January 10, 2019 webinar on the Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations Call for Proposals

The following texts are edited transcripts of the presentations given by Global Affairs Canada during the webinar that took place on January 17, 2019, for the Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations Call for Proposals.

Questions and answers that were not addressed during the webinar will be posted to the Questions and Answers page for this call for proposals.

In the case of discrepancy, the information provided on the Call Page and the Questions and Answers page supersedes this document.

Introduction:

Context:

The call for proposals, “Dismantling Barriers and Improving the Quality of Education for Women and Girls in Fragile, Conflict and Crisis Situations aligns with the following:

G7 Summit declaration in Charlevoix

This call is part of Canada’s $400 million commitment to education for women and girls in crisis and conflict situations, announced in June 2018 at the G7 Summit in Charlevoix.

Feminist International Assistance Policy

This call aligns with Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy and its primary objective of contributing to global efforts to eradicate poverty around the world and the policies associated action areas.

Global Disability Summit

Canada has committed to ensuring that the interests and priorities of girls with disabilities are taken into account in the development and delivery of Canada's $400 million G7 commitment on girls' education, with a view of increasing access and reducing the barriers to quality education faced by women and girls with disabilities in crisis and conflict situations. Among others, the Summit also included a commitment to enhancing the collection of disability disaggregated data in development programs.

Please note, under this call, we will allocate:

  • Up to $80 million over five years
  • Department expects to fund approximately 7 - 8 initiatives
  • Minimum 3 years, maximum 5 years

The objectives include:

  • Call objectives align with the overall policy and programming framework for the G7 $400 million commitment.
  • Call aims to dismantle barriers and improve the quality of education for women and girls in fragile, conflict and crisis situations.
  • Promote greater coherence between humanitarian actors and host governments
  • Projects must clearly demonstrate collaboration with one or more local organizations.
  • Humanitarian assistance is not eligible under this call for proposals and will continue to be funded through normal humanitarian channels.

Proposed projects must align with at least one of the three programming pillars:

  1. Reducing barriers - Address harmful social norms and other barriers that hinder the demand for, and access to, education for girls and women in order to increase the equitable access to safe, secure, quality and inclusive education and learning opportunities for girls, adolescent girls, and women, including those with disabilities.
  2. Improving systems - Expand and improve the provision of inclusive, gender-responsive, safe, accessible, equitable and quality pre-primary, primary and secondary education.
  3. Skills development- increase girls’ and women’s equitable access to quality gender-responsive skills development and higher education.      

In addition, proposals must:

  1. advance gender equality in a targeted or fully-integrated manner
  2. apply a human rights-based approach and examine how intersecting identity factors impact access for and the inclusion of those most at risk of being left behind, including persons with disabilities, Indigenous peoples, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex populations and other vulnerable groups
  3. demonstrate an existing organizational capacity to readily implement the project in the proposed country(ies) and
  4. Integrate strategies and efforts to ensure the sustainability of results that are practical, realistic and comprehensive

I will now provide details about the preceding points.

Call information:

Gender equality:

  • As indicated in the Feminist International Assistance Policy, 95% of Canada’s bilateral international development assistance initiatives will target or integrate gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.
  • As per the application form, a targeted gender equality project is defined as a project where the principal objective is to address gender equality. All outcomes – ultimate, intermediate, immediate – are considered gender equality outcomes.
  • A fully integrated gender equality project is one that integrates changes for gender equality that are focused on behavior, practice and performance (for example, changes in relation to gender-based entrenched attitudes, harmful practices and/or traditions, gendered roles and responsibilities, policy, social action, decision making, etc.).
  • Project logic model must have gender equality outcomes.

Human rights-based approach:

  • A human rights-based approach examines how intersecting identity factors impact access for and the inclusion of those most at risk of being left behind, including persons with disabilities, indigenous peoples, LGBTI populations and other vulnerable groups.

Capacity to readily implement:

  • The department is looking for experienced partners who have the capacity to readily implement projects in fragile, crisis and conflict situations, including a duty of care.
  • Sections of the application form in which “readiness to implement” may be demonstrated include:
    • 1.3 (Coordination)
    • 1.4 (Partnerships)
    • 3.1(Theory of Change) and
    • 5.0 (Organization Ability Relevant to the Initiative)

Capacity to readily implement may also be demonstrated by collaboration with one or more local organization(s) or include a plan outlining how this may be formed.

Sustainability:

  • Project duration is of three to five years. We recognize that this is a relatively limited period in which to achieve sustainable results, especially given the challenge of implementing in fragile, conflict and crisis situations; however, every effort must be made to integrate strategies and efforts to ensure the sustainability of results that are practical, realistic and comprehensive.

Note: On the call page under “Available resources”, “Funding Guidance”, further information about advancing gender equality, as well as human rights, risk management, etc.

Proposals must demonstrate at least one of the following components:

  • address at least one of the critical cycles in a girl’s education, namely pre-primary, primary, secondary and skills development (transition to adulthood)
  • support boys’/men’s engagement to accelerate progress towards gender equality in education
  • support innovative education delivery
  • promote coordination between actors to support education across the humanitarian-development continuum and
  • Build the evidence-based through research and strengthened gender-sensitive education management information systems, and advocate for girls’ and women’s rights and empowerment

I will now provide details regarding some of the preceding points.

Innovative education delivery:

  • This call focuses on education delivery/services. As indicated under “Additional guidance” in the call page, preference may be given to proposals that demonstrate new or improved innovative solutions, such as business models, approaches, policy practices, partnerships, technologies, behavioural insights and methods of delivery, or any solutions that address development problems and gender equality more effectively and efficiently than existing practices.
  • Innovation can be highlighted in Section 1.2 of the application form.

Humanitarian-development continuum:

  • Promoting the nexus/continuum between humanitarian and development activities is in keeping with the Global Compact on Refugees (GCR), which advocates for the need for increased involvement of development actors in protracted refugee situations to deliver education.
  • Coordinated efforts are encouraged to dismantle the barriers to accessing education in line with the Charlevoix declaration, especially for women and girls.

Process:

Eligibility:

GAC Representative 1:  Hi folks, so, again, thank you for joining the call. GAC Representative 2 has talked about the context and the objectives for this call for proposals; I'd like to discuss the process, including eligibility and experience, how we assess your proposal, and how to submit your application package. Before going through some of the individual process steps, I'd just like to step back for a second and underline a couple of key points.

