Applicant guide: Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund
On this page
- Eligible applicants
- Eligible and ineligible activities and expenses
- Funding details
- Application assessment criteria
- Multi-sectoral partnerships
- Health inequalities, health equity, and Sex and Gender Based Analysis Plus (SGBA Plus)
- Project evaluation and knowledge mobilization
- Official language requirements
- Public announcements
The following Canadian applicants are eligible for funding:
- private sector organizations
- unincorporated groups, societies and coalitions
- not-for-profit voluntary organizations and non-profit corporations
- provincial, territorial, regional and municipal governments and agencies
- national, provincial, and community-based Indigenous organizations, including band councils
- organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments, for example:
- regional health authorities
- post-secondary institutions
For private sector organizations that apply, there may be cases when the funding from our program generates a profit, such as:
- in actual funds or dollars
- by increasing the value of the business
In these cases, the benefits from the funding must accrue broadly rather than to your organization.
Eligible and ineligible activities and expenses
First of all, make sure your project aligns with the focus of this solicitation.
Types of activities that are eligible for funding for the implement phase can include:
- delivering your intervention
- Implementation of your intervention must involve input from the priority population(s) and key stakeholders.
- strengthening stakeholder relationships for the effective delivery of your intervention
- engaging priority population(s) to confirm that your intervention design aligns with their needs
- evaluating your intervention to understand if it is achieving the desired impact
- sharing knowledge about the results and lessons learned from your project
Types of activities that are not eligible for funding include:
- pure research in any discipline
- conferences, symposia and workshops as stand-alone projects
- stand-alone activities without a corresponding intervention, such as:
- audiovisual production
- awareness raising events
- website or smartphone application development and maintenance
- provision of services that are the responsibility of other levels of government, such as healthcare
- continued delivery of an ongoing intervention in an existing geographic location, population and setting
Applicants who are invited to the full proposal stage will need to submit a detailed budget.
Eligible project expenses include:
- rent and utilities
- travel and accommodations
- "other" costs related to the approved project
Any expenses for travel or accommodation must include a strong rationale at the full proposal stage. For example, you must demonstrate the need for any travel and any related accommodation throughout your project by linking them to essential project activities. You must also be able to explain how the travel is essential to the success of the project.
Expenses that are not eligible include:
- membership fees
- capital costs such as:
- the purchase of land, buildings or vehicles
- construction, renovation or betterment of buildings or property
- costs of ongoing activities for the organization
- travel and hospitality expenses that exceed the National Joint Council allowances
- rent charges for space and computer use when already owned by the applicant organization
- ongoing operational support or overhead or administrative fees expressed as a percentage of ongoing activities of an organization
- unidentified miscellaneous costs
Any capital costs required for your project need to be supported by partners, such as municipalities or builders, through the matched funding requirement, as these are not eligible expenses.
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The total funding amount you request for your project must be between $200,000 and $3,000,000.
The timeframe for your project must be between 2 years (24 months) and 4 years (48 months).
Matched-funding details and requirements
You must secure as much funding from other sources as you are asking for from our program. For example, if you are asking for $500,000 from us, then you need to secure $500,000 from other sources. This is "matched funding."
Cash and in-kind contributions are both eligible for matched funding. Matched funding must come from 2 or more sources.
Your organization can be one of the sources of matched funding. However, if you provide matched funding for your own project, you will still need to have at least one more source to meet the minimum requirement.
You do not need to have your matched funding secured at the time of application. It will only be required at a later stage in the process.
Eligible sources of matched funds include:
- crown corporations
- not-for-profit organizations
- private sector organizations
- unincorporated groups, societies and coalitions
- municipal, provincial, territorial, and federal government departments
- charities, including public and private foundations and charitable organizations
- organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments, such as:
- regional health authorities
Before you can sign a funding agreement under the Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund, you must secure your matched funding.
You must have 50% of the total matched funds in place at the time of signing your funding agreement. You must secure the remaining 50% of matched funds before the final year (12 months) of the project.
You can use matched funding to pay for project costs that are not covered by our program. For example, capital costs for a built environment project.
Not every project partner needs to contribute to matched funding. They may be involved in other ways to help the project succeed.
Letters of support
You must provide a letter of support from each matched funder. The letter of support must outline the amount and timing of funds for your project. These must be submitted as part of the full proposal (second stage) of the application process. Letters of support are not needed for amounts less than $5,000.
