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2013 Annual Report
oPt Trust Fund - Key Documents
The Palestinian Authority (PA), with the support of national and international actors, has developed and is currently implementing a number of reforms designed to strengthen the foundations of the future Palestinian state, while meeting the socio-economic needs of Palestinians throughout Palestine, including in Gaza. In support of these objectives, the PA and the United Nations (UN) have agreed to establish a PA- UN Trust Fund (oPt Trust Fund) to ensure that UN interventions can be implemented in the most effective and efficient manner as possible.
The oPt Trust Fund is designed to respond to the following:
The oPt Trust Fund is established to finance UN supported statebuilding and development goals throughout the oPt, including early recovery, and reconstruction initiatives in Gaza. The Fund consists of two distinct windows: one for the West Bank and one of Gaza. Contributing donors can opt to contribute to either the West Bank window or the Gaza window, or to both. Beyond this option, the Fund does not accept any other form of earmarking, whether by recipient organization or thematic area.
As such, the oPt Trust Fund constitutes a joint effort by the PA and the UN to implement best aid practices using globally agreed partnership principles, as articulated in the Paris Declaration, to which the PA subscribed in 2008. The oPt Trust Fund is administered by the Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in accordance with its financial regulations and rules.
The Palestinian Reform and Development Plan (PRDP) 2008-2010, represents the overarching planning, programming and budgeting framework for the achievement of the Palestinian national policy agenda. As such, it constitutes the main reference for all national and international assistance. The Programme of the 13th Government and the 2010 Priority Action Plan provide a programmatic translation of the PRDP’s vision and strategies. The PA is currently finalizing the development of the Palestinian National Plan (PNP), successor to the PRDP, which will articulate Palestinian priorities for the period 2011 to 2013.
In addition, the Palestinian National Early Recovery and Reconstruction Plan for Gaza, 2009-2010, which was presented to the Sharm el Sheikh Conference held on March 2, 2009 highlights the coordinated response of the PA and its local and international partners to the devastation inflicted on Gaza in December 2008 and January 2009 and provides a framework for early recovery and reconstruction operations in Gaza.
The UN’s programmatic contribution to the PRDP, the upcoming PNP and related national frameworks is reflected in its Medium Term Response Plan (MTRP). Organized around five strategic areas, the MTRP presents where and how the UN system can assist with the achievement of nationally-agreed priorities and needs. The MTRP also reflects, inter alia, the UN’s early recovery and reconstruction commitments in Gaza. As such, projects and programmes submitted for funding to the oPt Trust Fund shall clearly demonstrate a contribution to national needs and results as outlined in these framework documents.
The oPt Trust Fund shall be governed by a Management Committee, co-chaired by the Palestinian Authority and the UN Resident Coordinator (RC) / Humanitarian Coordinator (HC). The Management Committee will also include the World Bank, five contributing donors, two UN Heads of Agencies, on a rotating basis, designated by the RC. The Administrative Agent as ex-officio member of the Management Committee (see Terms of Reference).
Operating by consensus, the Management Committee shall provide strategic guidance and oversight, agree on funding criteria, and allocate oPt Trust Fund funds per geographic window (in cases where funds have not been earmarked to a particular window) and strategic sector of the MTRP. Decisions by the Management Committee will be informed, inter alia, by on-going analysis of needs and funding gaps in development interventions in the West Bank and in early recovery and reconstruction efforts in Gaza. The Management Committee will review the progress of the oPt Trust Fund operations and ensure reporting to all contributing donors and the PA, with the support of the Administrative Agent and the oPt Trust Fund Secretariat.
Project Approval Group
A Project Approval Group, co-chaired by the PA and the RC or his/her designate and with the participation of two UN Heads of Agencies, on a rotating basis, shall review and approve individual project proposals submitted by the Participating UN Organizations and national partners and allocate funds. The decision of the Project Approval Group shall be based on the funding criteria and funding envelope agreed by the Management Committee. The Project Approval Group may chose to allocate funding through tranches on the basis of the criteria listed below.
Project funding decisions will be made on the basis of an agreed set of criteria, to be decided and reviewed by the Management Committee. These criteria may include, inter alia: quality of project proposal, alignment with national priorities, level of participation and ownership by national partners, level of consultation with and buy in from relevant stakeholders, including through the UN strategic area groups and other established peer review mechanisms (i.e. LACS and other), demonstrable capacity to implement within the foreseen timeframe, efficiency in use of funds, including limits on certain types of expenditures, and available resources. Funding criteria are presented in the Fund’s Operations manual.
Participating UN Organizations
Each Participating UN Organization shall sign a standardized Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with UNDP as the Administrative Agent that sets out the duties and responsibilities of each party. Each Participating UN Organization shall assume full programmatic and financial accountability for the funds disbursed to it by the Administrative Agent. Each of the Participating UN Organizations shall carry out its activities contemplated in the approved project proposal in accordance with the regulations, rules, directives and procedures applicable to it, using its standard implementation modalities.
The Administrative Agent
The UNDP MPTF Office has been appointed the Administrative Agent (AA) of the oPt Trust Fund on behalf of the Participating UN Organizations, as agreed with the PA. The AA shall be responsible for concluding Standard Administrative Arrangement (SAA) with donors and Memoranda of Understanding (MOU) with Participating UN Organizations. It shall receive, administer and transfer funds to Participating UN Organizations upon instructions from the PAG and submit periodic consolidated narrative and financial reports to the MC for onward submission to all donors that are either members of the governance structure or have provided financial contributions to the oPt Trust Fund. Copies of signed agreements shall be posted on the MPTF Office GATEWAY oPt site.
Decision Making Process
Any Participating UN Organization that has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Administrative Agent (UNDP MPTF Office) is eligible to submit project proposals for funding. Non-UN Participating Organizations with similar Financial Rules and Regulations may also submit proposals to the oPt Trust Fund if they have signed a separate MOU with the MPTF Office as the Administrative Agent.
Proposal Review & Approval Processes
The Project Approval Group (PAG) reviews and approves project proposals of the Participating UN Organizations and national partners and allocates funds. The decision shall be based on the funding criteria and funding envelope agreed by the Management Committee. Each project proposal submitted will have undergone a various review process to appraise project proposals from relevant sectors before submission to the PAG, and ensure adequate consultation with all relevant national and international stakeholders.
Project funding decisions will be made on the basis of an agreed set of criteria including: quality of project proposal, alignment with national priorities, level of participation and ownership by national partners, level of consultation with and buy in from relevant stakeholders, including through the UN strategic area groups and other established peer review mechanisms, demonstrable capacity to implement within the foreseen timeframe, efficiency in use of funds, including limits on certain types of expenditures, and available resources.
Funding criteria, guidelines, and details of the project approval process, including submission requirements and timelines, will be presented in the oPt Trust Fund Operations Manual, which will be accessible upon request to the oPt trust Fund Secretariat and/or the oPt Trust Fund website. Participating UN organizations may submit projects on a continuous basis.
Participating Organizations are required to submit final year-end expenditures by April 30 in the following year; Interim expenditure figures are submitted on a voluntary basis and therefore current year figures are not final until the year-end expenditures have been submitted.
Funds with Administrative Agent
Funds with Participating Organizations
Office of the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator/United Nations Office of the Special Coordinator (UNSCO).
Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), New York, Fax: +1 212 906 6990