  • The first point is:  this is a competitive process with a set budget allocation. We're looking to get as many strong proposals as possible and we look forward to approving several proposals. The great news with respect to calls for proposals is: we have an approved budget, which means; ultimately coming out of this process, there will be projects. Ultimately though, there will be a limit to the number of proposals we can support, because there is a set budget that has been approved, and GAC Representative 2 has indicated what that is, and it is an allocation of 80 million dollars
  • The second key point I'd like to mention is that recent experiences have shown a very strong demand from Canadian organizations for funding through these mechanisms. A couple of the recent calls, one was on the small- and medium-sized organizations, another was on sexual and reproductive health rights. The one on SMOs actually received 196 applications, and the one for sexual and reproductive health rights received 75. What that has meant is that, ultimately, there were far more applications that were submitted then we could possibly support. At the end of this process, we're looking forward to supporting some really good projects. Obviously, you hope that one of those is yours but it may very well end up that even though you have a strong proposal, there are others that may be stronger. So just keep that in mind as we go through this process. It is competitive, there will be proposals, but ultimately, we will not be able to fund all the proposals that we received approved.

Going through the steps and the criteria, the first important thing that we’ll be looking at is what we call organization eligibility. And this is really important for you to have a really close look at because, one of the things that we saw in some of the recent calls is that some organizations missed, either filling out some forms or filling out key elements of the form and, ultimately, that was not to their benefit. So, it's really important for you to invest the time in reading carefully what is on the call page, because, the department establishes specific eligibility criteria for each call, and you must meet each requirement. In other words, if you've applied to a call with us before, do not expect that the criteria that you are seeing for this call will be the same criteria as what you have seen before. 

The criteria vary by call, in terms of the type of organization that we are hoping will apply and in terms of the geographic scope, and other criteria that we will assess your proposals against. So very important that whatever you're providing to us, in terms of this call for proposal, is drafted specifically against the criteria that we have outlined for this call for proposal. In the recent small- and medium-sized organizations call for proposal, just for your information, about 30% of applicants were screened out at eligibility. So again, a large number of organizations either did not fit the description of the type of organization we were looking for or, they misread the criteria. So, our hope is that we will not see that in this call.

For this call, there are four eligibility requirements. These requirements must be met by the organization that will sign the agreement with Global Affairs Canada.

  1. If there are multiple signatories, and we certainly encourage and allow that in this call; all signatories must individually meet the four eligibility requirements. So, that is very important for you to look at. Signatories must be legally incorporated in Canada and registered in the Partners@International portal.
  2. Secondly, signatories must provide two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years.
  3. Thirdly, signatories must provide a signed Organization attestation form, and I underline signed, because it’s not always the case and it’s very important, it is a crucial attestation by the applicant’s chief financial officer or a duly authorized board member.
  4. Fourthly, or lastly, you can only submit one application under this call as the lead signatory.

A few clarifications and reiterations on the above-mentioned eligibility criteria: registering to the portal can take up to 10 business days, so please do so as soon as possible. Applicants must submit two separate financial statements for the most recent fiscal years. Audited financial statements are preferred. However, if these are not available, the financial statements must be signed by a member of each signatory's board of directors, by the board's delegate or by the owners. So there are many options for this. The Organization attestation can be signed by the applicant's chief financial officer or a duly authorized board member. Another reminder, an organization can only present one application as lead signatory.

I'm sure you're going to have some questions during this conference call, in fact we've already received a few questions, I'm just going to answer a couple actually right from the get-go because I'm sure several of you have got this in mind and some of you have already submitted this question in writing to Global Affairs Canada.

One of the questions that we’ve already received on this is: Can organizations participate in multiple applications as signatory or non-signatory, as long as they are not the lead applicant? In other words: OK, I can be the signatory on one, but can I be a signatory on another? 

The answer to that is: Yes, as long as you are the lead signatory only on one. So you can be a signatory on multiple applications but you can only be the lead signatory on one application. So, that’s really important in terms of if you can participate in more than one proposal, but you can be the lead on one. So, my hope is that that provides clarity in respect to that question.

Another question that has been submitted recently and has also come up in terms of the messages that we’re getting during this call: Is the call only open to Canadian organizations?

The answer to that is: This call requires that the signatory or signatories be legally incorporated in Canada. However, not all participants in your application need to be signatories. So it is possible for you to have non-signatory partners. Those partners do not have to be Canadian. And in fact, we very much encourage that, for example, we would encourage you to have local partners on the ground. They don't have to be legally incorporated in Canada; they don’t have to be signatories to the applications. So again, any signatories need to be Canadian, but it is possible to have other participants in your application and in your programming that are not Canadian and that do not necessarily have to be signatories on the application.

The third question which has come up and this is specific to those of you who are in the university sphere. We've mentioned that only one organization can be the lead signatory, the question that has come up is: How is this interpreted in the context of universities? There could multiple faculties, it could be multiple institutions that are interested in applying, but they are all under the same university.

The answer to that is: The lead signatory must be legally incorporated in Canada, and in most cases, legal incorporation would be at the university level, not at the faculty level. If so, a university would only be able to lead on one application for this call. With one exception, and that is: if there is a unit or an institute within your university that is separately incorporated, then the university and this separate unit could each submit an application as a lead signatory. Our hope is that that would clarify some of the questions that have come in with respect to that.

I’m now going to turn to required project parameters. It is very important that the applications meet all three required project parameters to be deemed eligible for funding and proceed to merit assessment.

Three required project parameters:

1. The first is geography. The project you propose will be implemented in one or more fragile or conflict-affected countries, or in countries hosting refugees who are eligible for public or development assistance such as those listed below in the highlights of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development's States Fragility Framework, 2018. The index provides a notional list of countries. It is your responsibility ultimately to propose the countries or to propose countries that are ODA eligible and demonstrate alignment with the objective of this call for proposals.

Please note that about 75% of funding will be allocated to initiatives in sub-Saharan Africa So please, do keep that in mind with respect to the countries that you’re proposing. It will be very important that we allocate to sub-Saharan Africa. So if we see some really good proposals outside of that region and ultimately we haven’t met our geographic allocation, we’re going to have to give preference to the proposals that are looking at sub-Saharan Africa.

Another really important point with respect to geographic scope, we're going to ask you to keep in mind is the countries in which you will be proposing to  program. Because they are fragile and conflict-afflicted, these are really difficult contexts in which to operate, and some are more difficult than others. It will be very difficult to have results in such a context, so a key question for you is: how can we achieve sustainable results in these countries? Another key question is: how can we manage risks in such a context? And finally, how can we have measures in place to ensure the safety of your team members?

So these are really key questions in a fragile context: results, risks, duty of care, so we're going to ask that you pay very close attention to these, and it will be really important that you demonstrate in your application how, in this type of a context, you're going to be able to do that. I'm going to come back to the question of results and risks in a moment, but, I just wanted to underline that because in looking at the geographic scope of your project this is a really key consideration. Fragile contexts are more difficult to operate in than others, and in some cases, we may simply decide that it's too risky. Getting involved in a situation in which there is an active conflict may simply not allow for you to achieve the type of results we're looking for, or to be able to guarantee the safety of people involved.