Application assessment criteria
All applications will undergo a competitive review process. This applies to both the advanced screening form and full proposal stages.
Funding decisions are made to ensure a diversity of projects. This means, in addition to the quality of submissions, we may base funding decisions on:
- location of project:
- province or territory
- urban or rural and remote communities
- funding stream selected
- priority population(s)
- size of organization
Applications will be assessed on:
- alignment with our program objectives
- evidence of need for the intervention
- engagement with the priority population(s) in all aspects of the project
- application of SGBA Plus (or similar framework)
- quality and diversity of multi-sectoral partnerships
- proposed use of resources, such as cost-efficiency and value for money
- potential to improve health outcomes of priority population(s)
- quality of approach to project evaluation
- quality of approach to knowledge mobilization
Applications will also be assessed on:
- capacity to undertake the proposed project, including:
- experience with the priority population(s)
- ability to manage projects and achieve results
- organizational and financial capacity to manage projects
- ability to build and maintain multi-sectoral partnerships
- quality, clarity and completeness of the application
You must engage with a diversity of partners in various sectors through your project partnerships, such as:
- health sector
- private sector
- education sector
- not-for-profit sector
- social services sector
- Indigenous organizations
- academic or research sector
- other levels of government, such as:
- provincial or territorial
Health inequalities, health equity, and Sex and Gender Based Analysis Plus
Health inequalities and health equity
A broad range of personal, social, economic and environmental factors influence our health. These factors are known as the determinants of health. The social determinants of health refer to social and economic factors within the broader determinants of health, such as:
Our health is also shaped by:
- social systems, such as norms and beliefs
- systems of power and discrimination, such as:
These systems can limit certain population groups from reaching their full health potential.
Differences in health status among population groups are known as health inequalities. Health inequalities are caused by unequal access to the social determinants of health. For example, population groups with lower education levels have higher rates of chronic disease.
Health equity refers to the absence of avoidable differences in health among population groups. We achieve health equity when all people can reach their full health potential and are not disadvantaged from attaining it because of:
- social class
- sexual orientation
- other socially determined circumstances
Funded projects must seek to reduce health inequalities. For example, increasing access to chronic disease prevention interventions among those with lower socioeconomic status. This could include increasing access to:
- green spaces for physical activity
- fresh fruits and vegetables to support healthy eating in underserved neighbourhoods
You should apply a health equity approach throughout your project. The approach should consider what works, for whom, and in which contexts. It will:
- help in understanding existing and potential impacts of projects on priority populations
- enable better designed interventions that provide access for those who are often excluded
For example, an equitable project would consider accommodations for participants with disabilities to ensure their full participation.
Learn more about:
- Toward Health Equity – A Practice Tool
- Social Determinants of Health and Health Inequalities
- Toward Health Equity – A tool for Developing Equity-Sensitive Interventions
Sex and Gender Based Analysis Plus
Gender-based Analysis Plus (GBA Plus) is a Government of Canada commitment and priority that:
- promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion
- ensures that policies and programs are equitable
The Public Health Agency of Canada refers to it as SGBA Plus to emphasize the role that biological sex plays in influencing health outcomes.
SGBA Plus is an intersectional approach used for understanding which populations are impacted by different issues. It addresses any barriers to accessing or benefiting from programs and policies. The "Plus" recognizes the importance of considering multiple, intersecting determinants of health. These intersecting factors go beyond biological sex and gender. They shape the priority population's experiences and lived realities. SGBA Plus also acknowledges that these experiences occur within a context, such as within connected systems and structures of power and discrimination.
SGBA Plus helps you consider how diverse groups of people may access and experience project activities differently. This can serve to enhance the impact of your project through applying a tailored approach. It also enables the creation of more equitable interventions.
Intersectionality is a concept for understanding social problems, such as discrimination and oppression. These social problems can impact all members of a population group and can lead to inequities. Each of us has multiple identity factors that intersect to make us who we are. These include factors such as:
For those with multiple oppressed identity factors, systems of power and privilege overlap to create unique challenges. For example, black women face certain challenges that are distinct from the challenges faced by black men or white women. Going further, black women with disabilities face unique challenges that are distinct from black women without disabilities.
