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Lessons Learned Exercise

An independent Lessons Learned Exercise of the UNDG ITF was carried out in 2010/11. The Lessons Learned Exercise, conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers, examined the development and operational effectiveness of the UNDG ITF and results towards recovery, reconstruction and development efforts in Iraq since 2003.

IRFFI Donor Committee Meeting - 18 January 2012

UNDG ITF - Newsletter


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Agriculture and Food Sector: To improve food security, the sector supported rehabilitation of irrigation systems to improve access to water for agricultural purposes including the provision of spare parts for the completion of six pumping stations providing irrigation benefiting 43,000 people. Over 28 trainings were conducted in food related professions benefiting over 2,700 poor and vulnerable beneficiaries. Trainings in various technical and economic fields were also provided, creating nearly 1,700 new jobs.
Education Sector: Some sector achievements through the Child Friendly Initiative include improved water and sanitation facilities in 54 schools serving a total of 35,255 children (47% girls) with 1,926 teachers (72% female). Through the Accelerated Learning Programme (ALP) the percentage of females accessing ALP rose to 34% (from 30%).
Economic Reform and Diversification Sector: Through this sector, support efforts to attract private-sector investments in the electricity sector have yielded over $18 million of investments by independent power producers. Loans of $500,000 were disbursed to emerging entrepreneurs that resulted in 113 business start-ups and support to an additional 96 businesses in Al-Fao, Abu Al-Khaseeb and Shatt Al-Arab districts.
Governance Sector: Through this sector, support to the Iraq High Electoral Commission’s (IHEC) Public Outreach Department- estimated that 75 national nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners reached out to more than 260,000 citizens and nearly 10,000 opinion leaders in all governorates on electoral awareness and civic engagement issues in 2009.
Housing and Shelter Sector: A new housing policy for Iraq was finalized and a housing law is being drafted with policy and reform plans aimed at increasing private sector delivery of housing production. A programme to provide Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) with shelter was implemented in 15 governorates, with the major focus in Baghdad and Diyala, where 41% of the total shelters were rehabilitated. To date, 10,052 shelters have been completed, covering 64,915 persons.
Water and Sanitation Sector: Through this sector, sewerage systems in Basrah and Karbala were rehabilitated benefiting approximately 35,000 people and 50,000 people, respectively. Water treatment plants were rehabilitated in cholera-prone areas in Babil (63,000 beneficiaries), Wassit (18,500 beneficiaries) and Karbala (44,000 beneficiaries) governorates and pipeline was laid and rehabilitated from the reservoir in Takia, Sulaimaniyia benefiting 25,000 people.
Protection Sector: Support to vulnerable groups continued through the Protection Assistance Centers (PAC), which received 13,812 referrals on issues such as civil ID’s, inheritance, marriage and utilities. PAC legal services assisted 18,468 people (40% female). Psychological assistance was provided to 51, 719 children in 105 schools by 1,731 trained teachers, and 13,404 children and youth received life-skills training on self-protection from violence.
Health and Nutrition Sector: Through the sector immunization services were strengthened benefitting over 4.8 million children under 5 and over 1 million pregnant women. Infant mortality and under 5 mortality rates dropped from 41/1000 to 35/1000, and measles cases dropped from 9,181 in 200 to below 474.


The United Nations Development Group Iraq Trust Fund (UNDG ITF) was established in 2004 as one of two trust funds of the International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI). The IRFFI was designed in close consultation with the Iraqi authorizes and donors by the World Bank and the United Nations in response to international requests to create a mechanism to enable donors to channel their resources and coordinate their support for reconstruction and development activities in Iraq. A total of 25 donors have signed a Letter of Agreement with the UNDP Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office), as Administrative Agent of the UNDG ITF.

The UNDG ITF is the first MPTF to be administered by the United Nations in joint partnership with the World Bank, and to provide donors with a single channel for funding thereby reducing donors’ transaction costs. It was also the first time that the UNDG organizations adopted common planning, funding, coordinated implementation and reporting arrangements through a thematic ‘cluster’ framework.

