Call for Canada Fund for Local Initiatives Applications

The Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia is seeking project applications for the Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) program for FY 2016-17. The CFLI program supports small projects proposed and implemented in Ethiopia or Djibouti. The projects must support the CFLI thematic priorities. Applications will be evaluated based on links to priorities, technical merit and cost-effectiveness.

Applications must be submitted in accordance with the instructions and will be accepted from 9 May until 27 May 2016.

2016-17 Project Guidelines


The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) provides small grants to support improved governance, security and economic opportunities in Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The objective of the CFLI is to support small projects proposed and implemented by local organizations in Ethiopia and Djibouti, such as local community groups or non-government organizations, and regional, international and multi-lateral organisations international or regional organizations working in Ethiopia and Djibouti.

The objective of this call for proposals is to ensure that when the funding is allocated to the Embassy, the CFLI Coordinator will have proposals that address CFLI priorities.

Programming Priorities

  • Championing inclusive and accountable governance, peaceful pluralism and respect for diversity, and human rights
  • Promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and girls
  • Addressing climate change and enhancing environmental sustainability
  • Stimulating sustainable and green economic growth
  • Promoting stability and security

Cross-Cutting Themes

All projects should address the following considerations:

Gender Equality: All projects should ensure participation of female and male beneficiaries, as appropriate, and should aim to address gender inequalities in targeted communities.

Environmental Protection: All proposals should include an analysis of the potential environmental risks and opportunities, including a description of the measures that will be taken to mitigate adverse effects and enhance environmental benefits.

Sustainability: All projects should include plans for building local capacity and for maintaining project results following the completion of project activities.

Duration of projects

The CFLI is renewed annually. The start date of the projects will be determined once projects are selected and contribution agreements are signed. All projects must end prior to the end of the Government of Canada’s fiscal year, which is 31 March. Therefore, all proposed projects submitted for 2016-2017 fiscal year must be completed by 24 February 2017, with final reports submitted by 17 March 2017.

How to Apply

The CFLI provides one-time financial support for small-scale, short-term projects that address local needs and contribute to long-term goals. The CFLI does not design or implement projects, but responds to project proposals.

Project proposals that meet the CFLI’s 2016-17 programming priorities and cross-cutting themes may be submitted to the CFLI for consideration.

Project proposals should outline a proposed series of activities aimed at achieving certain defined objectives within a specific budget, and should include information on the beneficiaries as well as the applicant organization.

Send an email to to request a copy of the proposal form.

When completed, the Proposal Form must be submitted to the CFLI at:  Proposals can be submitted in French or English.

Proposals must be submitted from 9 May to 27 May 2016. Applications submitted before or after that date will not be accepted.

Please note the following requirements for submitting proposals:

Email Subject Line & Proposal file name:

  • “CFLI_2016- 2017_organisation_name_proposal” (replace the words in italics with the name of organisation).
  • All sections of the Proposal form must be filled out in order to be considered. The proposal form can be found on this website.
  • All Proposals must be submitted in Word document format. PDFs will be not be accepted.
  • All Proposals must include a Project Summary, using the form provided.

Recipients of CFLI Assistance may be:

  • Local community groups or non-government organizations
  • Local educational institutions
  • Regional, international and multi-lateral organizations, provided they have a local presence
  • Canadian NGOs, provided they have a local presence

Please note that all potential partner organisations must respect and uphold local laws.

Project Budgets

Budgets should use reasonable estimates of expenses that would be required to complete project activities and achieve project results. It is expected that a local contribution will cover a portion of the budget. The local contribution can include financial support, donated materials, or in-kind labour and services, and should be clearly defined in both the Proposal and budget.  The CFLI can co-fund projects with other donors, but other funding must be clearly accounted for in the budget.

For Ethiopia, the maximum budget for one project is the equivalent of CDN $50,000.  There is no minimum budget.

For Djibouti, the maximum budget should be no more than the equivalent of CDN $40,000.  There is no minimum budget.

CFLI funds can cover costs that are integral to the project as set out in the contribution agreement. CFLI funds cannot be used to pay for operating costs or ongoing expenses of an organization (e.g., salaries, utilities, rent, etc.).

