Before applying for the UN Trust Fund Small Grants Programme, it is important for us to understand the objectives, mission and priorities of this fund so that we can submit a successful proposals. The Small Grants Programme Programme for the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous Peoples of the United Nations Trust Fund on Indigenous Issues was established in 2004 to promote, support and implement the objectives of the Decade (2005-2015).
The 2013 call for proposals gives priorities to areas of health (e.g. physical and mental well-being) and education (e.g. language revitalization). These priority areas proposed in your project should be linked to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
So what is the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples? You can download the full copy of this declaration which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 13 September 2007 by more than 140 countries. It would be very useful to review this declaratioin prior to working on your proposal. It can provide you with all the necessary details on how you can link your project with this declaration.
It is also important to know what indigenous communities are. It can be noted here that there is no clear definition of indigenous peoples within the UN system but rather they are identified by a number of common characteristics. Indigenous issues are considered as part of the cross-cutting themes and therefore, all UN workers are required to be aware of their rights.
The United Nations Resource on Indigenous Peoples’ Issues provides the following points to identify indigenous communities:
- Are there peoples identifying themselves as indigenous?
- Are there local terms that identify indigenous peoples?
- If so, are they recognized in legislation (the Constitution or other laws, for example)?
- What term is used in the national policy discourse and mainstream media with regard to these groups of peoples to distinguish them from the dominant societal group?
- Are there provisions in relevant laws regarding these groups’ collective rights as peoples/communities or any other specific group rights?
- Who are these groups and what are these provisions?
- What is their general situation compared to the mainstream dominant society?
- Has a census been conducted in recent years in the country?
- If so, are these peoples reflected in the census?
- If so, how are they identified as a specific group of people? By self-identification or other criteria?
- Is any other disaggregated data on these specific groups of people available or can it be generated?