A second consideration with to respect to geographic scope is the question of sanctions. You will see a reference of this both in the forms that we’re asking you to fill out as well as in the call page. Please consider very carefully, when you are looking at local partners for engagement and include in your application the question of Canadian, and international sanctions. A key point here, not all sanctions are the same. Some sanctions are specific to individuals, other sanctions are specific to the export of goods, such as weapons, and some sanctions do indeed allow for humanitarian assistance, but not other forms of international assistance. So, there's a real mix of sanctions out there, both Canadian and international, and it's important that you understand before you apply, are there sanctions that apply to the country that you are seeking to do programming in, and what exactly is the nature of those sanctions? And would they prevent us and you from actually doing the type of programming that you are seeking to do in that context? So, we're hoping that you will have done the preliminary research in advance so that you'll have a clear understanding of if what you're proposing is, in essence, feasible. There is information on GAC’s website with respect to the sanctions.

2. The second criterion in this area is cost sharing. Less than 5% of the total eligible direct costs over the life of the project in cash and/or in-kind contributions. Cost sharing must be provided in accordance with Global Affairs Canada’s Cost-Sharing, Grants and Non-Refundable Contribution Agreement. Please review it carefully as it has recently changed.

I think you’re going to like the nature of those changes, not only in terms of the percentage being lower and consistent, but also in terms of the flexibility that is provided under that policy with respect to the source of funds, and, whether those funds are in cash or in-kind. There is already a question in this area. The question is, can Canadian and non-signatory partner organization, Canadian, international, or otherwise, contribute to the cost share requirement and if so, do these funds need to be sent to the Canadian organization in order to be included in the amount required for the cost share?

So, based on the new policy, the answer to that question is: Yes. The cost share contribution can indeed be provided by the signatory party or other sources, so the source of funds does not have to be the signatory partner or the Canadian organization. Foreign partners, other donors, local partners can all be sources of funding, of cost share. However, eligible cash contributions coming from other sources must flow through the accounts of the signatory to the agreement. In other words, the cost share portion from another partner does, in fact, have to be provided to you and come through your account. So that's a really important clause, basically what that allows is an audit assurance with respect to that cost share.

3. The third criterion is languages. This one is very straightforward. The application must be submitted in English or French. And applications that combine English and French documents are acceptable.

One of the things that I'm going to mention here that's really important. We didn't put it in as a criterion for your project, or a parameter for your project, but it is just something to keep in mind, we have not included either a minimum or a maximum amount of funding for the proposal submitted under this call. In terms of minimum, we leave that to you. But one key thing to keep in mind is thatwe're going to want to see a critical mass of programming to produce sustainable results. And funding to do this in a fragile context is generally going to be more expensive than in a non-fragile context. So you're going to want to make sure that what you're proposing has sufficient budget to actually be feasible.

The other consideration, from the maximum perspective, is that you need to be aware that our Minister's delegated authority for development assistance grants and contributions is 50 million dollars. That's considerably more than it has been in the past. We have received as a department, an increase in terms of our delegated authority for the minister of international development. But, nonetheless, any programming decisions above that amount, in other words, above 50 million dollars, can only be made by Treasury Board. It will take us much longer to seek approval of any application above 50 million, the level of detail required will be much higher, and GAC does not have the authority to approve projects of that amount on its own, that authority rests with Treasury Board. So, if you are thinking you are going to submit a proposal above 50 million dollars, take those points into account because that definitely will make for a much more complex and difficult approval process, and ultimately, even if Global Affairs is interested in it, it’s not our call at the end of the day as to whether it’s approved. So those are really important considerations for any of you who might be considering going big.

Required project experience:

For this call, your application must provide examples that demonstrate the signatories and/or non-signatory partners for this project have the following: At least five years’ experience in project implementation, development preparation or humanitarian projects in fragile countries in crisis or afflicted by conflict, as well as refugee taking countries - In one of the areas tied to the three key objectives. A second criteria: experience achieving results in gender equality in fragile countries in crisis, and so on. So, it is important that you look at this. Key point to keep in mind here is this third area can be achieved, not only by the signatory partner but by your other partners. In other words, the combined experience here is something that we would be looking for from all the organizations that are part of the application. It is not limited to the signatory, which is the case for the organizational eligibility, which is that first matter that I discussed. So that is a question that's already been put to us in terms of whether or not it's simply the lead applicant or non-signatory. And the answer is: Project experience can collectively be demonstrated by a lead applicant, other signatories, and non-signatory partners.

Those are the three main areas that we will be assessed at the front end. After that, we will be coming back to organizations with respect to eligibility and we will be informing you as to whether or not your application is deemed eligible and whether we will be assessing it at merit.

There will be a few other things that we’re looking at the front end, and there are a few other considerations that you should keep in mind. These are outlined on the call page. One of them relates to construction. If you're proposing new construction, we will not be considering that, so please, do not propose new construction. We will consider refurbishment to existing structures, in other words, an improvement to the existing structure, but there are some things you're going to have to look at very carefully if you're considering to get into refurbishment. First, there is a section, Section 5.2, that you're going to fill out, that is in the proposal form, second, if you're looking at refurbishment activities, you will down the road have to submit a detailed plan and budget for those activities after signing the contribution agreement. And a few other things which are really important, particularly in this type of context: sustainability of construction, of buildings, of refurbished structures, is very difficult. You have to look at questions such as: how will that structure be maintained down the road after the project is over? Is there sufficient local ownership and protection for the structure, to make sure it is not only maintained but protected? The other question that's very important for us, when talking about anything that has to do with construction or refurbishment, is, how will the environmental impact from any activity be mitigated, and, ultimately, any type of refurbishment activity is likely to have some sort of environmental impact. So you have to look at, and demonstrate, how that will be addressed.

Just to reiterate, there are a few things that we may give preference to, I already mentioned sub-Saharan Africa. Ultimately, we view it as a good thing if this is an application which involves several organizations. That is something which will assist in meeting the experience criteria. And innovative approaches are always of interest to us. There is some information in the info page with the definition of innovation. But ultimately, what we're looking for is approaches that will demonstrate something different than what has been used in the past, which may, in fact, build on our ability to be successful. So, is there something outside the box that you're proposing that ultimately will help to reduce risk and increase the level of results achieved.

Assessing a proposal:

The next thing I want to speak to is a question of how we assess your proposal. I think the key question here is to please review very carefully a link in the documents on the Web with respect to how we assess your proposal. The assessment process and this is outlined in general on the Web includes the following steps.

First, the eligibility check is to verify the proposals meet all the organization, eligibility requirements and project parameters. It’s really a question of yes or no. It’s not a question of scoring; it’s simply a question of: do you meet or do you not?

