Call for Concept Note announced: Fund for Innovation and Transformation

Testing Innovative Solutions to Advance Gender Equality and Empower Women and Girls

27 August 2021

The Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) is a program of the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils made possible through funding from Global Affairs Canada and administered by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation. FIT aims to support testing of a range of creative solutions to development challenges, and provide organizations with the opportunity to learn and grow as innovators.


FIT is designed to support Canadian small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) testing innovative solutions that advance gender equality in the Global South. The program is open to civil society organizations, social enterprises, post-secondary institutions and the private sector. FIT will provide successful applicants with $150K-$250K over a 6-15 month period to test their solutions in partnership with local organizations. The multi-year program aims to fund 50-70 initiatives overall.


In addition, the program seeks to foster collective learning and build the capacity of SMOs through the creation of knowledge-sharing spaces and practices. FIT's goal is to cultivate a working environment in which SMOs are empowered to experiment, fail, adapt and try again.


Please note that for Intake 5, FIT will be prioritizing shorter term (6-12 month) and lower funding requests ($150K-$175K).  


Criteria of a successful concept note include:

1. Applicants must be at the testing phase of their innovative solution (the idea has been identified, research and development has been completed and you have created a sample of your product/program ready to be tested). General development projects do not qualify

2. Applicants must be willing to share/license intellectual property with the Government of Canada

3. The project must have demonstrated input from a partner in the Global South and must be implemented in a country that is eligible for Official Development Assistance (ODA). See OECD list of eligible countries

4. Proposed projects must not involve any construction (e.g. building a new structure or rehabilitating an existing structure) and there is no cost-share (in-kind) component required

5. Proposed projects can either offer brand new solutions to address needs, or adjust existing approaches in order to reach more communities. Examples of innovation may include new or improved technologies, programs, approaches, behavioural insights or ways of delivering products and services that benefit and empower women and girls. Innovative solutions must create inclusive opportunities for local communities from project conception to execution. For example, women and girls should play a role in project design, testing, learning and adoption of solutions.


Download the Concept Note Guidelines 


After you've had the chance to review the Concept Note Guidelines and the Concept Note Webinar, don't forget to sign up below for Intake 5 Live Q&A session on September 9th at 12pm (Central Time). Please submit your questions during registration. FIT staff will be on hand to answer all your Concept Note questions.  


Sign up for the live Q&A


Deadline: September 27 at 10:00 AM MST


Please note: As UAlberta can only submit one concept note, UAlberta International is coordinating submission of concept notes for this call. We have established the deadline of September 27 at 10:00 AM MST for interested parties to submit their concept notes to UAI, so that we will have time to convene an impartial selection committee in the event that multiple concept notes are received. In this case, the selection committee will determine which concept note is approved for submission on behalf of UAlberta for this intake for FIT funding. UAI maintains the UAlberta FIT account, and UAI will submit the successful concept note through the online FIT account portal by October 8.


If you are interested in submitting a concept note, please contact:

Dan Fredrick

University of Alberta International