Guidelines on Eligibility, Application and Selection Procedures

General Purpose

The UN-DESA Grant (hereinafter Grant) - made possible through funding support by the China Energy Fund Committee, an NGO in special consultative status with the UN Economic and Social Council, and established for a period of five years - seeks to:

  • Advance implementation in energy for sustainable development by recognizing and honoring outstanding institutions or individuals who have made significant contributions to energy for sustainable development;
  • Encourage all relevant stakeholders, including experts and practitioners from energy and related fields, to achieve scientific and technological innovations and breakthroughs and establish effective leadership and best practices in implementing strategies, policies and actions aimed at advancing energy for sustainable development, while addressing economic, social and environmental sustainability; and
  • Focus not only on the recipient's leadership and innovation but also willingness and ability to implement knowledge transfer through capacity building activities for replicating and scaling up successful experiences and lessons learned.

I. Application and Nomination Criteria and Procedures

To apply for or to be nominated to the Grant, the candidate should be:

  • A person or an organization in legal existence that shares and observes the purposes and principles of the United Nations;
  • In no financial distress of any kind ;
  • Under no threat of significant litigation or prosecution;
  • Capable of demonstrating, through leadership and innovative initiatives and actions, tangible results and impacts at the local, national, regional or global levels in advancing energy for sustainable development, in a manner that is consistent with the three dimensions of sustainable development and the vision, objectives and criteria of the Grant;
  • Implementing, for a minimum of three years, initiatives and actions that may relate, but are not limited, to the increased use of new and renewable energy resources, other low-emission technologies, more efficient use of energy, greater reliance on advanced energy technologies, including cleaner fossil fuel technologies, and the sustainable use of traditional energy resources, to meet the growing need for reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services in the longer term to achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication; and
  • Committed to, and capable of, supporting the Grant's future capacity building work.
  • Outside of the United Nations system.

Application Procedures
Applicants should submit their applications online to the Grant Secretariat, which will undertake the requisite collection, screening, reviewing and summarizing, and then forward the applications to the Advisory Council. The Application Form is available here.

Please note that shortlisted candidates will be expected to provide audited financial statements as well as a detailed work plan and budget allocation narrative.

Selection Criteria
Leadership, vision and commitment:

The candidate for the Grant has demonstrated, through leadership and innovative initiatives and actions, tangible results and impacts at the local, national, regional or global levels in advancing energy for sustainable transport, in a manner that is consistent with the three dimensions of sustainable development (social, environmental, economic) and the vision, objectives and criteria of the Grant.

The candidate has demonstrated leadership, vision and commitment in initiating and implementing polices and measures that support Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”, in particular, by aiming actions at one or more of the following objectives:
  1. Provision of modern energy services;
  2. Increased use of new and renewable energy resources;
  3. Other low-emission technologies;
  4. More efficient use of energy; and
  5. Greater reliance on advanced energy technologies.

Improved standards of living for society at large or a particular community:

The candidate's work has made measurable improvements in one or more of the following fields while promoting sustainable transport:

  1. Access to modern energy services, food, or clean water;
  2. Economic growth, job creation, reduction of poverty, gender equality;
  3. Transportation safety;
  4. Environmental health and ecosystem protection;
  5. Sustainable public transportation, access to inclusive shared mobility solutions, or demand responsive transport;
  6. Access to education; and
  7. Other accepted measures of quality of life;

The candidate’s work has contributed to the SDG 11 and Target 11.2 - “By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons”?

The candidate’s work has contributed to one or more of the following improvements related to providing sustainable transport:
  1. Reduction of CO2 emissions and/or ambient air pollution resulting from the transport sector;
  2. Creation of innovative, new or improved modes of transport;
  3. Advanced the adaptation or resilience of transport infrastructure and services; and
  4. Improved access to goods, jobs, markets, or services.

International cooperation in energy for sustainable development and capacity building:

The candidate's work has promoted international cooperation in energy for sustainable transport and in the development, dissemination and deployment of affordable and cleaner energy efficiency and energy conservation technologies and promoting access to sustainable transport for all.

Promoting the integration of energy into sustainable development strategies:

The candidate's work has contributed to the development of energy that is in harmony and integrated with broader sustainable development strategies, specifically with environmental protection, climate action, sustainable and inclusive growth, social equity, and human health and that looks forward to ensuring sustainable energy for future generations.

Impact, Sustainability, Monitoring and Implementation:

The candidate has submitted a well-defined proposal with:
  1. Clear problem analysis:
  2. Objectives and targets;
  3. Beneficiaries;
  4. Activities, expected accomplishments and indicators; and
  5. Time frame for implementation (Recommended time frame is 3
Selection Procedures
The selection of the institutions/individuals for receiving the grant will be conducted through a rigorous review process, carried out under the guidance of an Advisory Council, whose membership includes internationally-renowned experts across the fields of energy and sustainable development. The Advisory Council is tasked, inter alia, with identifying the criteria, as well as the modalities, for the submission, review and selection processes in relation to the grant. A High-level Steering Committee is also established to review the Advisory Council's recommendations and selection for awarding the one million dollar grant.

Using the Selection Criteria for guidance, Advisory Council members review each application after the processing by the Grant Secretariat. Members will then select and rank their top ten applications, and submit the ranking results to the High-level Steering Committee.

The High-level Steering Committee, after reviewing the recommendations of the Advisory Council, shall make the final recommendation to the Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on the selection of the institution/individual to be awarded the Grant. By the rules and regulations governing the management of financial resources, the Under-Secretary-General will make the final decision.

II. Implementation and Reporting

The Grant will be awarded in phases, with specific modalities and timelines to be worked out between the Grant Secretariat and the recipient of the Grant. The recipient will bear all substantive, financial, and other relevant reporting responsibilities to the Grant Secretariat, including the submission of mid-term reports, final narrative reports and financial utilization reports. All financial utilization reports will need to be certified by an independent and external auditor and will include all relevant financial details including expenditures and any income or interest earned.

The Grant Secretariat will monitor progress by way of review of mid-term and progress reports and will conduct ad-hoc monitoring visits to the implementation sites as needed. Additionally, the Grant Secretariat may request ad hoc updates at any time throughout the duration of the implementation of the Grant.

The Grant Secretariat will be authorized to withhold Grant funds if the recipient of the Grant fails to meet on time reporting requirements.
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