Questions and Answers – Call for Proposals – Volunteer Cooperation Program
This web page includes questions from potential applicants and answers from Global Affairs Canada regarding the Call for Proposals: Volunteer Cooperation Program. This web page is not a substitute for the guidance on the application process contained on the web page of this call, 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 proposals is Wednesday, January 16, 2019 12 p.m. (noon) ET. Answers to questions received before this deadline will be posted below.
Application Process and Eligibility
Does the limit of one proposal per applicant apply at the university level? Could several faculties/departments/institutes within the same university each submit a proposal under this call? (January 8th, 2019)
Only one application can be submitted from any organization legally incorporated in Canada . In the case of universities, unless a faculty or institute has a separate legal identity from the university only one application can be submitted.
Can an organization submit one application as an applicant and another as a partner or consortium member? (January 8th, 2019)
No. Your organization may submit only one application under this call.
Can a local organization be in more than one proposal and give more than one letter of collaboration? (January 8th, 2019)
Yes. However, the programme aims to increase the performance of several partners in developing countries.
We understand that the proposal must be written in either English or French. Is it possible to submit the proposal in one language, and include Country Annexes in the other language? (January 8th, 2019)
What are the eligible countries for this call for preliminary proposals? (January 8th, 2019)
To view the list of eligible countries for this call in the Partners@International portal, applicants must have an Organization Profile account registered in the portal. Organizations that do not yet have such an account are required to follow the instructions provided on the call page and application form and to do so as quickly as possible. Once they are logged into their Partners@International account, applicants must create a proposal via the Access Proposal section of their Organization Profile. While in the Proposal view in the portal, applicants have the option to view all eligible countries in the country drop-down menu.
For this specific call, when do applicants expect to know the results? (January 8th, 2019)
As described in the call page, applications to this call will first undergo an eligibility check to verify that they meet all organization eligibility requirements and required project parameters listed on this page. Next, eligible applications will be assessed to ensure that the required project experience has been demonstrated. Applications that meet this requirement will proceed to merit assessment. Applications that do not meet the required project experience will not be further assessed. You will be notified if your application is found to be ineligible or does not meet the required project experience. We cannot provide any specific timelines on when this information will be shared with applicants.
Can developing countries be a consortium partner? (January 14, 2019)
Applicants (including all signatories in the case of consortiums) must be legally incorporated organizations in Canada and registered on the Partners@International portal. Developing-country government institutions may be among the local partners and beneficiaries of the proposed project, but cannot sign agreements with Global Affairs Canada under the call.
The project you are proposing must be implemented in one or more countries eligible for official development assistance. The list of eligible countries is available on the Partners@International portal.
Can Global Affairs Canada provide information on preferred eligible countries? (February 6, 2019)
Your proposed project will take place in only one or more official development assistance-eligible countries. A list of these countries is available on the Partners@International portal. Preference may be given to proposals that include activities that take place in sub-Saharan Africa; While the geographic scope of each initiative is open, Global Affairs Canada aims to allocate at least 50% of the program’s funds to sub-Saharan Africa. As per section 4 of the Organization Attestation, funding must not knowingly be used, either directly or indirectly, in a manner that contravenes Canada’s economic sanctions and export and import controls regimes. Such information is available on the Types of sanctions and Export and Import Controls pages.
Can a project that started more than 10 years ago, but ended in 2010, be considered as an example of projects required in section 5.1 of the form? (February 6, 2019)
The applicant must provide no more than two examples of recent projects (less than 10 years ago) that collectively must demonstrate a minimum of three years in recruiting and sending a relevant number of volunteers to developing countries. For this call, an example of a project that ended in 2010 would be considered as representing two years of experience acquired over the last 10 years.
Is it mandatory to provide all country annex forms and proof of partnerships letters when submitting an application? What can we do if we cannot identify the partners and countries to which we plan to send volunteers at this time? (February 6, 2019)
Yes. Each applicant must answer all project parameters, including 1) letters attesting to your partnership with each developing country partner organization, indicating that there is a need for this initiative and that each organization has agreed to work together to implement the initiative; and that volunteers placed through the Volunteer Cooperation Program will not replace regularly staffed positions within the developing country partner organization, and 2) a country annex form for every country in which the applicant has activities.
What type of organization is eligible to apply for this call? (February 13, 2019)
Applicants (including all signatories in the case of consortiums) must be legally incorporated organizations in Canada and registered on the Partners@International portal.
