Questions and Answers – 2019 call for concept notes - Development Impact Window - Canadian Small and Medium Organizations for Impact and Innovation
This web page includes questions from potential applicants and answers from Global Affairs Canada regarding the 2019 Call for Concept notes – Development Impact Window - Canadian Small and Medium Organizations for Impact and Innovation. This web page is not a substitute for the guidance on the application process contained on the web page of this call for concept notes, the Partners@International portal and the application form.
Please note that Global Affairs Canada may re-draft questions from applicants in order to protect their identities, as well as to ensure that the questions and answers are broadly applicable to all applicants.
Please note that the deadline for submitting questions regarding this call for concept notes is Friday, June 14, 2019 12 p.m. (noon) ET. Answers to questions received before this deadline will be posted below.
Application Process and Eligibility
Is the $2-million limit for overseas expenditures based on 2018 expenditures or on a multi-year period? (June 11, 2019)
To calculate whether its consolidated revenue and overseas expenditures are below the maximum thresholds for this call, an applicant should take into account only the most recent completed fiscal year (i.e. the fiscal year ending in March 2019 or December 2018, depending on the fiscal-year schedule of the organization).
Our audited statements do not show a level of detail necessary to determine the exact destination of our project support. Would a supplementary report to our audited statement that clearly shows the actual amounts sent overseas be acceptable? (June 11, 2019)
Although we request financial statements, organizations are only required to attest that they meet these criteria on the SMO attestation form at this stage of the process. Further information will be requested of the organizations invited to submit a full proposal.
Should applicants include expenditures related to humanitarian or emergency relief in their calculations of overseas expenditures to determine if they are eligible as a small and medium organization for this call? (June 11, 2019)
Yes. Applicants should include humanitarian or emergency relief expenditures in their calculation of their annual overseas expenditures in development assistance to determine if they are eligible under this call.
Is any type of organization (for-profit company, NGO or any other type of organization) eligible to apply as long as it meets the definition of small or medium organization on the call page? (June 11, 2019)
Yes. All types of organizations are eligible under this call as long as they meet the organization eligibility requirements listed on the call page. As stated on the call page, any proposed project must not generate a profit for the applicant or any other implementing organization in the project.
Do we have to submit documents such as equality policies, management policies, etc. if we had already submitted them as part of the 2017 call? (June 11, 2019)
It is always appropriate to have up-to-date documents in your organization's profile in the partner portal. At this stage of the process, only the concept note, the SMO attestation and the financial statements are requested. Additional information will be requested of the organizations invited to the second stage of the call.
Does the limit of one concept note per applicant apply at the university level? Could several faculties/departments/institutes within the same university each submit a concept note under this call? (June 14, 2019)
Several faculties/departments/institutes within the same educational institution could each submit a concept note under this call depending on the circumstance of the educational institution. Each applicant must be a Canadian Small and Medium Organization (SMO) as per the requirements of this call (i.e. in the case of educational institutions, annual overseas expenditures in development assistance cannot be higher than $2 million). If a faculty/department/institute has an autonomous budget within a university, then the SMO status attestation is at the level of the faculty/department/institute. However, if the university’s budget is centralized, the attestation must be done at the university level, which will limit the number of concept notes that can be submitted by the university to one.
Are all Canadian universities eligible to apply to this call? (June 14, 2019)
Yes. They can apply if they meet the eligibility requirements of this call.
Can applicants submit an application to both the Innovation and Transformation call for concept notes implemented by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC) and this call for concept notes? (June 14, 2019)
Yes. Both calls are distinct, and you can submit a concept note to both calls. Please visit the website of the Manitoba Council for International Council for more information on the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT).
Are references and/or citations required in the concept note? Is there a preferred style or formatting? (June 14, 2019)
No. We have no preference on how you write your concept note and citations are not mandatory.
What does the proposal number mean in the attestation form? (June 14, 2019)
A number will be automatically assigned to your application once you start to create a proposal in the Partners@International portal. This is the proposal number requested in the attestation form.
How does Global Affairs Canada define innovation? (June 14, 2019)
Innovative solutions may include new or improved business models, partnerships, approaches, policy practices, technologies, behavioural insights or ways of delivering products and services that support the increased agency of the most marginalized populations, particularly women and girls, for greater impact.
