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

Table of Contents

Section 1. Overview

1.1 Introduction

The Public Health Agency of Canada (Agency) 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 - communities, academia, the charitable and not-for-profit sector and the private sector - are required to address complex social issues such as childhood obesity and the prevention of chronic diseases. Complex public health challenges defy single solution approaches developed in isolation. By engaging multiple sectors of society, partners can leverage knowledge, expertise, reach and resources, allowing each to do what it does best, in working towards the common shared goal of producing better health outcomes for Canadians.

The Agency 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 demonstrable results (see Section 3). This strategic investment approach represents a new way of working through innovative partnerships, in collaboration with the private sector in particular, as emphasized in Federal Budget 2012 – Economic Action Plan 2012: Our plan for jobs, growth and long-term prosperityExternal site.

The application process under this invitation consists of two stages. The first stage is the submission of an LOI, which will outline your project concept. Based on the outcomes of a peer review process, applicants whose LOIs are successful will be invited to submit a full proposal for funding consideration. Under this invitation there is no deadline for this LOI process,  LOIs will be accepted on a continual basis. Please see Section 4.1 for more information on the Application Process.

1.2 Context

Chronic disease is one of the leading causes of death and reduced quality of life in Canada today and several risk factors that lead to these prevalent chronic diseases are becoming more common. The majority of all deaths in Canada are caused by four major chronic diseases - cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and chronic respiratory diseases - which result in significant personal, fiscal and productivity loss. However, a large number of risk factors (i.e. unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use, 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/or Health Promotion/Healthy Living (except Québec) 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 Québec) 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, F/P/T Ministers responsible for Sport, Physical Activity and Recreation (except Québec) also endorsed the Declaration and 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 MeetingExternal site it was emphasized that prevention is the foundation of the work to combat chronic disease. Four common risk factors were highlighted as contributors to chronic disease, namely unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use and harmful use of alcohol.

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 the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS)External site. Funded projects will support the Agency's contribution to the Framework and Declaration (see Section 1.2) and specific strategies (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular and tobacco), by focusing efforts on innovative, integrated approaches that promote healthy living, prevent chronic disease and address common risk factors. Projects to be funded under each of these funding authorities must include a focus on at least one of the priority areas outlined below.

All projects must include multi-sectoral partnerships be able to demonstrate measureable results (see Section 3.3), be founded in evidence and have the potential to be expanded (scaled-up) into other areas of the country, other target populations, different settings, or to address other chronic diseases or risk factors. All projects must also meet the funding requirements outlined in Section 3 below. Projects targeting First Nations populations can only be funded if they are delivered in off-reserve settings. This includes First Nations people living off-reserve, and Métis people and Inuit people living outside of their traditional communities. Health Canada's First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB)External site is responsible for programming on-reserve.

2.1 Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease

The Integrated Strategy on Healthy Living and Chronic Disease (ISHLCD) provides a framework for the federal government to promote the health of Canadians and reduce the impact of chronic disease in Canada. The funding programs under the ISHLCD include the Healthy Living Fund, the Canadian Diabetes Strategy, the Cancer Community-Based Funding Program, and the Cardiovascular Disease program.

Projects to be funded under the ISHLCD must include a focus on at least one of the following:

  • addressing healthy living and healthy weights through a primary prevention initiative
  • addressing common risk factors (i.e. unhealthy diet, physical inactivity, tobacco use) applicable to a number of the aforementioned chronic diseases

2.2 Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS)

As part of the Government of Canada's five-year renewal of the Federal Tobacco Control Strategy (FTCS) through Budget 2012, interventions under this program stream will target tobacco as a common risk factor for chronic diseases as reinforced in the 2011 United Nations Declaration on Non-Communicable DiseasesExternal site. The Agency's tobacco investments ensure alignment with broader chronic disease prevention priorities, such as the stakeholder-led National Lung Health Framework.

Projects to be funded under the FTCS must include a focus on at least one of the following:

  • building the capacity of tobacco cessation interveners
  • reinforcing tobacco prevention and cessation in the workplace
  • addressing the elevated risks of urban First Nations people living off-reserve, and Métis people and Inuit people living outside of their traditional communities.