The application form does not include an Output and Activities Matrix. Are these still required? If so, what is the required format? (February 13, 2019)
No. Applicants are not required to include an Activities Matrix in the proposal.
Can the 10% of Global Affairs Canada's contribution allocated to Canadian public engagement activities be used to fund human resources working on engagement? (January 8th, 2019)
According to the guide for the preparation of the budget, the eligible costs for the remuneration of the organization's employees must appear under budget line 1.1. The usual budget lines should be used for public engagement activities.
It remains the organization's responsibility to be able to demonstrate upon request (verification or other) that the 10% limit is not exceeded. For mobilization activities, up to 10% of Global Affairs Canada's contribution to the direct costs of the budget may be set aside. These mobilization activities must be aimed at raising public awareness, disseminating knowledge and strengthening networks in Canada. These engagement activities should encourage Canadians to work to better understand international development issues and take action to make a difference. Activities NOT eligible for funding include:
- annual general meetings
- partisan political or lobbying activities
- activities that take place outside Canada
Are virtual volunteers eligible in terms of accounting for in-kind contributions from submitting organizations? (January 8th, 2019)
Yes, virtual or remote volunteers are eligible in terms of accounting for the organization's in-kind contributions. To be eligible, this voluntary time must be essential to the completion of the project and verifiable, i.e. supported by documents such as time sheets and Terms of reference.
Are virtual volunteers eligible for overhead costs? (January 8th, 2019)
No. According to the guide for budget preparation and budget template, section 1.7.3, costs for virtual or remote volunteers are not eligible for overhead costs.
The call for proposals states that “Global Affairs Canada aims to allocate at least 50% of the program funds to sub-Saharan Africa.” Does this mean that 50% of the direct costs of the program budget must be allocated to sub-Saharan Africa? (January 14, 2019)
No. The geographical scope of each initiative (project proposal) is open. Global Affairs Canada aims to allocate at least 50% of the program funds (VCP) to sub-Saharan Africa. Preference can therefore be given to proposals that include activities that take place in sub-Saharan Africa.
Is volunteer time acceptable as a cost-share contribution? (January 14, 2019)
Yes. Volunteer time in the field can be considered in calculating the organization’s contribution. Organizations can indicate the value of volunteers’ time in the field on line 1.5.8 of the budget.
Are special thematic funds eligible for overhead costs? (January 14, 2019)
Yes. Special thematic funds are eligible for overhead costs; however, the eligibility of the proposed expenditures for these funds will be verified during the negotiation of agreements for projects that are selected/approved.
Should the preliminary budget estimate reflect the total cost of the project or only the first year of operation? (January 14, 2019)
The budget must reflect the cost of the total duration of the project: seven years.
Should the 10% engagement-activities budget include the activities linked to the support and monitoring of the returned volunteers’ active participation in Canada’s international development efforts, or should these costs be attributed to the volunteer continuum budget (from recruitment to beyond return)? (January 25, 2019)
The administrative costs for monitoring the returning volunteers are included in the overhead costs. Specific direct costs to support returning volunteers in carrying out activities to raise awareness and mobilize Canadians on international development issues should be included in the maximum budget of 10%. Specific direct costs to support returning volunteers in carrying out activities to raise awareness and mobilize Canadians on international development issues should be included in the maximum budget of 10%.
If consultants are hired in the next Volunteer Cooperation Program project, are there specific requirements or restrictions applicable to subcontracts? (January 25, 2019)
Project funds for subcontractors are not to exceed 20% of the total Global Affairs Canada contribution. Please refer to Section 10.1 of the General Terms and Conditions for Contribution Agreements to find information on subcontracts and sub-agreements.
Can incidentals and meal expenses under the travel directive be combined and included in the eligible expenses of the budget template to calculate volunteers’ monthly allowances? (January 25, 2019)
Yes, Travel Directive incidentals can be included as eligible expenses and can be grouped with meal expenses. Please note, in the column “Details/Comments,” that the budgeted amount includes both elements.
Can we plan a reintegration allowance for long-term volunteers? (January 25, 2019)
No. Reintegration allowances are not eligible expenses.
Should comments be provided for each budget line, and should the tasks of the different positions also be detailed? (January 25, 2019)
Should the 12% overhead costs in column G be broken down for each budget line? (January 25, 2019)
No, column G of the budget must indicate amounts only in lines 1.8.1 and 1.8.2.