The UNDG ITF is administered by the UNDP MPTF Office as Administrative Agent on behalf of the Participating UN Organizations. This arrangement has been formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Participating UN Organization and the UNDP MPTF Office, as the Administrative Agent. A total of 22 Participating UN Organization’s have signed the MOU with the Administrative Agent, which sets out the duties and responsibilities of each Participating UN Organization, which assumes full programmatic and financial accountability for the funds disbursed to it.

The IRFFI structure is designed to ensure that activities financed by the WB ITF and the UNDG ITF are aligned with the Government of Iraq’s priorities as outlined in the IRFFI Terms of Reference (TOR). The strategic documents that provide the scope and parameters for identifying and formulating projects include the Iraq National Development Plan 2011-2014 (NDP), International Compact with Iraq (ICI), Iraq Millennium Development Goals (IMDGs), and UN Security Council Resolutions 1546 and 1770 (2007) and UN Assistance Strategy for Iraq.

The MPTF Office also maintains an updated UNDG ITF contract award table that provides information regarding the vendor and country that received the award, amount, type of good or service provided, and date of the award. The information is provided on a voluntary basis by the Participating UN Organizations to ensure transparency.

IRFFI reconstruction and development activities were initially based on the priority areas emerging from the 2003 UNDG/World Bank Needs Assessment that covered 14 priority sectors and cross-cutting themes. Subsequently, UNDG ITF projects were developed to support priorities outlined in the Government of Iraq’s (GoI) National Development Strategy (2004, 2005, and 2007) and the International Compact with Iraq (ICI) (2007). The objective of the National Development Strategy (NDS) is to serve as the overarching framework for government reconstruction and development activities. The ICI serves as a mechanism for Iraq to meet clear security, political, and economic reform benchmarks, with the support of the international community, while defining how the international community will support reforms.

The role of the United Nations (UN) in Iraq is derived from Security Council Resolutions (SCR) 1546 (2004) and SCR 1770 (2007) and operates under the supervision of the Special Representative of the Secretary General (SRSG). The UNDG ITF helps finance the implementation of the activities entrusted to the UN system by the Government of Iraq, with particular emphasis on areas where the UN has comparative advantage.

With an expanded mandate under SCR 1770, the United Nations Country Team (UNCT) for Iraq is providing humanitarian, reconstruction and development assistance. The UN Iraq Assistance Strategy for 2008-10will guide the UN’s future activities. It was developed in consultation with the GoI, the donor community and NGOs to ensure that it supports national priorities namely the ICI and NDS as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

UNCT Sectoral Assistance StrategyTo coordinate the UNCT’s work, the “cluster” coordination structure was initially established along 11 thematic lines composed of Participating UN Organizations with a specific mandate and expertise in the particular thematic area. In 2005, the original cluster coordination structure was streamlined into 7 clusters and subsequently in 2007, the coordination structure was redesigned into 8 new Sector Outcome Teams (SOT).

Four key outcomes form the basis of the new coordination structure:

  • improved and equitable access to essential social services;
  • strengthened civilian protection;
  • accelerated and inclusive economic development; and,
  • strengthened governance.

To increase the level of interaction with the GoI and ensure alignment with national priorities, the sectors are represented in Baghdad by a Policy Group staffed by senior agency specialists in the areas of essential services, protection, governance and economic development. The Policy Group is in regular and direct contact with the relevant GoI counterparts.


International Reconstruction Fund Facility for Iraq (IRFFI)

The IRFFI enables donors to fund activities administered by UNDG ITF on behalf of the Participating UN Organisations and/or activities administered by the World Bank ITF (WB ITF) under a joint coordination and monitoring mechanism that operates in accordance with the IRFFI Terms of Reference.

