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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

Designing for Fragility in Somalia

BY Marc Jacquand | April 12, 2017

In vulnerable districts of Somalia, we at the UN in Somalia and our partners have limited visibility of the situation on the ground. Due to security issues, we do not have a significant physical presence in districts  where violence continues. This brings us to dilemma: How can we plan our programs effectively if we are not aware of realities on the ground? This weakness undermines the impact of the resources we invest, while increasing the risk of doing harm through ill-designed programming and weak implementation. Unpacking fragility To plan and program, we need to understand what is happening in these vulnerable districts, particularly what we refer to as “fragility”: What triggers conflict and what are the avenues for reconciliation? What are the security, rule of law and justice arrangements? What is the capacity of the government? What socioeconomic activities are communities involved in? Standard situation analyses and needs assessments often do not provide a clear picture of fragility as they tend to be state or country-wide, and are too far removed from details at the district-level. If the UN’s strategic plan and joint programmes are designed based on sound fragility measurements, we hope they will not only be more accurate, but also increase impact for vulnerable areas and populations. We need to gain a better understanding of fragility to understand the vulnerability of districts, particularly if they relapse into conflict under the influence of armed groups.  The lack of district-level data and intelligence So why haven’t we been gathering this kind of data? There are three reasons: Until now, planning and programming in Somalia has been fragmented with little effort to share data, information and intelligence about what happens at the district level. This is true both within the UN and between UN and its partners. Until recently, the UN’s stabilization efforts had little focus on community-level realities and the multidimensional elements of fragility. Until not so long ago, many districts were inaccessible. Recent military gains, as fragile as they may be, offer an opportunity to know more and do more in these districts - if we have the analytical and risk management tools to do so. We want to improve our analytical capacity, at a time when we are designing a new strategic plan and supporting the government of Somalia with their national development plan. We are now focused on community recovery and the extension of state authority and accountability. What does this mean? Supporting Somali-owned and Somali-led processes remains central to our new approach, but it is based on a greater focus on locally-led recovery efforts in areas that have never felt a positive presence of the state. We are also focused on better analytics to understand conflict dynamics and respond accordingly. Stress testing and a one-stop shop We believe that robust risk management and greater investments in fragility measurements at the district level will increase the UN’s impact. Our new approach focuses on advances in risk management. For example, we applying stress testing methods, where a strategy or a programme is subjected to a series of assessments against potential risks and obstacles. This is to ensure that the strategy or programme contains all the necessary measures to address, prevent and respond to risk or obstacles. We also want to provide a coherent and consistent trend analysis of the situation in South Central Somalia. To measure fragility, our core analytical product is an open platform called the Fragility Index Maturity Model, which will be officially launch soon. This model puts together a basic operational picture of progress at the district level. It brings together internal UN resources as well as data from other partners already operating in Somalia, such as the Stability Fund and the US Office of Transitional Initiatives. The model will assess districts by tracking progress on security, policing and the rule of law; governance and reconciliation; and the quantity, quality and accessibility of education, health and other social services. We hope that this information will be useful for UN agencies and the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia, and other partners such as USAID, DFID and the federal and local government in Somalia.   Check back here for updates and do get in touch if you have advice or questions.

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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