Must submitted expenses for training, such as local transportation (for example, taxis), meals and training translation costs, be entered separately in sections 1.5.3 and 1.5.4 of the budget template? (January 25, 2019)
Organizations may use the lines “transportation costs” and “meal costs” in “other training costs” for eligible training expenses not related to or combined with travel expenses (for example, catering costs and travel costs of local trainers or stakeholders). Training translation costs must be budgeted under the budget line “other training costs” and cannot be combined with fees.
What is the difference between the directive for travellers and the directive for public servants? Are there two separate documents on the National Joint Council website? (January 25, 2019)
There is not one document specifically for travellers and another for public servants. Eligible travel expenses for organizations are described in the Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives and in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Special Travel Authorities in effect at the time of travel.
Are there any maximums in any budget line? (February 6, 2019)
The expenditure items subject to percentages limits that must be respected are indicated on the call for proposals page and in the budget guide (e.g. Cost sharing, Fees - Subcontractors, Engagement activities, Special “Thematic” Funds, Allowance for Indirect/Overhead Costs). Allocation for overhead is subject to a maximum of 12% (standard overhead) and a predetermined calculation for overhead costs applicable to volunteers’ time.
In the budget template, do the volunteers’ travel costs go under section 1.5.1 or under the volunteer cost section 1.5.8 b)? (February 6, 2019)
The travel expenses of volunteers should preferably be indicated in section 1.5.1 (travel expenses). However, applicants who have already completed the budget template and have entered these expenses under 1.5.8 or 1.5.9 may submit it as is.
Are there guidelines relating to a maximum cost per participant, or a related ratio? (February 6, 2019)
Can we request a financial contribution from volunteers? (February 6, 2019)
This is not an encouraged practice since the volunteer gives his or her time and will not receive any remuneration during his or her stay.
For certain countries, the volunteers must first purchase a tourist visa and then apply for a temporary work permit once they arrive in the country. Are both costs associated with this process eligible? (February 6, 2019)
Yes, the cost must be clearly identifiable to the project under section 1.5.1 of the budget template.
Are costs related to criminal record checks in sensitive positions where such checks are mandatory, allowable? (February 6, 2019)
No. These costs are not direct eligible project costs. Organizations can include them in the indirect/overhead costs.
Does a university global citizenship course that is open to students from all faculties qualify for the 10% direct costs for engagement activities? (February 6, 2019)
No. By “engagement activities,” Global Affairs Canada means events, promotional and marketing campaigns (including media campaigns) or training, workshops and various knowledge-sharing and learning activities aimed at a specific audience to draw its attention, to inform the audience members of international development issues or expand their knowledge and encourage them to take concrete action. Activities designed to promote the Canadian organization itself for marketing, advocacy or fundraising purposes, are not considered to be engagement activities.
Will the National Joint Council Travel directive apply to long-term volunteer travel expenses? (February 6, 2019)
Yes, the National Joint Council Travel Directive applies to long-term volunteer travel expenses.
Can the 10% of Global Affairs Canada's contribution allocated to Canadian public engagement activities be used to fund development and compilation of content and multimedia materials that would be used in engagement activities in Canada? (February 6, 2019)
Yes. By “engagement activities,” Global Affairs Canada means events, promotional and marketing campaigns (including media campaigns) or training, workshops and various knowledge-sharing and learning activities aimed at a specific audience to draw its attention, inform the audience members of international development issues or expand their knowledge and encourage them to take concrete action.
Do the detailed expenses have to be exactly the same as those indicated on the budget template (details presented in each of the sub-sections)? (February 6, 2019)
Applicants are encouraged to use the prescribed budget template.
Should the drivers' wages be recorded in section 1.5.5 under Goods, assets and supplies, or in Local wages? (February 6, 2019)
Drivers' salaries should be included in the budget line "Remuneration - local employees".
Could you tell us which costs can be included in the ''Other costs'' category of section 1.5.7? (February 6, 2019)
There is no specific list. These are all direct costs identifiable to the project that the organization is unable to allocate to the other budget lines 1.1 to 1.5.6 of the budget. When line 1.5.7 is used, each budget item must be clearly identified.
Should travel expenses for volunteers (assignment, demobilization, accommodation and field allowance) be included in section 1.5.9 b or section 1.5.1? (February 6, 2019)
These costs should be included in budget line 1.5.1.
Could you explain why the numbering of the budget template is different from that used for other calls for proposals published by Global Affairs Canada? (February 6, 2019)
The budget template provided for this call has been adapted to include the specificities of the volunteer cooperation program.
Is the funding of the salary of an employee of an intergovernmental organization that is an implementing partner of the program an eligible expense in the category of “local employees”? (February 13, 2019)
No. For an intergovernmental organization of a beneficiary country, salaries should be paid by the levels of government (municipal, regional, central) responsible for these employees according to the salary scales established by these governments.
If an airline company does not include a standard allowance of two bags per international flight, will Global Affairs Canada cover these expenses, plus an additional cost of $200 for the excess baggage of volunteers? (February 13, 2019)
As per clause 1.5.1 f) of the budget guide: “Only for volunteers: Two (2) pieces of baggage is the standard allowance for all volunteers. Such baggage must comply with the limits imposed by the air carrier. In addition, according to clause 1.5.11 vii) “Additional baggage costs for long-term volunteers only, will be permitted up to a maximum of $200 per volunteer, in addition to the standard allowance (2 bags per volunteers) for each segment of the trip (round trip)”
Is the purchase of carbon credits and energy-efficient equipment (e.g. solar panels for project offices) allowed? Can the organization claim these expenses as a cash contribution? (February 13, 2019)
A carbon credit is not an eligible cost and therefore cannot be considered as a contribution of the organization. Eligible costs for local offices are limited to the minimum costs required for normal office operations. Equipment can be replaced if it is really necessary by equipment of a similar value. For this call, in the eligible costs, the organization does not have a budget envelope for the specific purchase of energy-efficient equipment.
There is no line for fuel for vehicles in the field, should we include it in the Travel Expense category? (February 13, 2019)
Organizations can use budget line 1.5.5 “Goods, Assets and Supplies.” A specific line “Fuel for vehicles” can be added to the detailed budget template to allow the budgeting of this cost.
Are leasehold improvements for volunteer housing eligible? If so, can we include them in the accommodation line? (February 13, 2019)
As indicated in the budget guide, leasehold improvements are eligible expenses. However, they apply only to the project office(s) abroad and not to volunteer housing and should only be made when improvements are essential and really necessary. Organizations will require the prior written approval of the Department before making expenditures.
Are the costs of pre-departure medical examinations, first-aid materials and drugs prescribed for placements abroad eligible for reimbursement? (February 13, 2019)
As per clauses 1.5.8 and 1.5.9 of the budget guide, the Department will reimburse the following volunteer expenses: emergency medical-care insurance and vaccines required for the assignment.
Can you provide more details about the calculation of an organization’s financial capacity? (February 13, 2019)
The assessment of an organization’s financial capacity considers many factors, such as: • Financial ratios based on the organization’s most recent financial statements • Estimated annual disbursement (Global Affairs Canada contribution/duration of agreement) of the proposed project compared to the past trend in annual revenues • Level of available unrestricted net assets or retained earnings in order to comply with the requirements of all active agreements and proposed projects with Global Affairs Canada (e.g. cash contributions, the ability to cash manage the portion of the department's contribution that is on a reimbursement basis and any outstanding obligations to Global Affairs Canada).
Are travel-insurance costs for volunteers eligible for reimbursement under the program? (February 13, 2019)
With respect to travel insurance expenses, the only expenses covered are those included in the budget guide, as per section 1.5.8. Travel insurance is available to the organization but is not an eligible cost for Global Affairs Canada. According to the Budget Guide, 1.5.8, the Department reimburses only the following expenses for volunteers: emergency medical care insurance and vaccinations required for the assignment, provided that these costs do not exceed fair market value and provided that these expenses are not covered by a host employer or organization.
In addition, emergency medical care insurance is defined as follows:
For volunteers travelling abroad, if similar coverage is not already available (e.g. group insurance from their organization), Global Affairs Canada will reimburse the cost of coverage for emergency medical travel insurance, which normally includes (up to certain coverage limits depending on the nature of the expenses) the following expenses:
- hospitalization costs
- health- professional fees for emergency care
- emergency dental care following an accident
- paramedical services and ambulance transport costs
- emergency repatriation costs
- repatriation of the remains in the event of death (life- insurance coverage is not eligible)
- accommodation and meals if the return is delayed due to a medical emergency
The Department does not reimburse premiums for trip-cancellation or lost-luggage insurance.
