The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is among the world’s largest multilateral organizations for development assistance, present in all regions of the developing world. At the country level, UNDP normally coordinates activities for the United Nations system as a whole.
UNDP is one of the implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility, and UNDP manages the GEF’s Small Grants Program (see the separate profile of GEF in the Terra Viva Grants Directory).
Moreover, UNDP coordinates the Equator Initiative which awards the Equator Prize.
Grant Programs for Agriculture, Energy, Environment, Natural Resources
1 — GEF Small Grants Program (SGP). The SGP funds community-based projects in biodiversity conservation, climate change adaptation and abatement, protection of international waters, prevention of land degradation, and reduction of the impact of persistent organic pollutants (i.e., the focal areas of the GEF more widely).
Grants are for assessment and planning; pilot demonstrations; monitoring and analysis; and dissemination, networking, and policy dialogue. Grant recipients are community-based organizations, NGOs, and other grassroots organizations. The maximum grant size is US$50 thousand, and the average is about US$25 thousand.
APPLICATION: SGP provides guidelines regarding the types of projects it funds under each focal area. The grant seeker contacts the relevant SGP National Coordinator to receive guidelines and an application form.
Applications follow a two-step process, starting with a concept note. Based on the concept note, the National Coordinator will determine whether to ask for a full proposal. Project proposals must satisfy the SGP Country Program Strategy, overseen by a National Steering Committee.
About how to apply
2 — Equator Initiative. The Equator Initiative is a partnership of UN agencies, national governments, conservation organizations, and others to support local approaches for poverty reduction and biodiversity conservation. The Equator Initiative awards the Equator Prize for innovative biodiversity conservation to multiple recipients on a cycle of every two years.
Prize recipients are community-based organizations and local groups in the eligible countries. As originally defined, the Equator Prize recognizes initiatives within the equatorial zone (i.e. 23.5 degrees latitude North and South of the Equator). However, the selection criteria for the Prize have been broadened. Civil society organizations in nearly all developing countries — tropical and temperate — are eligible to compete for the Prize.
The amount of the prize is determined in each prize cycle. Note: In the cycle 2019, the Equator Initiative was awarded to 22 winning projects.
APPLICATION: The Equator Initiative posts calls for nominations that include eligibility requirements, nomination forms, and information about how and when to nominate.
Awards are normally made every two years.
Geographical Distribution of Grant Activities in Developing Countries
The following developing countries participate in GEF’s Small Grants Program (SGP), applying the regional classification of the Terra Viva Grants Directory.
Southeast Asia and Pacific Islands: Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Tonga, Vanuatu, Vietnam
East Asia: China, Mongolia
South Asia: Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka
Eurasia and Central Asia: Afghanistan, Armenia, Georgia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkey, Uzbekistan
Eastern Europe and Russia: Albania, Belarus, Macedonia, Moldova, Ukraine
Middle East and North Africa: Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territory, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen
Sub-Saharan Africa: Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Dem Rep Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe
Latin America and Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Venezuela
UNDP’s main website is available in English, French, and Spanish.
The GEF Small Grants Program offers a projects database, contact details, and other helpful information.
The Equator Initiative identifies past winners of the Equator Prize. It posts contact information for its administrative staff in New York.