[Okfn-francophone] Applying for an UNDEF project grant and selection process | UNDEF

Olivier Alais olivier at alais.org
Thu Nov 27 03:32:53 UTC 2014

United Nations Democracy Fund invites civil society organizations to
apply for funding for projects to advance and support democracy during
the annual proposal window, which is open only from 15 November to 31
December at www.un.org/democracyfund. Only on-line proposals during
this period, in either English or French, will be accepted.

UNDEF projects are two years long, project grants ranging from
$100,000 to $300,000, and fall under one or more of six main focus

· Community development
· Rule of law and human rights
· Tools for democratization
- Media
· Women
· Youth

The stages of the process are:

1. Online Project Proposal System

The on-line project proposal system can be accessed at the UNDEF
website at www.un.org/democracyfund, only during the annual window.
Please read an example of an application form, project proposal
guidelines, lessons learned for applicants, frequently asked questions
and summaries of existing projects.

Project proposals submitted by e-mail, regular post, facsimile,
diplomatic or UN pouch, hand or courier delivery or any other channel
will NOT be considered. Neither will project proposals in any language
other than English or French.

2. Long List

Proposals are subjected to a thorough process of assessment, quality
control and due diligence. An initial examination by a team of
independent assessors is conducted, a process in which all
applications are judged on their inherent quality and scored according
to the following criteria:

The project promotes the objectives of UNDEF
The project draws on the United Nations comparative advantage
The project will have a significant impact
The project will encourage inclusiveness
The project will enhance gender equality
The project has strong prospects for successful implementation
The applicant organization has a strong track record
The project is technically sound in conception and presentation
The project represents good value for money
The project has strong prospects of sustainability beyond the project
The UNDEF team then narrows down the list to 200-300 of the highest
scoring projects. In doing so, the global and regional projects is
considered separately from the various national project proposals and
are considered within the respective global and regional baskets.
3. Short-List

The long list produced by the  team of independent assessors is then
examined by the Fund’s Programme Consultative Group -- comprising 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.

4. UNDEF Board

The Programme Consultative Group review yields a short list which is
reviewed by the UNDEF Advisory Board -- comprising Governments, civil
society and individuals.

5. UN Secretary-General

The final short list is then submitted to the UN Secretary-General for
approval, usually in May or June.

6. Project Document

Once the short list is approved by the Secretary-General, the proposal
moves into the final stage in the selection process: the negotiation
of a project document, which is in effect the contract between UNDEF
and the grantee.  This negotiation requires the applicant to provide a
more elaborated project design, and involves detailed input from both
UNDEF and the applicant, as well as scrutiny and due diligence
enquiries by UNDEF.  Only upon successful conclusion of the project
document, and its approval by the United Nations Controller, will the
project proposal formally be approved for funds disbursement. This can
be expected to happen in September at the earliest.

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