Section 3: Funding Details and Requirements

3.1  Funding Amount and Duration

  • The value of your Agency funding request must be a minimum of $100,000 per year over a minimum of a two-year period. Requests that reflect less than $100,000/year, or are under two years in duration, will not be considered.
  • The maximum value of your Agency funding request cannot exceed $5 million per project.
  • The funding duration must be between 24 months (2 years) and 60 months (5 years).

3.2 Matched Funding

  • Consistent with the multi-sectoral partnership approach of this invitation, projects must obtain matched funding in terms of financial (cash) contributions from non-governmental or private sector partners. Organizations submitting under this invitation must be prepared to seek financial support from other sources if and when they are invited to submit a full proposal for funding. Following successful proposal review, project approval will not proceed until matched funding is secured.
  • A matched funding ratio of 1:1 is required for funding under the ISHLCD. A minimum of 1:3 matched funding is required for projects funded under the FTCS. Final determination of the matched funding ratio for any particular project rests with the Public Health Agency of Canada.

    Ratio Funding Examples:

    1. At a matched funding ratio of 1:1, if the recipient organization has secured $500,000 from other sources, the Agency would contribute the same amount of $500,000, for a total project value of $1M.
    2. At a matched funding ratio of 1:3, if the recipient organization has secured $250,000 from other sources, the Agency would contribute $750,000, for a total project value of $1M.
  • Matched funds for cost-sharing of the project activities can be secured in a variety of ways, including leveraging project costs from other sources/partner(s) or monetary contributions from organizational fundraising. Only financial contributions (cash) will be considered. In-kind contributions do not apply towards matched funding requirements.

3.3  Focus on Results

  • To achieve greater accountability for results, full proposals will only be considered where funding can be tied to the completion of outputs/outcomes as measurable results. The Treasury Board Policy on Transfer PaymentsExternal site (PTP) and the Terms and Conditions for the Promotion of Population Health allows for payments based on the “achievement of pre-determined performance expectations or milestones” as opposed to “reimbursement of eligible expenditures.”
  • Successful projects will have “pay-for-performance” agreements, where payments are tied to outputs/outcomes that are specified in advance and are measureable. Applicant organizations should demonstrate that they have the ability to achieve and demonstrate results.

3.4  Private Sector Organizations Applying for Funding

  • Private sector applicants are required to engage and partner with organizations from the charitable or not-for-profit sectors. Effective prevention initiatives are enhanced through multi-sectoral responses, involving shared leadership between players such as non-governmental organizations, academia, workplaces, industry, and communities, among others.

Section 4:  Submitting a Letter of Intent

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

4.1  Application Process

The application process consists of two stages. The first stage is the submission of an LOI, which will outline your project concept. We will acknowledge receipt of your submission and respond within 45 days. Based on the outcomes of a peer review process, applicants whose LOIs are successful will be invited to submit a full 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 full proposals. The LOI is a competitive process and all submissions are subject to peer review. Not all organizations that submit an LOI will be invited to submit a full proposal for funding. Organizations with LOIs deemed to best fit with the overall goals of the funding programs will be invited to submit full proposals. The development of a full proposal is the second stage of the application process.

  2. Full Proposal

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

4.2  Content of the Letter of Intent

The LOI submission consists of two parts as outlined below. LOIs must be no more than a total of 5 pages, which includes a 1-page cover letter and 4 pages for the LOI template – no appendices are permitted. The required format is: Word document, Times New Roman, font size 12, single spacing with 1 inch margins.

Part 1 - Organizational Information

Applicants are to provide a 1-page cover letter describing their 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;
  • Briefly outline why your organization has the capacity to undertake the proposed project (e.g. credibility, relevant skills, interest, experience with the target population, ability to achieve and demonstrate project results); and
  • Briefly describe your organization's management structure, governance, and financial capacity to carry-out projects (e.g. financial administration/management, quality control mechanisms).

