Rationale

New science and technology affords key opportunities for Canada to share its expertise and innovative practices with developing countries and citizens to strengthen accountability and transparency, while engaging everyday people in decisions that affect their lives. These tools have the transformative power to put knowledge and information in the hands of citizens more equipped to hold their governments to account, and enable governments and civil society actors to reach people more quickly, widely, and efficiently. This call for proposals will result in projects that bring Canadian experience, technology, expertise, and ideas to strengthen governance and advance democracy in developing countries, leaving them better positioned to address key challenges in an open and participatory way.

Results

All proposals must contribute toward the ultimate outcome and must demonstrate that they contribute toward one or more of the intermediate outcomes:

  • Ultimate Outcome: Increased empowerment of women and men, girls and boys, and marginalized groups, to engage in democratic processes, and enjoy and exercise their human rights.
  • Intermediate Outcome 1: Enhanced equitable and inclusive participation in democratic decision-making processes, especially by women and marginalized groups, through the use of technology in select countries.
  • Intermediate Outcome 2: Increased use of science and technology by people, especially women and marginalized groups, in select countries to hold their governments to account.
  • Intermediate Outcome 3: Increased responsiveness of public institutions to the diverse needs and rights of people, especially women and marginalized groups in select countries, through the use of technology.

A list of mandatory and illustrative indicators is provided further below for reference on the additional information section.

Parameters of the call

  • The requested Global Affairs Canada contribution to an initiative must be between $1 million and $5 million in funding.
  • The applicant organization must have at least two years of experience in managing and delivering international development initiatives including a relevant combination of experience working in the particular sectors of intervention in their proposal or in the developing countries where they plan to work if the proposal is approved. For more information, including the eligibility criteria, please download the Application Form.
  • Initiatives may be between three to five years in duration.
  • Organizations must have at least one or more local partner(s) that have consulted with or assisted in consultations with local beneficiaries and have contributed to the design of the initiative. As evidence, proponent organizations must submit a letter or other documentation from each local partner that confirms their role in planning the initiative and confirms their agreement to implement the project jointly. In addition, organizations must submit the Local Partner Information Form.
  • Organizations must contribute at least 5 percent (in cash) of the total cost of the initiative (without including allowance for overhead). The organization's contribution to the initiative must be entirely from Canadian sources (other than the federal government). Please note that in-kind contributions are not accepted to meet the in cash cost-share requirements.
  • Organizations must submit proposals with activities that align with the ultimate outcome and at least one of the intermediate outcome statements

Important notice for new applicants

  • Applicants must be legally incorporated or otherwise constituted under the provincial, territorial or federal laws in Canada and must meet the minimum eligibility criteria listed on the application form.
  • Applicants that cannot meet the minimum eligibility requirements, but are interested in this call, are encouraged to form a consortium with a Canadian organization that meets the established criteria.
  • Private sector organizations can also submit an application if they meet the eligibility criteria, or they can opt to form a consortium. Organizations cannot generate a profit through the implementation of a Global Affairs Canada-funded project.
  • Applications must be submitted through the Partners@International portal. The first step is to register your organization’s profile. Applicants should allow at least two business days to obtain approval for a new registration. Applicants should contact us promptly if they experience any technical difficulties related to the management of their account. That way, the problem can be resolved before the call for proposals closes. If you would like to check whether your organization already has an account, please email us at partenaires-partners@international.gc.ca.

All proposals must align with Global Affairs Canada's thematic priority of advancing democracy and/or its crosscutting theme of strengthening governance. They should also integrate the Department's other crosscutting themes of environmental sustainability and gender equality throughout.

Only Canadian organizations that meet all of the requirements and eligibility criteria listed on the application form will be considered for the Technological Platforms to Strengthen Public Sector Accountability and Citizen Engagement call for proposals. Canadian organizations that meet all of the eligibility criteria can be the lead partner of a consortium, including with other Canadian or international partners from civil society, academia or the private sector.

Global Affairs Canada's travel advice and advisories must be respected when sending Canadians overseas. Global Affairs Canada reserves the right to withhold funding for initiatives in countries or regions for which there is a travel advisory for Canadians to avoid "all travel" or "all non-essential travel". Please visit the Country travel advice and advisories web page regularly when completing the proposal in order to stay aware of these advisories.

Application assessment 

Global Affairs Canada will review and assess only completed proposals. Failure to meet the eligibility criteria or to provide all requested information will result in the proposal being rejected.

Global Affairs Canada will assess all proposals on a comparative basis against nine assessment criteria explained in detail on Global Affairs Canada’s 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. Organizational ability relevant to the initiative

Global Affairs Canada will also assess the following additional criterion, explained in detail in the application form:

  1. Participatory monitoring

For all initiatives, Global Affairs Canada will first assess merit criteria 1 and 2. Proposals that are considered unacceptable following this assessment will not be given further consideration.

Preference may be given to initiatives that strongly demonstrate how beneficiaries will be involved in the participatory monitoring (criterion 10) of project activities.

Application process

  1. Please read the call for proposals Application Form carefully.
  2. If you experience problems opening the application form, right click on the link, save it on your computer and open it from there.
  3. Create or update your organization profile through the Partners@International portal. Please note that it may take as long as two business days to approve new registration requests. Proponents are encouraged to contact us as soon as possible with any portal‑related issues so that they are resolved well in advance of the call deadline.
  4. 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 to Partners@International. To allow applicants enough time to submit their application before the deadline, we encourage them to upload all of their mandatory documents and begin the proposal submission process in the portal at least two business days before the call deadline. Documents that are not available in an electronic format must be scanned and uploaded to Partners@International. Global Affairs Canada will not accept applications or supporting documentation by mail, email or by fax.
  5. Submit your proposal through the portal by the deadline.