Is there a submission deadline for the call for concepts under the Innovation Window? (June 14, 2019)
Please visit the website of the Manitoba Council for International Council for more information on the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT).
Are we required to submit a budget with our concept note? (June 14, 2019)
No. A project budget will only be asked for and evaluated at the second step of this process. In other words, you will only be required to submit a budget if you are invited to submit a full proposal.
Can an SMO partner with another organization that does not meet the definition of an SMO? (June 17, 2019)
Yes. An SMO may partner with another organization as a collaborating partner but all signatories to the financial agreement with Global Affairs Canada must meet all organization eligibility criteria.
Is it mandatory for an organization to partner with another organization, or can one organization submit a concept note on its own? (June 17, 2019)
It is not mandatory to partner with another organization to submit an application.
What countries are eligible under this call? (June 17, 2019)
This call is open to countries eligible for official development assistance.
Does previous funding from Global Affairs Canada decrease an organization’s chances of being selected under this call? (June 21, 2019)
No. To be considered under this call, organizations must meet the requirements for eligibility and the project parameters.
Do local partners or local service providers that will be involved in the project need to meet the eligibility criteria? (June 21, 2019)
No. Only the lead signatory and co-signatories need to meet the eligibility criteria.
Are organizations required to submit additional information with their concept notes (such as letters of support from local partners or country annexes)? (June 20, 2019)
No. Only the documents requested on the call page in the “How to submit your application package” section will be accepted at this stage of the process.
Are audited financial statements mandatory? (June 21, 2019)
Audited statements are preferred. If this is not possible, statements must be signed by a member of the board of directors or delegate or by the owners.
Even though a logic model is not required in the concept note, is it expected that outcome statements be included in the theory of change? (June 21, 2019)
Yes. Please see section 1.3 (expected outcomes and theory of change) in the application form.
In the event that an employee of the organization is acting in the role of chief financial officer, financial director or president, can they still sign the attestation form? (June 21, 2019)
Is there any time limit for previous project examples? For example, do projects need to have been implemented within the last 10 years? (June 27, 2019)
For this call, there is no time limit on the previous project examples you must provide. The past project example should demonstrate: significant and relevant technical experience; success in delivering results; and the ability, expertise and experience to carry out a project of the proposed size and nature.
Do all co-signatories need to be legally incorporated in Canada? (June 27, 2019)
Yes. Each co-signatory must meet all of the organization eligibility requirements of this call.
Does the project example provided in section 2.0 (“relevant project experience”) in the concept note need to be in the same country as the proposed project? (June 27, 2019)
No. Your project example should demonstrate how, in the past, your organization has met requirements similar to those of your proposed project. The experience does not need to have taken place in the same country of your proposed project.
Is it permitted for a non-profit organization to partner with a for-profit organization under this call? (June 27, 2019)
Yes. For-profit organizations are eligible as long as they meet the organization eligibility requirements. However, proposed projects are not permitted to generate a profit for the applicants or for any other implementing organization involved in the project.
How do we confirm that the country we want to work in is eligible for official development assistance? (June 27, 2019)
Please check that the country your project will take place in is included in the Development Assistance Committee’s List of Official Development Assistance Recipients (effective as of January 1, 2018). The link to this page is provided on the call page under “Geographic alignment” in the “Required project parameters” section. All official development assistance recipient countries identified on that list are eligible under this call.
Are individuals permitted to submit a concept note to this call? (June 27, 2019)
Being legally incorporated in Canada is one of the organization eligibility requirements for this call. Please note that Global Affairs Canada cannot pre-assess or comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants and that it is the responsibility of applicants to ensure that they meet all of the eligibility requirements.
Are applicants required to provide detailed budgets with exact costing at this point of the application process? (June 27, 2019)
At the concept note stage, a detailed budget is not required. Organizations that are invited to submit a full proposal will be asked at that time to provide a budget table with cost details. While exact costing is not expected at the time of application (as budgets often require adjustments over time), it is expected that the first version of the detailed budget provided to Global Affairs Canada will provide solid financial information, and that if the project is approved, there will be only limited adjustments made to that budget.
