Action 2030 Blog

Opening up the magic of pooled funds at the UN

In the development field, donors can provide funds to the UN through pooled funds, a special type of mechanism that has made our work – reaching the right people at the right time with the right resources – much easier. Thanks to pooled funds, we can support humanitarian interventions, peacebuilding, development and climate change efforts in an accountable and a flexible way.

Accountable to tax payers, flexible in the field

To ensure flexibility in complex situations such as in Iraq 2004, the money donors contribute is pooled together and administered centrally by a UN fund, rather than being earmarked to a specific UN agency. Once a fund-allocation decision is made, the money is passed from the central UN fund to the UN entity responsible for implementing the relevant programme.

But in a short period of time (since 2004), they have impacted our financing systems: They now account for 8 percent of the total funding for the UN’s operational activities and they are expected to grow in the coming years.

This is just the beginning.

The drive for more joined up work across the UN and with partners is gaining momentum. UN pooled financing mechanisms will play an increasingly strategic role in financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and you can see our analysis here.

Where does the money go?

For the first time, we have begun to publish UN pooled-fund data using the International Aid Transparency Initiative Standard (IATI). We adopted the IATI data standard because it helps us compare funds across the UN. At the same time it enables us to get our data on pooled funding out there in the public.    Publishing our data in IATI means that we have a reliable, machine readable way of ensuring that high quality financial data on pooled funds is published once and can be used whenever and wherever it is needed.

The UN Development Operations Coordination Office and the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, the center of expertise on pooled financing mechanisms in the UN system, partnered on this major step to make our transactions transparent.

Like much of the drive for the more than 500 publishers already using the IATI data standard, publishing data is only the first step. The goal is to make sure this data is used, so dig in and let us know how you use it!

Photo:© 2010 Arne Hoel/World Bank