The new Joint Fund for the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Joint Fund) is an integral part of the Secretary General’s proposals for a repositioning of the United Nations development system (UNDS). The Joint Fund will support Member States’ efforts to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It will provide access to the combined capacity and expertise of the UNDS and make it available in a streamlined and joined up manner. The Joint Fund will provide funds ($500,000 to $1.5million per year) to identify and address policy barriers to sustainable development, mobilize critical partnerships and facilitate new sources of financing towards the SDGs.

The Secretary General’s December report called for the Joint Fund to be capitalized at $290 million per annum. The report stated that the Secretary General was counting on Member States to financially incentivize scaled up impact at the country level, driven by a more integrated UN response, through the Joint Fund. The Secretary General explained that the Joint Fund is designed to provide the “muscle” for Resident Coordinators and a new generation of United Nations Country Teams to help countries deliver on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


The Advisory Group of the Joint Fund is the highest level of governance. It will be chaired by the Deputy Secretary General and UNDG Chair.

The membership of the Advisory Group is comprised of the Chair of the Joint Fund Board, two permanent representatives from contributing partner countries, two permanent representatives from programme countries, and one representative each from an international financial institution, global policy think tank, global philanthropy, civil society organization and private sector.

The Advisory Group will provide overall policy advisory and strategic direction to the UN Joint Fund Board, identify investment priorities and new areas of engagement, support innovative approaches and ways of working, review overall performance and results of the Fund, engage in advocacy and partnership events, facilitate and expand fund networks and outreach, and support fund raising.

The Joint Fund governance structure is given below.

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The Joint Fund Board has overall responsibility for the operations of the Joint Fund. It is responsible for decisions on eligibility, funding allocations, and other managerial and oversight aspects. The Joint Fund Board composition consists of 5 UN agencies at the senior decision-making level. It may also include contributing and/or other selected partners.

Coordination and technical support for the Joint Fund will be the responsibility of the Joint Fund Secretariat. The Joint Fund Secretariat is hosted in the United Nations Development Operations Coordination Office (UN-DOCO) and serves as the liaison to the Joint Fund Board and Resident Coordinator/UN Country teams, the Joint Fund Administrator, UNDG as well as management of the day to activities, administration and logistical and operational support to the Joint Fund Board.

Joint Fund Board Membership

    • Arthur Erken, Director, Division of Communications and Strategic Partnerships, UNFPA
    • Mandeep O’Brien, Associate Director of Community Partnerships, UNICEF
    • Coco Ushiyama, Director for the UN System, WFP
    • Vinicius Carvalho Pinheiro, Special Representative to the United Nations and Director, ILO
    • Abdoulaye Mar Dieye, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations, and UNDP’s Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
    • Kanni Wignaraja Director, UN Development Operations Coordination Office (Secretariat) UNDOCO,
    • Jennifer Topping, Executive Coordinator (AA), UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office, MPTF

The Administrative Agent

The Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF Office) of the UNDP serves as the Administrative Agent (AA) of the Joint Programme. The AA is responsible for concluding Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Participating UN Organizations  and Standard Administrative Arrangements (SAAs) with donors, as well as for the receipt, administration, and management of contributions from donors; disbursement of funds to the Participating UN Organizations; and consolidation of financial reports produced by each of the Participating UN Organizations and Participating Non-UN Organizations and provision of these reports to the Steering Committee for onward submission to the donor(s).

At the country level, management of Joint Fund resources is guided by the principles of national ownership in supporting national priorities and is embedded in existing UNCT structures and processes. Funding allocations are based on the submission of Joint Programmes. Participating UN Organizations submit proposals through the Resident Coordinator.


We are pleased that a number of donors have already come onboard with commitments to support the Joint Fund. Initial financial support has been received from the Swiss, German and Spanish governments.

Further real-time information about contributions to the Joint Fund can be found here.


We believe that the successful delivery of the 2030 Agenda will require engagement from more than just the United Nations and traditional donor partners, we believe that all business and philanthropic institutions have a role to play.

The Joint Fund has been working with a number of partners, including the European Investment Bank and SoCAP who will be collaborating and helping us explore sustainable investment models and leverage the power of effective collaboration.

SOCAP (Social Capital Markets)

SOCAP (Social Capital Markets) is in the vanguard of the emerging global impact economy, convening ideas and capital to catalyze world change. SOCAP is a network of investors, entrepreneurs, and social impact leaders addressing the world’s toughest challenges through market-based solutions. SOCAP will be working to support the Joint Fund in its effort to make a meaningful impact in the communities and projects it will serve.

European Investment Fund

Working alongside numerous UN partners, including UNDP and the UN SDG Action Campaign, the EIB/EIF team is committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and is working closely with the Joint Fund to identify new investment opportunities and identify what needs to be done to make the Goals a reality by 2030.

Working alongside numerous UN partners, including UNDP and the UN SDG Action Campaign, the EIB/EIF team is committed to implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and is working closely with the Joint Fund to identify new investment opportunities and identify what needs to be done to make the Goals a reality by 2030.