Coordination is achieved through the Donor and the Executive Committees. The Executive Committee is chaired by the Iraqi Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation (MoPDC), and is comprised of the Donor Committee Chairperson, and representatives of the United Nations and the World Bank. The Executive Committee ensures alignment between IRFFI activities and the overall Iraqi priorities, including those in the ICI, and coherent planning, monitoring, and reporting between UNDG ITF and WB ITF activities.

The Donor Committee is comprised of donors who have made a minimum contribution of US $10 million to either or both the WB ITF or UNDG ITF. In addition, two seats on the Donor Committee are given to representatives of other donors contributing less than US $10 million. The Word Bank, UNDG, IMF and MoPDC hold observer status. The Chairmanship is drawn from members of the Donor Committee. Its responsibilities include ensuring coherence and collaboration between the IRFFI, and the Iraqi National Development Strategy (NDS) and International Compact with Iraq (ICI). It oversees monitoring and evaluation, and reviews progress of the IRFFI activities. Solicitation of new contributions and donors are also within its mandate.

UNDG ITF Steering Committee
The UNDG ITF is governed by a coordination structure that ensures inter-agency, donor, and government participation in the identification, design, development, approval, implementation and monitoring of UNDG ITF activities.

The Steering Committee is established to oversee and coordinate the operations of the UNDG ITF in accordance with the UNDG ITF Steering Committee Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure, which are designed to guide and facilitate the work of the Committee. The Steering Committee provides overall strategic guidance and oversight as well as makes decisions on fund allocation.

The UNDG ITF Steering Committee operates under the supervision of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) and is chaired by the Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General (DSRSG). The Committee is composed of the Heads of each Participating UN Organizations and, as of September 2008, two members of the donor committee. The European Commission and the Government of Canada will be members of the Steering Committee for a one year period from September 2008 to September 2009.

The Steering Committee operates by consensus and meets bi-monthly or anytime it should be required, upon initiation from the Chair. The Committee instituted a ‘fast-track process’ for members to respond and decide on project proposals electronically so as to expedite urgent time-bound projects particularly election related projects. The Committee is supported by a Steering Committee Support Office (SCSO) that facilitates the work of and assists the Steering Committee in its various obligations. The SCSO reports to the Chair.

Sector Outcome Team (SOT)

The SOTs are designed to increase strategic planning, programming and coordination with the GoI to achieve improved and equitable access to essential social services, strengthened civilian protection, accelerated and inclusive economic development, and strengthened governance. The SOT serves as a coordinating mechanism for technical review, planning, prioritization and approving projects working closely with the relevant counterpart ministries. Membership includes Participating UN Organizations and NGOs active in the various sectors.

Peer Review
The Peer Group is comprised of the BPG members and donors. Its primary responsibility is to review documents that have been reviewed by the SOTs and the SCSO to ensure they are strategic and responsive to the current needs identified by the GoI before they are forwarded to the ISRB, as indicated in the ICI. It does not undertake a technical review.

The ISRB provides overall policy and strategic guidance for donor assistance and it is the final approving authority for all programming in Iraq including IRRFI/UNDG ITF funded projects. Chaired by the Ministry of Planning and Development Cooperation (MoPDC), the ISRB reviews all IRFFI projects before they are submitted to the UNDG ITF Steering Committee for final approval.

The MoPDC chairs the ISRB and is the GoI’s primary interlocutor with the Facility. It ensures that resources are applied toward Iraq’s prioritized needs and equitably distributed. The MoPDC works closely with the Ministry of Finance to ensure conformity with the overall budgetary framework, and maintains an overview of the project development and implementation processes of the two Trust Funds.

Administrative Agent
The Participating UN Organizations have designated UNDP’s Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office to serve as the Administrative Agent for the UNDG ITF. Its responsibilities include the receipt, administration and management of contributions from donors; disbursement of funds to the Participating UN Organizations, in accordance with instructions from the Steering Committee; and consolidation and dissemination of narrative and financial reports, produced by each of the Participating UN Organizations to the Steering Committee and donors. The Administrative Agent will also commission independent lessons-learned and review exercises of the entire UNDG ITF operations, as requested by the Steering Committee.

