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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.

Ultimate outcome

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).


Intermediate outcomes

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).


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.


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.

Additional information

Types of skilled volunteer mandates eligible for funding under the Volunteer Cooperation Program:

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.

Engagement activities:

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:

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.

Gender equality:

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:

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:

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:

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.

Additional guidance

Preference may be given to proposals that:

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.

Available resources

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.

How to submit your application package

Important: If you intend to apply to this call for proposals, you must send an email to 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:

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: 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 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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