Empowering Women and Girls Through Innovation

Provided by Fund for Innovation and Transformation
Empowering Women and Girls Through Innovation

FIT Announces Latest Funding for Canadian Organizations
Testing Solutions in Global South


Winnipeg, MB – The Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) is awarding close to $2 Million in funding to 10 small and medium organizations (SMOs) from across Canada who are using innovation to improve the lives of women and girls around the world. This includes looking at gender-based discrimination, community engagement, women’s health, education and more.

This is FIT’s fifth round of funding. Since the program launched in 2019, it has awarded $11 Million to over 50 projects – many of which are seeing promising results. Made possible through Global Affairs Canada, funding supports the testing of innovative solutions to challenges in the Global South that aim to advance gender equality.

FIT Director of Innovation, Christina MacIsaac, says FIT is about creating opportunity, exploring possibility, and learning and growing in collaboration.

“Since its start three years ago, FIT has created a space for inclusive innovation in international development. This has meant cultivating an environment where SMOs are empowered to experiment and adapt. In an ever-changing world, innovation is critical for developing sustained, scalable solutions to complex problems.”

MacIsaac adds that supporting ideas at the testing phase sets FIT apart from other funding programs.

“FIT provides a rare opportunity for Canadian small and medium-sized organizations from different sectors to test new or improved practices, policies and approaches with local partners around the world – all with the intention of advancing gender equality. The fund also provides a collaborative experience for funded organizations to share their learnings with each other and the wider innovation and international development sectors.”

Janice Hamilton, Executive Director for the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC), which administers the FIT program on behalf of the Inter-Council Network, says the key learnings coming out of
these tests have the potential to impact the work of SMOs by virtue of providing funding to try solutions with
communities before committing to long term projects.

“FIT’s unique approach positions these SMOs and their partners as catalysts for transformative change. Part of our mandate is to share their results – both the successes and the failures – so those working in similar areas can improve or modify their own practices.”

Intake five will see a minimum of 10 SMOs test several solutions that empower girls and women, with projects in communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Some of the projects being tested include using permaculture gardens to reducing the stigma around menstrual health; the prioritization of local Indigenous knowledge and gender equality to address conservation and climate change; and improving financial literacy and numeracy.

For more information about intake five projects and recipients, please see the attached backgrounder. Stories and
results from FIT SMOs can be found on
FIT’s website


What is FIT?

The Fund for Innovation and Transformation (FIT) is a program of the Inter-Council Network of Provincial and Regional Councils (ICN) made possible through funding from Global Affairs Canada and administered by the Manitoba Council for International Cooperation (MCIC).

FIT is designed to support Canadian small and medium-sized organizations (SMOs) testing innovative solutions that advance gender equality in the Global South. The program is open to civil society organizations, social enterprises, post-secondary institutions and the private sector.

FIT will provide successful applicants with $150K-$175K over a 6-12 month period to test their solutions in partnership with local organizations.* The multi-year program aims to fund 50-70 initiatives overall.

In addition, the program seeks to foster collective learning and build the capacity of SMOs through the creation of knowledge-sharing spaces and practices. FIT’s goal is to cultivate a working environment in which SMOs are empowered to experiment, fail, adapt and try again.

“When women and girls are given equal opportunities to succeed, they can be powerful agents of change—driving stronger economic growth, encouraging greater peace and cooperation, and improving the quality of life for their families and their communities.” – Canada’s Feminist International Assistance Policy

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