UNDEF Board approves 34 project proposals in new Round

UNDEF’s Advisory Board met on 11 April 2022 and endorsed a short-list of 34 projects for its 16th Round of funding totaling over $7.5 million dollars.
While the short list includes some proposed projects in Ukraine, and a related proposal in a neighbouring state, UNDEF will need over time to explore further what will be possible under local capacity and conditions in Ukraine, in close consultation with civil society partners on the ground. It may also be possible to add more projects in neighbouring countries.
In this Round, UNDEF received 2,121 project proposals from organizations in 126 countries, the vast majority local NGOs, reflecting continuing high demand. Proposals originated from Africa, Arab States, Asia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and the Caribbean, adding further to the growth the Fund has experienced since its creation in 2005 and bringing the total number of projects supported by the Fund to more than 880.
The short list is the product of a thorough and rigorous process. A team of 13 international experts -- combining extensive programme and project experience -- assessed each proposal against 10 set criteria and produced a long list of 195 project proposals. To narrow down the list further, UN Resident Coordinators were invited to provide comments, quality vetting, and views on how proposed activities would fit with existing work in the countries and fields proposed. Based on this collective input, the short list was produced.
Of the short-listed project proposals: 23 per cent are in Arab States; 26 per cent in Africa; 18 per cent in Asia and Pacific; 15 per cent in Latin America and the Caribbean; 15 per cent in Europe, and 1 per cent with a global focus. Broken down by key activity, 29 per cent of project proposals are in rule of law and human rights; 21 per cent in youth engagement; 21 per cent in women’s empowerment; 11 per cent in support to electoral processes; 9 per cent in strengthening civil society capacity for interaction with government; and 9 per cent in media and freedom of information.
Once no-objection has been sought from Governments of countries where projects are envisaged, the list goes to the Secretary-General for review and approval. The proposals move into the final stage in the selection process: the negotiation of a project document, which is in effect the contract between UNDEF and the grantee. This requires the applicant to provide a more elaborated project design, and involves comprehensive guidance, input and review by UNDEF. Only upon successful conclusion of this process will the project formally be approved for funding.
The Advisory Board comprises those UN Member States who have made the largest cumulative financial contributions to the Fund over the previous three years; a number of UN Member States reflecting geographical diversity; international civil society organizations; and individuals serving in a personal capacity.