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Call for Concept Notes – Education for Refugee and Displaced Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa

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The deadline to submit an application was Wednesday, April 14, 2021, 12 pm Eastern Time (ET)

Global Affairs Canada is launching a call for Canadian organizations entitled “Education for Refugee and Displaced Children and Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa,” valued at approximately $40 million over 5 years. Global Affairs Canada may fund any number of proposals or none, up to the maximum funding available.

This call is part of the department’s campaign ‘Together for Learning’ - Education for refugee, other forcibly-displaced and host community children and youth, which aims to promote quality education and lifelong learning opportunities for refugee, internally displaced and host community children and youth. Global Affairs Canada expects to fund a limited number of projects, valued between $5 million and $20 million each.

You must submit your application through the Partners@International portal before the deadline. Read all instructions on the portal carefully. If you are applying on behalf of a group of organizations that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, please ensure that each organization is registered in the Partners@International portal  and has uploaded all required documents.

We will not accept late submissions. To ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your concept note on time, we strongly suggest that you submit your application at least 3 working days before the deadline of Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at 12 pm ET. Please read all portal instructions carefully.

The submission of a concept note is the first stage of a 2-stage application process. Funding will not be provided on the basis of the concept note alone. At the second stage, we will invite a limited number of proponents that best align with the objectives and parameters of the call to submit a full proposal. Be sure to review the instructions contained in the How to apply for funding through a call web page before beginning your application.


This call is designed to increase access to education for refugee and displaced children and youth. Targeted capacity building, combined with small grants for core activities, locally driven education-related programming and policy engagement, would amplify the voices of refugee and internally displaced people (IDPs) and those of organizations that represent them and are led by them. Through innovative solutions, the call aims to increase access to quality education by providing additional funding for organizations that are best placed to understand the needs of their communities and are on the front lines of providing essential education services for refugees and IDPs. This call will enable dynamic partnerships between Canadian organizations, national organizations, host communities, and refugee-led organizations (RLOs) and IDP-led organizations. It will be an important contributor to the emerging evidence base and global learning on the role of RLOs and IDP-led organizations in directly enhancing education outcomes of refugee and IDP children and youth. Context-specific, locally driven solutions and conflict-sensitive design will be critical in ensuring the use of adaptive and responsive approaches that integrate risk management strategies.

The call has 3 core objectives:

* RLOs and IDP-led organizations are defined as community-based organizations (CBOs), including women-led organizations, working in the education sector that are either founded and/or led by refugees and/or IDPs as decision makers. While some RLOs and IDP-led organizations are officially registered with the host state, others cannot register due to legal barriers. Both registered and non-registered organizations can receive assistance within the context of this call. Organizations must be active in providing protection and assistance to refugees and IDPs, with their activities including but not limited to advice and programs on inclusion, integration, meaningful participation, education, empowerment and self-reliance.

** Grants can be used to fund:

The call aligns with the human dignity, gender equality, and empowerment of women and girls action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Programming should advance gender equality in a fully integrated manner, apply a human-rights based approach, and examine how intersecting identity factors impact access for and inclusion of those most at risk of being left behind, including persons with disabilities, ethnic minority groups, 2SLGBTQI+ populations and other vulnerable groups.

The call also aligns with the Minister of International Development’s mandate letter, which charges the Minister with leading an international campaign to ensure that all refugee and displaced children can get the education they need and deserve, and with Canada’s commitment to the Global Compact on Refugees, including the Compact’s belief that comprehensive refugee responses require a wider set of stakeholders—including refugees themselves—working more actively together to advance durable solutions.

The call supports international assistance programming in the development, humanitarian, and peace and security nexus in order to address the specific learning needs of and vulnerabilities faced by children and youth during and after a crisis. Applicants must include a preliminary gender-responsive conflict analysis in the theory of change that identifies the drivers of conflict, analyzes gender dynamics and the causes of displacement. Applicants are also encouraged to include opportunities for environmental awareness-raising and environmentally sound and climate-resilient practices, where relevant.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that “…we will ensure that by 2021-22 no less than 95 percent of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives will target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Priority will be given to concept notes that demonstrate full integration of gender equality (GE-02) and women’s and girls’ empowerment. Applicants must include gender-based analysis plus (GBA+) that identifies gender equality gaps and ensures that proposed solutions directly respond to the GBA+ analysis, across activities, outputs and outcomes.

