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This document provides guidelines on the application process to the 2019 Call for Proposals to the United Nations Road Safety Fund (UNRSF), as endorsed by the Fund’s Steering Committee at its third session on 4 October 2019. The call for proposals is open for a two-month period, between 9 October 2019 and 4 December 2019 (deadline 23:59 CET), and will disburse a total amount of USD 4 million to approved projects. 

UNRSF was established[1] in April 2018[2] as a multi-partner financing mechanism to facilitate concrete action towards achievement of the road safety targets of Sustainable Development Goals 3 and 11.[3]

The Fund’s goal is to leverage the collective knowledge and capability of the UN system and of all Fund stakeholders in order to achieve global impact and long-term developmental change in a substantial reduction in road traffic injuries and fatalities, and the economic loss arising therefrom.

The Fund conducted a pilot call for proposals in the fall of 2018, culminating in the Steering Committee’s approval and award of funding for projects totaling USD 940,928. More information on the pilot call can be found here.

The Fund’s master plan is the Global Framework Plan of Action for Road Safety (GFPA), which reflects a holistic and inclusive system approach to addressing challenges in road safety, building upon the proven success of the countries with the strongest records in road safety. It reflects, and in turn supports, the principles of road safety systems as provided in the Fund’s Terms of Reference.


[1] United Nations General Assembly resolution 70/260, Improving global road safety, A/RES/70/260, (15 April 2016), available from https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/70/260; General Assembly resolution 72/271, Improving global road safety, A/RES/72/271, (12 April 2018), available from https://undocs.org/en/A/RES/72/271.

[2] Memorandum of Understanding between Participating UN Organizations and the United Nations Development Programme regarding Operational Aspects of the United Nations Road Safety Trust Fund (Fund MoU).

[3] See sustainabledevelopment.un.org, in particular targets 3.6 and 11.2.

2.1 Eligibility

Only participating UN organizations are eligible to apply directly to the UNRSF 2019 Call for Proposals. There are currently ten participating UN organizations to the Fund: UNICEF, UNECE, UN-Habitat, ESCAP, ECA, UNDP, ECLAC, UNEP, ESCWA and WHO.

The minimum budget for proposals is USD 100,000, and while there is no upper limit, applicants are reminded that the overall budget for this call for proposals is USD 4 million. 

The duration of submitted projects may be up to a maximum of three years, ending no later than 31 March 2023. 

Proposals must be undertaken in, or directly applicable to, low- and middle-income countries.

2.2 Funding priorities and criteria

The UNRSF Advisory Board decided to open the 2019 Call for Proposals within the Fund’s Global Framework Plan of Action for Road Safety (GFPA) and Priorities and Criteria for Funding Projects, giving priority to individual country and multi-country projects having immediate and tangible impact. The Board stressed the importance of partnership and synergies with other institutions.

Projects should be aimed at addressing missing or weak elements in the national road safety system of a country or countries that have expressed strong willingness to improve these elements, in accordance with the Fund’s GFPA.

In this regard, as set in the Fund’s Priorities and Criteria for Funding Projects, projects eligible to receive funding are limited to those meeting one or more of three priorities, within the stated areas of focus:

Priority 1: Technical assistance to identify missing elements in existing national road safety system(s), or in preparation of an action plan for establishing such systems. 

Priority 2: Technical assistance to implement specific actions for improving and completing national road safety system(s) in accordance with an existing or to-be-developed national action plan.[1]

Priority 3: Technical assistance to help improve overall road safety management in the national road safety system(s) in the context of the GFPA pillar(s). 

Other considerations to keep in mind in the preparation of applications are as follows:

- UNRSF will not fund infrastructure projects.

- Government endorsement of country activities is strongly preferred and will count towards making applications successful.

- Partnerships with other organizations, multi-lateral development banks, road safety NGOs, in developing proposals and project implementation are encouraged to achieve synergies. 

- Leveraging additional resources through co-financing to implement or sustain activities, are strongly encouraged and considered in reviewing applications.

2.3 Project budgets

Budgets must be submitted utilizing the budget categories of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). See Annex I for further information. A maximum of 7 per cent can be charged as indirect support costs. In addition, the following budget caps must be respected:  

- Staff and other personnel costs – 20 per cent of total budget; and

- General operating and other direct costs – 5 per cent of total budget.


[1] Developed based on the Global Framework Plan of Action, or the existing national action plans under the Global Plan for the Decade of Action for Road Safety 2011-2020.

9 OCT 2019, LAUNCH:  The UNRSF secretariat launches the 2019 Call for Proposals by posting the necessary information on the website and letters sent to all participating UN organizations. 

25 OCT 2019, BRIEFING: The secretariat organizes a briefing session for all participating UN organizations and their potential partners on the Global Framework Plan of Action for Road Safety, the Priorities and Criteria for Funding Projects, as well as information on the application process.

OCT-DEC 2019, ROLLING SCREENING: The secretariat screens the applications on a rolling basis to ensure they are complete and eligible. It is imperative that applications reach the secretariat before the deadline so that if there are any missing/additional items required, the secretariat can alert the applicant of missing items for submission before the deadline. Incomplete applications cannot be considered for funding by the Steering Committee.