For which category(s) of travellers (consultants, employees, volunteers and expats on missions) does section 1.5 of the budget template apply since there is now one category for Canadian volunteers (1.5.8) and one for local/international volunteers (1.5.9). (February 13, 2019)
All identifiable persons with timesheets, working on the project whose remuneration is budgeted under lines 1.1, 1.2 and 1.3, as well as volunteers for whom the organization claims contributions in kind under lines 1.5.8 and 1.5.9 may incur travel expenses (line 1.5.1). Travel expenses (line 1.5.1) are an eligible cost for the application of the overhead costs in line 1.8.1. Lines 1.5.8 and 1.5.9 are for in-kind contributions from volunteers assigned to the developing country, as well as to identify insurance expenses for emergency medical care and volunteer-specific vaccines.
Line 1.5.8 should be used for Canadian volunteers on long-term assignments (more than 30 days) while line 1.5.9 should be used for volunteers on short-term assignments (not exceeding 30 days).
How should we integrate the annual cost-of-living increase for employees over the seven years of the project into the budget template provided? (February 13, 2019)
From the second year of the project and for all subsequent years, you must use a rate that reflects the increase in the cost of living. One rate per country should be used if the project is carried out in more than one country. Use the “Comments” column to specify the annual rate(s) used in your budget.
Can part of our contribution be an asset or investment into an asset? (February 13, 2019)
An asset essential to the project, purchased by the organization during the life of the project and not reimbursed by Global Affairs Canada constitutes an eligible cash contribution from the organization.
An asset received by the organization, without compensation, during the life of the project from a third party (donation of an asset) used for project activities and that constitutes an in-kind contribution by the organization.
Can you please confirm that all volunteer-related costs must appear in section 1.5.8 b) of the template? Must we present a breakdown of costs? (February 13, 2019)
The travel expenses of volunteers should be reported under section 1.5.1 (Travel expenses). Lines 1.5.8 and 1.5.9 are used only for in-kind contributions from volunteers assigned to the developing country, as well as to identify insurance expenses for emergency medical care and volunteer-specific vaccines. Line 1.5.8 should be used for Canadian volunteers while line 1.5.9 should be used for local/international volunteers.
Is the carbon tax on airline tickets accepted as an eligible expense? (February 13, 2019)
There are currently no taxes on airline ticket related to carbon taxes in Canada.
The results in the call document (ultimate and intermediate) are too long for the logic model boxes in the form. What should we do? (January 14, 2019)
You can use abbreviations to shorten sentences so that you can insert them into the form.
Section 1.3 of the proposal form on coordination is also found in the Country Annex form. Does Global Affairs Canada expect this section of the form to be a consolidation of the coordination sections of the country annexes? If so, is Global Affairs Canada aware this implies there will be repetition? (January 25, 2019)
It is not necessary to repeat the information. There may be some consolidation and repetition, but the two sections are different. In Section 1.3 of the form, Global Affairs Canada expects the organization to describe its overall approach and the principles that will guide coordination for the entire project, such as coordination with other VCP partners in Canada. In the country annexes, Global Affairs Canada expects information specific to the local context of each country and at a more detailed level— describing, for example, the local coordination mechanisms.
Can you confirm that despite the very different nature and duration of virtual assignments (e-volunteers), they, combined with South-South and South-North mandates, can only represent 10% of the total mandates of a given project? (January 8th, 2019)
Yes. North-South mandates must represent at least 90% of the total number of volunteer mandates.
Can the ultimate result be adjusted? (January 8th, 2019)
Within the framework of this call, the project you are proposing must contribute to the achievement of the ultimate and intermediate results provided on the call page. You can adjust the call results statements to ensure that they reflect the reality of your project design by making them more specific in terms of the who, what and where your project.
Do the projects provided as examples have to be 100% completed to be considered under this call? (January 8th, 2019)
No. The applicant must provide a maximum of two examples of recent projects (less than 10 years old) in section 5.1 of the application form. Together, the examples should illustrate a minimum of three completed years of recruiting and sending a relevant number of volunteers to developing countries.
What do thematic funds represent? What can be considered covered under these funds? (January 8th, 2019)
As stated on the call page, special thematic funds are activities that complement the work of volunteers by supporting some of the department's priority themes: feminist approaches, innovation and experimentation, diversity and inclusion, indigenous integration, LGBTQ2 and climate change. Applicants may include in their budget up to 5% of Global Affairs Canada's (Global Affairs Canada) contribution to the direct project costs for these activities. In addition, under Tab 2 of the budget template, in order to obtain Global Affairs Canada approval to implement special thematic funds, organizations must address all the elements described under each of the essential components.
