Independent experts kick off UNDEF assessment of over 2600 project proposals
UNDEF received more than 2600 project proposals in its latest annual call, which closed on 31 December 2015. The project proposals are now subject to a highly rigorous and competitive selection process, quality vetting, due diligence and lessons learned from previous Rounds. To kick off the review and assessment process for this Round -- UNDEF's tenth -- the UNDEF Secretariat held a teleconference in early January with the team of eight independent international experts contracted for this Round. Their task is to score each proposal against 10 set criteria and produce a long list by March. The team -- highly diverse and with experts based in Ulan Baatar, Ashgabat, Vienna, Johannesburg, Casablanca, Montreal, Burlington and Lima -- combine over 100 years international programme experience. In the next stage, to narrow down the list further, UN Resident Coordinators and Experts of the UNDEF Advisory Board are invited to provide comments, quality vetting, and views on how proposed activities would fit in the overall context of existing UN work in the countries and fields proposed. The same comments are sought from the UNDEF Programme Consultative Group, making use of the specific expertise of each of its entities: the Department of Political Affairs, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the UN Development Programme, the UN Office on Drugs and Crime and UN Women.
Based on this collective input, the UNDEF Secretariat produces a first short-list, expected to be completed only in mid-year, after which the process moves into the next stage. Each shortlisted applicant will be contacted with a request for a draft project document, which is in effect the contract between UNDEF and the grantee. The project document negotiation requires the applicant to provide a more elaborated project design, and involves detailed input from both UNDEF and the applicant, as well as scrutiny and due diligence enquiries by UNDEF. Only upon successful conclusion of the project document, will the project proposal formally be approved for funds disbursement – usually after September every year.