We are the lead signatory and plan on submitting a concept note with a co-signatory. Do we need to submit the required documents of our co-signatory under our profile in the portal or does our co-signatory need to register in the portal and submit these documents on their own? (June 27, 2019)
The lead signatory and any co-signatories must be registered in the portal. Co-signatories must submit all required organization documents under their portal profile (in other words, a letter of incorporation and two separate financial statements, but not the attestation form). All proposal documents (in other words, the complete and validated concept note and all signed organization attestation forms from the lead signatory and all co-signatories) must be submitted by the lead signatory only.
Do we need to use result numbers in our theory of change? (June 27, 2019)
No. It is not necessary to numerically identify outcomes; however, it is also not prohibited.
The call requires that organizations have a sexual exploitation and abuse code of conduct in place by September 1, 2019. Our organization has a policy on workplace violence, harassment and discrimination prevention. Is this code of conduct adequate? Does a separate and specific sexual exploitation and abuse code of conduct need to be in place? (June 27, 2019)
The requirement for a code of conduct on sexual exploitation and abuse is outlined in section 22.6 of the General Terms and Conditions. It is up to organizations and their boards to determine what constitutes their code of conduct.
In the context of educational institutions, how does Global Affairs Canada define an autonomous budget? (June 27, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada can only sign funding agreements with legal entities. In this call, only one application can be submitted from any legal entity as a signatory. In the context of universities, unless a faculty or institute has a separate legal identity from the rest of the university (which would include having an autonomous budget), only one application can be submitted per university.
Our organization is less than two years old and therefore does not have two separate financial statements for the most recent years. Are we still eligible? (June 27, 2019)
In order to meet eligibility requirements for this call, your organization (or any implementing partner that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, should one be offered) must provide two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years. Audited statements are preferred. If audited statements are not possible, statements must be signed by a member of the board of directors or delegate or by the owners.
Can we use the financial statements of our local partner even if they are not based in Canada? (June 27, 2019)
If we partner with the local entity of a global non-governmental organization, can we submit their organizational profile to meet eligibility requirements? (June 27, 2019)
Applicants must meet all of the organization eligibility requirements to be considered under this call, which includes being legally incorporated in Canada. Applications that do not meet all organization eligibility requirements and required project parameters will not proceed to merit assessment.
In section 2.0 (relevant project experience), can an applicant provide an example in which they managed a component of a project for which another organization was the signatory on the financial agreement and responsible for the overall management of the project? (June 27, 2019)
No. For this call, the applicant must provide only its own experience. This means that the example must be a project for which it was the signatory on the financial agreement and responsible for the overall management. If there are additional proposed signatories, the experience may be provided by any proposed signatory.
Can the relevant past project experience be provided either by project partners (such as independent local or Canadian contractors) who will be working on the project or by individuals (staff or consultants) who will be working on the project? (June 27, 2019)
No. The project experience example must be provided by the SMO signatory or co-signatory.
Are corporate partners eligible sources of cost-share contributions? (June 27, 2019)
Yes. The cost-share contribution can be provided by the recipient or by other sources, including other civil society organizations, other donors or international organizations, other country governments, regional institutions or the private sector. Please refer to the Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements.
Is the total value of funding requested from Global Affairs Canada (minimum $500,000 and maximum $2 million) for each signatory, or is it a cumulative amount for all signatories for each proposal or agreement? (June 27, 2019)
The total value of funding requested from Global Affairs Canada must be at least $500,000 and not more than $2 million. This is the cumulative amount for all signatories for each proposal or agreement. Global Affairs Canada will sign only one financial agreement for each project selected for funding. Under a financial agreement for which there is more than one signatory, signatories are responsible for determining the amount that will be managed by each organization.
Is there a preference to fund single-country over multi-country projects? (June 14, 2019)
No. There is no preference for single-country or multi-country projects. However, keep in mind that projects must take place in countries eligible for official development assistance and that preference may be given to projects in sub-Saharan Africa.
Would a higher than 5% cost share be beneficial to get the projects selected and approved? (June 14, 2019)
You need to contribute a minimum of 5% total eligible direct project costs. As indicated on the How we assess your proposal webpage, all other things being equal, preference will be given to proposals that:.
- demonstrate innovation
- offer a higher percentage of cost share
- demonstrate financial support from other organizations, including private sector sources, to amplify the impact of potential funding from Global Affairs Canada for development results.
