Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI)-Sri Lanka and Maldives

The Canada Fund for Local Initiatives (CFLI) is a program designed to fund small-scale bilateral projects in Official Development Assistance (ODA) eligible countries, which align with Global Affairs Canada’s thematic priority areas for engagement. The program is directed at projects conceived and designed by local entities. Projects are selected and approved by the relevant Canadian Embassy or High Commission. The CFLI also serves to support positive bilateral relations between Canada, recipient countries and their respective civil societies by deepening contacts and supporting local endeavours.

Proposals are currently being considered for initiatives that begin in June 2017 with activities completed by end February 28, 2018. The deadline for receipt of proposals is May 26, 2017.

The program is managed directly by the High Commission of Canada in Colombo, Sri Lanka for projects in the following countries:

  • Sri Lanka
  • Maldives

Majority of projects supported fall in the CAD15,000 to CAD50,000 range (CAD = Canadian Dollars). Project proposals must be submitted by email in Word.doc format to according to the Project Proposal format provided.

Thematic Priorities

All projects must align with at least one of the following thematic priorities:

  • Empowering women and girls and promoting gender equality
  • Promoting human development, specifically in the areas of health, nutrition, and education
  • Championing human rights, inclusive and accountable governance, democracy, peaceful pluralism, and respect for diversity
  • Supporting inclusive and green economic growth
  • Promoting action on the environment, including water and climate change
  • Promoting peace and security

Organizations eligible to apply for CFLI Funding

Within the context of eligible countries, eligible recipients include:

  • local non-governmental, community and not-for-profit organizations,
  • local academic institutions working on local projects,
  • international, intergovernmental, multilateral and regional institutions, organizations and agencies working on local development activities,
  • municipal, regional or national government institutions or agencies of the recipient country working on local projects, and
  • Canadian non-governmental and not-for-profit organizations that are working on local development activities.

The majority of CFLI funding is to be directed toward local civil society organizations (including non-governmental organizations) and other institutions working at the local level. Other entities,

such as international, intergovernmental, multilateral and regional organizations can be eligible for a contribution, provided that they are working with local partners and on local projects that are consistent with the objectives of the CFLI. Similarly, municipal, regional or national government institutions may receive CFLI funding, provided that their projects are essentially local in nature. The CFLI is always looking to fund innovative projects, which deliver measurable results. 

Eligible Costs

The following costs are eligible within projects for CFLI funding:

  • administrative and overhead costs specifically related to the project,
  • capital and/or operating expenditures related to the lease and/or purchase and/or building of infrastructure,
  • installation, maintenance, shipping and/or transportation costs, including fuel, computers and communication devices,
  • civic education costs,
  • conference and event expenditures,
  • hospitality costs, excluding alcoholic beverages
  • training and capacity building expenditures,
  • costs of services received by recipients,
  • outreach, communication and information dissemination costs,
  • environmental assessment costs,
  • advocacy and lobbying related costs,
  • legal costs,
  • accounting costs,
  • medical costs,
  • publishing costs,
  • radio and television broadcast fees,
  • facilities and equipment rental charges,
  • research-related costs,
  • salary costs relating to the project,
  • security costs,
  • translation and interpretation fees,
  • domestic travel expenses, using lowest fares possible but not exceeding full fare economy class (international travel expenses must receive prior approval from the CFLI Unit)
  • lease or rental of vehicles,
  • vehicle and equipment operation, installation and/or maintenance,
  • website development and related costs,
  • miscellaneous expenses integral to the project. 

The following costs are NOT eligible for CFLI funding:

  • nuclear technologies and facilities,
  • assistance to military or paramilitary organizations,
  • gifts,
  • luxury goods,
  • direct fiscal support to a government,
  • core funding or recurrent costs of an organization,
  • international travel (without prior approval from the CFLI Unit),
  • revolving funds, (that is, funds used to advance loans to individuals, i.e. microfinance),
  • expenses incurred prior to the signing of the CA, or after it expires.

General Criteria for Applications to the CFLI

CFLI will select projects proposed by local partners in Sri Lanka and Maldives that fulfill the following general criteria:

  • Civil society organizations including not-for-profit and non-partisan local non-state Community-Based Organizations must be registered in Sri Lanka or Maldives;
  • Project proposals must be presented in accordance with the CFLI Guidelines and the Project Proposal document;
  • Clear and feasible goal statement, activities and immediate expected results;
  • Rationale that justifies project focus on sustainable outcomes in areas of focus
  • Clear project indicators (both qualitative and quantitative) that allow all project stakeholders to measure results effectively — all projects should include plans for building local capacity and for maintaining project results following the completion of project activities;
  • Well justified and cost-effective activities clearly linked to expected outputs that are reflected in an itemized activities-based budget;
  • Demonstrated collaboration with a broad range of society stakeholders and beneficiaries to ensure sustainable results;
  • Capacity to effectively manage the CFLI funds within the specified timeframe;
  • Clearly identified direct and anticipated indirect beneficiaries;

Project applications are kept on file at missions in accordance with Global Affairs Canada’s information management policies.

