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Apply for United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) Project Grants

Deadline: 15th December, 2016

The United Nations Democracy Fund invites civil society organizations to apply for funding for projects to advance and support democracy at

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.
Proposals are subject to a highly rigorous and competitive selection process, with fewer than two per cent chosen for funding.

Funding Information

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.

Project Areas:
Projects fall under one or more of seven main areas:
  • Community Activism
  • Rule of Law and Human Rights
  • Tools for Knowledge
  • Women’s Empowerment
  • Youth Engagement
  • Media and Freedom of Information
  • Strengthening Interaction with Government

Project Criteria

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.

Eligibility Criteria

The following institutions are eligible for UNDEF grant funding:

  • Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, engaged in promoting democracy. These are anticipated to receive the bulk of the funding.
  • Independent and Constitutional Bodies, including Election Commissions, Ombudsman Institutions, National Human Rights Institutions and other independent governance bodies, for project proposals facilitating the inclusion of the voice of civil society.
  • Global and Regional inter-government bodies, organizations and associations other than the United Nations, for project proposals which strengthen the voice of civil society.

How to Apply

ONLY on-line proposals during this period, in either English or French, will be accepted.

Online Project Proposal System 

The on-line project proposal system can be accessed at the UNDEF website at
Please read the following documents: project proposal guidelineslessons learned for applicants, frequently asked questions and summaries of existing projects.
For more information please visit UNDEF website

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