Description

UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. UNDEF projects are two years long. Applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100,000 US dollars and a maximum of 300,000 US dollars. 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 distinct role in complementing the UN's other work -- the work with Governments -- to strengthen democratic governance around the world.

The UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of 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.

Focus Areas

Proposals are subject to a highly rigorous and competitive selection process, with fewer than two per cent chosen for funding. Projects fall under one or more of eight main areas:

  • Gender equality
  • Community activism
  • Rule of law and human rights
  • Youth engagement
  • Strengthening civil society interaction with Government
  • Media and freedom of information
  • Tools for knowledge
  • Electoral processes

UNDEF will not give priority to project proposals which focus on the following:

  • Initiatives which do not promote democracy
  • Initiatives filling a funding gap for on-going/regular programs and activities
  • Projects focused primarily on research
  • Projects that will be co-financed with other donors.

 

Eligibility
  • 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, applicants 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’s priority is Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations (see above). The organization must be legally constituted. UN accreditation is not a prerequisite to apply for UNDEF funding. UNDEF encourages local CSO’s to submit high quality project proposals.
How to Apply

Download the guidelines to learn about project proposal submission process here:

UNDEF Guidelines