The UN-HABITAT Youth Fund

Posted: May 14, 2011 in African Youth and development, Youth Opportunities

For details about the UN-HABITAT Youth Fund:

This fund promotes the poverty reduction aims of Millennium Development Goals and theHabitat Agenda for better, more sustainable and equitable towns and cities throughout the developing world. It provides grants of up to $25,000 for new ideas and solutions for job creation, good governance, adequate shelter and secure tenure.

By undertaking research on best practises in youth-led development the fund will also create a greater awareness of the urgency to ensure that youth concerns are integrated into national and local development policies and strategies.

Applicant organizations must be led by young people aged 15-32 years and be based in cities or towns in developing countries to qualify for a grant. Support will be provided primarily for those working to improve slum conditions and to raise opportunities for young people growing up in poverty. Projects encouraging gender equality or involving partnerships with the government or the private sector are particularly encouraged.


Globally, 85 percent of the world’s young people live in developing countries. An increasing number of these young people are growing up in cities. In many cities on the African continent, more than 70 per cent of inhabitants are under the age of 30. Young people, especially girls and women, are the most vulnerable to social problems caused by unemployment and poverty. With more than 200 million youth living in poverty globally, there is a clear need to meaningfully engage and support youth.

UN-HABITAT, which regards youth as a major force for a better world, supports young people in the drive to alleviate poverty. The Habitat Agenda commits governments and UN-HABITAT to work in partnership with youth and empower them to participate in decision-making in order to improve urban livelihoods and develop sustainable human settlements.

Governments which oversee UN-HABITAT in 2007 adopted a resolution to establish the UN-HABITAT Youth Fund. Its aims are to:

  • Mobilise young people for better youth-related policy formulation.
  • Help governments, non-governmental, civil society and private-sector organizations better understand and respond to youth concerns.
  • Support youth information networks;
  • Pilot and demonstrate new ideas on employment, governance, adequate shelter and secure tenure;
  • Share and exchange best practices;
  • Promote vocational training and credit mechanisms for entrepreneurship and employment;
  • Promote gender mainstreaming in all urban youth matters.

The Opportunities Fund for Urban Youth-Led Development , as it is officially called, was launched on 4 November 2008 at the fourth session of the World Urban Youth Forum in Nanjing, China.

How to Apply

Applicants must respect the following procedures when filling in the application online for their application to be accepted:

The application is ONLY available online in the following languages; English, French and Spanish. The application must be made in the same language as the one selected, and must be completed in full. The system will not allow you to submit the application unless all fields are completed and all compulsory attachments are submitted.

Applications submitted in hardcopy or by e-mail will NOT be accepted.

Please make sure that you finish the application and submit all compulsory attachments in the system before the deadline. The deadline is final and not up for discussion.

Apply here


What is UN Habitat Youth Fund? 
The Youth Fund is a program of the United Nation Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) to support urban youth in developing countries with the aim of advancing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and the Habitat Agenda. Every year thousands of projects are submitted by youth organisations in the developing world seeking support from the Fund.

Who can apply for the Fund? 
Young men and women aged between 18 and 32 years may apply for the Fund through legally registered, youth-led non-profit, non-government organisations (NGOs). Projects must be implemented within a city or town with more than 10,000 inhabitants.

How do I know whether the place I am planning to do my project is a city or town? 
For the Urban Youth Fund, a town is defined as having at least 10,000 people.  Cities are bigger than towns. You may also want to use Google or other search engines to check the population of your city or town. The information may also be available with your local administration.

What are eligible organisations? 
Organisations must have been legally registered for at least one year in one of the following regions: Africa; Latin America and the Caribbean; Asia (excluding Japan); Oceania (excluding Australia and New Zealand). They must be non-profit, non-government (NGOs or CBOs) although UN organisations, government organisations and private enterprises may engage in partnership with youth –led organisations. They must have a valid bank account. The y must involve girls and young women at all levels of decision-making.