Eligible applications will then be assessed with respect to project experience. And again, it’s a question of yes or no. Do you have experience or do you not? We can’t guess at that, it’s very much up to you to demonstrate that and to let us know how you pass the experience criteria. Once we get through that step, we will inform organizations that meet or do not meet the eligibility criteria. And then we pass on to what’s called the merit assessment.

In the merit assessment, we will be looking at several things, including the rationale for the initiative, the assessment of gender equality, human rights, environmental sustainability, results, and risk management. We looked at some of the recent calls that we've undertaken, one of the things that we've found is that applicants experienced the most difficulty with respect to a couple sections, in particular, managing for results and responding to risks.
In terms of managing for results, we recognize it’s a difficult section, but it’s absolutely essential, because what we’re looking for from you is an indication of how you are going to achieve sustainable results and ultimately that’s what this programming is all about. So this is, in essence, the core of your application. It’s really critical for us and for you to demonstrate how to achieve results.

Some advice in this area, from a results-based management perspective, start with identifying the results. A common mistake is to plan projects based on activities, and then, once you’ve thought about the activity, try to determine what result you can achieve with this activity. Don’t do that. Ultimately, that is not going to be a recipe for success, because, often, what is missed in that sort of an approach is, what are other donors doing, what local partners are doing, what are the gaps that need to be addressed to achieve the results and what’s the most effective means of addressing those gaps. By starting with the problem definition, starting with the result, and then working back from there, ultimately you’re going to come up with a much more successful design for your project. In articulating the results, please be clear, please be logical, and provide those links between the levels of results and your performance measurement framework, and articulate strategies for ensuring the sustainability of the- those results. A key question for us in looking at any proposal is: What will continue after the project is over? Do not underestimate the challenges related to this, particularly in a fragile context.

In terms of risks, risk management is going to be particularly important given the programming context for this call. In recent calls, many organizations omitted risks from their proposals or did not include mitigation strategies. Ultimately, that led to the proposal not being successful. We need to see that you have a sound understanding of, and a plan to mitigate risks that could have the greatest impact on the achievement of development results and the safety of your staff. This is particularly important given the geographic scope for this call for proposal; It is really difficult in such a context to achieve results and it is very important to have a demonstration of risks and a plan to manage risks.

One other thing that we have seen in recent calls is, when it comes to human rights, gender equality, environmental sustainability, in some cases we saw some good text and information with respect to this, but no indication that that had been consulted in any way with local groups or that the views of those groups have been incorporated in the project design. Very important that we see that, if you have had consultations, let us know, and let us know how those consultations are reflected in the design that you're submitting.

Just a couple of last things I’ll cover here and then we’d like to open it up for questions. How to submit your application package. The answer to that is: Through the partners at international portal. That portal was already used for previous calls so if you have already been a part of a previous call, you know how to submit through that; if you don't, please go to the Web and get information with respect to that. A key point, you need to register to be part of that portal, so please do that as soon as possible. The deadline to submit proposals is February 13th at noon, you’ll want to make sure that you’re part of that, that you’re registered for the portal well in advance of that, and we strongly recommend you submit your application at least three business days before the closing date in case of any technical issues.

I'm not going to cover all of the elements of the application package, that's outlined on the Web and there's no need for me to repeat it here. What I will indicate, though, is that we are sending out, upon request, the budget form for this call. That is something that many of you have already asked for, and we've already sent out. The other thing we're going to start sending out now is a sort of a logic model for the G7 Girls Education Initiative. This is not a logic model for this call, but it is a logic model for the overall 400 million dollar initiative of which this call is part. For those of you who have already received your budget form, we will be sending that logic model out to you, shortly. For those of you who are about to request the budget form, you will get the logic model with that. So, this is for information purposes only, but I think it's important for you to see some of the parameters for the larger, overall initiative.

The last thing I’ll mention, with respect to questions and answers, for those of you that have gone into the call page over past couple last days, you may notice we’ve shifted the date to Monday (Jan 21) from tomorrow (Jan 18), we just wanted to make sure that there was some additional time for you to pose questions that may arise from today’s webinar. So, the new deadline is Monday (Jan 21), for you to submit questions with respect to the call. We will then ensure that we have the answers to those questions up on the website, well in advance of the February 13th deadline. So, that’s all from me at the moment. We are looking forward to any questions that you might have and we will do as best we can to answer those questions during this call. In some cases, we might provide those answers later, in writing, depending on the nature of the question and whether we need to consult internally here before answering.

I think we’ve already got several questions that have come in, and, so, I’m going to pass this to GAC Representative 2 for a moment to answer some of the initial questions. I’m going to have a look at some of the questions that relate to my area. I’ll pass over to you to answer some of the initial questions that have come in on context and objectives

Questions and answers:

GAC Representative 2: OK, so we’re going to kick off with a few questions that have been received. And we’ll alternate between GAC Representative 1 and I, we’ll try to answer as many of the questions as possible during this time. All questions will be answered and published on our website in the coming days.

First question: How will the size of an organization influence the evaluation of a proposal? Is a preference given to larger organizations?

The proposals will be assessed on merit. The key part will be the applicant’s capacity to implement the project, and we will be looking for all of the various attributes that GAC Representative 1 and I have gone over, alignment with the pillars, geographic scope, and the gender equality effects that we mentioned. Really what we’re looking for here is not necessarily around the size of an organization, but rather the ability of the organization to implement the initiative which is being proposed, it’s relevant to local need, and the alignment with our three pillars. It’s not about how big the organization is. And, further information on this you can look on the call page under How do we assess your proposal? for more information on our standard merit criteria.

Question two: Will 25% of the total available budget allocated be necessarily allocated to countries outside of sub-Saharan Africa? I think GAC Representative 1 touched on this a bit.

The answer to that is: No, not necessarily. Approximately 75% of the budget will be reserved for sub-Saharan Africa, but the percentage could be higher.                

Question three: Regarding the targeting of fragile and conflict-affected states, will GAC focus on fragile states as defined by the OECD?

The call page references the OECD Fragility Framework 2018, this is indicated as an indicative listing. Please consult the page to see which countries are listed under that, but if you wish to propose a project in an ODA eligible fragile or conflict-affected state outside of those that are listed in the Fragility Framework, you may do so, but with an accompanying rationale that is aligned with, and helps explain, the reason for proposing in that country. Now I'll note again here that the listing is an indicative listing and as GAC Representative 1 and I have both mentioned we must also take into account issues such as: the duty of care, sanctions, and all of this information can be found on the website. So that’s the first three that I have, I’m going to turn it back to GAC Representative 1 now.

GAC Representative 1:  OK thank you, GAC Representative 2. I've got several questions here as well, more related to the process and eligibility criteria.

The first question I have is: Can a newly incorporated Canadian organization be a lead signatory?