What is the advantage of our overseas partner signing on as a co-signatory? (June 14, 2019)
Co-signatories are neither required nor preferred by Global Affairs Canada. Co-signatories must meet all eligibility requirements, including being incorporated in Canada.
How must the 5% partner contributions be made in terms of in kind vs. in cash? (June 17, 2019)
Your contribution can be made in cash and/or in kind in accordance with Global Affairs Canada’s Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements.
Is the $10-million revenue cap a hard cap? Are organizations that exceed that threshold ineligible to apply? (June 17, 2019)
Yes. In order to be eligible for this call, an SMO cannot have consolidated revenue of more than $10 million for the last completed (most recent) fiscal year.
If our annual overseas expenditures exceeding $2 million in development assistance exceed $2 million only due to Global Affairs Canada funding, which will end next year, are we eligible to apply? (June 17, 2019)
The calculation for overseas expenditures is based on the organization’s most recent completed fiscal year. This includes Global Affairs Canada funding.
Must the minimum amount requested be $500,000? (June 17, 2019)
Yes. The amount of Global Affairs Canada funding requested must be between $500,000 and $2 million.
Does our local partner have to meet the same financial eligibility requirements for SMOs? (June 17, 2019)
No. Only the Canadian signatory (ies) must meet the financial eligibility requirements.
Could the same organization submit two different concept notes to this call (i.e., in two different countries and under two different themes)? (June 21, 2019)
No. You may submit only one application under this call (either on your own or with other Canadian small and medium organizations.
Are there guidelines for what are considered eligible direct project expenses? Are salaries for incremental project employees or time allocated from an existing employee of the organization an eligible project expense? (June 20, 2019)
As a general rule, to be eligible for reimbursement, project costs must be reasonable and must be directly and clearly related to the project. Please see the Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives for more information on eligible cost elements such as remuneration (salaries) and reimbursable costs.
Will this call provide funding to projects that support international sport for development? (June 20, 2019)
This call will support projects that contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. Proposed projects must align with at least one of the action areas outlined in the policy.
If an applicant has annual overseas expenditures exceeding $2 million in development assistance in the most recent fiscal year, but is spending less in the current fiscal year or anticipates spending less when the proposed project becomes operational, are they still eligible to apply? (June 20, 2019)
For the purposes of deciding whether an organization meets the definition of an SMO, the calculation of consolidated revenues and overseas expenditures is based on the most recent completed fiscal year.
Is a non-signatory partner in a project that was successful in the 2017 Call for Canadian Small and Medium Organizations eligible to apply to this call for concepts? (June 20, 2019)
Each organization that would sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada must meet all eligibility criteria. This includes not being a signatory to a financial agreement with Global Affairs Canada for a project selected in the 2017 call.
Can an organization that was approved for funding under the 2017 Call for Canadian Small and Medium Organizations participate as an advisor or service provider on a concept note? (June 20, 2019)
Any signatories to a funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada must meet all eligibility criteria. As a result, an organization would not be permitted to be a lead signatory or a co-signatory to funding agreements with Global Affairs Canada under both the 2017 call and this call for concept notes.
Can an organization be a signatory partner in one application and a collaborating organization (non-signatory) in another? (June 20, 2019)
Yes. The eligibility criteria limit one application per organization as the lead signatory or a co-signatory.
In the definition of an SMO, what classifies as “overseas expenditures”? Does this refer to all expenditures to administer the project in a developing country, including those incurred in Canada (or in another non-official development assistance country), such as salaries, subcontractor fees or supplies? (June 20, 2019)
No. In the context of this call, the $2-million limit applies only to all “annual overseas expenditures” incurred abroad in development assistance projects.
Does the $2-million limit for overseas expenditures in development assistance to be eligible under this call also apply to educational institutions? (June 20, 2019)
Yes, it applies to all applicants including educational institutions. Applicants that have more than $2 million in expenditures in international development assistance are not eligible under this call.
Should an educational institution determine if it is eligible under this call by calculating the overseas expenses in development assistance of the faculty/department/institute writing the concept note or by calculating the expenses of the university as a whole? (June 20, 2019)
If the faculty/department/institute applying has an autonomous budget within the university, then the financial statements of the autonomous faculty/department/institute should be used to determine eligibility. If the university’s budget is centralized, the small and medium organization (SMO) attestation must be done at that level, and the university's financial statements must be used to determine eligibility. The person signing the SMO attestation must be responsible for the budget of either the faculty/department/institute that is submitting the application or the university as a whole.