4 DEC 2019, DEADLINE: The application period closes and no late submissions will be considered.

DEC 2019-JAN 2020, EXPERT APPRAISAL: Independent experts will be contracted by the secretariat. The experts will conduct the appraisal of the applications based on the criteria in the Fund’s Priorities and Criteria for Funding Projects.

FEB 2020, APPROVAL BY THE STEERING COMMITTEE: The Steering Committee will review all complete project proposals at its next face-to-face meeting taking account the expert appraisal and approve projects under its overall funding pot of USD 4 million.

FEB 2020, NOTIFICATION OF APPLICANTS: The secretariat will notify the applicants in writing of the outcome of their application within one week of the Steering Committee session. 

19 FEB 2020, ANNOUNCEMENT: The outcome of the 2019 Call for Proposals is announced at the 3rd Global Ministerial Conference on Road Safety.

FEB-APR 2020, SETTING UP IMPLEMENTATION ARRANGEMENTS: Approved projects will be required to submit additional documents within three weeks of notification, such as statement of compliance, logical framework, workplan, stakeholder analysis, related project information and activity-based budgets. The secretariat will share templates for these documents when communicating the selection decision prior to submission to the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTFO) for disbursement of funds to participating UN organizations.

The 2019 Call for Proposals has a mandatory deadline of 4 December 2019 (23:59 CET). No late submissions will be accepted. 

Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications as early as possible in advance of the deadline in order for the secretariat to review the applications for completeness. 

Complete applications should be sent electronically in Word and PDF versions, including a signed cover page, to: unrsf_secretariat@un.org with a copy to madeeha.bajwa@un.org. The secretariat will acknowledge receipt within one week.

Budget Guidelines

Each project requires an indicative budget (section 3.10 of the Application Form). Only approved projects will be required to share an activity-based budget (template to be provided to project managers by the UNRSF secretariat) as well as a project budget in the relevant organisation’s approved format.

Project budgets will meet the following criteria:

- A results-based framework (i.e. indicative budget);
- A maximum of seven (7%) per cent programme support, or indirect, costs;
- A maximum of twenty (20%) per cent for staff and other personnel costs and five (5%) per cent for general operating and other direct costs;
- A reasonable amount for operating reserve (at least as required by the applicable internal guidelines of participating UN organizations);
- An amount to support compliance with the project’s Monitoring & Evaluation requirements. Independent evaluation costs should be captured in the budget lines of “staff and other personnel costs” and “travel”;
- An amount for independent evaluation pursuant to the threshold specified in the 2019 Call for Proposals;
- Budgeted activities as determined pursuant to the Risk Assessment Matrix and the Risk Profile;
- Budgeted amounts that reflect standard UN parameters, rates and costs (e.g., UN standard salary costs, daily subsistence allowance rates, procurement principle of best value for money); and
- Expressed utilizing UN approved budget line item categories based upon the eight UN harmonized expense categories (established in 2008 by the UNDG and updated in 2012 by the Chief Executive Board) allowable pursuant to the 2019 Call for Proposals: 

Staff and other personnel costs: Includes all related staff and temporary staff costs including base salary, post adjustment and all staff entitlements.   

Supplies, commodities, materials: Includes all direct and indirect costs (e.g. freight, transport, delivery, distribution) associated with procurement of supplies, commodities and materials.  Office supplies should be reported as "General Operating". 

Equipment, vehicles and furniture including depreciation: For those reporting assets on UNSAS or modified UNSAS basis (i.e. expense up front) this would relate to all costs to put asset into service.  For those who do donor reports according to IPSAS this would equal depreciation for period.   

Contractual services: Services contracted by an organization which follow the normal procurement processes.  In IPSAS terminology this would be similar to exchange transactions. This could include contracts given to NGOs if they are more similar to procurement of services than a grant transfer. 

Travel: Includes staff and non-staff travel paid for by the organization directly related to a project. 

Transfers and grants to counterparts: Includes transfers to national counterparts and any other transfers given to an implementing partner (e.g. NGO) which is not similar to a commercial service contract as per above.  In IPSAS terms this would be more similar to non-exchange transactions. 

General operating and other direct costs: Includes all general operating costs for running an office.  Examples include telecommunication, rents, finance charges and other costs, which cannot be mapped to other expense categories. 

Indirect (programme support) costs: to a maximum of seven (7%) per cent.

Risk Scoring Table

Applicants are required to utilize the below risk scoring table in determining the likelihood and the impact of a particular risk when filling in section 4.3 (Risk Assessment Matrix) of the Application Form. Risks within the project frameworks generally fall into the following non-exclusive categories:

• Strategic
• Environmental
• Financial
• Operational
• Organizational
• Political
• Regulatory



Insignificant (1)

Minor (2)

Moderate (3)

Major (4)

Extreme (5)


Very Likely (5)







Very High


Very High


Likely (4)









Very High


Possible (3)











Unlikely (2)












Other pages related to the 2019 Call for Proposals: 

>> Application Form

>> Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)