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Funding For Youth-led Peacebuilding

What funding opportunities are there for youth-led peacebuilding initiatives?

Ensuring adequate financing is one of the central concerns for the Youth, Peace, and Security agenda.

There is often a mismatch between the size and type of funding favored by donors and those that are accessible to young peacebuilders. Moreover, donors may impose eligibility criteria and application, reporting and fiduciary requirements which overburden the capacities of youth-led organizations, favoring more well-established actors.

However, in recent years progress has been made. The United Nations has established several funds to support youth-focused and youth-led peacebuilding at country level, while a growing number of civil society organizations are also creating dedicated funds for such work.

In depth…

  • The UN Secretary-General’s Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) is the largest fund resourcing peacebuilding within the UN, and is currently the largest fund by volume supporting youth-focused peacebuilding. In 2016, the PBF set up a Youth Promotion Initiative (YPI) which allows the PBF to provide funding to civil society organizations as direct recipients or implementing partners jointly with UN entities. PBF Guidance Note: Youth & Peacebuilding provides information and resources on how to design a project and apply for funding through PBF YPI.
  • UNAOC’s Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) provides a unique source of funding specifically for youth-led peacebuilding. While smaller than the PBF, the YSF has been dedicated to specifically funding a diversity of youth-led organizations directly. The details on the application process can be found in the YSF Application Guidelines.
  • The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), while not solely focused on young people, is also a source of flexible and quality funding to both youth-focused and youth-led organizations, including non-registered organizations as co-implementers. Projects supported by the WPHF have focused on women and young women’s participation in humanitarian crises, peacebuilding, and response to sexual and gender-based violence.

Opportunities for fundraising also exist outside of the UN. Some funds are operated by civil society organizations that can act as intermediaries helping youth-led organizations access funding and develop their capacities. For example, the Local Action Fund of Peace Direct supports locally-led youth peacebuilding initiatives that have not received support from traditional donors by giving small grants, coupled with training, information sharing, and opportunities for wider collaboration and advocacy. Some funds, such as the women’s fund FRIDA or the GPPAC’s Small Grants Scheme operate on a participatory grant making model, which enables youth groups that apply for grants to jointly decide how the funding is allocated.

Where can I learn more?

To find out more, check out:

The Youth Rights Advocacy Toolkit

The toolkit is for young people who want to learn more about their rights and how to advocate for them.