Can an organization submit two concept notes for different projects with different consortiums? (June 21, 2019)
No. You may submit only one application under this call as the lead signatory or co-signatory. If your organization submits more than one application, either on your own or as a co-signatory, we will only consider the one with the earliest submission time stamp.
If the lead applicant’’s financial status changes after the submission of the concept note (for example, more than $2 million in overseas expenditures in development assistance), will they be ineligible because they no longer qualify as an SMO? (June 27, 2019)
No. The calculation of consolidated revenue and overseas expenditures are based on the most recent completed fiscal year at the time of submission.
Which two financial statements are you requesting? (June 27, 2019)
You are asked to provide two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years. For example, the most recent fiscal year may have ended in March 2019 or December 2018, depending on the fiscal year schedule of your organization. This would be considered one financial statement. Using the same example fiscal years, the second financial statement would be for the fiscal year ending in March 2018 or December 2017. Please remember that you are asked to provide two separate financial statements. Audited statements are preferred. If audited statements are not possible, statements must be signed by a member of the board of directors or delegate or by the owners.
Are we required to have the cost share in place at the concept note stage? (June 27, 2019)
At this stage of the application process, you are asked to commit in the SMO attestation form to ensuring that a minimum of 5% of the total eligible direct project costs are provided through cost share over the life of the project.
Can Global Affairs Canada provide guidance on what it considers to be an appropriate ratio of an organization’s total revenue to the size of the proposed project budget? (June 27, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada does not have a simple numerical formula to assess the financial viability of an organization’s proposal. We take many factors into account in our assessment. However, it is an excellent practice to do this kind of calculation for your own organization before applying for funding. Carefully consider your organization’s capacity to manage a project of the size that you are proposing. If the proposed project would put a financial strain on your organization, you may wish to consider partnering with another organization or reducing the size of the project you are proposing.
Are start-up funds for beneficiaries of the project considered eligible project costs? (June 27, 2019)
Start-up funds can take many different forms, and Global Affairs Canada is not permitted to pre-assess the eligibility or merit of any specific project ideas. The design of this call for concept notes allows applicants to propose a broad range of project ideas as long as they align with at least one of the action areas outlined in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and meet all of the required project parameters listed on the call page. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure their organization and project idea are eligible under the requirements of this call.
Can an organization fund a program being implemented by a local organization (that is not a signatory to the agreement with Global Affairs Canada) as part of their project? (June 27, 2019)
This will depend on the nature of the local program and the proposed project idea. Please consider that eligible direct project costs must be reasonable and must be directly and clearly related to the project. Direct project costs must also be supported by appropriate documentation. Finally, remember that an eligible direct cost cannot be an indirect cost. Please refer to the Overhead Compensation Policy for Contribution Agreements for more information.
Can Global Affairs Canada funding be used to cover the costs of replacement teaching? (June 27, 2019)
No. Replacement teaching time costs are not considered an eligible direct cost to the project.
What qualifies as an ‘in-kind’ contribution from the organization? (June 27, 2019)
Please refer to the Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements.
Are costs such as tuition fees or living expenses for vulnerable girls in secondary school or university in target countries considered eligible project expenses? (June 27, 2019)
Please see section 2 (ineligible cost elements) of the Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives for a list of some costs that are considered ineligible. As a general rule, to be eligible for reimbursement, costs must be reasonable and must be directly and clearly related to the achievement of expected project results.
Can the salaries of applicant staff (either full or partial salaries) be used to meet the organization cost-share requirement? (June 27, 2019)
No. The non-remunerated time of an organization’’s personnel cannot be used to meet the organization cost-share requirement. In terms of non-remunerated time, an in-kind contribution can only be provided by a third party. Non-remunerated time can only be considered an in-kind contribution if that time is donated by another organization that is not a signatory to the agreement with Global Affairs Canada and does not receive compensation from the organization that signs the financial agreement.
