Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease

The Multi-sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease (MSP) program is being phased out and replaced by the Healthy Canadians and Communities Fund (HCCF). Projects funded under the MSP program can continue to refer to this website for details about the MSP program. New program solicitations will be launched under the HCCF and we would encourage you to visit the HCCF website regularly.

Table of Contents


Section 1: Overview

1.1 Introduction

The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) is pleased to invite eligible organizations to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to advance innovative, multi-sectoral approaches to promote healthy living and prevent chronic disease. Multi-sectoral approaches involving all segments of society are required to address complex social issues such as childhood obesity and the prevention of chronic diseases. PHAC's Multi-Sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease approach advances innovative solutions to public health challenges by providing the co-investment needed to test and/or scale-up the most promising primary prevention interventions.

PHAC is currently advancing a variety of partnership arrangements and funding models to promote a more effective use of its grants and contributions investments, focused on achieving measurable results. It is recognized that through active engagement and partnerships with the private sector, not-for-profit sector, organizations within and outside the health sector, and other levels of government, progress can be made to support and sustain behaviour change that will positively impact health. Early successes are showing that innovation and greater impact can be achieved by acting on shared priorities with all sectors of society. This heightened form of collaboration leads to benefits that are of shared value to society as a whole.

Using a population health approach, including multi-sectoral action and social innovation, can have a positive impact on health equity by improving health for all. This also addresses important contextual factors like the social determinants of health and other determinants of behaviour that, if ignored, can increase health inequalities. Overall, the program aims to improve the health of the entire population while reducing health inequalities among population groups, where necessary.

1.2 Context

The world has changed profoundly over the past few decades, and as a result, Canada faces a range of increasingly complex health challenges. Chronic diseases, such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease, are some of the leading causes of death and reduced quality of life. Several risk factors that lead to these chronic diseases are becoming more common. These risk factors (i.e, physical inactivity and/or sedentary behaviour, unhealthy eating, smoking and harmful use of alcohol) can be mitigated and chronic disease prevented, or its onset delayed.

In 2010, the federal government along with Provincial and Territorial Ministers of Health and of Health Promotion/Healthy Living (except Quebec) endorsed the Declaration on Prevention and Promotion (Declaration), presenting their vision for working together, and with others, to make the promotion of health and the prevention of disease, disability and injury a priority for action. That same year, Ministers (except Quebec) endorsed Curbing Childhood Obesity: A Federal, Provincial and Territorial Framework for Action to Promote Healthy Weights (Framework) as the first tangible action arising from the Declaration, making childhood obesity and healthy weights a priority. In 2011, Federal, Provincial and Territorial Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (except Quebec) also endorsed the Declaration and the Framework.

In the fall of 2011, Canada signed the Political Declaration of the High-level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. At the United Nations High-level Meeting it was emphasized that the prevention and mitigation of the four common risk factors is fundamental in combatting chronic disease. Projects funded under this invitation will support PHAC's contribution to the Framework and Declarations by focusing on innovative, integrated approaches to promote healthy living, prevent chronic disease and address the common risk factors.

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting Canadian's health and wellbeing and as such physical activity and nutrition are a shared responsibility at the federal level.

Health Canada develops and implements evidence-based policy that defines healthy eating and promotes environments that support Canadians in making healthy food choices by working collaboratively with federal partners, provinces and territories and a range of other stakeholders. Healthy eating is fundamental to good health and is a key element in healthy human development, from the prenatal and early childhood years to later life stages. It is also equally important in reducing the risk of many chronic diseases.

Through Sport Canada, the Government of Canada encourages sport participation and physical activity through strategic investments in Canada's sport system. As the single largest investor in Canada's amateur sport system, Sport Canada develops programs and policies to help the sport system meet the needs of Canadians.

PHAC also works with all sectors of society to identify multi-sectoral approaches in physical activity that help all Canadians, particularly children and youth, to maintain safe and healthy playing habits. Participants who are trained, well-equipped, and are knowledgeable about safe playing practices participate with confidence, are less prone to injury and enjoy the life-long benefits of safe and healthy participation in physical activity.

Section 2: Funding Programs and Priorities

This invitation to submit an LOI falls under the policy and funding authorities of the Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease (ISHLCD), and Canada’s Tobacco Strategy and must include a focus on at least one of the priority areas outlined in Sections 2.1 and 2.2.