About the SDGs

The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by more than 150 world leaders in September 2015. As such all Member States envisioned that, “All countries and all stakeholders, acting in collaborative partnership, will implement this plan. We are resolved to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and want and to heal and secure our planet. We are determined to take the bold and transformative steps which are urgently needed to shift the world on to a sustainable and resilient path. As we embark on this collective journey, we pledge that no one will be left behind.”

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets demonstrate the scale and ambition of what has been called a new universal Agenda or Agenda 2030. The SDGs seek to build on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and not only expand on their aspiration, but also complete what they did not achieve. Unlike the MDGs, the SDGs are universal in nature and seek to realize the human rights of all and to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls. Perhaps most importantly they were designed to be integrated and balance with the three key dimensions of sustainable development, which are the economic, social and environmental elements. The Goals and targets are time bound for 15 years and cannot be achieved without the firm commitment of the private sector, government and civil society.

Financing the SDGs

It is estimated Funding the SDGs will require significant investment and new sources of capital. The United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) says achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will take between US $5 to $7 trillion, with an investment gap in developing countries of about $2.5 trillion.

Recent estimates by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network indicate that the SDGs will require an additional $2.4US trillion of annual public and private investment into the low-carbon infrastructure, energy, agriculture, health, education and other sustainability sectors globally.

At the same time, SDG investment will likely offer a clear multiplier effect, a recent report by the Business & Sustainable Development Commission estimates that achieving the SDGs could open up $12 trillion of market opportunities in food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being alone and create 380 million new jobs by 2030.


National ownership and the involvement of all stakeholders at the national level are key for the 2030 Agenda. Governments have a vital role in leading national efforts to achieve the SDGs, and national policies around their implementation are key to unlocking SDG challenges.  Governments around the world, both at the national and sub-national level, are called to play a central role in designing and implementing policies that help achieve this ambitious agenda in the next 15 years. In addition, the Fund will support:

UN reform and coherence

A new generation of Resident Coordinators and UNCTs will require additional resources to better support governments and utilize more integrated approaches for higher impact. It incentivizes the UN to deliver better together behind shared results. While individual entity resources and project specific funding has a clear role to play, pooled funding supports a more unified UN contribution under the leadership of the Resident Coordinator, catalyzing capacities and expertise across the system, bringing them together to deliver behind the UNDAF outcomes that link to national SDG priorities.

Efficiency and effectiveness

The Joint Fund brings together knowledge and capacities across the UNDS and makes it available to Member States. This streamlined process reduces transaction costs and enables Member States to deal with the UNDS, rather than 32 United Nations Agencies, Funds and Programmes.

The Joint Fund will support government efforts to accelerate progress towards the 2030 Agenda.


The Joint Fund is designed to provide the leverage and resources for Resident Coordinators and a new generation of United Nations Country Teams to help countries deliver the SDGs

The Joint Fund provides UNCTs with grants to identify and remove barriers to SDG achievement, supporting national development priorities reflected in the country’s UN Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), and to promote scalable SDG investment opportunities.

The Joint Fund is based on lessons learnt from other multi-agency pooled funds, especially the Delivering Results Together Fund (DRT-F). It provides UN expertise to remedy national SDG policy inconsistencies. This builds national readiness to support scalable SDG investment.

The Joint Fund does not replace regular agency resources. It complements these by building, modeling, and measuring national initiatives which foster strategic positioning and incentives supporting further SDG investments.

The Joint Fund encourages innovation and partner challenges which model new approaches to national policy formulation, implementation, and sustainability to attract SDG financing.

By ensuring a unifying policy landscape, the Joint Fund aims to attract longer-term, public and private blended financing that will generate social, environmental and economic returns across the 17 SDGs.

The Joint Fund is a multi-agency pooled fund administered by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office. The Office will ensure the transparency and diversity of the Fund portfolio, manage risk, and oversee effective monitoring and results reporting to all partners.

The Joint Fund will ensure a policy and investment focus that engages the entrepreneurship of young people and civil society.

Joint Fund 2030 Agenda: Unlocking Opportunities: Country Level Solution

Unlocking Country Level Solutions: Voices from the Country offices: Kenya, Indonesia, Armenia and India.


The UNDS recognizes that it will need to use a mix of financing instruments to support the achievement of the SDGs, including UN agency core/assessed resources, agency thematic funds, and other agency-specific non-core resources. The Joint Fund is not intended to replace these regular, individual agencies specific, SDG targeted and financed activities. Rather, the Joint Fund aims to complement these activities by providing targeted resources for multi-agency endeavors which promote integrated policies and work to ensure effective and sustainable development results at national and sub-national levels.

We anticipate that a well-designed and well-capitalized Joint Fund will help to reduce fragmentation of the UN’s policy efforts and respective transaction costs, address unproductive competition, and provide incentives for pursuing system-wide priorities, strategic positioning, and coherence to achieve national SDG commitments.


