Small and medium organizations for impact and innovation
The Government of Canada is dedicating $123 million to a pilot initiative targeted at Canadian small and medium organizations (SMOs). This initiative seeks to engage Canadian SMOs in international assistance efforts in areas consistent with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
This pilot initiative is a direct response to feedback we received during the International assistance review consultations to provide predictable opportunities for Canadian SMOs to apply for funding. It seeks to diversify Global Affairs Canada’s (GAC’s) partnerships and enhance the impacts of our international assistance investments.
The initiative has three programming windows:
- The Development Impact Window funds thematic programming by SMOs through calls for proposals on international development projects.
GAC received a high number of applications to the first call in this window, launched in November 2017, demonstrating Canadian SMOs’ significant interest in and commitment to international development. GAC approved 21 projects for funding in the Development Impact Window, spanning 18 countries, to implement high impact, innovative and sustainable development projects to reduce poverty, vulnerability and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world.
The second call under this window launched in May 2019 and used a 2-stage process, starting with a concept note, in response to feedback from applicants to the first call regarding the level of effort. Seventeen projects, spanning 15 countries, were approved for funding and will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of the initiative.
A third call for concept notes was launched in June 2021. The deadline for submitting concept notes was September 22, 2021.
- The Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) supports the testing of new or improved innovative solutions to global development challenges aligned with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy in ways that are more effective than existing approaches. FIT provides successful applicants with $150,000 to $250,000 over 6 to 15 months to test their solutions in partnership with local organizations, giving organizations an opportunity to gather evidence, adapt and improve. The multi-year fund aims to support 50 to 70 innovations tested by Canadian SMOs. Details of funding criteria and funded projects are available on the FIT website.
- The Spur Change program, a 5-year capacity-building and knowledge-sharing initiative, provides support for Canadian SMOs in the planning, implementation and monitoring of development projects. The program is implemented by the Alberta Council for Global Cooperation in collaboration with the other provincial and regional Canadian councils. The project’s activities aim to:
- increase the effectiveness of SMOs in delivering sustainable results that support the Feminist International Assistance Policy and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals;
- increase the engagement of Canadians, particularly young people, as global citizens in support of the policy and the goals; and
- foster knowledge-sharing between Canadians SMOs and their local partners.
All these windows seek to have an impact and generate evidence, knowledge and learning.
For more information, contact the Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch at SMO.PMO@international.gc.ca.
- The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- International assistance review
- Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
- Canada announces support to small and medium organizations for innovative projects
- 2019 Call for concept notes (Development Impact Window): Canadian Small and Medium Organizations for Impact and Innovation
- Webinar transcript: Designing a better system for SMOs—Lessons learned from the (2017) call for preliminary proposals for small and medium organizations for impact and innovation
- How to apply for funding through a call
- Spur Change resource library
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