16 November 2021. UN pooled funds are financing instruments at the service of multi-stakeholder coalitions that bring together governments, UN agencies, civil society and private sector. In order to discuss achievements and learnings from this type of innovative financing instruments, the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office convened the 2021 edition of the UN Pooled Funding Multi-Stakeholder Discussion Forum.
The forum is a periodic platform for stakeholder dialogue and engagement, which was established in 2019 at the request of the UNDP Executive Board and following recommendations from an independent evaluation of inter-agency pooled funds in September 2018.
Its objective is to review progress and discuss trends in global financing and strategies on the way forward, to strengthen partner engagement and reinforce the confidence of partners in the mechanism and its use.
During this edition, representatives from Member States, UN entities and civil society discussed recent growth and trends, particularly around the specific commitments on pooled funding established by the Funding Compact, a mutual agreement by UN Member States and the UN Development System on how to improve the way the UN is funded.
Trends and tools in pooled funding
Latest data shows a steady growth in pooled financing, due to its comparative advantages in funding flexible and integrated responses to humanitarian, transition and development challenges. For example, funding to development related inter-agency pooled funds has tripled since 2015, and now represents approximately 9% of all non-core funding to UN development-related activities.
An important part of the discussion centered on how to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of pooled funds through series of common management features, fully spelled out under Commitment 14 in the Compact, covering such aspects as clear theories of change, solid results-based management systems, and transparency standards. The Fiduciary Management Oversight Group (FMOG) presented progress in recent inter-agency work in this regard and the Development Coordination Office (DCO) shared experiences on how UN country teams are implementing these features as part of SDG country-level pooled funds.
Just days after COP16 in Glasgow, during this edition, the MPTF Office presented a brief on inter-agency pooled funds and climate finance, with an overview of its climate change and environment portfolio, providing examples that respond to questions of how pooled funding contributes to the overall climate financing Ecosystem. Several climate funds and initiatives such as the Central African Forest Initiative (CAFI), the Global Fund for Coral Reefs and the Mali Climate Fund are some examples of this work.
The research shows that climate resources provided by MPTFs are often used in high-risk contexts since pooled financing allows for de-risking. Pooling resources through the UN spreads risks wider so many partners can collectively invest in high-risk solutions and link climate finance with global sustainable development goals and agendas. It also shows that pooled financing is being strategically used for sequencing available and often disconnected financing for climate initiatives.
Recording of the Forum
Presentation used by MPTF Office during the Forum