Joint Programmes

UN Peacekeeping Chief Visits South Sudan

UN Photo by Isaac Billy

Joint Programmes are an example of a pooled funding mechanism. Smaller in size and scope than a Multi-Donor Trust Fund or One Fund, a Joint Programme is a set of activities contained in a joint work plan and budget, involving two or more UN organizations, which is intended to achieve results aligned with national priorities as reflected in One Programme/UNDAFs. The roles and responsibilities of in coordinating and managing the joint activities are outlined and agreed upon in the Joint Programme Document.

When deciding to establish a Joint Programme, there are three fund management modalities to choose from: a) pass-through, b) pooled, and c) parallel.

Pass-through fund management is the most commonly used modality for Joint Programmes. Under this option, two to five UN organizations develop a Joint Programme, identify funding gaps and submit a Joint Programme Document to donor(s). If the donor(s) and partici­pating UN organizations agree to channel the funds through one UN organization, then the pass-through modality applies. With the pass-through modality has an Administrative Agent, responsible for fiduciary management and financial reporting and a Convening Agent which is accountable for coordination of programmatic activities and narrative reporting.

The pooled fund management modality is likely to be the most effective and efficient when participating UN organizations, using mostly their own core resources, work for common results with one or more common national or sub-national partner/s and/or in a common geographical area. Under this modality, participating UN organizations transfer pooled funds together to one UN organization, called the Managing Agent (MA), chosen jointly by the participating UN organizations.

The parallel fund management modality is likely to be the most effective and efficient when donors want to earmark funds to a specific agency and when the interventions of participating UN organizations are aimed at common results, but with different national, sub-national and/or international partners. Under this modality, each organization manages its own activities within the common work plan and the related budget, whether from Regular Resources or Other Resources.

Revised 2015 Legal Agreements for Pass-Through Joint Programmes

Policy Documents and Country Examples

Publication Date
Files and links
Guidance Note on Joint Programmes2014
Standard Administrative Agreement for Joint Programmes2008
MOU for Pass-through Joint Programmes2008
MOU for Convening Agent for Pooled Fund Management2003
Joint Programme Mechanism Review2013