General Conditions for CFLI Projects

  1. CFLI financed projects for this fiscal year must have all activities completed by February 28, 2018 and final reports submitted by March 16, 2018. All projects must stay within the financial limits and specified timeframe and be fully viable. 
  2. In exceptional circumstances, projects that continue in to the 2018 – 2019 may be considered.
  3. Most CFLI contributions are in the CAD15,000 to 50,000 range.
  4. Specific admin costs directly related to the project should be reflected in the budget. The recurrent and operational costs of projects are the responsibility of the applicant. After the initial CFLI contribution, self-reliance is the goal. The CFLI may, however, be used to support project performance measurement monitoring, reporting, translation, banking and accounting costs, all of which must be directly related to implementation of the project and fully justified in the application and budget.
  5. Partner organizations are encouraged to provide a substantive project contribution (approximately 10 percent of total budget). The partner contribution must be reflected in the itemized budget and can be in money or in-kind (office space, administrative costs, staff costs, etc.).
  6. All CFLI contributions will be made directly by bank transfer into the recipient's bank account.  At least two payments will be made to the recipient by the CFLI with a final payment of at least 10 percent to be paid only after acceptable narrative and financial reports are received.
  7. Funds received from CFLI may not be used as the organization's contribution in order to receive funding from another group or donor.
  8. Staff salaries or consultant fees funded by the CFLI must be justified by monthly time logs signed by the individual tracking their daily hours worked on each activity.
  9. The provisions of the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA) apply to all CFLI projects.  All proposals will be screened according to the CEAA applicability guidelines in order to ensure compliance.  Depending on the outcome of this screening, proponents may be required to provide further information or carry out additional activities to ensure compliance with the CEAA.  Partner organizations should also ensure that they are aware of any partner country national or local environmental requirements and that they meet them as necessary.

Visibility of Canada's Support

The CFLI expects that the partner will make adequate public attribution to Canada's support to the project. The project application should provide details of how Canadian visibility will be achieved through publicity activities. This should include placing the Canada mark logo on all relevant posters, leaflets or documentation, as well as organizing openings, press conferences or public meetings which serve to publicize the Canadian contribution. Costs for these items may be included in the project budget. However, please note that all initiatives directed towards creating visibility of Canadian support to the project must be discussed with and approved by the CFLI Team at the High Commission of Canada. 

How to Apply to the CFLI

The Canada Fund provides one-time financial support for small-scale, short-term projects that address local needs and contribute to the CFLI goals.  The Canada Fund does not design or implement projects, but responds to requests that come directly from civil society organizations.

Project proposals presented according to these guidelines and that meet the Canada Fund's programming priorities and cross-cutting themes may be submitted electronically to the High Commission of Canada in Colombo for consideration.  Project applications should outline a proposed series of activities aimed at achieving certain objectives within a specific budget and within a limited period of time (June 2017 to February 2018), and should include information on the beneficiaries as well as the applicant organization.

An electronic template of the proposal format with section headings and activity-based budget can be obtained by sending an email to with “CFLI - Send Application” in the Subject line.

Applications MUST be presented electronically in Word.doc format and in the Project Proposal format provided. Please email the completed Project Proposal to: with “CFLI Proposal: <organization -project title>” in the Subject line.

CFLI Project Approval Process

Applications received will be assessed by the CFLI Committee Members at the High Commission.  The Committee Members will determine if all criteria and general conditions have been met and if the proposal meets the Canada Fund's programming priorities, and budget limitations.  The High Commission may request additional information from the potential local partner and may conduct an on-site investigation to determine eligibility for a Canada Fund grant.

The proposals that fully meet the Canada Fund criteria will be presented to the CFLI Committee-as-a-whole and will be analyzed and selected to be recommended to the High Commissioner for approval.

Proposals will be assessed according to the viability of the proposed project according to the general criteria and conditions listed above. Consideration will be given to only those proposals clearly aligned with one or more of the CFLI objectives.

CFLI Project Implementation Process

A Contribution Agreement will be signed between the project implementer and the High Commission of Canada for approved CFLI projects.  The agreement states the procedures for funding and reporting as well as outlines the expected activities, results and budget for the project. The project may begin only after the date of the signed contribution agreement. No activities may commence prior to the date of the contribution agreement.

First Disbursement of Funds (90%): Once the agreement is signed and an original signed copy is returned to the High Commission of Canada, an advance payment of project funds (first disbursement) is made to the local partner. Disbursements will be made in Canadian dollars according to the exchange rate on the day of bank transfer.  Please note, the proposed budget must reflect Canadian dollars.

Reporting: The project implementer must provide narrative and financial reports to the Canada Fund contact person while meeting all specified deadlines for report submission.  The High Commission may also monitor the project through site visits, evaluations or audits.

Payment of Remaining Funds: The final disbursement of 10% will be released only after acceptable final narrative and financial reports are received.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Audits: The Canada Fund reserves the right to visit and inspect projects at any time.  The Canada Fund engages independent monitors and auditing companies to conduct monitoring and evaluation of projects.

If you have questions or wish to submit a proposal please contact the CFLI team at the High Commission of Canada in Colombo by e-mail: