The application period for the 2023 edition of the Youth Solidarity Fund is now over. Thank you for your interest.
YSF 10th Edition Application Guidelines
These guidelines aim to serve as a tool for the applicants to submit their project proposals for funding in line with the eligibility criteria. They contain information about:
- Who can apply;
- Type of projects;
- Geographical Coverage for the current Call for Applications;
- Eligibility Criteria (Organizations and Projects);
- Selection Process, Selection Committee, Evaluation Criteria;
- How to apply.
Who can apply for Youth Solidarity Fund?
- Youth-led organizations registered and operational in one of the eligible countries;
- Registered youth-led organizations with projects entirely developed and managed by youth.
Type of projects:
Youth Solidarity Fund provides seed funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. It awards grants of up to USD 25,000 for the implementation of selected projects that demonstrate innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of UNAOC. Proposals linked to the implementation of the following frameworks/policies are particularly encouraged:
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on Youth, Peace and Security in connection to intercultural and interfaith dialogue;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism by promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue as a prevention tool;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 by addressing the increased stigma and discrimination of young people and their communities exacerbated by the pandemic;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites by promoting respect for other religions and cultures, the right of human beings to practice their faith in safety and peace, and efforts to combat extremist ideologies and narratives;
- Projects that support the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech by addressing the issues and their impact on young people.
Geographical coverage of the current call for applications:
The geographical coverage of YSF interventions is determined by the current Official Development Assistance (ODA) list determined annually by the Development Assistance Committee (DAC). The 10th YSF Call for Applications welcomes proposals from youth-led organizations officially registered and operating in the following countries.
List of eligible countries, in alphabetical order: Proposals submitted by a coalition of youth organizations from different countries are acceptable only when the leading implementing youth organization is registered in one of the below countries. Activities must be carried out in the below-mentioned countries for the benefit of the local community. To see the full list of eligible countries, click here.
Eligibility criteria for youth organizations:
Youth organizations are subject to the same criteria as other partners of the United Nations System in that they must be accountable, transparent, and refrain from all discriminatory practices.
To be eligible, applying youth organizations need to fulfill every one of the following criteria:
- Be youth-led: a majority of the positions and decision-making roles within the organization are held by women and men between the ages of 18 and 35;
- Be a non-profit, non-governmental organization (except for national youth councils) registered in the country of operation as a charity, trust, foundation, or association;
- Be officially registered and operational for a minimum of two years prior to the deadline for applications with funding base and project implementation (operating in April 2021 or earlier);
- Be registered and operate in one of the aforementioned countries;
- Have a democratic governance structure and decision-making mechanism, including consultative processes in formulating priorities and policies;
- Have an ability to demonstrate proper and consistent monitoring, evaluation, and record-keeping of their activities, including project evaluation reports and financial accounts;
- Have a gender perspective/balance reflected in their staff, beneficiaries, and activities;
- Have no adherence to or affiliations with violent ideologies or antagonism against any particular country, culture, religion or belief system, ethnic group, gender, etc.; and
- Did not receive funding under past editions of YSF or did not receive support through the Intercultural Innovation Hub.
Note: If you applied for YSF in the past but were not selected, you can apply for YSF again.
Upon request, organizations will need to provide documented evidence demonstrating how they fulfill all of these criteria.
Please note that project proposals will not be considered eligible for funding if they are submitted by governments, international governmental organizations, non-youth led organizations, unregistered groups of youth, business entities, as well as individuals.
Eligibility criteria for projects:
All submitted projects must fulfill every one of the following criteria to be eligible and reviewed by the Selection Committee:
- Origin: The project was developed and written by youth;
- Target Audience: The project targets youth primarily. Gender balance among project participants is ensured;
- Objective: The project contributes to advancing UNAOC’s mandate of promoting a more socially inclusive world by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities;
- Management: The project is managed by a youth-led organization, responding to all eligibility criteria mentioned above;
- Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator is demonstrably affiliated to the applying organization and is between the ages of 18 and 35 at the time of the application;
- Duration and Timing: The project must be implemented within 12 months of commencing. Final reports will need to be submitted no later than one month after the completion of the project;
- Location: Project activities are implemented in the country(ies) mentioned in the above list (see geographical coverage section);
- Budget: The organization needs to guarantee its capacity to implement all proposed project elements with the funds requested. The amount requested must be no more than 50 percent of the organization’s annual budget in 2022. Grants provided by UNAOC will not exceed USD 25,000. The scope of the project and the amount requested is not a determining factor in the selection process. Projects with smaller budgets are encouraged to apply. Please note that the average grant in the 9th YSF edition was USD 15,000. The proposed budget will have 90 percent of costs associated with direct project activities, and only up to 10 percent of it will cover the Project Coordinator’s salary/fees. Office rent cost, utilities, and purchase of technical equipment (e.g., computers, copiers, printers, cameras, telephones, etc.) cannot be part of the budget;
- English: Application and CV/resume of the Project Coordinator must be submitted in English only;
- Registration certificate and statute: Copies of a registration certificate and a statute need to be attached to the application form. They can be submitted in the original language of the country where the organization is registered. Translations may be requested at a later stage of the selection process.
Selection process and selection committee; Evaluation:
All received project proposals will be reviewed to assess their eligibility based on the criteria mentioned above and the proposed project’s potential.
UNAOC will contact organizations that are shortlisted with a request to submit a more detailed project budget, as well as a more detailed work plan outlining activities, timeline, milestones, expected outcomes, and outputs (UNAOC will provide templates). Shortlisted youth-led organizations will have a chance to strengthen their project proposal in the final stages of selection process through project clinics and workshops tailored to their needs. Shortlisted organizations will be asked to pitch their projects during an interview, in the final stages of the selection process.
A Selection Committee will conduct a final evaluation and scoring of the short-listed proposals based on the following criteria:
- The project aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions and to help counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism;
- The project promotes the values of peace and development;
- The project objectives are clear, and there is a logical connection between identified issues, proposed activities, and requested funding.
- The project includes activities aiming to build positive and long-term collaborative relationships between youth of different cultural and religious backgrounds, therefore contributing to a long-term peaceful coexistence in society;
- The project contains elements of intergenerational partnership and dialogue;
- The project has a solid gender-mainstreaming strategy and is inclusive to minorities and/or marginalized groups to promote a more socially cohesive community;
- The project uses seed funding to implement innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and/or interfaith dialogue and advance the mission of UNAOC;
- The project supports implementation of any of the following frameworks/policies:
- United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 (2015), 2419 (2018) and 2535 (2020) on Youth, Peace and Security in connection to intercultural and interfaith dialogue;
- United Nations Secretary-General’s Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism by promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue as a prevention tool;
- United Nations Comprehensive Response to COVID-19 by addressing the increased stigma and discrimination of young people and their communities exacerbated by the pandemic;
- United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites by promoting respect for other religions and cultures, the right of human beings to practice their faith in safety and peace, and efforts to combat extremist ideologies and narratives;
- United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech by addressing the issues and their impact on young people.
- The project is appropriate to the local context and targets the local audience; it represents good value for the requested funds, with a clear and appropriate budget.
- The organization undertook an in-depth analysis of problems/risks and set a consistent intervention strategy. The application is concise and provides responses to all questions or sections; it includes insightful arguments and an engaging narrative.
Impact and Multiplier Effect:
- The project will have a significant impact on the ground. The multiplier effect is outlined, and target audiences are clearly identified – priority is given to projects that have the potential to reach youth communities that would not otherwise have a chance to participate.
Sustainability, Monitoring, Evaluation:
- The project has a potential to become sustainable beyond its original duration and bring long-term results that are clearly outlined in the project proposal. Monitoring and evaluation elements are clearly demonstrated.
Selected organizations will be contacted by UNAOC via email and provided with information on further steps, draft agreements to be signed, and a schedule of payments.
How to apply:
Interested organizations can apply at the following link: http://apply.unaoc.org.
To be considered complete and valid, the application package must include the following and be submitted through the online application system available at http://apply.unaoc.org/.
- The application form, completed and certified by the applicant’s organization;
- A copy of the registration certificate of the applicant’s organization;
- A copy of the statutes/by-laws of the applicant’s organization;
- An organizational chart depicting the ages of key decision-makers within the organization;
- A biography of the current Executive/Managing Director, showing the date of birth (one page maximum);
- The resume/CV of the project coordinator (two pages maximum);
- A picture or scan of the project coordinator’s passport identification page. If the project coordinator does not have a passport, upload his or her national identification card.
The word/character limit for each question in the application form needs to be respected. The application system automatically counts words and characters.
Deadline: The application deadline has been extended to 31 May 2023, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time in New York
Disclaimer: UNAOC reserves the right to not select any applicants, or to cancel the call for applications. UNAOC accepts no liability for canceling the call for applications or for anyone’s failure to receive notification of cancellation.
For any additional questions on YSF and this call for applications, please consult:
- Technical FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions for technical matters
- Content FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions for content related matters
- YSF web page
After reviewing all available sources of information, if you still have any questions, please contact: email@example.com