2022 call for concept notes—Indigenous Peoples Partnering for Climate
This funding opportunity process is now closed. The deadline for submitting a concept note was February 8, 2023.
This call for concept notes is part of Canada’s $5.3 billion international climate finance commitment. Within the $5.3 billion, $315 million has been allocated to the Partnering for Climate initiative, which aims to leverage the climate action expertise and commitment of organizations in Canada. Of the $315 million, $15 million has been earmarked over 5 years to fund projects that support climate action priorities of Indigenous PeoplesFootnote 1.
Indigenous leadership and knowledge are essential to address climate change: Indigenous Peoples have unique cultures and ways of relating to people and the environment. This call emphasizes the importance of Indigenous climate leadership and seeks to foster partnerships between Indigenous Peoples that build the climate resilience of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries.
This call for concept notes is for overarching projects led by Indigenous organizations in Canada, non-Indigenous organizations in Canada with strong connections with Indigenous Peoples in Canada, and/or partnerships between the 2 kinds of organization.
You must submit your concept note by Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 12 pm (noon) ET.
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 a concept note. At the second stage, we will invite a limited number of organizations to submit a full proposal. Global Affairs Canada (GAC) may fund 1 to 3 proposals or none, up to the maximum funding available ($15 million).
A working group with representatives from the Assembly of First Nations, Inuit Circumpolar Council Canada, Métis National Council, and Global Affairs Canada designed this call.
Be sure to:
- Review the Guide to preparing concept notes for detailed information on what to include in your concept note.
- Review additional instructions in How to apply for funding through a call before beginning your application
- Check the Questions and answers for this call
- Take advantage of the webinars planned for this call for concept notes, as explained below
This call is designed to improve the climate resilience of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries. The aim is to support the Indigenous climate leadership of Indigenous organizations in Canada and/or non-Indigenous organizations in Canada that have strong connections with Indigenous Peoples in Canada.
The selected overarching project(s) will have various components, including sub-granting, capacity building, monitoring, reporting, and overall governance (see Image 1). The sub-granting component will result in funding for climate action partnership projects designed and implemented by Indigenous Peoples in Canada in partnership with Indigenous Peoples in developing countries. The partnership projects will also need to align with the international climate finance outcomes described below.
Note: This call seeks concept notes for overarching projects only. It is not seeking concept notes for partnership projects between Indigenous organizations in Canada and in developing countries. The partnership projects will be funded through the subsequent sub-granting component of the overarching project(s) selected through this call.
This call will select 1 to 3 overarching projects. These projects will be responsible for the following components:
- Monitoring, evaluation, research and learning
- Project management
- Capacity building
Partnership projects(s) will be funded through a sub-granting component of the overarching project(s) and take place in developing countries. Indigenous Peoples in developing countries and in Canada will co-lead these partnership projects.
- Your proposed overarching project aligns with Canada’s International Climate Finance Program Logic Model (Annex 1) at all levels of outcomes related to nature-based solutions and biodiversity and aims to achieve the following ultimate outcome:
- improved climate resilience of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries
See Results-based management (RBM) for international assistance programming: A how-to guide to ensure that your outcome statements respect results-based management principles. Note: The Indigenous-led partnership projects as part of the sub-granting component will also have to support the climate adaptation priorities of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries and align with the Climate Finance Program Logic Model.
- Your proposed overarching project aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. These constitute the minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world.
- Your proposed overarching project aligns with climate finance objectives:
- supports climate change adaptation (see Project Coding - Policy Markers). Note: preference may be given to overarching projects that include biodiversity as an additional objective.
- integrates gender equality at least partially, i.e. at least 1 outcome results in a change in skills, awareness, or knowledge that contributes to gender equality. Note: preference may be given to overarching projects that fully integrate or target gender quality (see Gender equality coding requirements).
- contributes to at least 2 of the 5 climate finance policy objectives (see climate finance policy objectives).
To be eligible, your organization (and any co-signatories) must demonstrate how it meets each of the following eligibility criteria and, where stipulated, must provide supporting documentation. If your organization is submitting a concept note on behalf of a group of organizations that would all sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, each organization (i.e. co-signatory) must meet all of the following requirements and provide documentation:
- Your organization is an Indigenous organization in Canada. Your organization must provide supporting documentation regarding its history, governance structure, and/or ownership.
Your organization is a non-Indigenous organization in Canada that has strong connections with Indigenous organizations in Canada and experience working with First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis.
Strong connections may refer to close relationships, common interests, partnerships and/or collaborative work.
- Applicable to non-Indigenous organizations: You are submitting 1 or more letter(s) of support from Indigenous organizations and/or First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis (and, if applicable, from Indigenous Peoples in developing countries) that demonstrate strong connections (close relationship, common interests, partnerships and/or collaborative work). The letter(s) must provide such information as the nature of the relationships/partnerships, the length of time and context that you worked together, and the results achieved.
