Questions and answers about applying for funding

  1. Application form technical issues
  2. Application form content
  3. Application process
  4. Partners, consortiums and eligibility
  5. Budget
  6. Other

Questions and answers relating to the Partners@International portal can be found with the portal.

The questions and answers that follow are general, and apply to both calls and unsolicited proposals.

Any questions on an open call which are not answered below should be directed to the contact point for questions listed on the call page.

1. Application form technical issues

Q. We are having trouble accessing Global Affairs Canada’s application form/preliminary proposal form. When we try to open the PDF we receive a message that says our PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document. Can Global Affairs Canada send us a copy of the form?

A. We highly recommend that you use the latest versions of Internet Explorer and Adobe Acrobat Reader to access all PDF forms published on our website as well as any links within these forms. More information is available on the Global Affairs Canada Help Web page.

If you are having difficulties viewing PDF forms using Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome browsers, please consult Adobe’s PDF forms help Web page.

Affairs Canada does not provide versions of the preliminary proposal or application form to individual organizations.

Q. I am having difficulty downloading the application form. What should I do?

A. Right-click on the form link, save it to your computer and open it from there.

Q. What is included in the page limit for the preliminary proposal/application form? For example, are the Logic Model, or Preliminary Performance Management Framework considered to be included?

A. Please refer to the applicant page counter at the top of the application form. This feature counts characters as they are entered in all of the tables and text boxes within the form, and performs a calculation that provides a page count. The applicant page counter on the first page of the form is the true indicator of the number of pages of content entered in the form.

2. Form content

Q. How can we get clarification on the preliminary proposal or application form?

A. The forms themselves contains guidance and all relevant information needed to apply for Global Affairs Canada funding. Global Affairs Canada does not provide potential applicants with any further information on the forms.

Please explore Global Affairs Canada’s website for information on development priorities and applicable policies. Funding guidance, in particular, contains many resources for organizations interested in applying for international development funding.

Q. The maximum number of pages indicated in the French application form is different than in English. Why?

A. There is a difference between the number of pages allowed on the English and French application forms because text volume varies depending on the language. When French is used, there will be more words.

Q. Is there a preferred source of data to be used in proposals?

A. No. Applicants should use reliable, current and appropriate data for their proposals, and cite sources used.

Q. How does the Official Development Assistance Accountability Act (ODAAA) affect my application?

A. Guidance is available online to help you understand the ODAAA and its requirements. These requirements will be assessed throughout your application.

Q. What if I have more than three intermediate outcomes in the Logic Model?

A. Intermediate level outcome statements should represent an expected change in behaviour, practice or performance [as a result of increased capacity (or positive changes) in, for example, knowledge, abilities, skills, etc., at the immediate outcome level]. The form's Logic Model limits you to defining three intermediate level outcomes per initiative.

If you have more than three intermediate outcomes, review them to ensure that they are indeed intermediate outcomes and that there is no duplication or overlap between them. Also consider simplifying the level of detail to see if you can formulate fewer and more general result statements.

Q. How many activities should be included in the Outcomes and Activities Matrix?

A. We’re looking for top-level activities, not sub-activities. Two to five activities per output are appropriate.

Q. My project will have negligible environmental risks but according to the EIP Screening Tool, it falls under Category B. Can I just proceed as if it were listed under Category C?

A. No, the list of activities under Category B was formulated with the knowledge that there are often both risks and opportunities for environmental sustainability in those areas, whether or not environment is the focus of the initiative. Please answer all questions so that your initiative can be assessed.

Q. How can we define physical work if the community project is designed by community-level organizations as part of the project? Should we assume that physical work will be undertaken if there is a possibility?

A. It sometimes happens that certain components of the project will only be defined during implementation. If it’s probable that there will be some physical work for which an environmental assessment may be needed but you are uncertain or don’t know essential details (e.g. location, design, etc.), your analysis will be more general, based on the information you have. You should highlight this possibility in your analysis, specify that the details are unknown at this time and explain what process will be followed. Global Affairs Canada may require that additional environmental analysis be provided at a later date.

In any case, make everything very explicit, and state the process you will be following to assess these activities.

3. Application process

Q. How can our organization apply for Global Affairs Canada funding in response to a humanitarian emergency?

A. Global Affairs Canada has special processes and requirements for humanitarian emergencies. Please refer to the International Humanitarian Assistance – Funding Application Guidelines for Non-Governmental Organizations (PDF, 425 KB, 43 pages) for further information and guidance.

