FUNDING: United Nations Democracy Fund

Posted on 30 October 2008. Filed under: Announcements, Call for Nominations or Applications, Democratic Participation, Funding, Opportunities | Tags: , , , , , , |


UNDEF Third Round of Funding

The Third Round of Funding for the United Nations Democracy Fund – UNDEF – will be conducted from 10 November to 31 December 2008.

Applications for UNDEF funding can be made online through a link from the UNDEF website that will be open from 10 November 2008. Applications must be written in English or French, the two working languages of the United Nations. Applications can only be made through the UNDEF online facility. Applications sent by E-mail, fax or post will NOT be accepted.

Applicants should be aware that UNDEF funding rounds are highly competitive. In the Second Round there were more than 1800 applications while only 83 projects were funded. Accordingly, the quality of the application will be an important attribute. Applicants are therefore advised to read very carefully the Project Proposal Guidelines (PDF format, 87 Kb) on the UNDEF website. Applications can be saved in the system and should be submitted only when applicants are confident that all the relevant information has been provided.

Finally, UNDEF is a democracy fund, not a development fund or a human rights fund. Project proposals that strengthen the voice of civil society in the various democratic processes will be more likely to gain acceptance than project proposals less directly related to democracy promotion. It is anticipated that the vast majority of applicants and short-listed project proposals will emanate from civil society organisations.

Note to We Can Do Readers: Consult the official website for the United Nations Democracy Fund directly for more information on this organization and their funding opportunities. Queries and applications regarding this funding opportunity should be directed to the United Nations Democracy Fund via the instructions at their web site. Please do NOT post those queries at this page (the UNDEF will not see them here) and please don’t inquire with We Can Do (this blog site is not associated with the UNDEF).

This funding opportunity could be one option for organizations that wish to establish projects that would enable people with disabilities in their countries to participate more actively in the democratic political process. Grants can range from $50,000 to $500,000.

If you miss the 2008 deadline, then consult the UNDEF website for information on similar funding opportunities for subsequent years.

I received most of the text of this announcement via Mobility International USA’s international development and disability email updates. Text after “Note to We Can Do readers” is my own. Only information provided directly by UNDEF should be considered official.

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FUNDING for Better Democratic Participation

Posted on 26 November 2007. Filed under: Announcements, Democratic Participation, Funding, News, Opportunities, Resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Disabled People’s Organizations (DPOs), other civil society organizations, governments, and official institutions around the world may want to take note:

The United Nations Democracy Fund (UNDEF) has opened its second funding applications round. UNDEF wants funding proposals for projects meant to build and strengthen democratic institutions, promote human rights, and ensure the participation of all groups in democratic processes. Its second round is open through December 18, 2007. [Edited 30 Dec. ’07 to add: It may be worth finding out if there might be a third round in 2008 … or a fourth in 2009. Follow the links, review their guidelines carefully, and start preparing your proposal early.] As with UNDEF’s first round, they are accepting applications in the following thematic categories:

  • strengthening democratic dialogue and support for constitutional processes;
  • civil society empowerment;
  • civic education, voter registration and strengthening of political parties;
  • citizen’s access to information;
  • human rights and fundamental freedoms;
  • accountability, transparency and integrity.

UNDEF was established in July 2005 as a United Nations General Trust Fund in order to promote democracy. Their funding applications round could be an excellent opportunity to obtain the funds you need to help disabled people participate more actively in your country’s democratic process.

For example, perhaps disabled people in your country find it harder to gain access to your country’s constitution, the daily news, or the positions of political candidates. Or they may find it harder to register to vote; to vote privately; or to enter voting polls. Or DPOs may find it harder to monitor how well your government implements laws that affect disabled people. Does your DPO, civil society organization, government, or official institution have an idea for a project that could help overcome one of these barriers? If so, you may wish to review UNDEF’s criteria carefully to see if your project would be appropriate for this funding opportunity.

You can learn more about UNDEF at the link.

Their Project Proposal Guidelines are available in PDF format in either English or French.

You can apply in English or in French.

Note that one of their application questions, under “project information,” asks whether your proposed project takes into account the needs of “marginalized or vulnerable groups” or whether it addresses the needs of marginalized or vulnerable groups “as a key objective.” You may wish to use this opportunity to argue that a project targeted at disabled
people would be addressing the needs of a marginalized group “as a key objective.” There is space you could use to briefly explain how disabled people are “marginalized” or excluded from the democratic process in your country and how your project is meant to help.

Are you too late to apply for 2007? Don’t despair. This seems to be an annual opportunity, so there may be another chance next year. Do follow the links to UNDEF’s website to learn more about their organization. You may also wish to review information about, and criteria for, past funding rounds to help you start brainstorming and planning your next project proposal. It is never too early to start preparing proposals for funding grants.

The information for this blog post was gathered from the UNDEF web site. We Can Do first learned about this funding opportunity through Disabled People’s International (DPI) weekly newsletter.

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