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UNDEF Project Grants to strengthen the Voice of Civil Society

13 13+00:00 November, 2023 @ 8:00 - 17:00

UNDEF Project Grants to strengthen the Voice of Civil Society







English or French


200.000,00 $





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 will reserve at least 80% of its programmable resources in each funding round for projects taking place in one country and will allocate no more than 20% to global/regional projects.

UNDEF funds projects implemented by non-UN organizations, not individuals, profit-making or government entities. Eligible applicants must be duly constituted nationally or internationally and have legal status.

The following institutions are eligible for UNDEF grant funding:

  • Civil Society Organizations and Non-Governmental Organizations, engaged in promoting democracy. These are anticipated to receive the bulk of the funding.
  • Independent and Constitutional Bodies, including Election Commissions, Ombudsman Institutions, National Human Rights Institutions and other independent governance bodies, for project proposals facilitating the inclusion of the voice of civil society.
  • Global and Regional inter-government bodies, organizations and associations other than the United Nations, for project proposals which strengthen the voice of civil society.

Priority Countries and Regional Balance

Strong preference will be given to applicants from countries and regions where the challenges of democracy are more critical, such as countries emerging from conflict, new and restored democracies, the Least Developed Countries (as per the official classification of the UNOHRLLS), Low Income Countries (“Low Income Economies” as per the World Bank’s official classification based on Gross National Income per capita) and Middle-Income Countries (“Lower and Upper Middle-income Economies”, idem).

UNDEF aspires to a satisfactory regional balance in the awarding of grants and will consider each individual proposal on its own merits.


UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. UNDEF projects are two years long. Applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100.000,00 US dollars and a maximum of 200,.000,00 US dollars. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations. In this way, UNDEF plays a distinct role in complementing the UN’s other work — the work with Governments — to strengthen democratic governance around the world.


UNDEF projects and priority areas:

  • This year UNDEF particularly welcomes projects that promote civic engagement for Climate action.
  • UNDEF always encourages proposals advancing Gender equality and Youth empowerment.
  • Remember that UNDEF funds projects, not organizations. Your project proposal should be reasonably innovative and distinct from the activity you already conduct.
  • They encourage proposals to foresee innovative methods, practical tools, and creative approaches rather than traditional capacity building measures.
  • Proposals are subject to a highly rigorous and competitive selection process, with fewer than two per cent chosen for funding.

Themes and Constituencies:

Projects fall under one or more of six main themes: Rule of law and human rights.

  • Media and freedom of information
  • Women Leadership
  • Youth engagement
  • Strengthening civil society interaction with Government
  • Electoral processes (elections scheduled mid -2025 at the earliest)

And in one or more of the following constituencies at risk of being left behind:

  • Women
  • Youth
  • Journalists and Media organizations
  • Minorities: ethnic, religious and other groups at risk of being left behind
  • People with disabilities
  • Civil society actors & Community of practice


In principle, UNDEF grants will be allocated for projects with default duration of two years. However, it is acceptable to UNDEF if a successful applicant completes a project in less than two years. Grants will not necessarily match the full amounts applied for. Applicants must request an amount within a range of 100.000,00 USD and 200.000,00 USD for any given proposal.

Once the implementation period has elapsed, beneficiaries will be required to return unspent funds to UNDEF.

and Forms

Organisation: United Nations Democracy Fund

Click here and here for more information, application and contacts.

NOTE: The Opening Date in the description may not match with real Call Opening Date-> information not found.



13 13+00:00 November, 2023
8:00 - 17:00
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