Ultimate outcome

Under this call, your proposed project must contribute to the achievement of the ultimate outcome:

Intermediate outcomes

Your proposed project must also contribute to all of the following intermediate outcomes:

Note: You may refine the call’s ultimate and intermediate outcome statements to ensure they are grounded in the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of your project’s who, what and where. Refer to Results-based management for international assistance programming: A how-to guide to ensure that your outcome statements respect Global Affairs Canada’s definition of intermediate and ultimate outcomes.

In support of the theory of change in the concept note application form, please include a separate Logic Model (PDF, 91 KB) that visually depicts the outcome statements down to the immediate results of the theory and reflects the series of changes that are critical to achieving project success.

Additional information

Concept notes submitted under this call should also:

Organization eligibility

To be eligible, you must meet each of the following eligibility screening requirements and, where stipulated, provide supporting documentation. If your organization is submitting a concept note on behalf of a group of organizations that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, each organization (i.e. co-signatory) must meet all of the following requirements and provide documentation:

If you do not fulfill all of the above requirements, your organization is not eligible to apply under this call. We will not pre-assess or comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants.

Required project parameters

Carefully review the following parameters of this call and judge whether your project idea will fit. We will not respond to questions about the eligibility of your project idea. You must be able to answer “yes” to all of the following statements in order for your application to be considered for funding under this call, otherwise it will not be assessed:

Your project may also include:

Required project experience

Your concept note must demonstrate the required experience as described below to be considered under this call. One or more organizations among the signatory partners must provide 2 examples of projects in Section 2.1. of the application form. Project examples from non-signatory partners will not be eligible.

Collectively, the 2 examples must demonstrate the following:

Note: At least 1 of the project examples needs to be in the proposed country/ies of intervention.

Additional guidance

Preference will be given to concept notes that:

How we assess your concept note

Concept notes submitted under this call will first undergo an eligibility check to verify that they meet all organization eligibility requirements and required project parameters identified on this call page.

Next, concept notes will be assessed to ensure that applicants demonstrate the required project experience. Organizations that do not meet the required project experience will not be further assessed. You will be notified if your organization is found to be ineligible or if it does not meet the project experience requirements.

Concept notes that meet these requirements will proceed to merit assessment based on the following assessment criteria:

Rationale for the initiative

Gender equality

Human rights

Environmental sustainability

Managing for results

Responding to risks

Organizational ability relevant to the initiative

After we assess eligible concept notes for merit, we will invite a limited number of organizations whose concept notes align best with the objectives and parameters of the call to submit a full proposal. Selection and funding decisions will be made based on an assessment of a full application package only. An invitation to submit a full proposal is not a guarantee of funding. 

Invited applicants will have approximately 8 weeks to submit a full proposal after they receive an invitation letter from Global Affairs Canada.

Available resources

Before you begin, we encourage you to consult the many online resources that are available to help you develop your application package.

How to submit your application package

In order for your concept note to be considered in this call, you must submit your complete application package to Partners@International by 12 pm ET on Wednesday, April 14, 2021.

Your application package must include all of the following documents:

Accessing and using PDF forms

Use only Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat and Internet Explorer to work on the standardized PDFs to be submitted with your application package. If you use other software, you may not be able to validate the form or submit it, or the data you enter may not appear once submitted to the department, and the application will be considered ineligible.

If you are having difficulty downloading the forms, it is generally due to the type of software you have (or do not have) on your computer. Please read and follow the help instructions. If you have all the correct software installed, download the form to your desktop and open it directly in Adobe Reader; otherwise, other software installed on your computer may try (and fail) to open the form using your default settings.

Questions on using the Partners@International portal

Please read and follow all the instructions for using the Partners@International portal (linked on the right side menu). Do not open multiple windows within the portal as this may cause technical problems.

Do not try to register or submit at the last minute

It may take up to 10 business days to register your organization. If you encounter technical difficulties while trying to register or submit a concept note, send an email to

Note: During the last 2 weeks before a call closes, the service standard for replying to your enquiry is 3 business days. Technical support for the portal is only available Monday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm ET.


A webcast took place on March 16, 2021 to go over key information of this call. You can request a copy at The webcast is available in French and English. It will be available until we close the call on April 14, 2021.

Other questions

If you still have questions about this call after reading the general questions and answers about applying for funding, please send them to by 12 pm ET on March 24, 2021. We will not respond to questions received after this deadline or to questions on specific organizational circumstances or specific project concept notes. Applicants who submit questions will not receive emails with responses to their questions. Instead, answers will only appear on the questions and answers page for this call. This is to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time.

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