Civil society organizations around the globe are invited to apply for grants up to US$ 200,000 for 2-year projects that increase civic space, empower civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes.
The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratization. In this way, UNDEF plays a novel and unique role in complementing the UN’s other, more traditional work the work with Governments to strengthen democratic governance around the world.
UNDEF Projects and Priority Areas
- This year UNDEF particularly welcomes projects that promote civic engagement for Climate action.
- UNDEF always encourages proposals advancing Gender equality and Youth empowerment.
- Remember that UNDEF funds projects, not organizations. Your project proposal should be reasonably innovative and distinct from the activity you already conduct.
- They encourage proposals to foresee innovative methods, practical tools, and creative approaches rather than traditional capacity building measures.
- Proposals are subject to a highly rigorous and competitive selection process, with fewer than two per cent chosen for funding.
Themes and Constituencies
- Projects fall under one or more of six main themes:
- Rule of law and human rights
- Media and freedom of information
- Women Leadership
- Youth engagement
- Strengthening civil society interaction with Government
- Electoral processes (elections scheduled mid -2025 at the earliest)
- And in one or more of the following constituencies at risk of being left behind:
- Journalists and Media organizations
- Minorities: ethnic, religious and other groups at risk of being left behind
- People with disabilities
- Civil society actors & Community of practice
- In principle, UNDEF grants will be allocated for projects with default duration of two years. However, it is acceptable to UNDEF if a successful applicant completes a project in less than two years. Grants will not necessarily match the full amounts applied for. Applicants must request an amount within a range of 100,000 USD and 200,000 USD for any given proposal.
- Once the implementation period has elapsed, beneficiaries will be required to return unspent funds to UNDEF.
Priority Countries and Regional Balance
- Strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical, such as countries emerging from conflict, new and restored democracies, the Least Developed Countries (as per the official classification of the UNOHRLLS), Low Income Countries (“Low Income Economies” as per the World Bank’s official classification based on Gross National Income per capita) and Middle Income Countries (“Lower and Upper Middle-income Economies”, idem).
- UNDEF aspires to a satisfactory regional balance in the awarding of grants and will consider each individual proposal on its own merits.
- Local and Global/Regional Projects
- UNDEF will invite proposals for projects that either take place in one country only (local) or occur in several specified states of a region or sub-region (regional) or intend to operate at the global level (global). UNDEF will reserve at least 80% of its programmable resources in each funding round for projects taking place in one country and will allocate no more than 20% to global/regional projects.
- Types of applicants
- UNDEF funds projects implemented by non-UN organizations, not individuals, profit-making or government entities. Eligible applicants must be duly constituted nationally or internationally and have legal status.
- At the project proposal stage, you will be required to indicate the type of organization applying for funding:
- Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations engaged in promoting democracy
- Independent and Constitutional Bodies,
- Global and Regional inter-government bodies, organizations and associations other than the United Nations
- UNDEF prioritizes Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations. The organization must be legally constituted.
Application Deadline: 30-Nov-23
Also Read: Other Opportunities to Apply