All projects must include multi-sectoral partnerships, be able to demonstrate measurable results, be founded in evidence and have the potential to be expanded and/or scaled-up into other parts of Canada, other target populations, different settings, or to address other chronic diseases or risk factors. Effective prevention interventions are enhanced through multi-sectoral responses, involving shared leadership between players such as non-governmental organizations, academia, workplaces, industry, and communities, among others. Each project must engage and have partners from both the private and not-for-profit sectors. All projects must also meet the funding requirements outlined in Section 3. Projects targeting Indigenous populations can be funded. This includes First Nations people living on or off-reserve, and Metis and Inuit people living within and outside of their traditional communities.

2.1 Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease

The Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease (ISHLCD) provides a policy framework for the federal government to promote the health of Canadians and reduce the impact of chronic disease in Canada. Funding for the Multi-Sectoral Partnerships to Promote Healthy Living and Prevent Chronic Disease approach is provided through the Healthy Living and Chronic Disease Funding Program under this framework.

Projects to be funded must include a focus on the following priority areas:

  • healthy living and healthy weights through a primary prevention intervention that includes a set of coordinated activities to enable and change behaviour that will positively impact health; and
  • address at least one of the common risk factors (i.e., physical inactivity and/or sedentary behaviour, unhealthy eating and smoking applicable to a number of chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

A primary prevention intervention goes beyond building awareness. A primary prevention intervention is defined as coordinated sets of activities to enable and change behaviour in ways that will reduce the common risk factors for chronic disease (i.e., physical inactivity and/or sedentary behaviour, unhealthy eating and smoking) and positively impact health. Interventions must be targeted at a specific population and/or setting and define outcomes in a way that is measurable.

Secondary prevention interventions, which focus on early detection and management of a disease, will not be considered.

2.2 Canada’s Tobacco Strategy

As part of the Government of Canada's five-year renewal of Canada’s Tobacco Strategy through Budget 2018, interventions under this program stream will target smoking as a common risk factor for chronic diseases as reinforced in the 2011 United Nations Declaration on Non-Communicable Diseases.

Section 3: Funding Details and Requirements

3.1 Funding Amount and Duration

  • The total request for federal funding for each project must be a minimum of $200,000 up to a maximum of $5,000,000.
  • The duration for each project must be a minimum of 2 years (24 months) to a maximum of 5 years (60 months).
  • Funding requests must be a minimum of $100,000 per year of the project duration.
  • All funding requests will be considered based on the project need, project readiness, projected timelines and funding availability.

Requests that do not reflect these requirements will not be considered.

3.2 Matched Funding

  • Consistent with the multi-sectoral partnership approach of this invitation, projects must include matched funding in terms of financial (cash) and/or in-kind contributions from non-taxpayer funded sources and/or private sector partners.
  • Organizations submitting under this invitation must be prepared to seek financial support from eligible sources if and when they are invited to submit a proposal for funding. Following successful proposal review, project approval will not proceed until matched funding is secured and a letter of support from the funder is provided.
  • A matched funding ratio of 1:1 is required for funding under the ISHLCD and Canada’s Tobacco Strategy. Final determination of the matched funding ratio for any particular project rests with PHAC.

Ratio Funding Example:

  • At a matched funding ratio of 1:1, if the recipient organization has secured $500,000 from other sources, PHAC would contribute the same amount of $500,000, for a total project value of $1M.

3.3 Focus on Results

  • To achieve greater accountability for results, proposals will only be considered where funding can be tied to the completion of outputs/outcomes as measurable results.
  • Successful projects may have "pay-for-performance" agreements, where payments are tied to accomplishing outputs/outcomes that are specified in advance, jointly negotiated and measurable.

Section 4: Submitting a Letter of Intent

To obtain a copy of the Letter of Intent template, please contact:

4.1 Application Process

The application process consists of two stages. The first stage is the submission of an LOI, which will outline the project concept. Based on the outcomes of a comprehensive review process, applicants whose LOIs are successful will be invited to the second stage to submit a proposal for funding consideration. Applicants with ineligible, incomplete and unsuccessful submissions will also be notified.