Can the 12% overhead compensation rate be used by the organization to meet its cost-share requirement? (June 27, 2019)
How is the criteria "Ability relevant to the initiative" evaluated? Should the project experience be of the same monetary value as the proposed project? (June 17, 2019)
The experience provided in the current or past project example should demonstrate the applicant’s relevant experience and success delivering results in a project of similar scope and size to the proposed project.
Does any type of construction require experience with Global Affairs Canada or other multilateral funding agencies – e.g. construction of a school and/or dormitory? (June 17, 2019)
Yes. According to the call requirement under “Additional guidance”.
How do you differentiate between co-signatory and collaborating partner? (June 17, 2019)
Signatories and co-signatories are the organizations that will sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada.
Can we include in our application an international partner whose role would be to provide technical assistance? (June 17, 2019)
You may. Only signatories to the financial agreement with Global Affairs Canada must meet eligibility criteria.
How will the preference for proposals in sub-Saharan Africa affect multi-country proposals? (June 17, 2019)
Approximately 75% of funding from this call will be allocated to projects that include activities that take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
Can the relevant project experience be from a project implemented by a non-signatory partner, such as a local partner? (June 17, 2019)
No. The project experience example must be provided by the signatory or co-signatory.
Is there an average number of intermediate outcomes you expect to see in the concept note? (June 20, 2019)
The recommended minimum number of intermediate outcomes is two, and the maximum is three. For more information, please consult the Results-based management for international assistance programming: A how-to guide
For construction projects, if the experience resides with our foreign partner, is that acceptable? (June 21, 2019)
No. The requirement for recent experience in construction, refurbishment or water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure activities must be met by the lead organization or one of the signatories.
Can the local implementing partner be registered in a sub-Saharan African country outside of the country where the project is focused? (June 21, 2019)
Yes. At this stage of the application process, you are only asked to identify non-signatory partners if known. However, if you are invited to submit a full proposal, your organization’s ability relevant to the initiative will be assessed. This includes your organization’s ability, expertise and experience to carry out the project and to work with the government, institutions and organizations in the targeted country or countries.
Should organizations explicitly address human rights implications in their concept notes? (June 27, 2019)
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy commits us to providing international assistance that is human rights-based and inclusive. This means that all people must enjoy the same fundamental human rights regardless of any aspect of identity.
For Canada’s international assistance to be human rights-based and inclusive, all initiatives should seek to advance human rights, regardless of the action area or sector of focus.
A human rights-based approach to international assistance is a tool that uses the international human rights framework to help countries meet their human rights obligations and assist people in knowing their human rights and the processes available to claim them. In doing so, it seeks to achieve equitable and sustainable results.
For guidance, please visit Global Affairs Canada’s web page on advancing human rights through development programming.
Are proposed projects required to include innovative solutions? (June 27, 2019)
This call seeks projects that will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, which seeks to reduce poverty and vulnerability and build a more peaceful, inclusive and prosperous world. While innovation is encouraged in this call, it is not mandatory. The merit assessment criteria that will be used to assess concept notes are outlined on the call page.
Can applicants dedicate a portion of their project to public engagement activities for Canadians? (June 27, 2019)
No. Public engagement activities for Canadians are not eligible under this call.
Will this call for concepts notes provide funding for innovation testing or scale-up? (June 27, 2019)
No. However, the Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) will invest in 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. Please visit the website of the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation for more information.
Do organizations led by sub-Saharan Africans, holding an international mandate as well as currently supporting projects in sub-Saharan Africa, have a higher chance of receiving funding? (June 27, 2019)
The merit assessment criteria that will be used to assess concept notes are listed on the call page in the “How we assess your concept note” section. No other assessment criteria will be used.
Under this call, will priority be given to projects in what Global Affairs Canada used to call “priority countries”? (June 27, 2019)
Proposed projects must take place in official development assistance-eligible countries. Please note that we will give preference to projects that include activities that take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
Are projects allowed to generate ‘revenue’ as long as it is non-profit revenue? For example, can the project use the ‘revenue’ to fund other project activities? (June 27, 2019)
No. Under this call for concept notes, proposed projects are not permitted to generate a profit or revenue for any of the implementing organizations in the project. This includes any profits or revenues that would be reinvested in the project or any other project.
Can we use acronyms in our concept note? (June 27, 2019)
Acronyms can be used, but they must be clearly described the first time they are mentioned in your concept note.