Any Participating UN Organization that has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Administrative Agent is eligible to submit project documents for UNDG ITF funding.

Proposal Submission
Project documents to the UNDG ITF are to be submitted to the UNDG ITF Steering Committee Support Office (SCSO). Participating UN Organizations prepare project documents utilizing the standard project proposal submission form, using the template annexed to the Steering Committee Terms of Reference and Rules of Procedure.

Project Document Review & Approval Process

  1. A Participating UN Organization(s), in consultation with the Government of Iraq (GoI) partner(s), prepare a Programme or Project Concept Note (PCN) that is in line with the ICI and NDS, and receives a letter of endorsement from the relevant government partner(s).

  2. The PCN, and accompanying government endorsement letter, is reviewed by the Sector Outcome Team (SOT), endorsed and the relevant documents are forwarded to the Steering Committee Support Office (SCSO).

  3. The SCSO documents the relevant information and forwards it to the Iraq Strategic Review Board (ISRB). The ISRB has five working days “no objection’ period to respond.

  4. With the ISRB endorsement the Participating UN Organization(s) proceeds to develop a full proposal, with the relevant line ministries, and submit it to the SOT Leader for review. The SOT will review, consult with the SCSO and present a final document that is then submitted to the Peer Review Group.

  5. The Peer Review Group will review the proposal and either endorse, endorse with comments or reject it.

  6. Following endorsement by the Peer Review Group, the proposal is forwarded to the ISRB with the exception of electoral proposals that are fast-tracked*.

  7. Following ISRB approval, the SCSO informs the UNDG ITF Steering Committee Chair and a meeting of the Steering Committee is convened within two weeks of ISRB approval.

  8. The Agency Representative and SOT Leader present the final proposal to the Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will approve, approve with comments or reject the proposal. Approved proposals are duly signed and forwarded to the MPTF Office for release of fund within one week of signature.

* Fast-Track Approval
The UNDG ITF provides a 'Fast Track Process' to allow Steering Committee members to expedite project documents for urgent time-bound activities, particularly support to the Electoral Processes.

Recent Documents

This tab shows only recent documents relevant at the Fund level. To see more documents at both the fund and project level go to the Document Center.

Key Figures
Funding Status
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.
Total as of
Values in US$
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Funds with Administrative Agent
Contributions from Donors 1,358,392,474  
Interest and Investment Income (from Fund) 34,839,572  
Interest (from Participating Organizations) 42,080,002  
Fund balance transferred to another MDTF -33,283,839  
Refunds by Administrative Agent to Contributors -31,431,643  
Total source of funds   1,370,596,567
Transferred to Participating Organizations 1,390,413,154  
Refunds from Participating Organizations -34,465,076  
Administrative Agent Fee 10,818,920  
Direct Cost 3,795,879  
Bank Charges 33,689  
Total use of funds   1,370,596,567
Balance with Administrative Agent   0
As a percentage of deposits   0%
Funds with Participating Organizations
Transfers to Participation Organizations 1,394,761,069  
Total resources   1,394,761,069
Participating Organizations' Expenditure 1,359,743,957  
Refunds from Participating Organizations -35,017,111  
Total expenses     1,394,761,069
Balance with Participating Organizations   -0
As a percentage of transfers   - 0.0%
Total Balance of Funds   -0
As a percentage of deposits   - 0.0%
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For Policy and Programme Issues

United Nations Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), Amman, Jordan; Telephone: +962 6 550 4700; Fax: +962 6 550 4705; Website:

  • Mr Nickolay Mladenov, Special Representative of the Secretary General, E-mail:
  • Ms Jacqueline Badcock, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General/Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator for Iraq, E-mail:


For Fund Administrative Agent Issues

Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office), Bureau of Management, United Nations Development Programme; Fax: +1 212 906 6990;  

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