  1. Letter of Intent

    The purpose of the LOI is to identify projects that have the potential for submission of a proposal. The LOI is a competitive process and all submissions are subject to screening and review. LOIs will be screened to ensure eligibility and completeness. Not all organizations that submit an LOI will be invited to submit a proposal for funding. Organizations with LOIs deemed to best fit with the overall goals of the solicitation priorities will be invited to submit proposals.

  2. Proposal

    Based on the outcomes of the review process, applicants whose LOIs are successful will be invited to submit a proposal for funding consideration. Applicants will be required to complete and submit a proposal that elaborates on the project described in their LOI. Additional information, guidelines and templates will be provided for completion of the proposal submission. Proposals will undergo another comprehensive review process and, pending review outcomes, approval and available budgets, successful applicants will be awarded funding.

4.2 Content of the Letter of Intent

The LOI submission includes a cover letter and the completion of the LOI template, as outlined below. The maximum length for an LOI is 10-12 pages, single-spaced, in size 12 fonts. The required format is Microsoft Word.

Part 1 - Organizational Information

Applicants are to provide a one page cover letter describing the organization. The letter must be signed by the President/Chair of the Board of Directors or equivalent of the applicant/sponsoring organization. This letter must include the following information:

  • Mandate of the organization;
  • Organizational incorporation/registration number;
  • Brief outline of why the organization has the capacity to undertake the proposed project (e.g., credibility, relevant skills, experience with the target population, ability to achieve and demonstrate project results); and
  • Brief description of the organization's management structure, governance, and financial capacity to carry-out projects (e.g., financial administration/management, quality control mechanisms).

Part 2 - Project Information

The following areas are included in the LOI template:

  • Project at a glance (name of applicant; project title; primary contact information; project duration (in months); funding amount requested from PHAC; status of matched funding from non-taxpayer funded sources; identification of the common risk factors the primary prevention intervention will address; and identification of the stage of development of the intervention);
  • A description of the intervention, including the what, why, who, where and how;
  • Evidence to support the intervention;
  • Evaluation of the intervention; and
  • Multi-sectoral partnerships and collaborations.

The assessment criteria and eligibility requirements for the LOI are outlined in Section 5 and Section 6. The LOI must provide sufficient information regarding each assessment criterion so that a clear overview of all aspects of the proposed project is provided.

4.3 Deadline for Submission

At this time, we are only accepting LOI submissions under Canada’s Tobacco Strategy, as set out in section 2.2 above (i.e., targets tobacco use as a common risk factor for chronic diseases). There is no deadline for submitting these applications.

The invitation to submit LOI under the Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease, as set out in section 2.1 above, is currently PAUSED as we consider the requests already received. Please check back for the latest news and updates on funding opportunities as they are available.

PHAC will acknowledge receipt of all submissions; however, only those submissions with a focus on tobacco use as a common risk factor for chronic disease will be reviewed and responded to within 45 days.

Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email:

4.4 Where to Submit your Letter of Intent

If your project intervention targets tobacco use as a common risk factor for chronic diseases, please submit your completed LOI template via email to:

Applications will be acknowledged by email. Please ensure your email address is included in your LOI application so that we may contact you.

Section 5: Project Assessment Process

Submitted LOIs will be screened to ensure eligibility and completeness (Section 6) by PHAC, and will undergo a comprehensive review process based on the assessment criteria outlined below. The overall review and assessment process will also include the selection of projects that are both individually strong and collectively meet the overall goals of the solicitation priorities.

5.1 Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used to review LOIs:

Eligible Applicant

Applicant has the capacity to undertake the proposed project, including the required infrastructure, organizational and financial capacity.

Description of the Intervention

  • The WHAT
    • The intervention and its intended impact on enabling and changing behaviour to reduce the common risk factors for chronic disease is described.
  • The WHY
    • The reasons that led to the proposed intervention are described.
  • The WHO
    • The target populations to be reached through the intervention are described.
  • The WHERE
    • The geographic location(s) and the setting(s) where the intervention will take place (e.g., workplace, community) are identified.
  • The HOW
    • The proposed plan and key activities that will contribute to the successful implementation of the intervention are described.

Evidence to Support the Intervention

  • The intervention is supported by evidence (e.g., a survey, literature reviews, needs assessments, past project evaluations, etc.);
  • The intervention is supported by an explicit or plausible theory base; and The intervention is innovative in its approach, and the way in which it complements and/or builds on similar initiatives (if applicable) is described.

