Guidelines on Eligibility, Application and Selection Procedures

Introduction of 2017 Online Application and Budget by Mr. Ivan Vera, Chief of Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch, UN DESA and Ms. Louise Gagne, Finance Officer, Capacity Development Office, UN DESA

General Purpose

The UN-DESA Grant (hereinafter Grant) - made possible through funding support by the China Energy Fund Board, 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

Message for 2017 Thematic Focus by Mr. Ivan Vera, Chief of Water, Energy and Capacity Development Branch, UN DESA
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

Part I. Past and Present Achievements

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 sustainable energy for eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity. The applying institution is sustainable over time.

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.

The candidate’s work has promoted cooperation, partnerships and capacity building in sustainable energy for eradicating poverty and promoting prosperity.

Supporting Poverty Eradication and Promoting Prosperity

The candidate's work has made measurable improvements supporting poverty eradication and promoting prosperity in one or more of the following fields while promoting sustainable energy:

  1. Reducing poverty for children, women and men of all ages.
  2. Improve standards of living for society at large or a particular community;
  3. Human health;
  4. Social equity;
  5. Inclusiveness (gender, youth, vulnerable groups)
  6. Economic growth;
  7. Job creation, improved incomes and social benefits;
  8. Access to education;
  9. Environmental and ecosystem protection/ Climate action; and
  10. Other accepted measures of quality of life.

Contributing to Sustainable Energy

The candidate’s work has made measurable improvements supporting SDG 7 “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”:

  1. Improved access to reliable energy/electricity;
  2. Improved access to modern cooking technologies;
  3. Provision of and access to modern energy services;
  4. Increased use of new and renewable energy resources and technologies;
  5. Other low-emission technologies;
  6. More efficient use of energy;
  7. Response to climate change imperatives, ambient air pollutant, etc.;
  8. Creation of innovate, new or improved sustainable energy solutions; and
  9. Advanced the adaptation and/or resilience of vulnerable communities.

The candidate’s work has contributed to the development of specific sustainable energy products or systems that are affordable, reliable and modern for implementation in the poorest communities of developing regions.

Part II. Proposal and Future Expected Accomplishments

Sustainability, Monitoring and Implementation:

The candidate has submitted a well-defined proposal with:

  1. Problem Analysis;
  2. Objectives and targets;
  3. Beneficiaries and resultant benefits;
  4. Implementation plan (including countries or regions covered by proposal);
  5. Activities, expected accomplishments, implementing actors and respective capabilities, deliverables and performance indicators; and
  6. Time frame for implementation (Recommended time frame is 3 years or less).

The candidate has submitted a well-defined proposal with a built-in mechanism for implementation, monitoring, and evaluation demonstrating:

  1. Specific, tangible and time bound deliverables;
  2. How activities will be implemented on schedule and within budget;
  3. How activities will lead to the expected outputs;
  4. How outputs will lead to the achievement of the objectives/targets;
  5. How changes will be measured at goal-level; and
  6. How the benefits will be maintained for an extended period of time.

The candidate has provided a budget outline as well as possible proposals for matching funds or co-financing from other credible sources. The candidate has demonstrated a "business model" (with inclusiveness) that will enhance sustainability of project.

The candidate has submitted a project that can be scaled up and replicated in other communities, countries or regions. The project deliverables constitute a sustainable solution and the project can be sustained over time.

The candidate has indicated willingness to meet Grant reporting requirements including submission of mid-term, final, and financial utilization reports.

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 Board 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 Board.

The High-level Steering Board, 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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