Frequently Asked Questions about the IFCD Application Process

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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.


Yes. For funding requests from Parties (public authority/institution) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the applicant must be from a developing country that is Party to the 2005 Convention.

No. If the applicant is an international NGO (INGO), it does not have to be registered in a country eligible for funding from the IFCD. However, all countries benefiting from the project must be eligible, otherwise the project will not be considered for funding.

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.

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.

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 INGO meets these criteria, it can apply to the IFCD, ensuring that its funding request has sub-regional, regional or inter-regional impact and the application is accompanied by the following complementary documents:

  • The official document proving legal status as an international NGO.
  • An official document showing the list of members and their country(ies) of origin and demonstrating the international membership of the organization (both institutional and individual).
  • An official document proving that recent activities (less than 5 years from the application date) have been carried out in several countries around the world.
  • One letter of support from governmental authorities or public institutions from each of the beneficiary countries, ensuring that the project is relevant and meets the beneficiary’s needs and priorities.


No. All applications must be submitted using the IFCD online Application Form.
No. All applications must be submitted using the IFCD online Application Form.
Only international NGO (INGO) applicants may present a maximum of two applications per funding cycle.
No. Once the applicant clicks on the SUBMIT button and submits the application, he/she will not be able to come back to the application to make any further changes.


Yes. Each National Commission can pre-select a maximum of two applications from Parties (public authority/institution) and two from NGOs.
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.
No. There is no standard letter of support. All 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. Nevertheless, the letter must be an official letter from a governmental authority or a public institution of the beneficiary country.
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.


No. Funding requests that solely pertain to the creation of cultural expressions are not eligible for assistance from the IFCD. 
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.
Yes. Once an IFCD-funded project has been officially completed and received its final payment, the applicant is eligible to apply for IFCD funding again.


Yes. The Intergovernmental Committee decided at its fourth ordinary session (December 2010) to set a maximum amount for funding requests. This ceiling amount is 100,000 USD for each project.


The project implementation period should be between 12 and 24 months.
Final decisions on applications approved for funding will be adopted by the Intergovernmental Committee in February of each year.
Contracts for projects selected for IFCD funding are usually issued two months after the Committee’s decision, meaning in April.
The applicant is the entity who submits the project and signs the application. It is the same entity who, if the project is selected, will be the “legal beneficiary”, who will sign the contract with UNESCO, and in this framework, will be responsible for its implementation. This entity is responsible for the coordination of the project team and for the submission of the supporting documents required for payment.

If the project is approved for funding, a contract will be signed both by UNESCO and the applicant in March following the year of the application submission. All the payments that will be made by UNESCO to finance the project will be transferred in US dollars in three separate instalments:

1)    50% of the total amount approved at the start of the contract;

2)    Another 30% mid-way through project implementation;

3)    The remaining 20% when all activities have been completed and the final reports (narrative and financial) have been submitted.

Please note that when submitting the request for IFCD funding, the applicant commits to a financial management plan and to devising a preliminary monthly plan of cash inflow and outflow to ensure that the necessary funds are available and can be advanced by the applicant for the timely implementation of project activities.

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Section for the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (CLT/CRE/DCE)

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