Frequently asked questions about the IFCD application process

This FAQ section is based on the 2005 Convention’s Guidelines on the Use of the Resources of the IFCD and decisions taken by the Intergovernmental Committee on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.


1. Must the applicant be from one of the countries eligible to the IFCD? 
Yes. For funding requests from Parties (public authority/institution) and NGOs, the applicant must be from a developing country that is Party to the 2005 Convention.

No. If the applicant is an international NGO, it does not have to be registered in a country eligible for funding from the IFCD. However the project requested for funding should be carried out in such eligible countries.

2. Can a project be submitted for funding by regional authorities?
No, funding requests cannot be submitted by regional authorities. In the context of the IFCD funding process, “regional” refers to a group or cluster of countries, not a territory within a single country.

However, projects that are designed to encourage or support regional cooperation are eligible to apply to the IFCD.

3. Can a regional network submit an application to the IFCD? 
Yes. Regional networks are eligible to apply to the IFCD as long as they have a legal status in compliance with the established rules of the jurisdiction in the country of registration and meet the criteria that define “civil society”, which for the purposes of the 2005 Convention means non-governmental organizations, non-profit organizations, professionals in the culture sector and associated sectors, groups that support the work of artists and cultural communities.

4.  How can an applicant be sure if it is qualified as an international NGO?
If the applicant is an international NGO (INGO), it is expected to demonstrate the international character of its organization through the following elements:

  • Statutes specifying that the NGO is international;
  • international membership (both institutional and individual);
  • recent activities that have been carried out in several countries around the world.

In case the NGO meets these criteria, it can apply directly to the IFCD, ensuring that its funding request has sub-regional, regional or inter-regional impact and the application is accompanied by the following elements:

  • a copy of Statutes (with a translation into English or French if necessary);
  • a list of members / countries;
  • a list of recent activities;
  • a letter of support from each Party beneficiary of the project.


1. Is there a limit to the number of applications to be submitted by the National Commission, which will be considered for funding?
Yes, a National Commission can pre-select and submit up to a maximum of two Parties (public authority/institution) applications and two NGO applications per country.

2. Can an NGO submit an application directly to the UNESCO Secretariat by 15 May 2014?
If it is an international NGO (INGO), then yes. If it is a national NGO, then it needs to check with its country’s National Commission for UNESCO about the national deadline for submissions.

3. Can the same international NGO (INGO) submit two applications for funding from the IFCD?

Yes, INGOs may submit a maximum of two applications that present projects with a demonstrated impact at the sub-regional, regional or inter-regional level, along with written support from the respective beneficiary countries. However, only one application can be selected per applicant.

4. Is there a standard letter of support or a specific form available for the Party beneficiaries concerned to express their support for projects submitted by INGOs?
No, there is no standard letter of support. Party beneficiaries are to express in writing their support for the project and ensure that it is relevant and meets the beneficiary’s needs and priorities.

5. Are the documents relevant to the IFCD call (application form, annotated guide, …) available in other languages than English and French?
No. The Rules of Procedure of the Intergovernmental Committee indicate that the working languages of all activities of the Committee are English and French. Therefore, all funding requests submitted to the UNESCO Secretariat should also be either in English or French.



1. Are projects that involve the production of cultural expressions eligible to apply to the IFCD?
No. Funding requests that solely pertain to the creation of cultural expressions are not eligible for assistance from the IFCD. Requests for projects related to the production of cultural and artistic works and events can be directed to the UNESCO International Fund for the Promotion of Culture.

2. Can the applic ant submit a proposal focusing on cultural heritage?
No. Cultural heritage does not fall within the areas of intervention of the IFCD. The IFCD aims to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector, primarily through activities facilitating the introduction and/or elaboration of policies and strategies that that have a direct effect on the creation, production, distribution of and access to a diversity of cultural expressions as well as the reinforcement of institutional infrastructures supporting viable cultural industries.

Therefore, requests for projects related to intangible cultural heritage should be made to the Fund for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, whereas requests regarding tangible cultural heritage (e.g. World Heritage sites) should be addressed to the World Heritage Fund

3. Can a project be eligible for IFCD funding in the current call for applications if it has received IFCD funding in the past?
Yes. Once an IFCD-funded project has been officially completed and received its final payment, it is eligible to apply for IFCD funding again.



1. Is there a maximum amount for funding requests submitted to the IFCD? 
Yes. The Intergovernmental Committee decided at its fourth ordinary session (December 2010) to set a maximum amount for funding requests. This ceiling amount is US$ 100,000 for each project. 


1. What is the time frame for project implementation?
The project implementation period should be between 12 and 24 months.

2. When will UNESCO announce which applicants will receive funding from the IFCD?
Final decisions on applications approved for funding will be adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee in December of each year.

3. Once a project is approved for funding by the Intergovernmental Committee in December, when does UNESCO issue the contract to the beneficiary?
Contracts for projects selected for IFCD funding are usually issued three months after the Committee’s decision in December, meaning in March of the following year.

4. When a project is submitted by an umbrella Organization for its members, who is responsible for the implementation of the project?
The applicant is the entity who submits the project and signs the application form. It is the same entity who, if the project is selected, will be the only “legal beneficiary”, who will sign the contract with UNESCO, and in this framework will be responsible for its implementation. This unique contractor is responsible for the coordination with its members and for the delivery of all the necessary documents for the implementation of the project.

5. Would the resources of the IFCD be transferred to the beneficiaries’ account before or after the realization of the project?
Projects that are approved for funding will receive their allocations in several installments. Beneficiaries normally receive 50% of the total amount approved in the beginning of the project, another 30% mid-way through the project and the remaining 20% once all activities have been completed and the final reports are submitted.


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