Important notice

Page-limit restrictions are firm and must be respected for the application to be considered: the application form cannot exceed 28 pages in English or 33 pages in French. The page counter at the top of the application form is the true indicator of the number of pages, and it does not include content already in the application from when downloaded by applicants.

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

To ensure transparency and impartiality, Global Affairs Canada will not discuss applications with applicants until all organizations have been notified of the decision regarding their application. However, applicants can submit questions about the call and the application process by email to correspondence.pdi@international.gc.ca. Organizations must submit questions by
October 8, 2015, by 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4). Global Affairs Canada will not answer questions received after that date.

Global Affairs Canada 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 in the Development section of the Global Affairs Canada website, including the Frequently Asked Questions about Applying for Funding and the Frequently Asked Questions for this call, represent the only official interpretation of the application process.

Organizations will be informed of the results once funding decisions have been made. A Global Affairs Canada officer will then contact all successful organizations to discuss the details of the funding agreement. Global Affairs Canada will also send a letter to all unsuccessful organizations to inform them of the decision.

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Timeline

Proposals received after the established deadline of October 27, 2015, 3 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (UTC-4) will not be accepted.

Additional Information

Mandatory and Illustrative Indicators

Ultimate Outcome:

Increased empowerment of women and men, girls and boys, and marginalized groups, to engage in democratic processes, and enjoy and exercise their human rights.

Mandatory Indicator (proponent must use this indicator):

  • Number of people (women and men, girls and boys, and marginalized groups) in select countries that are engaging in democratic processes or enjoying and exercising their human rights.

Illustrative Indicators (examples, proponent can identify others):

  • Perception of equality in participatory processes (e.g. elections, polling, citizen consultations) by women and men, vulnerable people and marginalized groups (e.g. minorities, indigenous peoples, LGBT persons, persons with disabilities, etc.).
  • Effectiveness (on a scale of 1 to 5) of legislation, regulation, policies and strategies designed to promote and protect gender equality and human rights for women and men, and marginalized groups, in select countries.
  • Number of cases in select countries involving corruption allegations that were independently managed, monitored, investigated or reported on.
  • Number of independent, impartial and non-discriminatory adjudicative procedures in select countries.
  • Number of democratic reforms undertaken at national and sub-national levels in select countries that included representative public consultations.
  • Percentage of population (disaggregated by sex) in select countries that has non-discriminatory access to adequate services (e.g. education, health, housing, water and sanitation).
  • Level of accessibility of the law (on a scale of 1 to 5) in select countries, including its clarity, predictability and equal application.
  • Number of civil society organizations supported in select countries that believe their efforts to promote human rights and improved governance systems have influenced the local government.
  • Number of citizens (women and men, and marginalized groups) in select countries that have a legal right to information about government operations and can obtain government documents at a nominal cost.

Intermediate Outcomes

1) Enhanced equitable and inclusive participation in democratic decision-making processes, especially by women and marginalized groups, through the use of technology in select countries.

Mandatory Indicator (for Intermediate Outcome 1):

  • Number of local civil society partners, especially women, participating in democratic decision-making processes through technology. 

Illustrative Indicators (examples, proponent can identify others):

  • Level of capacity (on a scale of 1 to 5) of local civil society partners in select countries to influence laws and regulations that respond to the needs and rights of peoples, especially women, with a focus on marginalized populations.
  • Number of women (and/or marginalized persons) in decision-making positions in national, regional and local decision-making bodies.
  • Number of civil society organizations involved in the oversight of public procurement processes through budget transparency initiatives.

2) Increased use of technology by people, especially women and marginalized groups, in select countries to hold their governments to account.

Mandatory Indicator (for Intermediate Outcome 2):

  • Number of individuals (women and men, girls and boys) among civil society using technology (e.g. social media, open data initiatives, etc.) to influence public policy in ways beneficial to marginalized women and men, girls and boys.

Illustrative Indicators (examples, proponent can identify others):

  • Number of governmental budgets, plans, policies, and audits made available and accessible online to women and men, and marginalized groups.
  • Number of public perception or opinion polls, or quick counts, conducted by civil society in real time and disseminated to citizens, including women and men, youth and marginalized groups.
  • Number of women and men, and marginalized groups, including among civil society and the media, that demonstrate an increased ability to monitor political party compliance of electoral regulations through the use of science and technology.
  • Level of accessibility (on a scale of 1 to 5) of public policy and program expenditure data available to vulnerable and marginalized populations, including women and men.

3) Increased responsiveness of public institutions to the diverse needs and rights of people, especially women and marginalized groups in select countries, through the use of technology.

Mandatory Indicator (for Intermediate Outcome 3):

  • Number of initiatives undertaken by public institutions in select countries to address barriers to access to public data for women and men, and marginalized groups, through the use of technology.

Illustrative Indicators (examples, proponent can identify others):

  • Perception of trust (by women and men, and marginalized groups) toward government institutions as measured by public opinion polls carried out using mobile technology in select countries.
  • Extent to which national statistical organizations in select countries have the capacity to collect and analyze information required to ensure services are responsive to the needs of the most marginalized (e.g. women, girls and boys, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, indigenous communities, etc.).
  • Quality of vital statistics (on a scale of 1 to 5) on women and men, and marginalized groups, registered in an effective civil registry in select countries.
  • Percentage of departmental budgets published through online platforms accessible by women and men, and marginalized groups, in select countries.
  • Number of governmental and non-governmental designated contact persons (focal points), including women and men, and marginalized groups in select countries, demonstrating an increased ability to conduct gender-responsive analysis, reporting and/or budgeting using technological platforms and new communications tools.