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Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana

The deadline to submit a preliminary proposal under the call for preliminary proposals: Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana was June 6, 2018. This call is now closed. Organizations that did not pass the eligibility check have been notified. The initial merit assessment of eligible preliminary proposals has been completed and invitations to submit a full proposal have been sent to a limited number of organizations considering the funds available for this call.

You must submit your preliminary proposal for this call through the Partners@International portal before the deadline. We will not accept any late submissions. Please read the portal instructions carefully and plan to submit your application at least three days before the closing date to ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your proposal by 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on June 6, 2018.

The total amount of funding available under the Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana call for preliminary proposals is $30 million over five years. We may fund any number of proposals, or none, up to the maximum funding available.

The submission of a preliminary proposal is the first stage of a two-stage application process. Funding cannot be provided on the basis of a preliminary proposal. Be sure to review the instructions in How to apply for funding through a call for preliminary proposals before beginning your application.


Under this call, your preliminary proposal must contribute to the achievement of this ultimate outcome: Enhanced economic empowerment, well-being and inclusive economic growth for women in Ghana.

Your preliminary proposal must also contribute to at least one of the following intermediate outcomes:

You must not alter any of these outcome statements.

Your preliminary proposal must document the ways in which your project would: 1) address root causes of gender inequality; and, 2) incorporate innovation.  Should you be invited to the second stage of proposal submission, your application will need to include indicators at the intermediate level to measure: 1) the changes in power dynamics between men and women related to the root causes of gender inequality; and, 2) the effectiveness of innovative solutions.

Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that: “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.” Under this call, all preliminary proposals must target gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment in their design.


By “economic empowerment”, Global Affairs Canada means increasing skills and access to productive resources, improving the enabling and institutional environments, and assisting women in their ability to make and act upon decisions in order to benefit from economic growth and development.

By “enabling environment”, Global Affairs Canada means the institutional framework, including laws and the policies and operations of a country’s formal institutions, which impact women’s participation in the economy. The enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment may include, but is not limited to, laws, policies and institutional structures that determine women’s access to and control over economic resources and opportunities such as property and land rights, financial services, technology and innovation, education, technical and vocational training, decent employment and jobs, marketing and trade facilities.

By “decent work,” Global Affairs Canada aligns with the International Labour Organization’s assertion that decent and productive employment for women means opportunities that allow for economic empowerment and advancement of women in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity by taking measures to combat discrimination and to promote equal access and opportunities.

By “root causes of gender inequality”, Global Affairs Canada means the underlying social and cultural factors that limit women’s ability to interact with and benefit from the economy. These may include, but are not limited to, unpaid and inequitably distributed domestic and care work, stereotypes, discriminatory norms and attitudes, and the prevalence of sexual and gender-based violence.

By “innovation”, Global Affairs Canada means any solution that has the potential to address development challenges more effectively and/or more efficiently than existing approaches. In the context of this call, innovation may include, but is not limited to, new business models, partnerships, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights, ways of delivering products and services, advocacy and outreach, and/or new ways of engaging men and boys that benefit and empower women and girls.

Organization eligibility

Carefully review the following eligibility screening requirements that we will use on submitted application packages for this call. We will not comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants. To be eligible, you must be able to respond “yes” to each requirement below and, where stipulated, provide supporting documentation:

If you are unable to respond “yes” to the above applicable requirements, your organization is not eligible to apply under this call.

Required Project Parameters

Carefully review the 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 evaluate if your project idea fits within these parameters. 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:

If your proposed project does not conform to the above statements, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.

Additional Guidance

Preference will be given to preliminary proposals that include a Ghanaian partner. Where the Ghanaian organization is not the lead applicant, information about the local partner must be included in the Local Partners – Information form.

You may only submit one application under this call as the lead implementing organization (i.e., as the sole signatory with Global Affairs Canada). If an organization submits more than one application under this call as lead applicant, we will only consider the one with the earliest submission time stamp. Please note, however, that an organization may participate in other applications as a non-signatory partner on another lead applicant’s proposal.

Available resources

There are a number of resources available online to help you develop your application package. We strongly encourage you to read all of the following tools and guidance before beginning your application process. Failure to meet the mandatory requirements, minimum standards and deadlines detailed therein will result in your application package not being considered for funding.

How to submit your preliminary proposal application package

If your organization is not already registered in the Partners@International portal of Global Affairs Canada, be sure to do so as soon as possible, as it can take 10 or more business days to process your registration request.

To be considered in this call, you must submit your complete application package to Partners@International by 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on June 6, 2018.

Your preliminary proposal application package must include all of the following documents:

As explained in the How to apply through a call for preliminary proposals, submitting your preliminary proposal is just the first step in the application process. After we review your preliminary proposal, we may invite you to submit a full application package. Submission of a full proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding decisions will only be made based on the merit assessment of a full proposal.

As noted above, plan to submit your application at least three days before the closing date to ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your proposal by 12 p.m. (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on June 6, 2018. We cannot guarantee that we will be able to provide you with technical support to use the portal if we receive a high volume of requests for assistance in the last 24 hours before the deadline above.

Questions on using the Partners@International portal

Please read and follow all the instructions for using the Partners@International portal. 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 registering or trying to submit a proposal, send an email to: Please note that: during the last two weeks before a call closes, the service standard for replying to your enquiry is three (3) business days. Technical support for the portal is only available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT, Monday to Friday.

Accessing and using PDF forms

Use only Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat to work on the standardized PDFs to be submitted with your application package. If you use other software, 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 preliminary proposal form, it is generally due to software issues 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 specific to this call

For general information about how to apply for funding, please consult the Questions and answers about applying for funding.

If you have questions specific to this call, please send them to by 12:00 pm (noon) Eastern Daylight Time on Tuesday, May 15, 2018. We will not respond to questions received after this deadline, or questions on specific organizational circumstances or on specific project proposals. Please note that all answers to the questions will be posted on the Innovation for Women’s Economic Empowerment in Ghana Questions and Answers page to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time. Please note that we will not send answers directly to applicants.

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