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

Restructuring aid for Syria and its neighbours

BY Jason Pronyk | December 7, 2015

The recent surge of hundreds of thousands of refugees travelling from Syria and elsewhere into Europe has prompted new debate about the international aid response to the crisis caused by the Syrian conflict. Should European and other countries do more to help refugees leaving Syria and its neighbours? Should they do more to help in Syria and its neighbours? Can more be done to bring about an end to the war? Amidst the debate, in September the EU pledged an extra US$1.1 billion in aid and the United States pledged an extra US$419m. These pledges come on top of the large sums these donors had already pledged and disbursed this year. They have been welcomed by aid organizations and the countries at the front of dealing with the consequences of the Syrian conflict. Nonetheless, the gaps are still large between the funding that aid organizations and their national partners have appealed for, and the funding that has been pledged or disbursed. The governments of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey are still seeking more assistance with the costs of hosting between them more than four million refugees. And all the while Syrians continue to be displaced within Syria itself, and refugees continue to travel out of the region. Underfunding – and obstacles Underfunding in aid has consequences, direct and indirect. The World Food Programme has had to cut food aid for refugees. Local authorities have struggled to provide water and sanitation. National budgets have been unable to finance all the schools, teachers, health centres and healthworkers that are needed. And initiatives to generate jobs and livelihoods have gone underfunded – leaving people struggling to make a living. The task of helping those in need has also been hampered by the structures and systems of international aid. The greatest obstacle is the way aid is structured according to whether it is labelled humanitarian or development. Aid is then further compartmentalized, according to goals under each of these headings. In general, if money is labelled humanitarian it goes to short-term goals. If it is labelled development, it goes to longer-term goals. A further obstacle is the classification of Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey as middle income countries. This precludes them from receiving the types of grant aid from multilateral financial institutions that poorer countries receive. Little of this makes sense for helping the millions displaced in Syria and who have fled abroad, and the neighbouring countries that have taken in more than 4 million refugees, and which face their own budgetary pressures. A change – and more needed Put simply, the structure of international aid – its architecture – is not fit for the purpose of responding effectively to the consequences of the Syrian conflict. So what needs to change? One recent proposal has been to increase the access that Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey have to “concessional loans.” Under the proposed arrangement, the World Bank will provide new loans to Syria’s neighbours to help deal with the financial burden of the conflict, and wealthy donor countries will pay the interest on those loans. The proposed arrangement is welcome and overdue. But more needs to be done. More needs to be done to break down the barriers between humanitarian and development aid, and to create new and innovative mechanisms for financing the collective response to the Syria crisis. This is why the structure of the international aid response to the Syrian conflict was one of the topics discussed at the Resilience Development Forum held in Jordan on November 8th and 9th. The event brought together 500 participants in an unprecedented spectrum of stakeholders: senior representatives of Governments from Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey; 31 UN Agencies and IOs and IFIs; 23 donor countries; 50 international and local NGOs and research institutions; and private sector leaders exchanged their rich experiences and discussed innovative ideas. The Forum explored ways to better connect public finance and private finance, where they can work well together, and ways to remove unhelpful barriers between humanitarian and development aid. You can download the Dead Sea resilience Agenda here. Changes need to be made so that good projects can be designed and implemented, less constrained by needing to present themselves as short-term, immediate responses just in order to maximize their chances of being funded. Changes need to be made so that good projects do not go underfunded. And changes need to be made so that there is more international solidarity and burden sharing with the countries in the frontline of dealing with the consequences of the Syrian conflict. Investing in the resilience of these countries means strengthening their ability to cope with the millions of displaced and refugees who remain among them. It means striking a better balance between providing emergency assistance and investing in the kind of longer-term development that will enable the displaced and refugees to fulfill their ambitions and aspirations in Syria and in the neighbouring countries. And it means supporting these countries’ national response plans and the linked international plans. On December 7th, the Regional Refugee and Resilience Plan (‘3RP’) for 2015-16 and the Syria Response Plan will be part of the Global Humanitarian Appeal. The 3RP provides a framework to deliver on the results in the Dead Sea Resilience Agenda. Its elements will be the point of reference as we prepare for the pledging opportunities at the London Conference on 4 February 2016. What do you think? What more needs to be done to break down the barriers between humanitarian and development aid, and create new mechanisms for financing the collective response to the Syria crisis? 

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!