What is an NGO? 
A Non-governmental Organization (NGO) is a legally constituted organization that operates independently from any government . The term is usually applied only to organizations that pursue some wider social aim.

What is a CBO? 
Community organizations (sometimes known as community-based organizations) are civil society non-profits that operate within a single local community. Like other nonprofits they are often run on a voluntary basis and are self-funding.

Can an organisation registered for less than a year apply? 
Organizations without a valid registration certificate, or registered for less than a year, without a valid bank account can apply in partnership with another facilitating organization. The facilitating organization will enter into a grant agreement with UN-HABITAT and receive the money on behalf of your organization. It will also be responsible for managing funds and project reporting.

What organisations are not eligible? 
Organizations that carry out religious evangelization and organisations affiliated with political parties are not eligible.

What projects are supported? 
Youth-led Development involves young people actively creating a better future for themselves and their communities, usually based at the grassroots level and are largely carried out by youth volunteers. Initiatives address a broad range of community needs such as employment, access to affordable housing and secure land tenure, safer cities and participation in decision-making. The objective of the project is also to develop valuable skills of management, teamwork etc among young people and boost their ability to acquire jobs and participate actively in society.

Is it compulsory for my organization to involve girls and young women? 
Yes! The Youth Fund aims for gender equality and applicant organizations should therefore engage both female and male youth equally in the implementation of the project and among the beneficiaries.

Can we apply for a project in a city different from the location of our organization? 
UN-HABITAT prefers that applicant organizations submit proposals for projects that take place in their own communities.

What is the amount of the grants? 
Youth-led projects may receive grants of up to US$ 25,000.

How much does it cost to apply? 
Nothing! The Opportunities Fund will not require you to pay any fee during the entire process of your application.

Can I apply for more than one project? 
No! Organizations can submit only one application for each annual deadline. Organisations may however, apply for the Fund more than once in different application rounds.

When and where will the results be announced? 
The results will be announced on the Youth Fund website: on 12 August 2011. Successful applicants will be individually notified by e-mail.

How do I apply for a Fund grant? 
The application form is available online at To access it, you have first to register on home page.

How do I register? 
Type your organisation’s name, select the region in which your project is located by choosing from the dropdown list. Select country from the drop down list under ‘select your country’. Select the language in which you will fill in the application from the drop down list under ‘Select your language’. Provide a valid e-mail id. Note that this is the email address that will be used for all further correspondence. Choose and type a password that you will use all through the application process. Write down your password so that you do not forget it. Click to submit. An email message will be sent to the email address that you have provided. Follow the instructions in the email. You can access the application form by logging in with your e-mail id and password.

What if I do not receive an email message? 
If you don’t get a message in your mailbox please check your Spam/Trash mail folder. If there is no message here please contact the

Can I change my email address after I have registered? 
No. Changing the email address is like changing your identity. You may not change the email address after you have registered.

What is ‘login’? 
Log in means that you have entered the Youth Fund System by inserting your registered user name and password. By logging in you have access to your application form.

What is ‘change password’? 
Once you have registered, you may change your password at any time.

What is ‘logout’? 
To ensure the security of the information that you have provided us, you must log out when you have finished using the website. When you log out you will be taken to the Home Page.

What is Application Form? 
Application Form is the set of forms that you have to fill in to apply for the Youth Fund. The application form is under parts A, B, C, D, E and F. Clicking on ‘Application Form’ will take you to the first or any other section you want to fill in.

Can I download the application form and submit it by mail or attach it in an email? 
The application form has to be filled in online. The procedure is easy to follow. Fill in all sections and upload all attachments. Since all documents will have to be uploaded with the application, make sure that all documents are available to you in digital formats for uploading. If not, scan documents and save them on your computer. Hard copies or email attachments of applications will not be entertained

What documents will I need? 
The following documents are necessary:

  1. Cover Letter;
  2. Registration certificates;
  3. Organisation profiles;
  4. Project Budgets;
  5. Logical Framework and
  6. Project Coordinator’s CV.

