Request for expressions of interest to design and manage the partnership for gender equality

Deadline for submitting an expression of interest is 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time on January 31, 2019. Please review the “How to submit your expression of interest” section of this page carefully.


An Information Session on the Expression of Interest for the Partnership for Gender Equality is scheduled for January 16, 10:30 – 12:00 p.m. (Eastern Time).

Canada’s feminist vision

Canada adopted a Feminist International Assistance Policy that seeks to eradicate poverty and build a more peaceful, more inclusive and more prosperous world. Canada firmly believes that promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls is the most effective approach to achieving this goal.

Women often face additional intersectional discrimination, including on the basis of their race, ethnicity, religion, language, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, ability, or migrant or refugee status, among other aspects of personal identity. A feminist approach places gender equality at the centre of poverty eradication by challenging the discrimination faced by women and girls around the world and by recognizing that inequalities exist along intersectional lines.

What is this?

This is an invitation to members of the philanthropic community, the private sector, not-for profit and non-governmental organizations, following the Government of Canada’s May 25, 2018 call to action to work together with the Government to catalyze new investments in support of gender equality and women’s rights in developing countries.

This is the first step in a process that will lead to the selection of an organization or consortium to set up and manage the partnership for gender equality.

The opportunity

Women’s organizations and movements in developing countries often lead the way in efforts to promote and protect women’s rights, advance gender equality and empower women and girls, yet they get very little of the funding dedicated to gender equality. While there are a number of international donors and organizations working to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls at local, national, regional and global levels with financial and capacity-building assistance, there is currently no single-window entity or global funding platform where interested partners from across sectors can pool and leverage their funds, ensuring long-term sustainable, predictable and flexible financing to help address the funding gap faced by women’s organizations and movements working to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries.

The Partnership is an opportunity for collective leadership from the private sector, philanthropic community, civil society, and governments to collaborate to build an initiative with long-term global impact.

Putting the partnership into action

The Government of Canada is seeking interested organizations that can leverage its commitment of up to $300 million in official development assistance (ODA) funding to mobilize additional resources from the private sector, philanthropic community and civil society to create a sustainable and predictable source of funding for women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries.

To do this, the partnership should have three complementary functions:

  1. It should mobilize, receive and manage financial contributions from government, individuals, philanthropic foundations, the private sector, and other donors;
  2. It should be a grant-maker and provide expertise, connections and structural support to strengthen women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and women’s empowerment in developing countries and operate at local, national, regional, and global levels; and
  3. It should catalyze additional financial resources through investments, including gender smart and social impact investments.

To be successful, the partnership needs to be governed and managed in a way that is consistent with its feminist vision – an inclusive and globally distributed governance that takes into consideration the views of those it is aiming to support.

Please visit our website and take note of What we heard through our consultations on the partnership.

The process

The purpose of this invitation is to receive expressions of interest (EOI) from organizations or consortia that have a compelling vision and innovative plan, as well as the financial capacity, a track record of mobilizing resources, and experience providing financial support to women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls to design, establish and manage the partnership.

This EOI is the first of a two-stage process. Funding will not be provided on the basis of the EOI. Following the EOI stage, Global Affairs Canada will invite eligible organizations or consortia to develop and submit a comprehensive proposal to design, establish, and manage the partnership.

Given the wide-ranging functions noted above, Global Affairs Canada encourages organizations to consider consortium arrangements in which partners’ expertise is leveraged to fully achieve the partnership’s goals. Consortia may include partnerships between and among Canadian and international organizations from civil society, the private sector, and the philanthropic community. Organizations can be identified to be part of more than one EOI.

If your organization or consortium cannot meet all of the elements identified in this Expression of Interest, but do have real capacity on some elements and is interested in locating partners who do intend to respond to this EOI, please be aware that we will hold an information session to provide information and further opportunities for collaboration. Please continue to monitor this page for updated information.

Instructions for submission of expression of interest

Please ensure your submission responds to the elements below (ensure any dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars).

For the purpose of this EOI, ‘Entity’ refers either to a single organization or multiple organizations working together in a consortium submitting an EOI. ‘Lead Contact’ refers to the organization that will be the single point of contact for this submission.

1. Proposed vision and plan (not to exceed 5 pages)

We want to hear about your innovative vision and plan on using the Government’s commitment of up to $300 million to leverage resources in support of women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries. Please provide a brief description of how the Entity would:

Importantly, please explain how you will establish the governance and structure of the partnership, and manage it in accordance with a feminist approach.