Are blended volunteering models where a volunteer mandate includes tasks to be conducted both overseas and in Canada through e-volunteering eligible for funding under the Volunteer Cooperation program? (January 8th, 2019)
Yes. However, virtual or remote volunteers are eligible in terms of accounting for the organization's in-kind contributions and according to the guide for budget preparation and budget template, section 1.7.3, costs for virtual or remote volunteers are not eligible for overhead costs.
Are national volunteering models where an individual from a developing country undertakes a volunteer mandate in its country of origin, eligible for funding under the Volunteer Cooperation program? (January 8th, 2019)
Can Global Affairs Canada provide additional guidance on how proposals that demonstrate innovative approaches, increase the participation of historically marginalized groups, and offer higher percentage of cost share, will be assessed? What evaluation criteria will be used by Global Affairs Canada to assess proposals under the Volunteer Cooperation Program? (January 8th, 2019)
In addition of the 2 intermediate outcomes of the Logic Model Table can an applicant add a third intermediate statement? (January 8th, 2019)
No. However, you may adjust the call’s outcome statements to ensure they are grounded in the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of the who, what and where of your project.
To what extent can we change the ultimate and intermediate outcomes? Can you specify if we can change the “what”? (January 14, 2019)
If needed, you can adjust the results statements to ensure that they reflect the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of the who, what and location of your project. For example, you can specify whether your initiative ultimately aims to improve the economic well-being of the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people or whether your project ultimately aims to further improve their social well-being. You can also specify what type of social welfare your project aims to improve. However, the adjusted results of your initiative/project must always respect the spirit and essence of the results statements published on the call page.
It is specified that South-South volunteers allow organizations to continue their activities in certain countries where they cannot send Canadian volunteers. Does this mean that South-South volunteers will only be considered for countries with high security risks? (January 14, 2019)
No. South-South volunteers are not only considered for countries with high security risks. Organizations can determine whether this type of volunteer is relevant and essential to achieving results in the context of their initiative/project. However, North-South mandates must represent at least 90% of the total number of volunteer mandates.
How is the 90% of North-South mandates calculated? Are they counted in number of months/volunteers or in total number of mandates? (January 14, 2019)
The proportion of North-South mandates/placements must represent a minimum of 90% of the total number of mandates/placements regardless of the duration of the different mandates/placements.
Are the indicators proposed in the call document mandatory and the only ones that should be used, or can we modify them and add some? (January 14, 2019)
The indicators in the call documents are mandatory, but are not exclusive. Organizations can add other indicators to their performance measurement framework.
Must we specify what our initiative will contribute to in the outcomes statements such as the Sustainable Development Goals or qualifying women’ and girls’ vulnerability? (January 14, 2019)
This is not a requirement; however, If needed, you can adjust the call results statements to ensure that they reflect the reality of your project design, making them more specific in terms of the who, what and location of your project. (This is not mandatory.)
When defining Canadians at the intermediate level, can these include institutional stakeholders (civil society organizations, private sector organizations, etc.)? (January 14, 2019)
Yes. Although this primarily refers to individual citizens, it can include Canadian organizations/institutions (non-governmental organizations, private sector organizations, etc.)
How does Global Affairs Canada define "long-term commitment" of volunteers and Canadians? (January 25, 2019)
Long-term commitment can mean that the individual has demonstrated (or will demonstrate) their commitment on multiple occasions or over a significant period of time. However, it is the organization's responsibility to determine the types and duration of significant commitments it wishes to mobilize and measure in the context of its project.
Could you specify whether, for volunteers who have returned to Canada, ''working in,'' ‘‘volunteering for’‘ or ‘‘advocating for’‘ gender equality in Canada is considered to be working to support Canada’s international development efforts? (January 25, 2019)
Volunteers who return to Canada and work in, volunteer for or advocate for gender equality in Canada are considered to have worked to support Canada’s international development efforts only if their work, volunteering or advocacy has supported one more of the action areas in Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Can you give us an example of a performance measure for the ultimate outcome indicator for the Impact of developing-country partner projects on targeted beneficiary communities? (January 25, 2019)
Organizations can consult the How-to guide on results-based management for international assistance programming . Results-based management, including the performance measurement framework, is one of the criteria for assessing the merit of proposals submitted to this call.
Does a complete environmental analysis need to be conducted before the submission of our proposal, or could it be conducted over the course of the project? (January 25, 2019)
In Section 2.3 - Environmental Analysis, applicants must have performed an environmental analysis comprehensive enough to allow them to answer the sub-questions requested in the proposal form and to demonstrate that the organization will integrate environmental considerations (positive and negative) throughout the planning and implementation of the proposed project. If necessary, and in the event that the proposal is selected for funding, Global Affairs Canada may require further analysis before, at the beginning of and/or during the project.
What does Global Affairs Canada deem the upper age limit for a person to be considered a girl or boy, for when we break down by age and gender? (January 25, 2019)
The upper age limit for a person to be considered a child (girl or boy) is 18 years, as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child.
How does Global Affairs Canada define "development initiative" under the Volunteer Cooperation Program, as described in one of the intermediate indicators? (January 25, 2019)
For Global Affairs Canada, “development initiative” is broad enough to include a wide variety of interventions and sectors. Any initiative (for example a project or program) that aligns with one or more of the priorities of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy can be described as a “development initiative”.
What level of detail is expected in the description of each country’s activity plan in the Country Annex form? (January 25, 2019)
It is up to the applicants to determine how they want to use the space available in the annexes to explain the activities they propose in each country of intervention of the project. Each applicant is free to determine the level of detail required by the complexity of the project, the level of effort, the budget and the available space. The country annexes will allow Global Affairs Canada to assess the merits of the project at the level of each individual country.
Can we define the indicators required by Global Affairs Canada? For example, for the indicator on impact at the ultimate level, can we specify it by referring to the percentage of improvement or to a graduated scale of positive change? (January 25, 2019)
The Program seeks to assess the level of impact developing country partners’ initiatives have on the well-being of targeted beneficiary communities. If needed, applicants can add new indicators. Organizations can consult the How-to guide on results-based management for international assistance programming for more information.
What is the minimum, maximum and average duration of volunteer mandates? (February 6, 2019)
The parameters of the call for proposals for the Volunteer Cooperation Program do not indicate a minimum or maximum time frame for the duration of the mandates. However, the Program generally considers volunteer mandates between two weeks and two years while demonstrating good value for money.
What is the minimum and maximum age of volunteers that Global Affairs Canada will allow? (February 6, 2019)
A volunteer must be a person that is considered by law to be an adult at time of travel.
Should mandates be posted to the public or can we build relationships with universities/organizations and advertise positions through them? (February 6, 2019)
Applicants are free to propose the recruitment strategies that they consider most effective and relevant.
How do you measure “empowerment” in a results- based management framework with indicators? What are some performance measurement framework indicators that Global Affairs Canada finds appropriate or that have been used in the past? (February 6, 2019)
If necessary, organizations can consult the How-to guide on results-based management . Results-based management, including the performance measurement framework, is part of the criteria for assessing the merit of proposals.
As per Action Area 1 of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy, what level of government does Global Affairs Canada prefer to address—federal, provincial/state, municipal? Do projects have to include local governments or can they between two non-governmental organizations? (February 6, 2019)
Global Affairs Canada does not have a preferred level of government for programming. As per Canada's Feminist International Assistance Policy, “Canada will work with the governments of developing countries to improve their ability to deliver programs that support gender equality at all levels of government and in all sectors.” Projects do not need to include local governments. Applicants are free to present the approaches and partnerships that they consider most relevant to achieving program outcomes.
Will there be flexibility to add/change countries and partners over the seven years in case of context change? (February 6, 2019)
The Program provides some flexibility for the addition or deletion, during the course of the project, of local partners, and sometimes (in exceptional cases) countries, if the Canadian partner so requests and provides sufficient and acceptable justifications. However, requests will be assessed on a case-by-case basis and at the appropriate time. No guarantee can be given at this stage that requests for changes will be accepted.
Could a Canadian university send students as volunteers to an African country as part of their study programs and would these students qualify under the Volunteer Cooperation Program? (February 6, 2019)
No. The Volunteer Cooperation Program is not an internship and/or study program.
Are organizations required to respect the total number of volunteers indicated on each country annex form, or can they send fewer, more or none depending on the needs of local partners at the time of the mandate? (February 6, 2019)
Applicants should indicate the estimates that they believe are most realistic at the time of application. If changes are required during implementation, Global Affairs Canada's approval will be required.
Would it be acceptable for an incorporated association to use only its members as volunteers if the skill-set of its members sufficiently addresses the programming requirements of the project? (February 6, 2019)
Yes. However, applicants must meet the requirements of the Volunteer Cooperation Program, including 1) "Volunteer-cooperant" or "volunteer" refers to anyone who is committed to providing their skills and expertise without pay, and considers their services as a personal contribution to international development efforts, without taking the place of a local employee, and 2) One of the two intermediate outcomes of the Volunteer Cooperation Program is to increase the participation of Canadians in international development and key global issues in support of the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy.
