UNDEF has developed a robust selection process which is highly rigorous and competitive. The various further stages of the selection process include:
1. Online Project Proposal System (OPPS)
The Online Project Proposal System (OPPS) is an on-line system that allows prospective grantees to submit their applications to UNDEF electronically. The OPPS can be accessed at the UNDEF website at www.un.org/democracyfund. Applications can only be submitted through our OPPS during the appliation period in the Fall. All applications must be completed in English or French. Applications submitted by e-mail, regular post, facsimile, diplomatic or UN pouch, hand or courier delivery or any other channel will NOT be considered.
2. “Long” Short-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 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.
This list is then be 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 each country concerned were invited.
This process of quality control results in a short list which is submitted to the Advisory Board for discussion, from which a list of proposed projects is recommended to the United Nations Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon. The Board has 19 members, composed of Member States, representatives appointed by the Secretary General including representatives from civil society and the Executive Director of the UN Office for Partnerships.
IThe results are moderated to ensure
that the short list maintains a satisfactory regional balance. UNDEF will reserve at least 70% of its programmable resources in
each funding round for projects taking place in one country and will allocate no more
than 30% to global/regional projects.While applications from all countries will be considered, strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical. Please read the UNDEF Proposal Guidelines for further information.
The Secretary-General, assisted by the Deputy Secretary-General, Dr Asha-Rose Migiro, takes the final decision on the basis of recommendations from the Advisory Board.
5. Project Document
Decisions on the selection of projects to be funded are considered “approvals in principle”. Final approval depends upon successful finalisation of a full project document. The project document must be completed within 6 weeks of the notification of the “approval in principle”. Failure of the applicant to comply with this deadline may result in UNDEF not going ahead with the grant. Extended deadlines may be granted on an exceptional basis to especially complex projects by UNDEF Office.
By early June, all successful short-listed applicants are notified at the electronic address indicated in their application, unless otherwise advised on the UNDEF website. UNDEF does not have the resources to individually advise unsuccessful applicants.
In view of the large numbers of project proposals, we request applicants to be patient and not email the UNDEF team asking for progress reports on their particular application. Please consult the website for updates on the project selection process.