So I think the emphasis here is on “newly incorporated.” The answer to that is: Yes, absolutely. As long as they are legally incorporated and meet the eligibility criteria, that’s fine. So, the length of time an organization has been incorporated is not a factor.

Second question: Can non-signatories of a consortium present their experience within the form?

The answer to that is: Yes. The required experience for the project can be demonstrated collectively by the lead applicant, other signatories, and non-signatory partners.

Third question: We’ve already submitted another project as an unsolicited proposal; can we still submit a different proposal to this call?

The answer to that is: Absolutely yes. You can submit proposals to multiple calls, you can submit unsolicited proposals. What you can’t do is submit two proposals under this call as a lead signatory. So that is the only prohibition there. But other engagements that you’ve got with Global Affairs have no bearing on whether you will be screened in or out of this particular call.

Next question: Will a recording of the webinar be offered and shared afterward?

The answer is: Yes, absolutely. There will be a full transcript in both languages that will be shared following the webinar. So if you did miss anything either due to some of the issues that we had at the beginning with unmuted calls, or maybe there was a problem with your phone line where you missed part of it, we’ll absolutely be sharing that and you’ll be able to see that in full. That will include, by the way, all the questions and answers that have come in and that we’ve tried to answer during this webinar.

Next question: Is there a minimum budget requirement for proposals?

The answer to that is: No, there is no prescribed minimum or maximum, however, as both GAC Representative 2 and I spoke to during our presentations, the total funding for this call is 80 million dollars over five years. That is the maximum for the overall call, not for an individual proposal. We're hoping to support about seven or eight applications. But, keep in mind some of the other factors that I mentioned in my presentation as well. It is expensive to work in a fragile context and to ensure that you have proper provisions in place for your staff with respect to the duty of care. And, if anyone wants to provide a proposal above 50 million, there is a lot more process and a lot more approval levels that need to be considered with respect to that, so ultimately you’re setting the bar much higher for yourself than if you keep your proposal to 50 million or less.

Next question: Where in the proposal is the appropriate section to justify the selection of the geographic scope for countries?

The answer to that is: Countries should be identified in the initiative summary. So when you’re summarizing what your initiative is, that’s your opportunity to identify what the countries are and indicate the alignment of that choice of geographic scope to the actual objectives of the call. So that gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that in a very real way. Those are the questions I’ve got.

GAC Representative 1:  So, we’ve got a number of questions that are just coming in now and that we’ll seek to answer in a moment. In the meantime, what I can say as well is that the questions with respect to how to apply and where the information is. If there’s anything after this call that as you’re going through the forms that you’re uncertain of, you’re welcome to certainly send that question to us. So, we’re just going to go on mute for two seconds and collect the next round of questions and then we’re going to provide answers to the next set of questions.

GAC Representative 2: OK, next question. What are the minimum and the maximum for the project in terms of years?

The minimum is three years, and the maximum is five years.

GAC Representative 1:  OK. So, we’re seeing a number of questions with respect to timelines. I’ll speak to the longer-term question of timelines in terms of:

When can we expect to see answers with respect to whether we’re screened in at eligibility or not? When will, ultimately, the decision be made in terms of approval?

I think the question on eligibility; our hope would be that we’ll go through that fairly quickly. Ultimately, it depends in part on the number of applications we get. The more applications we get the longer it takes us to go through the calls, and, or the application, and come to a decision with respect to what’s screened in what’s screened out; and it certainly took us a fairly long time with respect to the SMO call given that we had 196 proposals that we had to go through.

Depending on how many proposals we get on this call, I can't see it being as many as 196, but, the more applications we get obviously the longer it will take us. With respect to the merit assessment: that will likely take longer than the eligibility phase just because we need to go through a long set of documents at that point and time and it's less cut and dry at that point. Ultimately it's a question of which applications pass merit but also, of the ones that pass merit, how do we rank those proposals and ultimately land on a list of proposals that match the 80 million dollars that we’ve allocated to this call. So that process takes a little bit longer, and then ultimately needs approval by the appropriate body. That can take a little bit longer. So I can’t give you a hard number on that in terms of a timeframe. What I can say is we will work as quickly as possible through this to reach decisions and that process will depend in part on the number of applications that we receive.

Will additional documents be accepted beyond the application requirements?

The answer to that is: No. If you’re trying to submit other documents beyond what is outlined in the forms, we will not be looking at those. What you submit needs to be submitted through the forms that are outlined on the call page.

Can they include letters from partners for the application?

These are not requested for this call, and we will not be looking at that. Anything that you provide to us needs to be provided within the actual document.

GAC Representative 2: So, I have a question here about the multi-sectoral project. The question is: Are multi-sectorial projects eligible if education is one of the sections of intervention and the project can achieve the three objectives?

So, the answer to that question is: Yes, they are eligible. However, what is most important is to ensure that the project in its entirety is aligned to at least one of the three call objectives. Going back to the policy guidance that is provided in the call for proposals, you’ll see that we’ve outlined a number of different documents that provide the framework for the policy of the call. So again, Charlevoix Declaration, the disability summit, and there’s links as well to the, our GE guidance and so on and so forth. So, a multi-sectoral project would be eligible, but the most important thing is to ensure that the project does align with the policy parameters of the call, with the three pillars, and that it is looking to ensure that we achieve the objectives that are stated in the call documents.
The logic model which GAC Representative 1 had mentioned will also be helpful in this regard to help you formulate what the overall parameters of the project will be and to ensure that you’re in line with the outcomes that we’re intending. While we’re happy to consider a project like- a multi-sectoral project, assuming that you meet the eligibility criteria, please do ensure that you clearly explain how the various sectors are aligned with the three pillars and which objectives the call is trying to achieve.

GAC Representative 1:  One of the questions is closely related to the one I just answered. In the How to Present your Application section, it does not appear that applicants are requested to provide proof of their country of origin or proof of a partnership, e.g. a letter indicating a local, regional, corporate partnership, etc. Can we still attach these documents to our application?

The answer is no, these documents are not requested for this call. If submitted, they will not be included in the assessment. So, we’re really not looking for that.

Next question: Can a lead signatory apply again for another project to another call?

Yes, absolutely.

Next question and this is a very good one. Is there space, for example, a risk matrix, to talk in depth about risk management or is it only in the theory of change?

The answer is: You are asked to discuss the key risks and response strategies in the theory of change section of the application form. That’s really a key part of the document. In essence, the theory of change, if there’s one area you’re going to focus on, it should be that one, because that’s where you’re going to be talking about results, that’s where you’re going to be talking about risks, that’s where you’re going to be talking about sustainability. So it’s really key to focus on because it’s the main substance of the application

Next question. We have to show five years of relevant experience, can this experience go back more than five years from the submission date?