  • Eligible costs: The CFLI covers only costs that are integral to a project, such as promoting public awareness, training, publishing, research, equipment rental, purchase of consumables used in the project, and direct project administration. Because all CFLI projects are local, community-based projects, it is expected that budget costs will reflect prevailing local market rates. Project partners should aim to get the best competitive prices for goods and services. Project management costs should represent a minimal proportion of the total budget. Costs for project managers and trainers are acceptable but must be directly related to the project activities.
  • Ineligible costs: The CFLI does not cover incentives for trainees or participants, organizational taxes, or other administration costs not directly related to the project. The CFLI does not fund core operations, recurrent costs of an organization, expenses incurred prior to the signing of the contribution agreement, gifts, direct fiscal support to a government, or assistance to military or paramilitary organizations.

Once a project is approved and funds are disbursed, no further financial support will be provided beyond the authorized project budget for any given project.

What criteria does a competitive proposal have?

The organization demonstrates

  • Ability to successfully carry out development projects
  • Good reputation that can be confirmed by organizations that have supported it
  • That its mission is consistent with the proposed project
  • Experience relevant to the proposed project
  • Internal controls for the transparent use of resources

The project results

  • Contribute to one of CFLI’s priorities
  • Show that the project is a viable answer to the problem described
  • Shows that the project results are sustainable

The project activities show

  • That they are sufficient to achieve the desired results
  • How they will promote equality between men and women

The budget demonstrates

  • That the project has a local ownership because the partners do
    • Cash contribution to the project in addition to materials or volunteer services.
    • Contribute to the costs as much or more than the funds requested CFLI
  • A reasonable balance between project management costs and resources that reach the community

Project Approval Process

  1. Project Proposals: Project proposals that are based on local needs, meet the CFLI Programming Priorities and Guidelines are submitted to the CFLI.
  2. Evaluating Proposals: The CFLI Coordinator makes a preliminary selection of the strongest proposals that fall within the CFLI’s Programming Priorities, Guidelines, and budgetary limitations. The CFLI Coordinator may obtain additional information from the applicant, reviews references, and when necessary conducts an on-site investigation to determine eligibility for a CFLI grant.
  3. Review by the CFLI Committee: The Coordinator creates a project proposal shortlist, with proposed budget details, to the CFLI Committee at the Embassy of Canada in Addis Ababa. The Committee then decides which proposals will be recommended for approval by the Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union; the committee may request additional information before making a decision.
  4. Approval by the Canadian Ambassador: The CFLI Committee provides its recommendations in the form of a memo which is forwarded to the Ambassador of Canada to Ethiopia and Djibouti and Permanent Representative to the African Union. The Ambassador then approves or rejects recommendations; he/she may ask for additional information before making the final decision.
  5. Notification of applicants: Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified in writing of the results of the selection.
  6. Agreements: If the Ambassador approves the project, an agreement will be prepared for signature by the recipient organization and the Ambassador. This represents a contribution agreement between the Canadian Embassy and the local organization.
  7. Advance Payments (First Disbursement of Funds): Once the Agreement is signed and an original signed copy is received by CFLI, an advance payment of project funds (the first disbursement) is made to the recipient organization, via its intermediary institution, if applicable. Recipient organizations are also provided with detailed guidelines on financial management and reporting.
  8. Project Implementation: Projects are implemented according to the Agreement. Any significant changes to the project [e.g., changes that require a reallocation of budget line items by more than 10%, addition or deletion of major project activities or components, important changes to the number of communities/beneficiaries covered, etc.] must be submitted to the CFLI for approval in advance. Funds spent on unapproved items will be subject to recovery by the Canadian Embassy. An interim narrative and financial report with photocopies of receipts showing funds spent to date is submitted to the CFLI to document project progress at times defined in the Contribution Agreement; following satisfactory review the interim payment (if applicable) is made.
  9. Final Report: A final narrative and financial report is presented to the CFLI with original receipts according to the criteria and deadline stipulated in the Contribution Agreement. CFLI recipients are expected to maintain project files and financial records for at least five years, and may be subject to audits requested by the Embassy.
  10. Payment of Remaining Funds (Final Disbursement of Funds): If the final report is satisfactory, the remaining funds are transferred to the recipient organization. Project implementers and beneficiary communities continue to follow-up on project outputs to ensure that beneficiaries have the skills and support needed to sustain project results.
  11. Monitoring, Evaluation and Audits: The CFLI reserves the right to visit and inspect projects at any time. The CFLI may hire independent monitors and auditors to conduct monitoring and evaluation of projects, with lessons learned shared with relevant partner organizations. The CFLI will remain in contact with funding recipients for at least one year after the end of the project to ensure sustainability of the project. 

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