The United Nations Democracy Fund invites applications for funding proposals by organizations to receive project grants in 2020. The window is expected to remain open for a month. Only project proposals submitted on-line in either English or French, the two working languages of the UN, will be accepted.

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. 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.

Any organization funded by UNDEF to implement a project is responsible for its staff, personnel and contractors performing functions for the project, including supervision, welfare and security, throughout the life cycle of the project and beyond, in accordance with its own rules and policies.

Since 2006, UNDEF has supported almost 800 projects in over 120 countries at a total amount of almost US$190 million. Proposals are subject to a highly rigorous selection process, with fewer than two per cent of proposals chosen for funding.

Worth of Award

  • Applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100,000 US dollars and a maximum of 300,000 US dollars.


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 duration.
  • 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.

How to Apply

  • The on-line project proposal system can be accessed at the UNDEF website only during the annual window. Please read the following documents: project proposal guidelines, lessons learned for applicants, frequently asked questions, blank project proposal form, and summaries of existing projects.
  • The on-line proposal form is fairly short and simple, as you are not expected at this stage to draft a full project document.
  • 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.

Deadline: The deadline is December 22, 2019.

Click here for more details and to apply

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