Evaluation of the Intervention

  • The expected behaviour change outcomes are described, and align with the Logic Model for Grants and Contributions Funded Projects;
  • The evaluation activities will measure the extent to which the intervention will reach the intended target population(s);
  • The evaluation activities will measure the extent to which the intervention will positively enable and change behaviour to reduce the common risk factors for chronic disease; and
  • The evaluation activities will measure the extent to which the intervention will support sustainable behaviours beyond the funding cycle.

Multi-sectoral Partnerships and Collaborations

  • The project demonstrates multi-sectoral engagement or involvement with organizations from various sectors (e.g., private sector, not-for-profit sector, organizations within and outside the health sector, and other levels of governments);
  • The role and contribution of each partner (e.g., content expertise, funder, advisory, and research) are indicated; and
  • The project includes potential for a matched funding ratio of 1:1 from non-taxpayer funded sources and/or private sector partners.

Section 6: Eligibility

6.1 Eligible Applicants

Eligible applicants include:

  • Canadian not-for-profit voluntary organizations and corporations;
  • for-profit organizations;
  • unincorporated groups, societies and coalitions;
  • provincial, territorial, regional, and municipal governments and agencies;
  • organizations and institutions supported by provincial and territorial governments (regional health authorities, schools, post-secondary institutions, etc.);
  • Indigenous organizations; and
  • non-Canadian applicants may be considered on an exceptional basis.

6.2 Eligible Expenses

Eligible costs include expenses such as personnel, travel and accommodations, materials, equipment, rent and utilities, evaluation/dissemination, or "other" costs related to the approved project. A detailed budget will be required as part of the proposal (stage two) in the application process. Any expenses for travel or accommodation must be supported by a strong rationale.

No expenses for approved projects may be incurred prior to the acceptance of the Contribution Agreement by all parties.

6.3 Ineligible Activities and Expenses

The following activities and expenses are not eligible for funding:

  • pure research in any discipline;
  • provision of services that are the responsibility of other levels of government;
  • costs of ongoing activities for the organization;
  • stand-alone activities such as awareness raising events, audiovisual production or website/smartphone application development and maintenance (a "stand-alone activity" would be considered as such when there is no program intervention with a target population);
  • conferences, symposia, and workshops as stand-alone projects;
  • capital costs such as the purchase of land, buildings or vehicles;
  • ongoing operational support or overhead/administrative fees expressed as a percentage of ongoing activities of an organization;
  • unidentified miscellaneous costs;
  • travel and hospitality expenses that exceed the Treasury Board rates;
  • rent charges for space and computer use when already owned by the recipient organization; and
  • membership fees.

Section 7: Official Language Requirements

The federal government is committed to enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada (Francophones living outside the province of Quebec and Anglophones living in the province of Quebec), supporting and assisting their development, and fostering the full recognition and use of both official languages in Canadian society. As such, all project materials (e.g., resources, reports, announcements, etc.) for public distribution must be produced in both official languages and project activities must be carried out in the target population's official language of choice.

For additional information, refer to the Official Languages Act website.

Section 8: Gender-Based Analysis

The Government of Canada is committed to conducting Gender-based Analysis (now called Gender-based Analysis Plus "GBA+") on all legislation, policies and programs. GBA+ incorporates consideration of gender as well as other identity factors such as age, education, language, geography, culture and income. Applicants are expected to incorporate these considerations into a proposal, if successful.

For additional information refer to the GBA+ website, and the Key Health Inequalities in Canada: A National Portrait.

Section 9: Lobbying Act

Recent amendments to the Lobbying Act have broadened the definition of lobbying. We encourage applicants to review the revised Act and Regulations to ensure compliance. For more information, refer to the Office of the Commissioner of Lobbying of Canada website.

Section 10: Contact Us

More questions? Visit our FAQ section.

To obtain additional information about this invitation to submit an LOI, or to receive a copy of the LOI template please contact:

The Public Health Agency of Canada is under no obligation to enter into a funding agreement as a result of this invitation to submit an LOI.


  • reject any submission received in response to this invitation;
  • accept any submission in whole or in part; and
  • cancel and/or re-issue this invitation to submit a LOI at any time.

Please note that PHAC will not reimburse an applicant for costs incurred in the preparation and/or submission of an LOI or a proposal in response to this invitation.

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