Final short list of project proposals approved for UNDEF’s Round 15

The UN Deputy Secretary-General has approved a short list of 35 project proposals for the UN Democracy Fund’s Fifteenth Round of Funding, amounting to over nine million dollars, in accordance with a recommendation by the UNDEF Advisory Board. UNDEF has contacted those short-listed.

As agreed with the UNDEF Advisory Board, this Round particularly welcomed project proposals that address the challenges to civic space and democracy posed by the Covid-19 crisis. All the projects on the short list have direct relevance to the pandemic and its impact on civil society and democracy.

The fifteenth call for project proposals was open from 1 November 2020 to 6 December 2020, in all of UNDEF’s focus areas:  women’s empowerment; rule of law and human rights; youth engagement; strengthening civil society interaction with government; media and freedom of information; tools for knowledge; community activism and electoral processes.  UNDEF received 1,622 project proposals from organizations in 110 countries, the vast majority local civil society organizations in Africa, Arab States, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, despite the very real constraints posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Given the large volume of proposals, UNDEF is not able to contact all applicants individually. Inclusion in the short list is a significant achievement, but it does not in itself mean that the project proposal will be approved for funding. Shortlisted applicants are now required to complete the final stage of the selection process: negotiating a formal project document with UNDEF -- in effect a contract between the grantor and the grantee. This requires the applicant to provide a more elaborated project design, and involves comprehensive guidance, mentoring, input and review by UNDEF’s project officers. Only upon successful conclusion of this process will the project be approved for funding.