Part 2 – Project Information

Complete the Letter of Intent (maximum of 2500 words). The following areas must be included:

  • Basic project information (e.g. project title; applicant organization; primary contact information; duration in months; funding amount requested from the Agency; and financial contributions/dollar amount leveraged, if known at the time of LOI submission);
  • Brief overview of the project and the goals/objectives, key activities, target population(s) and project location(s);
  • Evidence supporting the project;
  • National applicability of the project or approach;
  • Multi-sectoral partnerships and collaborations;
  • Knowledge transfer activities; and
  • Performance measurement and evaluation.

* The assessment criteria and eligibility requirements for the LOI are outlined under Section 5 and Section 6 respectively. 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

There is no deadline for this LOI process. Under this invitation, LOIs will be accepted on a continual basis, however, funding will be subject to budgetary and project considerations.

4.4  Where to Submit your Letter of Intent

All LOIs must be submitted via email to in Microsoft Word or as a PDF. 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 for document completeness and eligibility (Section 6) by the Agency and forwarded to members of a peer review committee. Peer review committee members will have expertise in the funding priorities. Applicants will be measured against the assessment criteria outlined below. The committee will select a combination of projects that are both individually strong and also collectively meet the overall desired goal of the programs.

5.1  Assessment Criteria

The following assessment criteria will be used to review the LOIs received:

Eligible Applicant

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

Project Description

  • Project overview aligns with the priorities of this invitation
  • Project goals/objectives are clear, realistic and achievable
  • Project activities are well described and align with the objectives of the project
  • Target populations are clearly identified and the project's potential impact on these populations is well-described 

Evidence for the Project

  • Need for the project is supported by evidence that is well documented
  • Proposed project intervention or program design is supported by evidence that is well documented
  • Proposed project intervention or program design is supported by an explicit or plausible theory base

National Applicability

  • Project activities and anticipated results have potential for national applicability in terms of:
    • transferability to different settings or target populations;
    • potential to be expanded into other parts of Canada; and/or
    • applicability to other chronic disease(s) or common risk factors

Multi-sectoral Partnerships and Collaborations

  • Project demonstrates multi-sectoral engagement or involvement with organizations from various sectors (e.g. private sector, charitable sector, organizations outside the health sector, other levels of governments)
  • Role and contribution of each partner is clearly described
  • Project has potential for 1:1 matched funding with a minimum of 1:3 for FTCS projects only

Knowledge Transfer Activities

  • Knowledge products or knowledge transfer activities are clearly described in terms of type and intended audience

Performance Measurement and Evaluation

  •  Expected short-term (1-2 years) and long-term (3+ years) project results are well-described
  •  Project includes a description of intended measurable results that indicate changes in knowledge or behaviours

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.);
  • individuals deemed capable of conducting population health activities; and
  • non-Canadian recipients may be considered on an exceptional basis
  • Aboriginal organizations

6.2  Eligible Expenses

Eligible costs include such expenses 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 full proposal (stage two) in the application process.

No project expenses may be incurred prior to the acceptance of the Grant Agreement or 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 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(s)/audience, etc.);
  • 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 ratesExternal site;
  • renting charges for space and computer use when already owned by the recipient organization; and
  • membership fees.

Section 7: Official Language Requirements

The funding recipient must clearly identify the target population of the project and, if applicable, take the necessary measures to respect the spirit and intent of the Official Languages Act to communicate with the public in the official language (i.e. English or French) of their choice, as well as supporting the vitality and development of official language minority communities.

The Government of Canada is committed to:

  • enhancing the vitality of the English and French linguistic minority communities in Canada and supporting and assisting their development; and
  • fostering the full recognition and use of both English and French 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.

Official language minority communities include Francophones living outside the Province of Quebec and Anglophones within the Province of Quebec.

For additional information, visit the Official Languages ActExternal site website.

Section 8: Lobbyist Registration Act

Recent amendments to the Lobbyists Registration Act and Regulations have broadened the definition of lobbying. We encourage applicants to review the revised Act and Regulations to ensure compliance. For additional information, visit the Office of the Registrar of LobbyistsExternal site website or contact the Office of the Registrar of Lobbyists directly.

Section 9: Contact Us

More questions? Visit our FAQ section.

To obtain additional information about this invitation to submit an LOI, 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 Letter of Intent at any time

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

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