The UN-World Bank Fragility and Conflict Partnership Trust Fund is a multi-country, multi-donor trust fund that supports partnership activities, fostering a closer relationship between the United Nations and the World Bank to promote a more effective and sustainable international response in fragile and conflict-affected situations. Funding is currently provided by the Governments of Switzerland and Norway.

The Trust Fund has three key objectives:

  • To support joint initiatives or approaches in fragile and conflict-affected situations
  • To strengthen capacity in both institutions to work effectively in partnership
  • To collect good cooperation practices and support knowledge sharing

Applications are received on a rolling basis for proposals that have been developed jointly by UN and World Bank teams, show alignment with the Strategic Results Framework (SRF) and towards the broader strategic objectives of the two organizations, as well as in support of country priorities. The SRF outlines a number of goals and activities that aim to strengthen the collaboration between the

UN and the World Bank in FCS, around three core objectives:

  • improved regional and country-specific collaboration at strategic and operational levels
  • strengthened institutional co-operation and communications on policy and thematic issues
  • increased operational policies, frameworks and tools to facilitate co-operation and cross financing

Activities should aim to gather broader lessons learned or other partnership-strengthening or transformative potential. To date, grants have averaged between $100,000 – $200,000, with proposals of up to $500,000 considered on an exceptional basis, going to support projects in Mali, South Sudan, CAR, DRC, Liberia, Yemen, Jordan/Syria, PNG and Honduras, as well as global initiatives to improve our collective response supporting Core Government Functions, Justice, Extractive Industries, PCNAs and Civilian Capacities in FCS settings.  All applications are reviewed and approved jointly by the World Bank and the UN.

For more information on applying to the Trust Fund, please see Guidance for Applicants.

Examples of Grant-Supported Projects

The Fund provides resources for a range of initiatives aimed at promoting strategic dialogue, operational and programmatic collaboration, in line with the principles outlined in the 2008 UN-World Bank Partnership Framework Agreement for Crisis and Post-Crisis Situations. It welcomes proposals that advance the partnership in FCS in priority areas, including:

Upstream collaboration on analysis and strategy, including through studies, workshops and joint retreats. Examples:

  • Development of a joint UN-Bank diagnostic framework for reestablishing core government functions in post-conflict situations.
  • Joint economic impact assessment of the peacekeeping mission in Mali.

Advancing key themes from the 2011 World Development Report on Conflict, Security and Development: security, justice and job creation. Examples:

  • Collaboration around a joint problem-solving approach to designing justice service interventions in FCS.
  • Strengthening UN-WB engagement in Security Sector Expenditure Reviews in peacekeeping settings.

Support for the development, implementation and monitoring of national development and peacebuilding strategies. This includes initiatives related to the implementation of the New Deal. Examples:

  • Developing the aid architecture to implement the New Deal priorities in Somalia.
  • Secondment of a senior WB Governance Specialist to the UN in Yemen to develop the UN-WB framework to support implementation of the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference.

Strategic staffing and consultancy assignments, including secondments, to drive forward partnership initiatives in the field. Example:

  • Deployment of a Partnership Advisor to South Sudan to lead development of an action plan for closer joint UN–WB cooperation in support of national efforts toward peacebuilding and longer-term development.
  • Deployment of a WB-seconded specialist seconded to MONUSCO’s Stabilization Support Unit in eastern DRC to support the implementation of the Government’s Stabilization Strategy.

Other Initiatives supported by the Trust Fund have included:

  • A broad review of UN-Bank partnership efforts in order to identify good practices and lessons learned and to recommend ways to strengthen collaboration
  • Development of targeted training and knowledge/learning activities to promote greater understanding and interaction between the two institutions and to develop a shared repository of best practices and lessons learned
  • Development of instruments and guidance to strengthen interoperability and systematize collaboration at different levels.

Institutional Partners

The UN-World Bank Fragility and Conflict Partnership Trust Fund is managed by the World Bank Fragility, Conflict and Violence (FCV) Group. The UN window is administered by the UN Development Operations Coordination Office (DOCO) for the UN Development Group.

The institutional partners in the Trust Fund’s Steering Committee, from the UN, include:

o   the Executive Office of the Secretary-General (EOSG)

o   the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO)

o   the Department of Political Affairs (DPA)

o   the UN Development Operations Coordination Office (UNDOCO) for the UN Development Group

o   the UN Development Programme (UNDP)

o   the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)

o   the FCV Group and the Africa Region (AFR) represent the Bank.

