Volunteer Cooperation Program
The deadline for submitting a proposal for this call was Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 12 p.m. (noon) ET.
The summary of the final report of the formative evaluation of the Volunteer Cooperation Program (2015-2020) has been added to the list of the Available Resources section.
The total amount of funding available under this call for proposals is up to $420 million over 7 years. Global Affairs Canada may fund any number of proposals, or none, up to the maximum funding available. Global Affairs Canada intends to fund proposals of at least $3 million and no more than $50 million.
You must submit your proposal through the Partners@International portal before the deadline. We will not accept any late submissions. Please read the portal instructions carefully and plan to submit your application at least three business days before the closing date to ensure that technical difficulties do not prevent you from submitting your proposal by the deadline.
The Volunteer Cooperation Program (VCP) will aim to contribute to the economic and/or social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, in developing countries.
Under this call, your proposed project must contribute to the achievement of these ultimate and intermediate outcomes.
Improved economic and/or social well-being of the poorest, most marginalized and vulnerable people, particularly women and girls, in developing countries, with a view to contributing to sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
- Total number of people, women and girls from marginalized groups benefiting from initiatives improved through the efforts of the VCP and who have improved their economic and/or social well-being (Women/Men/Boys/Girls);
- Impact of developing country partner projects on targeted beneficiary communities.
Increased engagement of Canadians in international development and key global issues in support of the action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy (FIAP).
- Number and percentage (/total) of Canadian volunteers (women/men) who continue to actively participate in Canada's international development efforts following their volunteer mandate;
- Number of Canadians (women/men) mobilized to support Canada's international development efforts through informed action and/or long-term commitment.
Increased performance of developing country partners to deliver more inclusive, innovative and environmentally sustainable development initiatives that advance gender equality, in support of the action areas of Canada’s FIAP.
- Number and percentage (/total) of developing country partners reporting and demonstrating improved development initiatives through VCP support, according to the types of improvements (such as more effective in advancing gender equality, more inclusive, more environmentally sustainable/climate-resilient, more innovative) observed that are supported by qualitative evidence (such as case studies);
- Number and types of development initiatives that advance gender equality and have been improved through VCP support, including the number of innovative initiatives, supported by qualitative evidence (such as case studies);
- Number and percentage (/total) of developing country partners reporting and demonstrating improved organizational practices/capacities through VCP support, supported by organisational diagnoses and qualitative evidence (such as case studies).
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.
Types of skilled volunteer mandates eligible for funding under the Volunteer Cooperation Program:
- North-South mandates: Canadian organizations send skilled Canadian volunteers to developing countries to increase the capacity of developing country partners to deliver development results;
- Virtual Canadian volunteers or e-volunteers: These volunteers work using technology to communicate with local partners. No allowance is offered to them since they work from home;
- South-North mandates: When appropriate, Canadian organizations and their developing country partners send skilled Southern volunteers to placements with organizations in Canada to increase their knowledge and abilities to strengthen their home-based organizations, while contributing to engaging Canadians on international development issues;
- South-South mandates: Volunteers from one developing country undertake a placement in another developing country. These exchanges allow organizations to diversify their programs while maintaining their activities in certain countries/contexts where they cannot send Canadian volunteers. A modest South-South volunteer mandate component may be accepted as part of your proposal.
North-South mandates must represent at least 90% of the total number of volunteer mandates.
A volunteer must be a person that is considered by law to be an adult at time of travel and possesses a skill set required by the developing-country organization.
Applicants must include in their proposal up to 10% of Global Affair’s Canada’s contribution to the direct costs (see budget template for definition) of the project for engagement activities aimed at awareness raising, knowledge sharing and network strengthening in Canada. These engagement activities should promote global citizenship by encouraging Canadians to develop a deeper understanding of international development issues and to become actively involved in addressing these issues. Engagement activities that are NOT eligible for funding include:
- Annual general meetings
- Partisan political advocacy or lobbying
- Activities that take place outside of Canada
Special thematic funds:
Applicants can include in their proposal up to 5% of Global Affairs Canada’s contribution to the direct costs of the project to 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, 2SLGBTQI+ and climate change.
Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy states that: “No less than 95% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives will target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.” Priority will be given to proposals that meet the requirement of targeting or fully integrating gender equality and women’s and girls’ empowerment in their design. To support this, your proposal’s logic model must have gender equality outcomes. In addition to the elements in section 2.1 of the application form the theory of change must detail:
- Clear alignment with at least one of the 6 action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and at least one of Canada's specific commitments related to the chosen area(s) of action;
- Key elements of gender equality analysis (gaps, barriers, institutional capacity, inequalities and existing power structures);
- Key measures to advance gender equality;
- Analysis of the contribution or impact of civil society, women’s rights organizations and/or research bodies working on advancing gender equality;
- Assumptions underlying the advancement of gender equality;
- Risks related to advancing gender equality and strategies to respond to them;
- Methods to foster participation of women and girls and/or the organizations and networks that defend their interests;
- Evidence, best practices or lessons learned on advancing gender equality;
- A minimum of 60% of the ultimate beneficiaries of development initiatives enhanced through the efforts of the VCP should be women, girls and people from marginalized and vulnerable groups.
For more information on the program please refer to the Volunteer Cooperation Program - Information note.
Organization eligibility requirements
Carefully review the following eligibility screening requirements for submitted application packages for this particular call. Global Affairs Canada will not comment on the eligibility of specific potential applicants.
This call is open to Canadian organizations, which may submit an application alone or in consortiums with other organizations. Applicants (including all signatories in the case of consortiums) must meet the following requirements:
- Your organization is legally incorporated in Canada and registered in the Partners@International portal;
- Your organization must provide two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years from each signatory (audited statements are preferred; if these are not available, the statements must be signed by a member of each signatory’s board of directors, by the board’s delegate or by the owner[s]; note also that since financial statements usually provide comparative information from the previous year, these statements will be used to do a three-year trend analysis);
- Your organization must provide the Organization Attestation dated and signed by the Organization’s Chief Financial Officer, or a duly authorised board member;
- Your organization may submit only one application under this call.
If your proposed project does not conform to the above statements, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.
Required project parameters
Carefully review the points below to determine whether your proposed project is in alignment with the parameters of the call. We will not respond to questions about the eligibility of your proposal. You must be able to answer “yes” to all the following statements in order for your application to be considered for funding under this call:
- You are requesting Global Affairs Canada funding contribution of at least $3 million and no more than $50 million;
- Your proposed project will last 7 years, starting in April 2020;
- Your proposed project is aligned with at least one of the six action areas of Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy: gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, human dignity, growth that works for everyone, environment and climate action, inclusive governance, and peace and security;
- Your proposed project will take place in only one or more official development assistance-eligible countries. A list of official development assistance-eligible countries is available on the Partners@International portal. 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 can be accessed at Types of sanctions and Export and Import Controls. Note: While the geographic scope of each initiative is open, Global Affairs Canada aims to allocate at least 50% of VCP funds to sub-Saharan Africa;
- Your organization will provide at least 5% of the total eligible direct project costs over the life of the project in cash and/or in-kind in accordance to Global Affairs Canada’s Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements. Your organization must attest to meeting this requirement in the Organization Attestation form, which must be signed and submitted as part of your application package;
- Your proposed project includes North-South mandates that represent at least 90% of the total number of volunteer mandates;
- Your proposed project includes outreach activities not exceeding 10% of Global Affairs Canada’s contribution to the direct costs of the project;
- You must fill a Country Annex(s) form for every country in which the application has activities;
- If applicable, your project includes Special Thematic Funds that does not exceed 5% of Global Affairs Canada’s contribution to the direct costs of the project;
- You are providing proofs of partnership (letters) with each developing country partner organizations, 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;
- You are providing a copy of your Volunteer Manual/Guidelines;
- Your application package documents are complete and presented in either English or French.
If your proposed project does not conform to the above statements, it will not be assessed because it cannot be considered for funding under this call.
Please note that Global Affairs Canada will not consider projects that include new construction/physical work.
Required project experience
The applicant, in the case of a single applicant or a partnership, or the lead applicant or other signatories in the case of a consortium, must use volunteerism as a key mechanism for delivering development results abroad and provide a maximum of two examples of recent (less than 10 years ago) projects in Section 5.1 of the application form. Collectively, the examples must demonstrate a minimum of 3 years in recruiting and sending a relevant number of volunteers to developing countries.
Applicants unable to fulfill the above requirements are not eligible to apply under this call.
Preference may be given to proposals that:
- Demonstrate innovative approaches such as new business models, approaches, policy practices, partnerships, technologies, behavioural insights and methods of delivery, or any solution that addresses development problems more effectively than current approaches;
- Increase the participation of Indigenous people, members of cultural communities or groups that have been historically marginalized, such as people with disabilities or 2SLGBTQI+;
- 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;
- Demonstrate that a minimum of 60% of the ultimate beneficiaries of development initiatives enhanced through the efforts of the VCP are women, girls and people from marginalized and vulnerable groups;
- Offer a higher percentage of cost share.
How we assess your proposal
Please note that this call will use a one-step application process. The comparative assessment process is described below. In this call, applicants must submit a shortened full proposal.
