The United Nations Democracy Fund is expected to open its next proposal window for round 14 on 22 November, 2019 for applicants. The window according to their website will remain open for a month when it opens on 22 November, 2019.
United Nations Democracy Fund was created by UN Secretary-General Kofi A. Annan in 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund to support democratization efforts around the world.
We are bringing this information for entrepreneurs who work on projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic process.
UNDEF support initiatives that fall under these areas:
- Community Activism
- Electoral Processes
- Gender Equality
- Media and Freedom of Information
- Rule of Law and Human Rights
- Strengthening Civil Society Interaction with Government
- Tools for Knowledge
- Youth Engagement
Only project proposals submitted on-line in either English or French (the two working languages of UN) will be accepted. United Nations Democracy fund projects are two years long and applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100,000 US Dollars and maximum of 300,000 US Dollars.
United Nations Democracy Fund plays a role in complementing UN’s other works by letting large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organisations; both in the transition and consolidation phases of democratisation.
UNDEF has supported almost 800 projects in over 120 countries at a total sum of almost US$190 million since 2006.
There is a process for the project application and proposals are subject to a highly rigorous selection process with fewer than 2% of proposals chosen for funding.
Stages of United Nations Democracy Fund Application
Online Project Proposal System
You can access the on-line project proposal system during the annual window expected to open on the 22 November, 2019.
At this stage, you are not expected to draft a full project document, so the on-line proposal form is fairly short and simple.
Proposals submitted in any language other than English or French will not be considered. Neither will proposals submitted by e-mail, regular post, facsimile, diplomatic or UN pouch, hand or courier delivery or any other channels be considered.
The following documents should be read from UNDEF website as a guide: Project proposal guidelines, lessons learned for applicants, FQA, blank project proposal form, and summaries of existing projects.
After the on-line application, the proposals are subjected to a thorough process of assessment, quality control and due diligence. Team of independent assessors will conduct an initial examination on all the applications.
The applications are judged by their inherent quality and scored based on many criteria as can be found on UNDEF website.
The United Nations Democracy Fund team then narrows down the list to 200-300 of the highest scoring projects.
The Fund’s Programme Consultative Group which is made up of the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the UN Development Programme, the UN Development Fund for Women and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in consultation with United Nations Resident Coordinators in the field then examines the long list produced by the team of independent assessors.
The UNDEF Advisory Board which is made up of Governments, civil society and individuals then reviews the short list provided by the Programme Consultative Group.
UN Secretary General
The final short list from United Nations Democracy Fund advisory board is then submitted to the UN Secretary-General for approval.
Immediately the short list is approved by the UN Secretary-General, the proposal then moves into the final stage of the negotiation process.
The final selection process is the negotiation of a project document. The project document is the contract between UNDEF and the grantee. The applicant is expected to provide a more elaborate project design that will require inputs from both UNDEF and the applicant. Also, more due diligence is done by UNDEF at this stage.
The project proposal is formally approved for funds disbursement on successful conclusion of the project document and approval by the United Nations Controller.
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Photo Credit: UN Website