- Your organization has the required experience to implement the proposed overarching project.
- Your organization is legally incorporated in Canada with a Canada Revenue Agency business number. Your organization must have an office, employees, and/or board of directors in Canada.
- You are submitting only 1 application under this call as a signatory. Your organization may also participate as a non-signatory partner on 1 concept note or multiple concept notes from other applicants. Note: If your organization submits more than 1 application as signatory under this call, we will only consider the application with the earliest submission time-stamp.
- You are registered in the Partners@International portal.
- Indigenous self-determination—Organizations must demonstrate how they respect and integrate Indigenous self-determination in their work and clearly prioritize Indigenous leadership, capacity and partnership building, and co-learning.
- Indigenous climate leadership—Organizations must demonstrate how they recognize and support the locally driven climate priorities and perspectives of Indigenous Peoples in developing countries. Where possible, the project should indicate how the proposed project links to First Nation, Inuit and/or the Métis Nation climate priorities (see Canada’s Partnership with Indigenous Peoples on Climate).
- Indigenous perspectives on climate adaptation—Organizations must demonstrate how they integrate and understand Indigenous Peoples knowledge systems and perspectives on environment, climate change, and self-determined climate adaptation strategies.
Required project parameters
Carefully review the parameters of this call to determine whether your concept note is well aligned with these parameters. Your concept note must comply with all of the following statements, otherwise it will not be assessed:
- Alignment: Your proposed overarching project aligns with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. This includes minimum standards for the survival, dignity and well-being of the Indigenous Peoples of the world.
- Value: You are requesting Global Affairs Canada funding of at least $5 million and no more than $15 million for your overarching project, with at least 65% of funding dedicated to partnership projects through sub-granting.
- Duration:Your overarching project will last for up to 60 months (5 years).
- Alignment with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy:Your overarching project aligns with action area 4 (Environment and climate action) of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Note: your project can also align with other action areas. See Feminist International Assistance Gender Equality Toolkit for Projects and Action Area Policy: Environment and Climate Action Policy.
- Geographic alignment:Through sub-granting, your overarching project supports Indigenous partnership projects that are co-led by Indigenous organizations in Canada and in developing countries and that take place in 1 or more official development assistance-eligible countries.
- Not-for-profit project: Your overarching project and sub-granted partnership projects will not generate profit directly or indirectly for you or any other implementing organization involved in the project. See section 15 of the Terms and Conditions of the International Development Assistance Program.
- Language:Your application package documents are complete and presented in either English or French or a combination of these 2 languages.
Cost share (optional): Where feasible, organizations (and co-signatories) are encouraged to contribute to the overarching project costs in cash and/or in-kind. See Global Affairs Canada’s Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements.
How we assess your concept note
Note: If multiple signatories submit the concept note, the experience and technical capacity criteria will be assessed collectively for all signatory organizations. However, financial capacity will only be assessed based on the lead signatory. The lead signatory is the organization that submits the concept note.
Concept note application packages will undergo a screening to verify that all required documentation has been submitted related to organization eligibility, and that required project parameters identified on this call page are met.
Concept notes that are screened in will undergo a merit assessment based on the following criteria:
Rationale for the overarching project
The following criteria will be used to assess the description of the context and issues to be addressed:
- The description of the rationale for the overarching project demonstrates the applicant’s understanding of the challenges Indigenous Peoples face and their priorities as they relate to climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability. The applicant identifies areas of alignment, where possible, to the climate priorities of First Nations, Inuit and/or the Métis Nation. The applicant describes Indigenous perspectives on climate adaptation.
- The concept note demonstrates an understanding of the gender and human rights challenges that Indigenous Peoples in developing countries face. It outlines how gender equality, particularly as it relates to Indigenous Peoples, will be promoted in the overarching project and the sub-granted partnership projects.
- The proposed overarching project is in line with the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA), the Partnering for Climate initiative, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- The concept note cites sources and evidence.
The following criteria will be used to assess the solution, i.e. the proposed means of solving the development challenge:
- The proposed approach describes the manner in which it will integrate human rights outcomes that are in line with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- The proposed solution is in line with the Climate Finance eligibility criteria around climate change adaptation and gender equality, Climate Finance program level outcomes around nature-based solutions and biodiversity, and the Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Note: preference may be given to concept notes that provide biodiversity co-benefits.
- Gender equality is at least partially integrated.
- The proposed solution demonstrates an understanding of Indigenous Peoples perspectives, including regarding climate change adaptation, nature-based solutions, and environmental sustainability.
- The overarching project design is realistic and logical.
- The results statements are clear; they show how change will occur. See International Assistance Programming at Global Affairs Canada: A How-to Guide.
- The concept note demonstrates how the project will integrate the views of Indigenous Peoples, particularly Indigenous women and girls. See Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+).