Joint Fund infographic 2_preview

Good Practices/Lessons Learned

In recognition of ongoing interest in best practices linked to development, we believe it’s important to continue to share information on rich experiences, best practices and lessons learned in addressing innovative financing and partnerships to advance the SDGs.

Learn more about MAPs, moving the SDGs from paper to practice.


The Joint Fund supports projects by UN country teams to provide integrated policy services to Member States in support of the national implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It provides funding at a scale and duration that allows for deeper policy engagement for a longer duration, and innovative approaches that learn from best practice elsewhere.

Projects supported by the Joint Fund must be embedded in UNDAF outcome areas, that bring the UN together behind collective action on the 2030 Agenda.

Illustrative initiatives that could be funded from the Joint Fund as received from RCs/UNCTs, can be found in the accompanying Unlocking SDG Opportunities brochure.


We are in the process of continuing to raise resources in support of initial capitalization of the Joint Fund. We envision that we will follow-up these efforts with a formal call for proposals in early March 2018.

Please send us an email if you would like to be informed of the process or feel free to check back on this site for more information.


The Joint Fund Window for Social Protection Floors (UN-JFWSPF) was proposed by like-minded UN agencies who provide regular support to Member States to develop and strengthen public programs, including old-age pensions, unemployment and maternity protection schemes, disability and child benefits, and other cash assistance programs, which protect individuals and households against shocks and regular lifecycle risks. The UN-JFWSPF proposal was endorsed by the Joint Fund Board in October 2017.

    • The UN-JFWSPF will not seek to replace existing forms of bilateral or other financing arrangements for projects with the scope limited to a single reform or social protection branch (pensions, child benefits, etc.). Instead, it will seek to fill the gap in global development assistance and capacity enhancement available for social protection systems-building and improvement that cannot be undertaken by any single agency alone. The UN-JFWSPF will support a core set of five (5) cross-cutting activities that lend themselves to joint implementation:
        • Conduct of national dialogues to determine priorities for reform, draft national social protection strategies and policies
        • Establishment and improvement of institutional coordination mechanisms
        • Development and reform of legislative frameworks
        • Articulation of financing options for social protection expansion (fiscal space analysis)
        • Creation and improvement of monitoring and evaluation protocols and mechanisms
    • The UN-JFWSPF will also support One UN programming to improve linkages between cash-based humanitarian and development interventions in contexts of fragility and forced displacement. In fragile and crisis contexts, the core set of SPF support activities should be devised in line with the UN-JFWSPF’s four (4) principles to bridge the divide between humanitarian and development interventions:
        • Harmonization and state institutionalization of pre-existing donor-driven social protection programmes
        • Building the resilience of the social protection system against future shocks
        • Reinforcement, rather than replacement, of existing social protection systems in humanitarian interventions
        • Inclusion of displaced persons in state-led social protection systems

In the months ahead, the UN-JFWSPF should enter into collaborations with key partners to review pipeline proposals and identify key areas of work that meet their respective development objectives while enabling the UN-JFWSPF to officially launch, begin operations and issue its first official call for proposals.

We believe that the depth and scale of the 2030 Agenda provide numerous opportunities for partners from across a variety of sectors to collaborate.  We also believe that funded projects will benefit from support in design further implementation, monitoring and efforts. To explore ways to become a partner, please contact the Joint Fund Secretariat Office at or 212 906-5125

Become a donor

The Joint Fund is looking to achieve the target set by the Secretary-General of $290 million per annum.  This goal would suggest a realignment of 1% of operational activities for development in 2016.  It is anticipated that these resources will not be drawn from agency core resources, but in line with the proposed, ‘funding compact’, flow from tightly earmarked, non-core resources to pooled funds, in this case to the Joint Fund.

Contributions to the Joint Fund may be accepted from governments of Member States of the United Nations or from intergovernmental or non-governmental organizations, and or private sources. Acceptance of funds from the private sector will be guided by criteria stipulated in the UN system-wide guidelines on cooperation between the UN and the Business Community.

In support of the overarching aim of the Joint Fund, and in order to ensure maximum flexibility and adaptation to priorities, donors to the Fund are encouraged to contribute to multi-year pooled, un-earmarked resources. However, if this is not possible, earmarking at the thematic, country or regional levels will be accepted. The Joint Fund Board may also consider imposing a cap on the share of total funding earmarked to the country level.

Become a partner

We are eager to explore collaborations with dynamic public and private sector partners. We look forward to engaging a number of new stakeholders including the impact investing and philanthropic sectors in results-driven partnerships that will make a difference in the work the UN does across a broad range of issues linked to the 2030 Agenda.

Acceptance of funds from the private sector will be guided by criteria stipulated in the UN system-wide guidelines on cooperation between the UN and the Business Community.


The Joint Fund Secretariat

Un Development

Operations Coordination Office

212 906 5125