There is no dedicated section on responding to risks in the application form, but our concept notes will be assessed on this criterion. Can you clarify how we should outline our response to risks? (June 27, 2019)
Risk response and mitigation measures to reduce the likelihood and the impact of risks should be briefly articulated in the appropriate sections, including the “Theory of change” section and the “Environmental risks and opportunities” section. Some risk responses will be directly integrated into project design choices; these should be noted as well.
When do the final activities of the proposed project need to be completed? (June 27, 2019)
Proposed projects may last from a minimum of three years to up to a maximum of five years from the time the project becomes operational. All project activities must be completed within that time.
Can we propose a project that iterates and scales up a concept and intervention that was previously piloted? (June 27, 2019)
Yes, as long as the proposed project meets the required project parameters listed on the call page.
Is the project expected to achieve the same deliverables across the full five years of programming? (June 27, 2019)
Applicants invited to submit a full application package will need to undertake further analysis and consultations to develop a project logic model and performance measurement plan, which will provide greater detail on expected results. However, in the concept note application form, you are asked to outline the project’s ultimate and intermediate outcomes as well as to explain how the activities or outputs will lead to the immediate outcomes and how the immediate outcomes will lead to the intermediate outcomes. For more information on designing and sequencing project outcomes, please see Results-Based Management for International Assistance Programming at Global Affairs Canada: A How-to Guide.
What level of detail does the theory of change need to provide for activities up to intermediate outcomes, given the page limit of the concept note? (June 27, 2019)
The level of detail should be comprehensive enough to adequately describe the project’s theory of change, but concise enough to capture the key details within the page limitations. If the activities of the project are not obvious from the outputs, include information detailing the activities that will lead to the outputs. Do not include sub-activities. Please see Tip Sheet 2.1: Results Chains and Definitions.
Would projects that include a social enterprise element meet the required not-for-profit project parameter? (June 27, 2019)
There is no restriction on the type of organization that may apply to this call (e.g., social enterprises, for-profit companies) as long as they meet the organization eligibility requirements. However, proposed projects are not permitted to generate a profit for the applicant or any other implementing organization in the project. The applicant is responsible for determining if their proposed project meets the ‘not-for-profit ’parameter requirement, which will be verified by Global Affairs Canada.
Can Global Affairs Canada provide more information on what it considers as construction, refurbishment or water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure activities? Would this include activities designed to build capacity in water management? (June 27, 2019)
Capacity building activities to strengthen water management (such as trainings or technical assistance) would not be considered a “construction, refurbishment or WASH infrastructure activity”. However, any activity related to building or strengthening infrastructure related to irrigation, such as installing or refurbishing irrigation systems, would fall under this category and would require the applicant to complete section 8 of the SMO attestation form.
Should organizations explicitly address environmental implications in their concept notes even if the project is not an environmental initiative? (June 27, 2019)
It is important that you demonstrate that you have considered the environmental sustainability of your project, including environmental impacts and opportunities.
Does Global Affairs Canada have a limit on expenditures incurred in Canada for the preparation of the overseas project implementation? (June 27, 2019)
It is the responsibility of the organization to design their project in light of the local context, nature and scope of programming in a way that will best support the achievement of results. Applicants who are invited to submit a full proposal (which will include a project budget table) will be assessed on how well their budget reflects a cost-effective approach to project implementation, and how well it reflects realistic costs of carrying out the planned work. It is important to remember that any costs incurred prior to the signature of a financial agreement with Global Affairs Canada are not considered eligible project costs and will not be reimbursed.
Does the project have to fit into one of the designated sectors that are considered to have negligible environmental risk? (June 27, 2019)
No. If your proposed project does not fit into one of the designated sectors, then you must provide additional information on potential environmental risks or opportunities in section 1.3 of the concept note form.
We are having problems accessing the concept note form and the attestation form available on the call page. Are there more detailed instructions on how to open these forms? (June 11, 2019)
For optimal access to the concept note form and attestation form, use Internet Explorer. This will ensure that the PDF forms open in Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat. Some web browsers, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge, do not open PDF files in Adobe. If you use other software, you may not be able to load, validate or submit the form, or the data you enter may not appear once submitted to the department, and the application will be considered ineligible.