The answer is yes. You have to show five years, but it doesn’t have to be within the last five years. If that experience goes back further, that’s fine. Obviously, if we’re talking about a situation in which you haven’t worked in this type of context for 20 years and the experience you’re demonstrating goes back several decades and there’s nothing more recent, that’s going to be a situation in which your proposal may not be viewed as strongly as that of another organization that has been working in that type of a context more recently. But, ultimately, it’s a question of yes or no do you have that experience and the answer would be: Yes.

GAC Representative 2: OK, I have a question here. Are faith-based organizations encouraged to apply?

The answer to that is: Yes, absolutely. Faith-based organizations are welcome to apply, as are all Canadian organizations. I’m going to take this opportunity to refer back to the organizational eligibility section of the call page and note that the call is open to Canadian organizations who may submit their application alone or in collaboration with other organizations, either as signatories or non-signatories, and to collaborate with other Canadian or international organizations. I’m referring back also to an earlier question about the size of the organization, for us, what is most key in assessing the proposals that come in are not the size or the type of organization but rather the merit of the proposal and the organization’s ability to implement it, taking into account all the various different issues that have been raised during the webinar, such as: alignment with our three pillars, geographic scope, gender equality, innovation, and so on. So, please, the field is open, all Canadian organizations are welcome to apply. What we encourage you to do is read carefully the eligibility criteria.

GAC Representative 1:  And maybe I’ll just comment further on the question that GAC Representative 2 just answered. This relates to the eligibility varying across different calls. For the small- and medium-sized organizations call, size of the organization was actually part of the eligibility criteria because that was a call that was targeting specifically small- and medium-sized organization. If you had an organization that was a sufficient size not to meet the criteria we would have screened you out. That is not the case for this call. So the organizational size that- of the applicant is not a criterion for this call. Rather, it is your experience in fragile and conflict-affected situations, the project parameters that you put forward, etc.; those are the types of things we're assessing here, not the size of your organization. So a key difference from this call compared to the other call for proposals.

GAC Representative 2: And we understand that many of you are listening to this with the idea of screening yourselves in as to whether or not you meet the criteria, we would very much emphasize that there are no limits on the size or type of organization, it’s about your experience and your ability to implement.

GAC Representative 1:  OK, so, a few other questions.

Is it expected that applicants will develop ultimate and intermediary outcomes for the current call?

The answer to that is: Yes. You must complete the logic model, including the ultimate and intermediate outcome. That will be something that we’re looking for as part of the package that you submit.

Few questions here with respect to the proposal. Is it a full proposal? Is it a preliminary proposal? Why is it not preliminary?

The answer to that is that: We're going with what I would call a streamlined full proposal because we're doing this in one step. In other words, what we're not doing is looking at an initial sort of short document from you and then requesting a second more wholesome application. We're going to do this in one step because we want to move very quickly on this. There will be other calls coming up. I think there's one advertised right now in which we're looking at something called an expression of interest, in which we will get a short form from you and then request further information later for those that are screened in.

We’re not doing that here, this is a one-step call in which you submit the information and the entirety of our decision-making is going to be based on that initial information that you submit. That is what we’re looking at here. What I can say though is that we have taken steps to streamline, and to reduce what we request in a full proposal template so that what you’re being asked to submit is less than what you would have been asked to submit in previous calls. So there has been some streamlining, but it is not a multi-step process, it is a one-step process that is being followed for this particular call.

Another question was with respect to page limit. Is there a maximum amount of pages?

The answer to that is: Yes. There is a 17-page limit in English. In French, there is a 21-page limit. Obviously, more space is needed to prepare a French proposal than an English one. That is always the case, and it is true for this call for proposals. So, a 17-page limit in English, and a 21-page limit in French.

GAC Representative 2: OK, I have a question about construction and refurbishment.

And the question is: What's, your caution about construction and refurbishment, but what about other capital needs such as: equipment for science, furnishing, washrooms, etc?

So I’m just going to take actually a couple of minutes to talk about what we consider to be refurbishment versus construction. Refurbishment means any improvement to an existing structure. So this could include: tool repairs, renovations, latrines, etc. For this call, we are not considering projects that include new construction, but we will consider refurbishment. And I'll go into a little of what light and more extensive refurbishment could include. But, first of all, note that all refurbishment activities must contribute to the cause of the proposal and you are required to demonstrate previous experience if you're going to undertake refurbishment. And that would be in section 5.2 of the form. And you will also have to, under section 2.0 for environmental sustainability, ensure that you disclose what these activities will include and whether anything will be demolished. 

So, some examples of light refurbishment could include: changing hardware (doors or windows); floor, wall, ceilings or baseboard finishes; stationary furniture (such as those in laboratories or classrooms); upgrading of electrical or mechanical systems; landscaping and urban furniture; cocking of windows and doors; cleaning of wells and repairing of masonry; decks, stairs and access ramps; and roofs.

Examples of more extensive refurbishment could include: redo a roof, a load-bearing wall, add an extension or water tank or protective fencing. Now, note again that Sections 5.2 and Sections 2.0 of the form needs to be filled out if you're going to be considering any activities like this in your proposal.

GAC Representative 2: Is there a preference for single or multi-country focus?

The answer to that question is that: There is no preference for either a single- or a multi-country focus. There’s no preference. The geographic scope- the geographic requirement we do have is a minimum of 75% of the project occurring in sub-Saharan Africa.

GAC Representative 1:  So, let me talk a little bit more about some of the results related questions here. Will you provide a logic model?

The answer to that is: The overall commitment logic model, so the logic model for the G7 Education for Girls Initiative as a whole will be shared with you for information. However, you must develop your own logic model for your proposed project which aligns with the objectives of the call as detailed in the call page. This relates to another question that we’ve got, with respect to the outcome statements.

Are we required to use a specific language for this or do we just need to ensure that we align with the pillars articulated in the call?

The answer to that is: We do not have a prescribed set of outcome statements for this call nor do we expect you to align to a set of outcome statements, but we do expect you to align to the overall objective of the call. You need to come up with your own results based on that. Your logic model needs to align with the objectives which are outlined on the call page. The logic model that we give you for the overall initiative is for information, you do not have to take text from that logic model and embed it in your own logic model.

Keep in mind, with respect to the whole question of managing for results. One of the links we've provided for you on the website is a results-based management how-to guide. That is going to be incredibly helpful to you with respect to developing your theory of change. There is a detailed set of advice in that document; I think it’s about 90 pages long. It is available in both official languages. Therefore, it is an incredibly useful document. There are also tip sheets with respect to results-based management that are linked to specific parts of that results-based management how-to guide. This is really your go-to guide with respect to results-based management.

That guide was published about a year ago, so it is very much up-to-date. And it is something that we will expect you have read and incorporated in the type of documents that you are submitting to us. So those are a few matters with respect to the results sections.