Understanding intersectionality involves viewing individuals and populations from a complex and dynamic perspective. Inequities are never the result of single, distinct factors. Rather, they are the outcome of intersections of different identities, experiences and power relations.
SGBA Plus and your application
You must integrate SGBA Plus and use an intersectional lens throughout all aspects of your project. This includes:
- knowledge mobilization activities
SGBA Plus is not meant to be a one-size-fits-all approach. You can use other critical frameworks, such as social justice and anti-oppression frameworks. However, these must:
- align with the purpose of SGBA Plus
- consider how multiple determinants of health intersect
It's important to explain how you have applied SGBA Plus or a similar framework to all stages of your work. Be as clear as possible and avoid making assumptions about what may seem implied in your proposal. Use these questions to help guide your thinking. Use research or previous experience to illustrate your answers.
- Do you have any biases or assumptions that may affect your project?
- How can you identify these?
- How can you mitigate them?
- What are the broader social, structural, and economic contexts influencing the issue?
- What are the unique needs of the priority population(s)?
- Within your priority population(s), who benefits more from the issue you are addressing?
- Who benefits less?
- What current data would help to understand why your priority population(s) face barriers and inequities?
- How will you engage those with lived experiences in all stages of the project?
Your organization may not have capacity or knowledge in this area. As such, we encourage all applicants to take free GBA Plus training.
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Cultural competency, safety, and sensitivity
Projects should apply the concepts of cultural competency, safety and sensitivity.
In delivering your project, take into account the cultures, values, and preferences of participants. This will create safe spaces that allow for effective participation.
Recognize and challenge unequal power relations between:
- program providers
To mitigate power imbalances, work towards building equitable relationships. Equitable relationships are characterized by:
- cultural exchange
- shared responsibility
For example, have diverse participant representation at decision-making tables.
Project evaluation and knowledge mobilization
The Evaluation and Knowledge Mobilization Guide provides more detailed information on requirements. It will be shared with applicants who advance to the Full Proposal stage.
Evaluation is a key component of implementation phase projects. It helps track measurable changes that occur as a result of a project. This helps to understand:
- common behavioural risk factors for chronic disease
- how to improve the health status and quality of life of priority populations
Evaluation is important to build and share evidence on what works, for whom, and in what context.
Applicants who are invited to the Full Proposal stage will be asked to provide information on their plans for evaluation. They must demonstrate that they have access to strong evaluation capacity, internally or externally, in designing and implementing intervention evaluations.
Funded projects will be expected to:
Develop an evaluation plan
This plan must:
- include data collection tools
- include a road map to measure progress toward goals, such as:
- a logic model
- theory of change
- consider health equity
- reflect the needs and perspectives of the priority populations
- integrate considerations from both the community and our funding program
This evaluation plan will need to be agreed upon with the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Include pre- and post-intervention evaluation design
Where appropriate, we encourage experimental, quasi-experimental designs or mixed methods which combine quantitative and qualitative approaches.
Identify and report on who your project is reaching
All projects must:
- collect socio-demographic information about participants
- break down results by relevant identify factors such as age and gender
Dedicate resources to evaluation
This may be accessed externally (such as by a third party evaluator) or internally where resources exist. This helps ensure quality and robustness when implementing all aspects of your evaluation.
Seek research ethics approval
All projects that include research or evaluation involving humans must be approved by a research ethics board that adheres to the Tri-Council Policy Statement: Ethical Conduct for Research Involving Humans. Funded projects will need ethics approval unless you obtain an exemption.
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Knowledge mobilization includes the synthesis, adaptation, dissemination and exchange of knowledge.
Applicants who are invited to the Full Proposal stage must demonstrate that effective approaches will be used to share the knowledge learned through their project.
Funded projects will be expected to develop and implement a knowledge mobilization plan. This includes:
- creating knowledge products, such as:
- implementing processes to share and actively exchange this knowledge with stakeholders and relevant audiences
- engaging project participants and community stakeholders to help increase relevance of knowledge exchange and sharing activities
This plan will be finalized after project funding is confirmed, and updated on an ongoing basis throughout the project.
Official language requirements
The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the vitality of English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada. This includes Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec. We also foster the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. Projects must be accessible in one or both official languages depending on the intended reach and audience.
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The Government of Canada retains the right to make the first funding announcement. If your project is successful under a solicitation, consult your assigned program consultant for more information about restrictions on news releases or public announcements.
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