Is there a definition of what can be considered as sub-projects funded through special funds? (February 6, 2019)
All activities that complement the work of volunteers by supporting some of the department’s priority themes: feminist approaches, innovation and experimentation, diversity and inclusion, Indigenous integration, LGBTQ2 and climate change.
Could it be possible to clarify what is meant by a "modest component" with regard to South-South mandates in terms of percentages? And how will the evaluation be carried out for this type of mandate? (February 6, 2019)
North-South mandates must represent at least 90% of the total number of volunteer mandates. All other types of volunteers, including South-South volunteers, should not represent more than 10% of the total number of mandates. The evaluation will be made according to the full proposal assessment criteria on the page How we assess your proposal.
As part of the activities carried out with the special thematic funds, should we define countries now, by providing the relevant documents (country annexes and partner letters) if we plan a rapid action mechanism, or would it be possible to add them according to other additional needs identified during the project? (February 6, 2019)
Special thematic funds should be implemented in countries and with local partners who will receive volunteers according to your global proposal. You are not required to specify with which partners and in which specific countries the funds will ultimately be used if the information is not known at this stage.
Will some countries not be considered in the current call for security reasons (e.g. Mali, Burkina Faso)? (February 6, 2019)
The list of eligible countries is available on the Partners@International portal.
The Program recommends that organizations consult and take into account Travel Advice and Advisories when developing their project and assessing their risks, particularly for countries where it is advisable to avoid travel.
The level of risk and the ability of organizations to respond to the risks will be assessed by Global Affairs Canada when assessing the merit of proposals.
Could we have more details on the information to be included on the country annexes form, particularly in the section "Country-specific Environmental Challenges and Opportunities" if the submitted project falls into the category with negligible environmental risks and opportunities? (February 6, 2019)
Applicants must identify all major environmental risks and opportunities they have identified that are country-specific in the country annexes, even if the submitted project falls into the category with negligible environmental risks and opportunities.
What does "short-term relocation" mean in section 1.5.2 of the budget template? (February 6, 2019)
You can refer to section 10 and the "Definitions" in the Technical Assistance Handbook for more details on what is meant by "short-term relocation".
Does the term “Head Office” in section 1.5.6 of the budget template represent the organization's head office in Canada? (February 6, 2019)
Can full-time paid employees serve volunteer terms during their vacation? (Revised answer February 11, 2019)
Yes. However, the mandates of volunteers are not remunerated by the volunteer cooperation programme. "Volunteer-cooperant" or "volunteer" refers to anyone who is committed to providing their skills and expertise without pay, and considers their services as a personal contribution to international development efforts, without taking the place of a local employee.
How are dependents defined? Is there an age limit? (February 13, 2019)
- The spouse or common-law partner of the volunteer; or
- A child of the volunteer, including a child adopted legally or in fact by the volunteer, or a child of the volunteer's spouse/common-law partner, who ordinarily resides with the volunteer and the volunteer's spouse/common-law partner and is:
- under 21 years of age and dependent on the volunteer, or the volunteer's spouse/common-law partner for financial support, or
- 21 years of age or older and dependent on the volunteer, or the volunteer's spouse/common-law partner for financial support by reason of mental or physical incapacity
• In a long-term assignment, a dependent (see definition) who resides with the volunteer in the city of assignment for at least eight consecutive months of any twelve-month period.
What is the difference between the two sub-categories “Canadian/International Employees” and “Employees on long-term assignment” in the field? Which category includes expatriates? (February 13, 2019)
To appear on the line “Employees on long-term assignments”, the organization should consult the “Definitions” section of the Technical Assistance Handbook. Only employees on “long-term assignment” or “short-term relocation” are eligible for allowances under the Guide. Its allocations must be budgeted under budget line 1.5.2. It is in this case that the salary of the employees in question will appear under the line “Employees on long-term assignment”.
Expatriates should generally appear under budget line 1.2.
How should annual salary increases for local employees be included? (February 13, 2019)
Since the budget contains the cumulative amounts for the duration of the project, the organization must calculate an average salary per employee per year including the effect of the annual increase and multiply it by the number of years worked on the project (this same calculation can also be done on a monthly basis and multiplied by the number of months worked). The comment column should indicate the annual salary increase rate per year.
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