Q. When are Calls launched?

A. Global Affairs Canada does not have predetermined dates for launching calls for preliminary proposals. For notification of future calls for proposals, please subscribe to our RSS Feed.

Q. Does my organization have to register in Partners@International in order to apply for funding?

A. Yes. Please review information on how to use the portal at Partners@International. Do not wait for the last minute to register - it may take up to ten business days to verify your request.

Q. Is there a way of knowing if our organization/consortium and our project idea/outline/concept fit your call for preliminary proposals?

A. Global Affairs Canada does not provide guidance to individual applicants on their specific proposals. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that they meet all eligibility requirements as detailed in the call page and application form for any call for proposals.

Q. Can we submit our application under our own format?

A. No. Applicants must follow application guidelines, including use of the application form posted on this website. Global Affairs Canada will not consider submissions that do not respect posted guidelines for required documents. In order to apply in response to a call, the preliminary proposal form posted on the call page must be used.

Q. Can we submit a concept paper?

A. No. In order for Global Affairs Canada to assess your application efficiently, and to provide clear guidance and consistent access to all applicants, Global Affairs Canada does not accept concept papers for review. Global Affairs Canada only assesses applications that meet all the requirements as detailed in the form posted on the web site for the process through which you are applying.

Q. Can we submit several applications for different projects in different countries?

A. You are at liberty to determine how many unsolicited proposals you submit to Global Affairs Canada, for which country programs, and at what frequency. Global Affairs Canada will consider each application separately, regardless of whether you have submitted other proposals or not. The submission of an application for funding does not mean that Global Affairs Canada will undertake a full review of your proposal.

Q. Are applicants required to submit all proposal documents in one of Canada’s two official languages?

A. Yes. Applicants have to submit all of their proposal documents in either English or French, as we will not translate submissions in any other language.

Q. Can proposals and annexes be submitted in a combination of English and French?

A. Yes. Proposals (including annexes) can be submitted in English or French, or a combination of both official languages.

Q. If Global Affairs Canada rejects the proposal, can it be improved and resubmitted?

A. Yes. You may choose to resubmit your proposal, if you so desire. Any resubmission must comply with the parameters and expectations stipulated in the application form and as presently stated on our website. A resubmission does not have a bearing on the chances for success: Global Affairs Canada will treat a resubmission as a new application, applying all of the same assessment criteria.

Please note that resubmissions are never possible in a call.

Q. Will Global Affairs Canada keep the information in the proposal confidential?

A.Proposals (including supporting material) submitted to Global Affairs Canada are subject to the Government of Canada Access to Information Act and Privacy Act. You should be aware that all information in your proposal (including supporting material) is subject to release upon request under the Access to Information Act or the Privacy Act.

To the extent that you consider certain portions of your completed proposal to be confidential or to contain confidential information regarding a third party, you must clearly identify in writing the material considered confidential. However, you should be aware that information you have identified as being confidential may not be considered confidential under the requirements of the Access to Information Act and may still be subject to release upon request under that Act. Where funding is approved, the amount of funding, the purpose for which the funds were granted and the name of the organization receiving the funding are considered public information and will be published on the Proactive Disclosure section of our website.

By submitting an proposal, you will be agreeing that Global Affairs Canada may disclose any information received in your proposal within Global Affairs Canada and the Government of Canada or to outside consultants hired by Global Affairs Canada for the following purposes:

4. Partners, consortiums and eligibility

Q. As an international organization, do we need a Canadian partner before we can apply? Do we need a local partner before we apply?

A. Any organization can submit an unsolicited proposal for funding, so long as they meet the posted eligibility requirements. They may form partnerships with Canadian and/or local organizations as they so choose.

Some calls for proposals may limit eligibility to applicants from a particular country or require local partners: please check the call page and eligibility requirements specified for each call.

Q. Do local partner organizations have to be based solely in the specific developing country or can they operate there but have their headquarters elsewhere?

A. Local partner organizations do not have to have their headquarters in the country where they will be implementing the initiative or locate their operations exclusively in one country.

Q. Can Global Affairs Canada assist in finding a local partner in a developing country?

A. Organizations submitting proposals are responsible for any consultations with local partners.

Q. We plan to submit a proposal as part of a consortium, in which we are the lead partner. Do the other partners have to comply with all eligibility requirements?

A. For a consortium, meaning a situation where there are two or more organizations who will sign the funding agreement with Global Affairs Canada, should funding be provided, the lead partner has to respond to all eligibility requirements, including providing a signed Declarations and Warranties document and financial statement. Other consortium members have to register in the Partners@International portal and upload their proof of legal status. The lead partner has to identify the roles of all other consortium members.

