INVEST Call for Concept Notes – Advocacy Innovation Challenge


GRANT PACKAGELocal Advocacy and Public Engagement Campaigns
LOCATIONGhana (Accra, Sekondi-Takoradi, Kumasi)


WUSC (World University Service of Canada) is a Canadian non-profit organization working to create a better world for all young people. We bring together a diverse network of students, volunteers, schools, governments, and businesses who share this vision. Together, we develop solutions in education, economic opportunities, and empowerment to overcome inequality and exclusion for youth around the world, particularly young women and young refugees. WUSC currently works in 25 countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America, with an annual budget of approximately CAD $40 million. We have over 90 staff in our Ottawa office, and over 200 people overseas implementing 16 development projects in collaboration with donors such as Global Affairs Canada, the UK Department for International Development (DFID), the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank.


The Innovation in Non-Traditional Vocational Education and Skills Training (INVEST) is a 5-year initiative that will build sustainable pathways to enhanced economic empowerment, well-being and inclusive growth for 5,000 urban poor young women in Accra, Kumasi, and Sekondi-Takoradi, Ghana. Working in high growth sectors, the initiative will test and scale innovative, sustainable models to improve the enabling environment, reduce gender-specific barriers to women’s economic participation, and enhance access to decent work for marginalized women in non-traditional sectors.  


WUSC wishes to announce a call for Concept papers for the ‘Advocacy Innovation Challenge (AIC). The advocacy innovation challenge is an annual grant designed to incentivize advocacy campaigns to change public perceptions and challenge social norms that constraint women’s access to employment opportunities in non-traditional trades. The grant will improve the capacity of partner organizations to develop, test and scale innovative gender-responsive advocacy initiatives to address social and gender norms that hinder women’s participation in non-traditional trades in three regional locations; Accra, Kumasi and Takoradi.

The initiatives will target young women, influencers, local authorities, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions and trainers, media and government agencies.  These initiatives are expected to contribute to advancing the project outcomes on improved public and industry attitudes towards women’s economic participation in non-traditional trades.

Eligible Organisations

The Innovation Challenge initiative is open to local CSOs, Youth and Women’s Rights organizations with experience in gender justice, women’s economic empowerment, leadership and advocacy. Recipients of this grant will receive capacity building and technical support to design, plan and implement their advocacy initiatives.  

Thematic Areas of the Grant

The grant is open to innovative campaigns around the following key thematic areas:

  1. Gender based violence (Creating safe spaces for young women within non-traditional trades)
  2. Unpaid care work (child care solutions and shared domestic work load)
  3. Gender sensitive work place solutions
  4. Young women’s enrolment and participation in non-traditional trades

Anticipated Results for the Innovation Grant

  • To improve public and industry attitudes towards women’s economic participation in high-growth and non-traditional sectors.
  • ▪          To strengthen the capacity of women and youth-led organizations to engage the public and advocate for increased participation of young women, particularly urban poor young women who face multiple levels of marginalization, in high-growth and non-traditional sectors (inclusion).
  • To build the capacity of recipient organizations to scale up their advocacy and public engagement initiatives on gender inclusivity and women’s empowerment.
  • To mobilize a community of advocates for women’s empowerment in the non-traditional trades sectors through advocacy and public engagement initiatives.
  • To complement the project’s media and communication efforts with outreach that targets family, community leaders and industry stakeholders with messages that promote and support young women’s empowerment in non-traditional occupations/trades
  • Promote an enabling environment for women’s economic empowerment in training institutions, workplaces and communities.

Application Procedures

Applicants are expected to complete a concept note template accessible on the WUSC website at Interested organisations may submit questions regarding the Advocacy Challenge fund, no later than 14th May, 2021 to the INVEST Gender Advisor at [email protected]. Interested organisations should submit their complete concept notes by the submission deadline, EOB 21st May, 2021 to [email protected]. Only complete concept papers will be considered. To access the full call for concept papers, please visit our website at

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