What is a cover letter? 
A cover letter is a letter of introduction attached to, or accompanying another document such as a résumé or curriculum vitae.

What is a registration certificate? 
This is the certificate issued by the relevant authority when your organisation was registered with that authority. The certificate should be a true copy. Please include the following text at bottom of your organization’s registration certificate before uploading.“I [name of signatory, title of signatory and name of the organisation] the undersigned, do hereby certify that this is a true and complete copy of the original and valid [type of registration/certificate] filed with [name and address of issuing authority] on [date and year].” Date: [date] Signature: [signature] Registration certificate without this disclaimer note will be considered invalid.

Can the registration certificates be submitted in the local languages? 
Yes, the registration certificates can be uploaded in the local languages.

What is ‘organisation profile’?
This is a short and accurate description of your organisation and its work.

What is project budget? 
The project budget should provide a detailed description in USD of how you plan to spend the grant for the proposed project. Each activity identified in the project’s logical framework should have a separate entry in the budget, clearly indicating the costs associated with the activity. Funding from other

What is logical frame work? 
The Logical Framework is a widely used tool to describe major elements of a project. It should provide an overview of the project’s goal, outcomes and key activities, the outputs of each activity, the timeframe for completing each activity and potential problems that must be overcome for each activity to be completed within the timeframe.

What is CV (Curriculum Vitae)? 
A curriculum vita is a written description of your age, work experience, educational background, and skills.

Will my application be disqualified if I forget to attach a supporting document? 
Yes! UN-HABITAT requires applicants to submit all supporting documents together with the application.

What is ‘Display language’? 
This refers to the language in which you want to read and fill the application. Click on the drop down button on ‘Display Language’. Click on the language you want to use in filling the application form. The online application form is available in English, French and Spanish. The application must be made in the same language as the one selected.

What is GMT? 
GMT or Greenwich Mean Time is World Time and the basis of every world time zone.The date of opening and closing of the Youth Fund is in GMT and not in your local time. For info

What is an ‘acronym’? 
An acronym is a word formed from the initial letters of a name, such as UN for United Nations, or by combining initial letters or parts of a series of words . Another example would be WHO for World Health Organisation.

Who are board members? 
Board members are members of board of directors of your organisation who are involved in the decision making of the organization.

Who is a signatory? 
A signatory is a person who signs documents in an organization. He/she can represent your organization. Please include the title of the signatory person (i.e. coordinator, board manager, etc.).

What is valid bank account? 
It is the bank account number of your organisation that is in use and valid. Please ensure that the number is accurate and in full.

What is SWIFT code? 
SWIFT code is a standard format of Bank Identifier Codes (BIC) and it is unique identification code for a particular bank. These codes are used when transferring money and messages between banks and are necessary for transferring money to your account if your project is selected for the grant.

What happens once your application is submitted? 
All applications for the Urban Youth Fund received by UN-HABITAT will undergo the same selection procedure. Applications submitted to the Youth Fund are subjected to a thorough evaluation process to guarantee impartiality and equal treatment of applicants.

Will granted projects be visited to check on the progress of the project? 
Yes! We will visit all granted projects in order to monitor the progress of granted projects and check how activities are implemented and money is spent.

For details about the UN-HABITAT Youth Fund:

Thanks for taking your time to search for African Youth opportunities on blog. Hope you had a great time researching. Kindly let me know how I may assist you and all the best!

Best regards,

Joseph M D Johnson

AU Youth Volunteer – Liberia

  1. ameli says:

    i am the president of Ambelle Students’ Association abbreviated ASA. This is an assosciation that was formed 15th years ago to promote education in our local community. So far, we have succeeded in bringing together students from all levels(primary to university). we have a well established programme which is to encourage education especially to vulnerable kids and the girl child. For now, little has been done toward that direction moreover, compitent authorities have not issued us an authentic document. Hopefully, by the end of this summar holiday after our annual come together something tangible will be done.

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