Global Affairs Canada would also consider plans that include granting and investment activities in Canada, in support of domestic women’s organizations and movements that advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in Canada. Note however that the Government of Canada’s contribution in the form of ODA resources can only be used for purposes deemed for the benefit of poverty alleviation in developing countries.

2. Capacity requirements

If you are applying as a consortium, and unless otherwise specified, please clearly indicate which members of the consortium contribute to meeting the criteria.

2.1 Mobilizing financial contributions towards development outcomes: (not to exceed 2 pages)

The entity should demonstrate experience attracting and raising funds, including from Canadian or international donors, philanthropists, and the private sector, and a proven history of being able to execute diverse fund-raising strategies.

Please describe the entity’s fund-raising strategies and results achieved, which would include: ratio of funds raised for every $1 of initial funding committed; and target donor classes (e.g. philanthropic sources, international organizations, private foundations, multilateral organizations and other governments).

2.2 Experience in grant-making to advance women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries: (not to exceed 2 pages)

At least one organization within the entity should demonstrate at least 3 years of experience in grant-making that advances women’s rights, gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in developing countries.

Grant-making refers to channeling resources to grassroots women’s, girls and trans organizations to equip them as agents of change. The resources can take the form of funding, expertise, connections and structural support to women’s organizations that operate at a local, national, sub-national, regional or global level.

2.3 Investment management experience (not to exceed 3 pages)

The entity should demonstrate that it has managed or advised an investment strategy with an investment portfolio value which is, at a minimum, of a similar size and scope as this initiative. Experience demonstrated should include the ability to implement investment governance.

Experience in managing a portfolio that seeks to create social impact that advances gender equality outcomes is considered an asset, as well as experience implementing feminist approaches to governance.

Please provide a detailed response, including information on investment governance elements such as investment manager selection and investment policy. 

2.4 Financial capacity (not to exceed 2 pages)

Note: One of the organizations (either as a single applicant or as a member of a consortium) must be incorporated in Canada (see item 2.6 below), be able to take possession of Government of Canada funds and meet the financial capacity requirements.

This applicant or organization must demonstrate in a letter that it has the financial capacity and level of fiduciary oversight appropriate for an initiative of this magnitude and scope. This includes financial controls and systems, policies and procedures and governance structures, as well as evidence of experience managing significant annual revenues and/or assets.

The letter must be signed by the Chief Financial Officer or authorized board member of the organization.

2.5 International development programming experience (not to exceed 2 pages)

At least one organization within the entity should demonstrate at least three years of experience managing international development assistance programs or initiatives in ODA-eligible countries with annual expenditures of $20 million or more.

2.6 Legal status

At least one organization, either as a single applicant or as a member of a consortium, must meet the financial requirements above and be incorporated in Canada. It will be a requirement at future stages of this process that the entity’s principle office must be located in Canada.

2.6.1 Proof of legal status

The entity or one of the consortium members must be incorporated under the provincial territorial and federal laws of Canada. Please provide proof of legal status (e.g., a letter of incorporation) and a Canada Revenue Agency business number.

3. Financial statements

All organizations responding to this EOI must provide two years of audited financial statements dated within 40 months of the submission deadline for this EOI.

These statements should be signed by a member of the board or a delegate.

Next stage in the selection process

Following this EOI process, which is the first in a two-stage process, Global Affairs Canada will invite organizations or consortia that have submitted a complete package responding to all of the elements to develop and submit a comprehensive proposal to design, establish, and manage the partnership.

In the comprehensive proposal, applicants will have the flexibility and scope to propose appropriate governance structures, competitive investment approaches, resource mobilization strategies, structures and allocation of funds and other parameters. Applicants will be required to provide clear, complete, and insightful proposals covering a range of strategic, technical and financial parameters.

Applicants will also have the opportunity to ask questions, in order to submit proposals which best demonstrate their strategy in meeting the objectives of this initiative.

Additional resources

How to submit your Expression of Interest

To be considered in this expressions of interest process, you must submit your complete EOI package to PGE-PEG@international.gc.ca by 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern Time on January 31, 2019.

Your EOI package must include all of the following:

Language: English or French, or a combination of these two languages.

File type: Please submit documents in PDF format

All documents must comply with the following presentation standards:

Questions about this expression of interest

If you have questions specific to this expression of interest, please send them to PGE-PEG@international.gc.ca by 12:00 p.m. (noon) Eastern time January 17th, 2019. We will not respond to questions received after this deadline or to questions on specific organizational circumstances or on specific expressions of interest. Please note that all answers to questions will be posted on the partnership for gender equality questions and answers page to ensure that all potential applicants have access to the same information at the same time. We will not send answers directly to applicants.

Other information

Global Affairs Canada reserves the right at any time to:

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