5. Budget

Q. Is there a minimum or maximum amount of funding for which we can apply?

A. Global Affairs Canada does not specify any minimum or maximum amount of funding for unsolicited proposals. You specify your budget in relation to your organization’s capacity and your proposed initiative’s needs.

In a calls for preliminary proposals, there may be a minimum and/or maximum amount of funding specified. Your proposal would need to respect this parameter in order to be considered eligible under that call.

Q. Can the project receive 100% financing from Global Affairs Canada, or is there a minimum percentage that the applicant must contribute?

A. Global Affairs Canada does not have a defined minimum cost-sharing percentage for unsolicited proposals. However, proposals which identify the applicant's commitment to the project through cost sharing are preferred. In the context of a call for preliminary proposals, applicants should check the call page for the cost-sharing requirement specific to that call.

Q. We base our project budgets on prevailing local salaries. Are we supposed to align these costs with Canadian requirements?

A. As a department of the Government of Canada, Global Affairs Canada requires costs expressed in Canadian funds. International applicants have to make appropriate adjustments, currency conversions and provision for currency fluctuations where relevant.

Q. Where in the budget do we include financial support for staff at the head office?

A. This is covered under the overhead compensation rate (see the Overhead Compensation Policy).

Q. How does the overhead rate apply to non-Canadian applicants?

A. For non-Canadian organizations, Global Affairs Canada negotiates the overhead compensation rate on a case-by-case basis. Negotiations on the overhead rate would take place during negotiations on the overall contribution agreement, that is, after Global Affairs Canada has approved the initiative. The principles of the Overhead Compensation Policy will guide the establishment of the rate.

Q. Who exactly is included in long-term staff (non-local)? Is it only expat employees?

A. This category includes all Canadian employees as well as any other employee that is NOT recruited locally.

Q. Is “Remuneration” for employees intended to include all benefits?

A. No. Remuneration rates include the direct salaries paid by the Organization to its employees, as well as time off and paid benefits as defined under the relevant sections of the Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives.

Q. Should travel costs to participate in training be included under training costs, or travel expenditures?

A. All travel costs should be included under travel expenditures. See section 1.6.4. Other training of the Guidance on Eligible Costs for Development Initiatives.

Q. In guidance for the budget template, it says profit by the recipient is not allowed, but how is profit defined in this context?

A. Global Affairs Canada will only reimburse the eligible and actual expenditures incurred by the recipient under the terms and conditions of the contribution agreement.

Q. Can organizations subcontract more than 20 percent of the total value of Global Affairs Canada’s contribution?

A. No. That being said, consortium members are not considered subcontractors. They are partners and are not allowed to profit from their work on the initiative.

Global Affairs Canada expects subcontracting within a funded initiative to follow best practices for procurement including transparency, fairness, open competition and value for money. Organizations that participate in the design of an initiative are normally considered partners or consortium members.

Q. Are the fees of an international subcontractor eligible as a reimbursable budget item?

A. Subcontracting is an eligible cost.

Q. What is an in-kind contribution?

A. An in-kind contribution consists of material goods, services or time to which a dollar value can be attributed that would otherwise be acquired and paid for by the organization. To be eligible, the in-kind contribution must be provided for eligible direct costs and contributed at no cost or other compensation. The in-kind contribution must be based on a fair market value. Fair market value is an amount agreed upon by informed parties dealing at arm’s length in an open market. Its valuation must be accepted by Global Affairs Canada. An in-kind contribution must be identifiable, verifiable and auditable throughout the initiative’s life cycle.

Q. In the budget by eligible cost category, there is a column for “Other Organizations”. What is the expectation in terms of this column?

A. This space is provided so that you can detail, where relevant, a second or third organization’s contributions to the initiative.

Q. Is unpaid overtime worked by salaried employees of an organization considered an in-kind contribution?

A. No. Unpaid overtime by any person working on a project does not qualify as an in-kind contribution.

Q. In the context of a consortium, how should the contributions of partners be recorded in the budget table?

A. If the contribution is cash in the form of funding or personnel time, it would be recorded as a cash contribution from the Applicant, only if at least one of the following criteria is met:

If neither criteria is met, the contribution of the non-lead Organization should be indicated under the "(Applicant) Organization In-kind" column (for personnel time or any in-kind contribution) or under “Other Organization” (for cash).

6. Other

Q. My question isn’t answered here: how can I get help?

A. Global Affairs Canada does not review or comment on specific initiatives for which a complete application package has not been submitted. If your general question on the application form, requirements or policies and directives is not answered here, please email us or call:

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