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 and the Conference of Parties.
TYPE OF APPLICANT
1. Can a project be submitted for funding by regional authorities?
Funding requests cannot be submitted by regional authorities. Funding requests are to be submitted to National Commissions for UNESCO or other channels officially designated by Parties.
However, projects that are designed to encourage or support regional cooperation are eligible to apply to the IFCD.
2. Can a regional network submit an application to the IFCD?
Regional networks are eligible to apply to the IFCD as long as they meet the criteria that define “civil society”, which for the purposes of this 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.
3. Must the applicant and all of its partners be from one of the countries eligible to the IFCD?
The applicant must meet the eligibility criteria established for the IFCD. Only one organization can make the application and be the legal ‘beneficiary’ signing the contract, be responsible for its budget and implementation. The Committee has not set limitations on partners that may be involved in the execution of the project.
4. Are NGOs that did not directly participate in the Committee sessions eligible?
NGOs that did not participate to the Committee are eligible under the following conditions:
- they must have interests and activities in one or more fields covered by the Convention;
- they must have a legal status in compliance with the established rules of the jurisdiction in the country of registration;
- they must be representative of their respective field of activity, or of the respective social or professional groups they represent.
5. 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 his/her members and for the delivery of all the necessary documents for the implementation of the project.
6. We are not sure if we are a national or an international NGO. How can this be determined?
If you are an international NGO, you are expected to demonstrate the international character of your organization through the following elements:
- your Statutes specify that the NGO is international;
- your membership (both institutional and individual) is international;
- your recent activities have been carried out in several countries around the world.
In case you consider that your NGO meets these criteria, you can apply directly to the IFCD, ensuring that your funding request has sub-regional, regional or inter-regional impact and the application is accompanied by the following elements:
- a copy of your 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 preselected by the National Commission that will be considered for funding?
Yes, a National Commission can preselect up to a maximum of 2 Parties applications and 2 NGO applications. International non-governmental organizations (INGO) may present a maximum of two applications, with written support from beneficiary countries (see Decision 4.IGC 10A, paragraph 13), that present projects with a demonstrated impact at the sub-regional, regional or inter-regional level.
2. Can our National Commission submit four projects from NGOs to the IFCD?
The maximum number of NGO project applications to be submitted per country is two.
3. Can our National Commission submit four proposals from governmental entities?
The maximum number of project applications to be submitted by governmental entities per country is two.
4. Can our NGO submit a project proposal directly to the UNESCO Secretariat by the 30 June 2013?
If it is an international NGO, then yes. If it is a national NGO, then you need to check with your country’s National Commission for UNESCO about the national deadline for submissions.
5. 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?
There is no standard letter of support. Party beneficiaries are to express in writing their support for a project in the manner they consider most appropriate.
6. Do applicants have an obligation to attach additional documentation to the official application form, and what type of documentation should it be?
Yes. An official document (if needed translated into English or French) demonstrating that the applicant is a public institution or a NGO from a developing country that is a Party to the UNESCO 2005 Convention should be submitted to the National Commission for UNESCO. Furthermore, if they wish, applicants may attach any relevant information (photos, news items, reports, etc.) that contributes to the presentation of the project.
1. Our NGO is registered in country X (not eligible for funding from the IFCD) but carries out projects in country Y (eligible for funding from the IFCD). Can we apply?
You can apply if you are an international NGO.
2. Can our NGO apply for preparatory assistance?
No. Neither NGOs nor international NGOs are eligible to apply for preparatory assistance. Only Parties can apply for preparatory assistance.
3. Are projects that involve the production of cultural expressions eligible to apply to the IFCD?
Funding requests that solely pertain to the creation of cultural expressions will not be 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.
4. Are activities that do not take place in the country/region of the applicant or beneficiaries, but have a positive effect on the cultural industries in the region, eligible?
Activities should take place in the country of the applicant, but can also take place in other countries.
5. Are small and medium sized enterprises (SME's) eligible to apply to the IFCD?
SME’s of the private sector active in the cultural field of developing countries that are Parties to the Convention are eligible to the IFCD to the limit of available funds from contributions provided by the private sector, in full conformity with the domestic laws of the Parties concerned.
So far the IFCD has not received any contribution from the private sector. Therefore SME’s cannot yet apply to the IFCD.
6. 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 last payment, it is eligible to apply for IFCD funding again.
7. Can we submit a proposal focusing on cultural heritage preservation?
The IFCD, which is the fund of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, aims to foster the emergence of a dynamic cultural sector, primarily through activities facilitating the introduction of new cultural policies and cultural industries, or strengthening existing ones.
Requests for projects related to the production of cultural and artistic works and events can be directed to the International Fund for the Promotion of Culture. Requests for projects related to safeguarding intangible cultural heritage should be made to the Fund for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Requests regarding tangible cultural heritage (e.g. World Heritage sites) should be addressed to the World Heritage Fund.
1. Is there a minimum or maximum amount for funding requests submitted to the IFCD?
The Committee decided at its fourth ordinary session (December 2010) to set a maximum amount for funding requests. This ceiling is of US$ 100,000 for applications relative to projects, and US$ 10,000 for requests of preparatory assistance.
1. Are the IFCD’s working documents, for example the application forms and explanatory note, available in other languages than English and French?
The Rules of Procedure of the Committee indicate that the working languages of all activities of the Committee are English and French. Therefore, all funding requests submitted to the Secretariat of the Convention must be either in English or French.
Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish versions of the Resolutions approved by the Conference of Parties, including the Guidelines on the use of the resources of the IFCD, are available on the 2005 Convention website.
1. What is the time frame for project implementation?
The Committee has not set any specific time frame for the projects.
2. When will UNESCO announce which applicants will receive funding from the IFCD?
Final decisions on successful applications will be adopted by the Committee in December of each year.
3. Once a project is approved for funding by the Committee in December, when does UNESCO issue the contract and submit the first payment to the beneficiary?
Contracts and first payments 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. Would the resources of the IFCD be transferred to the beneficiaries’ account before or after the realization of the successful project?
Successful projects will receive their allocations in several installments. If approved for IFCD funding, you will most probably 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.
5. Are contracts made between UNESCO and the beneficiaries or between UNESCO and National Commissions?
Contracts are made directly between UNESCO and the beneficiaries. Funds are disbursed to the organization that applied for funding according to the terms of the contract and UNESCO regulations.