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Silo Fighters Blog

Zeroing in on Ebola

BY Sanaka Samarasinha | February 17, 2015

I am in Liberia, where shaking hands is taboo but washing hands and temperature checks are routine. Dark clouds hover above the wettest capital in the world as I land, but my Liberian colleague who greets me at the airport with a warm, welcoming smile says that they are finally beginning to see the light. It is early November 2014. Communities at the forefront A few days after I arrive, I join a team of UNDP consultants going to Banjor, one of the worst-hit communities, to talk about ways to fight stigma, help orphans and find food and income for affected families. We sit with survivors and their families and neighbours. We learn about innovative ways they are coping together. We learn that if early on they had information and some basic support, Ebola would not have claimed half the lives it did here. Once they got this help, they practically eradicated the disease from their community. I visit a house where 13 people died. In this small community outside Monrovia, Ebola killed 111 people in just over four months, 31 of them children. Survivors and orphans are singing to the water spirits, "Mamiwater (mermaid), take Ebola away to the sea." Despite the tragic circumstances, I cannot help being inspired by the courage and resilience of these kids as we sing and clap and smile in the rain. People's voices make the difference To say that I am not afraid to go to the slums and the villages where people are still in quarantine and dead bodies are being removed by people in masks and “moon suits” would be a lie. But, I learn that safe interaction with affected communities is not only possible, it is essential to an effective response. "People walk on the other side of the road when they pass our community,” says one local leader. “We are grateful that the UN team came to hear our stories instead of making them up at their computers." A few days later, I am with a young team of UNICEF volunteers in one of the largest slums in West Africa. An 80-year old pastor welcomes their presence. "Some people used to come here and drop off medicine boxes, but never told us how to use them. I am so happy that these youngsters come and talk to us and answer our questions," he says. Ebola is not only a health issue Ebola was unheard of in Liberia. People know Malaria, Cholera, Typhoid and Measles. Early symptoms of Ebola are not that different and so most people simply did not believe that they were infected or could infect others of a deadly disease they did not think existed. To stop the spread of the disease, people need to believe first and then consciously change their behaviour. Sometimes this means changing deep-rooted social and cultural norms. Sometimes it means asking people to stop doing the most natural and human of things like not holding a sick child or washing the body of a dead parent. A young local NGO worker tells me how you communicate counts. "Some people used to go in cars with loudspeakers saying Ebola is real. But it’s only when we started to take the risks and go house to house explaining, answering questions that people started to believe, to change," he says. A few days later, I am in West Point, the largest slum in West Africa, where more than 75,000 impoverished people live in squalid conditions, packed into a small peninsula that juts out into the Atlantic Ocean. The UN estimates there are only four public toilets here. The lack of clean water and sanitation has allowed cholera and tuberculosis among other diseases to run rampant for a long time. This year, Ebola joined the deadly list. A team in full protective gear is removing the body of a middle-aged man who died the night before while I try to comfort his distraught relatives outside his house. They don’t want the “safe burial team” to take the body away because according to existing protocols it will be cremated and according to their custom and religion this is a serious transgression. I am in West Point with young UNDP volunteers hired from the community. They go house to house looking for Ebola throughout the week, sometimes at great personal risk from both Ebola as well as the families who may be hiding their sick or dead relatives. Two months earlier armed soldiers surrounded the slums and tried to enforce a collective quarantine. Angry residents resisted and in the ensuing violence, a 16-year old boy was shot and killed. By the time I visit the number of Ebola cases has dropped dramatically because instead of enforcing mass quarantine, the response strategy has changed to engaging with the community one household at a time. When you hear the voices of those truly affected, you know Ebola is not only a health issue requiring a medical response from doctors and nurses. It is so much more than that and it starts with building trust between vulnerable populations and responders, between the governed and those who govern. No amount of top-down policy-making, distant messaging and law enforcement can substitute for human interaction and conversations based on mutual respect, trust and confidence. When people believe in change, they become agents of change The following week I am with a group of colleagues from the UN Population Fund and the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response on the border of Sierra Leone. When we forget to wash our hands, the villagers remind us to use the chlorine water buckets that the UN gave them before they will even sit and talk to us. The message is clear: when people believe in change, not only is transformation possible, but they become agents of change. This is true even in the face of strong social, cultural and religious practices; even when it is heartbreaking, highly personal and acutely painful. In early December, a colleague declares, "If we can get one day without a single new infection before Christmas it would be a good day." We are eager to achieve a goal set by Liberia’s President: “Zero new cases by Christmas.” By December 19th, it happens. There are zero new confirmed cases of Ebola two days running in Liberia. Finally, the Christmas lights can be turned on. Staff from UN offices in Liberia, New York, Belarus and Turkey join hands to help bring a little Christmas joy to more than 2,400 children affected by Ebola in and around Monrovia. Some are survivors, some are orphans, and some are both. But, on Christmas day in Monrovia they are all just kids like anywhere else in the world - with the most infectious of smiles and the most contagious demonstration of courage and hope. Looking over the horizon – together Poverty, distrust and capacity deficits over time allowed a disease to turn into an epidemic. However, now the country is looking to the future. I am fortunate enough for a short time to be part of a coordination and decision-making body called the Incident Management System (IMS). While not perfect, I can see it works. Government leadership, collaborative support from the UN family and the international community, and responsive decision-making characterizes much of the work of the IMS. If we can turn this model into not just crisis response but into development cooperation, perhaps Liberia will not only succeed in zero new Ebola cases, but will begin to eradicate malaria and measles, malnutrition and illiteracy, gender-based violence and extreme poverty. As I write this, the Ebola virus has killed more than 8,500, many of those in Liberia. However, the number of new daily cases has dropped dramatically. The UN is instrumental in this success. We are seeing downward trends in other countries, too. But a single new case anywhere can ignite an outbreak everywhere. The challenge now is not only to bring it down to zero – but also to keep it there – everywhere! If we work together, we can. As Ban Ki Moon says, “Ebola will not be gone from any country, until it is gone from every country.”  

