United Nation Development Program (UNDP) for Small Grants

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UNO Logo Small Grants Programme (SGP), funded by the United Nation Development Program (UNDP), Global Environment Facility (GEF), seeks to support initiatives, which demonstrate community-based innovative, gender sensitive, participatory approaches and lessons learned from other development projects that lead to reduce threats to the local and global environment.

The GEF SGP was launched in 1991 by United Nations Development Program (UNDP) to assist developing countries in fulfilling their commitment towards the protection of the global environment. The Programme is sourced with a belief that global environmental problems can only be addressed adequately if local people are involved in planning, decision making and sharing roles and responsibilities at all levels. Even with small amounts of funding communities can undertake activities, which will make "Significant Difference" in their Livelihoods and environment. GEF UNDP SGP is currently working in 114 countries worldwide. The program started in India from the year 1996-1997.

The UNDP and Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF), Government of India (GOI) administers Small Grants Programme (SGP). It is being implemented by Centre for Environment Education (CEE) as the National Host Institution (NHI) since September 2000. CEE is a national level institution supported by Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India as a centre of excellence, and affiliated to the Nehru Foundation for Development, Ahmedabad. CEE has its presence felt in all the states and Union Territories of India through a local network of 7 regional offices and 23 field offices across the country. So far SGP has supported 303 projects across various geographical locations across the country and in five thematic areas including Climate Change and biodiversity.  The emphasis is more on establishing low cost, low external input and easy to manage technologies and social mechanisms

The program is working through a more decentralized system of Regional offices in order to reach out to remote, un-reached and inaccessible poor areas of the country. It aims to provide a countrywide coverage and to also address the local issues more appropriately leading to better livelihoods of the poor. While the strategy has been very effective in drawing out the NGO's and CBO's to address the issues in a more sustainable matter, it remains to see how we can involve the people's initiatives through the Community Based Organizations (CBO) This demands greater hand holding at the grass root levels and at different stages within the SGP program. CEE has always sensitized the 'evolving processes within the SGP and reflect how it can be continuously improvised'. The Regional Committees are the first level review process in overseeing the effectiveness of the project proposals under the SGP.

Objectives of SGP

  • Develop community level strategies and implement technologies that could reduce threats to the global environment if they are replicated over time and space.
Gather lessons, responsive ways of project implementation from community level experiences and initiate the sharing of successful community level strategies and innovations among Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and NGOs, Host
  • Governments, Development Aid Agencies, GEF and others working from a regional to global scale.

Build partnerships and networks of stakeholders to support and strengthen community, NGOs and state capacities to address global environmental problems enabling sustainable development

  • Ensure that conservation and sustainable development strategies and projects that protect the global environment are understood, practiced and replicated by communities and other key stakeholder

Small Grants Programme provides grants to organizations for activities that address local problems with Global effects and offer solutions in areas of:

Financial support by SGP
SGP will normally consider grants up to USD 50,000.for each project. In special cases, where co-financing commitments are more, slightly higher budgets may be considered, if the project activities justify this. More emphasis is placed on leveraging local contributions in-cash and in-kind from communities.




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