On Thursday, the Global Partnership hosted over 100 stakeholders in a webinar on ‘The UN Funding Compact: Mutual Accountability for the SDGs’, exploring how the effectiveness principles of country ownership, focus on results, inclusive partnerships, and mutual accountability and transparency, are being driven by the Funding Compact.
The Funding Compact, adopted in 2019, aims to provide the financial support needed for the UN development system to effectively deliver on the 2030 Agenda, urging Member States to bring core, non-earmarked, resources to a level of at least 30%, among other funding commitments. Through more funding in core, the Compact invites development partners to dedicate resources to country priorities, focus on results, involve multi-stakeholder partners in decision-making, and build on existing mechanisms for mutual accountability and transparency.
“It is a mutual agreement between member states and the [UN] system. And it is not just about more effective ways to work, but the right ways to work, for people, planet and prosperity” said H.E. Mrs. Vanessa Frazier (Permanent Representative of Malta to the UN and Chair of the UNGA Economic & Financial Committee) in her opening remarks.
Reporting on progress on Compact commitments, Ms. Jennifer Topping (Executive Coordinator, Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office) presented results from the Financing the UN Development System: Time to Meet the Moment (2021) report, showing that Member States are well below their target, with core resources to the UN Development System just under 20% of total resources (and to the system as a whole, less than 10%). The approach of earmarked funding (representing 75%) – that is resources allocated from “a single donor for a single UN entity for a single project” remains the preferred option, with consequences for the stability and performance of the system as a whole. Steve Utterwulghe (Director, Public Partnerships) noted that for some organizations, this share is even lower; some 13% in the case of UNDP.
“The motivation behind the Funding Compact is how to optimize funding at country level…earmarked funding is not responding to country priorities and needs in an integrated and efficient way.” said Mr. Mr. Per Knutsson (Programme Director, Dag Hammarskjöld Foundation) as he presented findings from country-level consultations in Guatemala, Indonesia, Jordan, Kenya, Malawi, Papua New Guinea, Somalia and Colombia.
Sharing lessons from Honduras, H.E. Mr. Ramsés Radhamés Lagos (Deputy Permanent Representative of Honduras to the UN) explained how they have adhered to the effectiveness principles at the national level, by aligning their national development co-operation policies with the principles and hosting national, inclusive forums in 2017 and most recently through an Action Dialogue in 2021.
Speaking from the development partner perspective, Mr. Anders Rönquist (Head of Multilateral Coordination Unit, Swedish International Development Co-operation Agency) of Sweden emphasized that competition over resources in UN agencies remains a significant counterforce to aid effectiveness, and the Funding Compact. “We need to shift from a project to programming approach, to avoid the proliferation of stand-alone projects and the over-decentralization of decision-making.”
Questions from the floor included how to ensure accountability among donors and working toward inclusive partnerships with civil society and the private sector as part of the Compact.
The forth-coming Effectiveness Summit, December 2022 – which among other efforts will feature further work on multilateralism by the Partnership – will renew partner commitments to development effectiveness for the 2030 Agenda. More information will be available shortly.
This webinar is part of the Global Partnership webinar series.
For speaker presentations and access to recording, please click here.