Country Stories

The stories behind the numbers in Kivu

June 10, 2016

Results, results, results. The age old monitoring and evaluation question: how do you [actually] draw a connection between transformational changes in the lives of people and the development projects that aim to help them? The hard part is that the traditional monitoring approach does not focus on measuring outcome indicators, a weakness corrected by a new monitoring method: SenseMaker Narrative Capture. This initiative focuses on transformational changes, and uses qualitative and quantitative methods and collects narratives shared by the beneficiary populations. As head of the Monitoring and Evaluation unit in the UNDP Democratic Republic of Congo country office, I led the implementation of this new monitoring and evaluation approach in South Kivu. Overall, the project was designed to to support the stabilization of the South Kivu region, which has been part of a conflict since 1994 among several actors looking to expand their territories in the Great Lakes Region. Overall we believe that strengthening community management of conflict resolution and social infrastructure will help reduce potential sources of tension, which will help displaced and refugee populations return and reintegration process. Monitoring change with a participatory approach Generally, we were interested to learn about the changes in the life of communities involved in this joint programme developed by UNDP, UNICEF and FAO and particularly, we wanted to capture people’s experiences and feelings around the Kivu conflict, peace-keeping efforts surrounding the conflict, and the reintegration experiences of displaced individuals. For this purpose, we approached different organizations and community leaders involved in the peace process following the conflict in the region. Our idea was to seek for their support designing monitoring tools and instruments we were planning to use and, because they took part in this first phase of the process, the tools obtained added value to the project. This participatory approach ensured that the content of the tools and questionnaires was well aligned with the reality in the field. This reality check empowered us to move to the most challenging part of the process, the data collection. Capturing the stories behind the data During the the data collection process, more than a thousand community members shared with us their story about the conflict, the stabilization and the peace process. On this process of capturing the stories, what mostly amazed us, beyond their content, was the storytellers’ feedback: “By sharing this story I realize how was my life before, during and after the conflict, I realize how bad a conflict can be, why it is important to live as a community, to bring our children up with a new mindset. I realize how the different actors: the local authority, the church, the national army, the self-defense groups were interacting to either maintain crisis situation or to improve the situation of the communities”. Some of the participants also shared their positive feedback on the way the data collection was done: “The way you designed the questionnaire without asking me to share my opinion but to tell my story was fantastic. I used to give my opinion for surveys conducted by other organizations but I was never able to look back on the conflict and all the horror, the death, the tears, the food insecurity that we had to face everyday.” Through this methodology, we realized that assessing the situation helps the storytellers focus not only on their opinion but also on their past experience. That is why we believe that Sense@Maker is an interesting and relevant addition to the M&E exercise as it is a realistic tool based on the commitment and strong participation from the beneficiaries and we plan to use it to influence future programme design and implementation. Among the findings, one pointed out that education is a top concern for the communities. According to the results, communities find education a key component to promote skills, knowledge and new employment opportunities. So we are currently studying how education can be used to achieve a deeper impact in shaping attitudes towards conflict resolution and expanding access to social services. We will keep you in the loop!

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