As the first step, applications to this call will undergo an eligibility check to verify that all Organization eligibility requirements and Required project parameters listed on this call page are met by the application.
Next, eligible applications will be assessed to ensure that the Required project experience has been demonstrated. Applications that do not meet the Required project experience will not be further assessed. You will be notified if your application is not found to be eligible or if it does not meet the Required Project Experience.
Then, applications that meet this requirement will proceed to merit assessment as described in How we assess your proposal. The merit assessment assessment criteria that will be used for this call are the Full proposal assessment criteria.
There are a number of resources available online to help develop your application package. We strongly encourage you to read all of the following tools and guidance before beginning your application process. Failure to meet the mandatory requirements, minimum standards and deadlines detailed therein will result in your application package not being considered for funding.
- Summary of the report of the formative evaluation of the Volunteer Cooperation Program (2015–2020)
- Call Q&As page
- Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy
- Canada’s Policy for Civil Society Partnerships for International Assistance - A Feminist Approach
- Environmental Integration Process - Screening Tool
- Funding guidance
- Questions and answers about applying for funding
- Advancing human rights
- How we assess your proposal
- Information by countries and territories- Canadian diplomatic mission websites
- Development Innovation
- Partners@International portal FAQ
- Policy on Cost-Sharing for Grant and Non-Repayable Contribution Agreements
- Results-based management for international assistance programming – How- to guide and tip sheets
- Risk management
- Sexual Conduct: Section 22.6 of Contribution Agreement - General Terms and Conditions
- Sustainable Development Goals
- The Official Development Assistance Accountability Act
- Volunteer Cooperation Program
- Volunteer Cooperation Program - Information note + definition
- What is GBA+?
How to submit your application package
Important: If you intend to apply to this call for proposals, you must send an email to email@example.com by Wednesday, February 13, 2019, in order to receive the budget template for this call. Please reference the Volunteer Cooperation Program call for proposals in your email when requesting the budget template. The budget must be completed and uploaded to the portal along with all other documents, as outlined below.
In order to be considered in this call, you must upload the application form and all supporting document and submit them through the Partners@International portal of Global Affairs Canada by Wednesday, February 20, 2019, 12 p.m. (noon) ET.
If your organization is not already registered in Partners@International, register as soon as possible because it can take 10 or more business days to process a registration request.
Your application package must include all of the following documents:
- Volunteer Cooperation Program application form (completed, with Validated label showing on first page);
- Letter of incorporation or proof of organization's legal status;
- Two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years from each signatory (audited statements are preferred; if these are not available, the statements must be signed by a member of each signatory’s board of directors, the board’s delegate or the owner(s); note also that since financial statements usually provide comparative information from the previous year, these statements will be used to do a three-year trend analysis);
- Completed Organization Attestation form;
- Completed Declarations and Guarantees form;
- Proof of partnership with each developing country partner organization, indicating that there is a need for this initiative, 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;
- Country annex(s) form for every country in which the application has activities;
- The Local Partners - Information form;
- Completed Budget spreadsheet;
- A copy of your volunteer manual/guidelines; this document must be scanned into a PDF document and uploaded to the Partners@International portal.
Submission of a proposal does not guarantee funding. Funding decisions will be made on the merit assessment of your application.
Accessing and using PDF forms
Use only Adobe Reader/Adobe Acrobat to work on the standardized PDFs to be submitted with your application package. If you use other software, the data you enter may not appear once submitted to Global Affairs Canada, and the application will be considered ineligible.
If you are having difficulty downloading the proposal form, it is generally due to the type of software you have (or do not have) on your computer. Please read and follow the help instructions. If you have all the correct software installed, download the form to your desktop and open it directly in Adobe Reader 8 or above; otherwise, other software installed on your computer may try (and fail) to open the form using your default settings.
Questions on using the Partners@International portal
Please read and follow all the instructions for using the Partners@International portal (linked on the right side menu). Do not open multiple windows within the portal as this may cause technical problems.
Please do not register or submit at the last minute.
If you encounter technical difficulties while registering or trying to submit a proposal, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note: during the last two weeks before a call closes, the service standard for replying to your enquiry is 3 business days. Technical support for the portal is only available 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday.
Questions specific to this call
If you still have questions about this call after reading the general Questions and answers about applying for funding, please send them to email@example.com by Wednesday, January 16, 2019, 12 p.m. (noon) ET. We will not respond to questions received after this deadline, nor to questions on specific organizational circumstances or specific project proposals. Applicants will not receive emails with responses. Answers will only appear on the Q&As page for this call for proposals to ensure that all applicants have access to the same information at the same time.
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