How do we evaluate experience? Do you need documentation to support this claim?

The answer is: You only need to complete Section 5 in the application form. As I said previously, don’t give us additional documentation to verify, or to provide credibility for what you’re saying, we take you on your words, you just simply need to give us clear articulation of the experience that you have. Make sure that you articulate that well in terms of the two project examples that you’re going to give us that outline your experience. So that is very important.

Another question: With respect to the experience gained by the members of a consortium, including 5 years of experience in fragile countries, does it need to be shown by one member, one of the members, or can it be a combination of experience by several members?

The answer is that the experience may be shown by several members. But there is a limit of two project examples. There may be several members, but only two examples can be provided. If you want to show the experience of several members of your team, you will need to do it in one of the two project examples. That’s key.

OK, we have some other questions on the process, timelines, and five years' experience. Regarding the five-year' experience: Five years for most current experience or in all of- for the organization?

The answer to that is: You can choose what experience example you would like to provide, the five years do not have to be consecutive. But the five years do need to be the accumulated experience that you have in this type of a context doing this type of work, and that experience needs to be demonstrated in those two project examples. We've got a fair number of questions on this, so let me just recap. In order to demonstrate the five years of experience that you have in programming in fragile and conflict-affected situations, or in a refugee context, with respect to the objectives of this call, you have two project examples which you can use to demonstrate the five years of experience criteria. Within those two project examples you can include multiple partners that you have in this application as part of those examples, so it does not have to be one partner per example, if you have multiple partners that were involved in those experiences, by all means, include that. But, if ultimately, you've got five partners and each of those partners have never worked together before and you've got five examples, you're going to have to pick your best two. It's only two examples that you're going to be able to submit for the experience criteria.

OK, next question: What does non-signatory mean?

The answer to that is: A partner that will not be signing the financial arrangement with Global Affairs Canada. Really there are three categories of partners you’re looking at here. First is the lead signatory, which is the partner that will be signing some of the key forms that are outlined in the call page. Second is the signatory; that is one of the organizations that is not the lead but nonetheless will still be part of the financial arrangement with Global Affairs Canada. Both the lead signatory and the other signatories need to meet all of the organization eligibility criteria. The third category of partners is non-signatory (local partners); non-signatory partners can be part of the project but are not signing the financial arrangement with Global Affairs Canada, they do not have to meet the organization eligibility, but they can contribute to the experience of the group of partners that is submitting the application. Those are the three different types of partners that may be involved in your application and how they will vary in terms of the process that we’ve outlined.

Another question in this area:  Can the experience of a non-signatory partner compensate for the lack of experience of a signatory?

The answer is yes, definitely. The experience of a non-signatory is really helpful in demonstrating the group’s experience.

GAC Representative 2: Will GAC fund multiple awards in the same countries to different organizations?

The answer to that is: Possibly. There are no restrictions on how many proposals could be funded in a specific country. So we’ll leave it at.

So this question is: Regarding the required project experience which is required in a fragile conflict or crisis situation: how are those countries defined? Are they limited to the countries mentioned in the OECD states of fragility framework 2018?

Our answer to that is the same as the previous about which countries are eligible for the proposal. The OECD framework is an indicative list. If the countries that you’ve worked in, in the past, or the countries that you propose to work in now are on that list, that’s great. If they are not on that list, they must be ODA eligible, and, in addition, please provide a description of the experience that you’ve had in that country before. Another question: If you have previous experience in a fragile country or conflict state that’s not on the OECD list, as long as there is an accompanying rationale, please explain that, and then looking forward, if you’re submitting in a country that is not on that list, please provide a rationale as to why you’re proposing to work in that country. In all cases, the country must be ODA eligible.

Next question: Regarding the project parameters, which were: address at least one educational cycle, post-secondary education is not listed although the transition to adulthood is mentioned?

So the question is: Regarding the project parameters, are programs targeting post-secondary/adults, women, eligible? The answer to that is: Yes. The third call objective is skills development and that reads, "to increase girls' and women's equitable access to quality gender responsive skills, development, and higher education." So the answer to the question: Are programs targeting post-secondary education eligible? The answer is: Yes, under the third call objective.

GAC Representative 1:  Let me just say before I answer some additional questions here. If we do not get to all of the questions, or if we don’t get to your question, in particular, we will be answering all of the questions on the website. If by the time we wrap up the call we haven't gotten to all of the questions, doesn't mean we won't get to them, it just means that you'll have to look on the website for the response. We're committed to answering all of the questions here and we will answer them all in writing. Keep an eye on that website. It generally takes us a week or so to answer questions that are submitted, and the deadline for questions being submitted is Monday (Jan 21), so you should expect that a week or so after Monday the answers to these questions should appear on the website. Keep an eye on the website, because as questions come in we continue to update the website with respect to answers and you should see all answers on the website well in advance of the closing date for the call. 

So, there are some additional questions that have come in. With respect to Section 5.1 and the two past projects which demonstrate experience, could these be multi-sectoral projects?

The answer to that is: Yes.

Could an organization be a partner to a Canadian organization for proposals and work in more than one country?

The answer to that is: Yes, absolutely. Obviously, that would not be the signatory, if they’re not a Canadian, but absolutely, if you’ve got partners overseas that you work with, you can for sure include those in your project examples and they can definitely be part of your overall project design.

A few questions with respect to cost sharing: In-kind contributions, do they count for cost sharing?

The answer to that is: Yes. Please have a look at our new cost-sharing policy which is online and linked to the call page. In-kind contributions are absolutely considered for the 5%. Further to that, there is no minimum amount of cash that is required. Your in-kind contribution could represent 100% of your cost share or 0% of your cost share. It is up to you to determine what the mix of cash and in-kind is with respect to cost share, so it is very much your call. The policy on the web allows for both.

Can it come from local partners? Does it have to be sent to Canada?

The source of cost sharing cannot be a contribution from your intended recipients, but it can be from local partners. We’re not looking for the recipients of the project to contribute cash or in-kind contributions, but cash or in-kind contributions may come from your local partners.

Does the cash have to be sent to Canada?

The answer is: It has to go through your project accounts. For a cash contribution from another partner, it does have to flow through your account so that it can be audited. It cannot be simply that the local government is funding education. That contribution is not flowing through the project’s accounts, so it cannot be considered part of cost share. That is very important for the sustainability of the project that governments do fund education facilities, but that is not considered cost share because it is not directly part of your project.

Regarding different geographic areas: How related do the countries have to be to each other?

Well, they have to relate to the scope to the call, but if you’re operating in two different parts of the world, there doesn’t have to be any necessary specific link between those two countries. We will be looking at if the countries that you are proposing, you’ve got experience that’s relevant to that context and that context is relevant to the objectives of the call. It is really not necessary to demonstrate that there’s a link between the two countries that you’re planning to program in.