- The concept note shows how gender equality results can be achieved.
- The concept note identifies risks, assumptions, and opportunities.
Note: preference may be given to approaches that use innovation processes/methods or implement a novel, improved approach.
The following criteria will be used to assess the capacity of your organization, and that of co-signatories if applicable, to implement the overarching project.
The applicant cites experience:
- working with Indigenous Peoples and respecting Indigenous knowledge systems, perspectives and priorities as informed by the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
- managing and delivering projects and achieving results in Canada and/or in developing countries.
Note: preference may be given to applicants demonstrating experience managing project(s) related to environment and climate action.
- achieving environmental sustainability, gender equality, and/or human rights outcomes through similar projects, particularly those involving Indigenous Peoples.
- establishing participatory governance and/or project selection structures.
- managing sub-grants.
- building and maintaining partnerships with Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous women-led organizations and/or Indigenous women leaders.
- providing capacity and partnership-building support and knowledge sharing opportunities.
- working in the climate change and/or environment sectors (technical and/or operational).
Note: preference may be given to organizations that have worked in a developing country.
Once the merit assessment is complete, GAC will send a letter to applicants indicating whether or not they are invited to submit a full proposal.
How to apply
- Review the Guide to preparing concept notes for detailed information on what to include in your concept note.
- Review additional instructions in “How to apply for funding through a call”.
- Check the Questions and answers for this call often for the latest updates and answers to questions.
- Follow the Partners@International portal instructions carefully; register your organization immediately if you have not already done so.
You must submit your concept note through the Partners@International portal by Wednesday, February 8, 2023, 12 pm (noon) ET.
Note: late submissions will not be accepted or considered. We recommend beginning to upload documents at least 3 business days before the deadline to ensure that you can request support if needed and technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting on time.
If you are applying with other organizations that will co-sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, ensure that each organization has
- registered in the portal
- uploaded all of the required documents
What to submit
Submit the following mandatory documents:
- Concept Note
- Annex 1: Complete a preliminary logic model that builds from the ultimate outcome provided. Include intermediate and immediate results. Follow the Results-Based Management Guide and use the Logic model template (PDF, 2 pages, 90 KB).
- Annex 2: (applicable only to non-Indigenous organizations) 1 or more letter(s) of support from Indigenous organizations and/or First Nations, Inuit and/or Métis (and, if applicable, from Indigenous Peoples in developing countries) that demonstrate strong connections (close relationship, common interests, partnerships and/or collaborative work). The letter(s) must provide such information as the nature of the relationships/partnerships, the length of time and context that you worked together, and the results achieved.
- Annex 3: Financial statements for each each co-signatory for the 2 most recent fiscal years. Audited statements are preferred; if the audited statements are not available, the financial statements must be signed by a member of the board of directors of each signatory, by the board’s delegate, or by the owner(s). Note: financial statements usually provide comparative information from the previous year, therefore these statements will be used to do a 3-year trend analysis.
- Annex 4: (applicable to Indigenous organizations) Supporting documentation regarding the history, governance structure, and/or ownership of the Indigenous organization.
Global Affairs Canada will not reimburse any costs associated with the preparation or submission of the concept note application in response to this call. All costs are the sole responsibility of your organization.
GAC reserves the right to amend or cancel the process of application and assessment.
Submitting an application does not guarantee funding even if the application meets all of GAC’s criteria for assessment. Your application will be reviewed based on merit and assessed according to the criteria described in the previous section “How we assess your concept note”.
The amount of funding available can fluctuate and may therefore result in less funding than requested. When provided, funding will be in the form of a grant or a contribution, the terms and conditions of which will be set out in a separate funding agreement. Any financial assistance that may be provided will be subject to the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat’s Policy and Directive on Transfer Payments and other applicable legislation.
Subject to all applicable laws and policies, should your organization’s submitted application not receive funding, the content of the application will not be shared with a third party or put to use. The information collected in this application will be used and may be disclosed only for the purposes of assessing the merits of your organization’s application. As part of the assessment process, the information may be shared with external consultants, review committee, and/or officials in other departments.
Using the Partners@International portal
Follow the instructions for using the Partners@International portal. Links are on the right-side menu. Do not open multiple windows within the portal as this may cause technical problems.
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, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
On November 25th, 2022 a webinar reviewed information about this call page and the application form.
A recording of the webinar is now available.
Questions specific to this call
If you still have questions about this call after reading the general questions and answers about applying for funding and/or attending the webinars, send them to Indigenous-Dev-Autochtones@international.gc.ca by 12 pm ET on January 11, 2023.
We will not respond to questions received after this deadline or to questions on specific organizational circumstances or specific project concept notes.
We will not respond to individual applicants who submit questions; instead, we will post answers on the Questions and answers for this call. This ensures that all applicants have equal access to the same information.
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