How to apply for funding through a call


Since September 1, 2019, to apply for development funding, organizations must have a code of conduct in place to prevent and respond to sexual exploitation and abuse. Find our approach and expectations at: Sexual exploitation and abuse in international development..

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When Global Affairs Canada wants to work with multiple partners to achieve specific results in international development, it launches a call. A call follows a comparative process. The projects that receive funding will be those that represent the best fit for the specific call. This means those initiatives which best:

  • align strategically with the objectives of the call
  • present appropriate technical designs
  • complement, without duplicating, existing programming in the area and sector and other strong ideas submitted through the same call
  • respond to operational requirements and other considerations specific to each call

Submitting an application through a call does not guarantee funding. Due to the numbers of applications received, the majority of applications submitted through a call do not receive funding.

We cannot offer funding on the basis of an initial application. We usually use a two-stage application process. The first step helps to identify the applicants with the best chance of receiving funding if they subsequently submit a strong full proposal. This lowers the effort required to initiate an application for funding.

We do not give applicants detailed feedback on their initial application. Limiting feedback on initial applications enables us to respond to applicants and advance the whole process much more quickly than would otherwise be the case. Feedback may be requested on full proposals.

We do not fund the preparation of full proposals. If an applicant is invited to submit a full proposal, they may accept or decline the invitation. Submitting a full proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding can only be recommended after a full proposal is assessed. If funding is provided, only costs incurred after the signature of a funding agreement are eligible for reimbursement.

Please review and follow the instructions below carefully before applying through a call.

Step-by-step instructions on submitting an application through a call

Step 1: Read the call page to determine:

  • if your organization is eligible
  • if your project meets the requirements of the call

Carefully review the organization eligibility requirements outlined on the call page before investing time in developing an application. Applications submitted by organizations which do not meet the eligibility requirements will not be read.

Carefully review the project  requirements. Applications that do not meet all of these requirements (for example in geographic scope, project value, cost share, or any other specification) will not be read.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to read and comply with the eligibility and project requirements published on the call page.

Step 2: Review available guidance before preparing your application

Global Affairs Canada publishes information on the Funding Guidance page to give all organizations equal access to information they need to meet our requirements.

Also be sure to read “How we assess your proposal” before beginning your application.

Individual calls may require different forms to be submitted before the call close date. Please be sure to use the form(s) specified on the call page for the call to which you are applying. Even if the form is short, remember that we are looking for indications in your application that your project is grounded in best practices, many of which are outlined on the pages attached to the Funding Guidance page.

Step 3: Create a draft “proposal” in Partners@International

The application process for a call must be started by beginning a “proposal” in the Partners@International portal. A “proposal” in the portal is the digital file through which you’ll submit all the information and documents required as part of your application.

If your organization is registered in the Partners@International portal:

  • log in
  • click on "Access Proposals"
  • click on "Create New Proposal"

If your organization is not registered in Partners@International:

Step 4: Check the call-specific Questions and Answers page on a regular basis

  • First, read the call page and any instructions in forms specified, the full application form, and any other tools or pages attached to the call page.
  • Next, read the general Apply for Funding Questions and Answers and the call’s specific Questions and Answers page (linked to the call page).
  • If you still have questions, submit them to the contact point listed on the call page before the deadline for submitting questions. We will not respond to questions received after the deadline.

We publish answers on the call-specific question and answer page to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time.

Please do not submit any questions about your organization’s eligibility or your proposed project. We will not respond to questions that are unique to one organization.

Step 5: Complete all required documents

You must use the forms linked to the call page on the web. We will not read applications using any other template, including the application form for a full proposal.

For technical difficulties, please see Questions and answers—application form technical issues. Please note that only Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat can be used to complete the accessible PDFs published on the call page. Other software may prevent you from validating or submitting your application.

Your application must show a “Validated” label on the front page in order to submit through the Partners@International portal.

To validate the form:

  • click on the “Validate” button on the top right hand corner of the first page
  • correct any errors highlighted
  • click on the “Validate” button again—a “Validated” label should now appear on the top of the form. If you edit the form after validating it, you will have to re-validate it

Please note:

  • the validation function is an automated check to see if mandatory fields contain text or numbers (as appropriate)
  • this function will not check the quality or accuracy of your application
  • please read over your application carefully before submitting it

Important: Individual calls may require additional mandatory documentation at the initial application stage. This will be explained on the call-specific web page.

Remember: it is your responsibility to double-check your documents before submission:

  • Is everything that must be signed, signed by the authorized officer for your organization?
  • Are all dollar amounts in Canadian dollars?
  • Is all content provided in either English or French?
  • Is every point of eligibility listed on the call page demonstrated, or complied with, as specified on the call page?

If your documents do not clearly demonstrate how you meet the eligibility requirements specified on the call page, they will not pass eligibility.

Step 6: Upload the documents to the Partners@International portal

  • be sure to upload all final (completely filled out, signed if necessary) documents to the Partners@International portal
  • properly identify them through the drop-down menu in the portal so that the system can recognize that your application package is complete
  • the portal will block the submission of incomplete application packages

Step 7: Press the “Submit” button on your proposal in Partners@International before the deadline

  • it is your responsibility to submit your application package before the closing date and time of the call
  • after uploading all the required documents, press the “Submit” button on your proposal in Partners@International
  • check that the status of your application has changed from "Draft" to "Submitted". If the submission is successful, you will receive an automated email acknowledging receipt
  • the Partners@International portal will not allow applications to be submitted after the call closes

Submit your completed application package a few days before the stated deadline. This way, you will avoid the possibility of a technical problem or a missing document preventing the submission of your application.

Submissions are only accepted via the portal. If you do not submit a complete application package through the Partners@International portal before the deadline, Global Affairs Canada will not assess your application.

Following a review of your application

We will contact you to let you know whether:

  • your application  was not eligible for consideration under the parameters of the call; or
  • your organization will not be invited to submit a full proposal; or
  • your organization is being invited to submit a full proposal.

We will not provide detailed feedback to applicants who are not invited to submit a full proposal.

The combined value of applications submitted to a call usually far exceeds the funding available. Only a limited number of organizations are invited to submit a full application package.

In order to complete a full application package, applicants will need to undertake further analysis and consultations and develop project management plans. The level of information required is indicated in this sample application form (.pdf, 316.3KB — Help: Opening PDFs on your computer), including the list of additional documents.

Full proposals submitted by the date specified in an invitation letter will be assessed on their own merits, not in comparison with others.

If more funding becomes available, an organization that is not invited to submit a full proposal initially may be contacted at a later date with an invitation to submit a full proposal.

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