United Nations Democracy Fund – Call for New Project Proposals 2017 ($100-300k Grant)

United Nations Democracy Fund – Call for New Project Proposals 2017 ($100-300k Grant)

Deadline: December 20, 2017

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) invites applications for the Twelfth Round of UNDEF grants. 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.

UNDEF-financed projects will be implemented over a period of two years, principally at country level and in least developed, low or middle income countries. UNDEF also provides discrete funding to a number of regional and global projects promoting democracy.

Focus Areas

UNDEF invites project proposals covering one or more of eight main focus 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


Grant allocations will be of a minimum of US$100,000 and not exceed US$300,000 for any given project. Applicants must request an amount within this range. The majority of projects are granted no more than $250,000.


  • In this Round, UNDEF particularly welcomes proposals in the areas of gender; rule of law; media; or electoral processes focusing on elections scheduled for 2020 at the earliest.
  • Eligible applicants must be duly constituted nationally or internationally and have legal status. UNDEF’s priority is Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations
  • UNDEF will invite proposals for projects that either take place in one country only (local), or occur in several specified states of a region or sub-region (regional) or intend to operate at the global level (global).
  • UNDEF grants will be allocated for projects with default duration of two years.
  • Strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical
  • Project proposals can be submitted only in English or French, the two working languages of the United Nations.

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.

Assessment Criteria

During the assessment process, project proposals will be assessed based on the following ten assessment criteria:

  1. The project promotes the objectives of UNDEF
  2. The project draws on the United Nations’ comparative advantage
  3. The project will have a significant impact
  4. The project will encourage inclusion of marginalized and vulnerable groups
  5. The project will enhance gender equality
  6. The project has strong prospects for successful implementation
  7. The applicant organization has a strong track record
  8. The project is technically sound in conception and presentation
  9. The project represents good value for money
  10. The project has strong prospects of sustainability beyond the project duration.


UNDEF will not accept proposals submitted via e-mail, regular post, facsimile, diplomatic or UN pouch, hand or courier delivery or any other channel. A confirmation email will be generated by the OPPS. The UNDEF Office will communicate directly with the applicant if additional information should be required.

For technical support please contact [email protected].

For more information, visit UNDEF Funding.