GAC Representative 2: OK. So I have a question here: Should interventions target educational institutions? Is this a requirement?

The answer to that is: No, targeting educational institutions is not a requirement.

Next question: How many projects will possibly be awarded funding under this fund?

As mentioned, we expect to fund roughly seven applications, so we hope to support roughly seven to eight proposals coming out of this call. Again, the key points to remember is that the cap of the call is 80 million dollars, the minimum duration is three years, the maximum duration is five years, and the other key point that GAC Representative 1 mentioned is that our Minister's authority goes to 50 million dollars, anything above that has to go through the Treasury Board.

I have a follow-up to a question on the construction versus refurbishment.

So the question was: Does refurbishment include expansion to an existing structure?

To reiterate the question: Is refurbishment equal expansion to an existing structure? I'm going to call your attention to the section of- under Additional Guidance in the call for proposals, which says that, ‘'Global Affairs Canada will not consider projects that include new construction.'' However, we will consider refurbishment of existing structures. Which could mean any improvements to the existing structure and it must contribute to the objectives of the call for proposals, and you have to demonstrate under Section 5.2, previous experience of undertaking construction or refurbishment. Examples of a more extensive refurbishment that do not include new construction could include redoing a roof or a load-bearing wall.

GAC Representative 1:  So we've got just a few more minutes left. I'm going to just answer a few more questions here, I'm going to go through them very quickly, and then I think we're going to need to wrap after that because we're almost at our time limit. Again, just to reiterate, we have an opportunity to look at all the questions you submitted and post them on the website. So, there will absolutely be answers to your questions coming up shortly. 

GAC Representative 2: Following up on your answer regarding the required experience. What if the countries to be mentioned in the required experience were formally ODA eligible but are no longer eligible?

If the country was ODA eligible at the time that you were working there, then it can be considered.

GAC Representative 1:  Is it possible that GAC could approve a project in one or more countries but not all the countries of a multi-country proposal?

The answer to that is: No. For this call, projects will be assessed and approved in their entirety. In other words, if you propose a three-country project, we’re either going to approve you to operate in all three or none. So, it’s either a go, nor no-go for your overall proposal. We will not look at portions of your proposal and proceed with them.

What if the countries to be mentioned in the required experience were formally ODA eligible and are no longer eligible? I think GAC Representative 2 has just answered that.

Can you provide examples of cost sharing for in-kind contributions?

Please review the cost share policy would be the answer to that. You should find definitions with respect to that in the policy.

Which countries of sub-Saharan Africa? The answer to that is: Use the OECD DAC, Development Assistance Committee list. There will be instructions with respect to how to access that list on the Q&A page shortly.

So have a look at the Q&A page in the coming days.

Next question: Can the required experience come from multiple countries even if those countries are not the focus of the applicant proposal?

The answer is: Yes. Your experience does not have to be in the specific countries that you’re proposing to operate in, but it obviously has to be in countries that are relevant to the type of work that you’re planning and to the proposal as a whole.

Can you provide a definition for “local organization” as understood by GAC?

The definition is: an organization established in a recipient country participating in the implementation of a project. So, it’s really a project partner, but it’s in the developing country.

Must all signatories meet the eligibility criteria?

The answer to that is: Yes, the organization must meet the eligibility criteria, but not for the experience criteria. Any of your partners that are not signatories, they can contribute to your experience criteria, but they do not- we will not be assessing your non-signatory partners with respect to the organization eligibility. So again, there are key differences there between the different definitions of organizations.

Can project experience include projects currently being implemented but not complete?

Yes, but you can only count the experience that has already been completed. It doesn't count as experience if you haven't done the work yet. If you haven't done the work yet it doesn't count. If it's an ongoing project and a portion of that work is already done, that would count. So, in terms of the portion that has been completed.

When will you add the Q&A section on your site?

The answer to that is: The Q&A section's already on the site. There are already answers to many questions on the site already. Obviously, the ones from today that have just come in, we're going to take a little while to come up with the answer to those, get those translated, and get them up on the web. Give us at least a week to do that. We've got a lot of questions we have to look at from today, so it's going to take us a little bit of time to go through all of this. I'm guessing we're into triple figures here; probably more than 100 questions have come in. So give us a little bit of time to work through all of those, but we commit to getting those up, in, give us a week, maybe two weeks, but they'll be a long- well in advance of the deadline for the call.

GAC Representative 2: Will proposals that include development and research with local partners be considered for funding?

The answer to that is: Yes. Projects must align overall with at least one of our three program pillars. With the Charlevoix declaration, one of the pillars is Building Evidence-based through Research. So yes, development and research with local partners, that can be considered under one of, assuming that you are clearly aligning it with that pillar.

GAC Representative 1:   I’ve got one last question. And then I think we’re going to just summarize after that. But I’ll go through this section first. In the section How to apply, we do not ask for a country annex.

And just on the same, perhaps from the same partner:  Regarding the project ceiling of $50 million, under which the proposals do not need to be approved by the Treasury Board, is this for the overall project budget or for GAC contribution only?

The amount is $50 million, and that’s for the GAC contribution of each application.

So, if there is an application with more than $50 million, we have to have Treasury Board approval, that’s really another important step for us to consider. It’s possible, but it’s more difficult.

The other consideration for this question is that there is only $80 million total available for this initiative. If we received a single proposal for $80 million, there would only be one proposal approved for the initiative. We want more than that, we want around seven initiatives approved for this call for proposals, and so it wouldn't be very useful for us to receive a single proposal for $80 million. It is just a consideration. It's not prohibited, but it wouldn’t be useful.

That’s all the questions that we’ve got. I think we can say thank you very much. There have been a large number of questions and a large number of people on the line. We apologize if at the front-end it was a bit difficult with respect to folks that hadn’t muted their lines but I’m glad we were able to sort that out and I hope that this webinar has been useful with respect to explaining the parameters for this call. What I can say as well is that in the coming weeks we will be doing other initiatives that will perhaps help those of you who are interested in calls.

We will be looking at a webinar with respect to lessons learned from the small- and medium-sized organizations call. There will be a capacity-building initiative for small and medium organizations that will be led by the Alberta Council for Global Co-operation. And there’ll probably be other initiatives that we’ll be doing with respect to calls for proposals. Case in point, next week there will be a video conference taking place with respect to the partnership for gender equality call that is also on our website. So, lots of things happening in the world of calls for proposals.

GAC Representative 2: Just to remind everyone once again that you must request your budget template by February 6th, that Monday is the last day to submit any more questions that you might have and that the call closes on February 13th, 12 o'clock. We hope that this has been very useful for you, thank you very much for participating. Thank you very much, everyone, and good luck. 

GAC Representative 1:  OK. Thank you, everyone.

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