If you have issues accessing the PDF forms directly from the call page, please read and follow the instructions in the Help page under Opening PDF applications on our website and Opening PDFs on your computer. These instructions will allow you to download the form to your computer and open it using the correct Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat software
You must always use Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat to work on the PDF forms to be submitted with your application package. Global Affairs Canada’s PDF forms must be opened using Adobe Reader 10 or higher. The latest version of Adobe Reader can be downloaded free from the Adobe website. It is available for Windows and Mac computers
What is the maximum number of pages allowed in the concept note form? (June 11, 2019)
The content of completed applications must not exceed five pages in English and six pages in French. The page counter at the top of the form counts characters to calculate the page count of the content you enter in the form.
Other than the 75% allocation of funds for projects in sub-Saharan Africa, are there other regional allocations or priorities? (June 14, 2019)
No. There are no other geographic priorities. All countries must be those that are official development assistance-eligible countries.
What is the definition of a small and medium organization (SMO)? Can an organization be considered too small to apply for funding? (June 14, 2019)
The definition of an SMO is provided on the call page in the organization eligibility section. There is no minimum threshold in this definition.
Are proposals for projects in geographic areas or on topics that have been approved in previous calls less competitive? (June 14, 2019)
No. This call seeks concept notes that will contribute to the objectives of the Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. All action areas are considered under this call and encouraged.
How many words are permitted per page in the concept note? (June 14, 2019)
The form has the functionality to count characters and assign a page count based on the number of characters. If you are unsure of how many pages your concept note is, you can always hit the “Validate” button at the top of the form to give you a sense of whether or not you have reached the five-page limit in English or the six-page limit in French.
When will applicants be notified if they will be invited to submit a full proposal? (June 14, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada anticipates inviting a small number of organizations to submit a full proposal in fall 2019.
When will implementation of the selected projects begin? (June 14, 2019)
Several factors influence the start dates of projects, such as the volume of proposals that the department must assess and the time required to negotiate funding arrangements with prospective partners. Global Affairs Canada hopes to negotiate funding arrangements with successful applicants under this call in the 2020 to 2021 fiscal year.
Is a handwritten signature required for the attestation form? (June 17, 2019)
Can you give us a few examples of projects funded by the SMO initiative in the past? (June 17, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada announced 21 projects selected in the first call in May 2019. They are available on the SMO Initiative page and the “Results from past calls” page. You may visit the Project Browser to search projects funded by Global Affairs Canada.
Should we complete a local partner form? (June 17, 2019)
No. The local partner form is not required at this stage.
Is there guidance about the expected length of the concept note’s individual sections? (June 17, 2019)
You are responsible to decide how you draft your concept note.
Can an organization submit more than one proposal? (June 17, 2019)
No. To be eligible, an organization can submit only one application to this call.
If an organization has already registered in the portal in the past, do they need to re-register for this call? (June 20, 2019)
No. An organization does not need to re-register for this call. However, the organization should ensure that all of their information and contacts are accurate and up to date.
Where can we find the concept note application form if our profile is not complete in the portal? (June 20, 2019)
You can access the application form from the link on the call page, under “How to submit your application package.”
Can Global Affairs Canada provide any advice or technical assistance to organizations on the development of concept notes? (June 21, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada will not comment on the eligibility or merit of concept notes. We strongly encourage you to consult the “Available Resources” section of the call page for guidance.
Will this call give priority to any of the action areas in the Feminist International Assistance Policy? Do all projects need to cover the core action area (gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls)? (June 21, 2019)
Not all proposed projects need to align with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy’s core action area. However, all proposed projects must align with at least one of the action areas outlined in the policy. The call will not give priority to any particular action area. However, it will give priority to concept notes that show strong potential to meet the requirement of targeting or fully integrating gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
How many projects does Global Affairs Canada expect to fund through this call? (June 21, 2019)
The total amount of funding available under this call is up to $36 million. Global Affairs Canada may fund any number of proposals or none, up to the maximum funding available.
Is there an advantage for organizations who focus on innovation and development in value chains that have a connection to and possible benefit (direct and indirect) to Canada? (June 27, 2019)
No. This call seeks projects that will contribute to the achievement of the objectives of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy. The list of merit criteria that will be used to assess concept notes is available on the call page.
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