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1. Introduction

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These guidelines are an update of the original Peacebuilding Fund (PBF) Application Guidelines, approved by the General Assembly in June 2009 and first published in October 2009 following a revision of the Terms of Reference of the Peacebuilding Fund (A/63/818). Much experience has been gained and learned since the original guidelines were published. This document seeks to incorporate these experiences and updates.

The guidelines are intended to provide users with basic information on the PBF. The primary users are intended to be the potential fund users (UN agencies in the field) and fund oversight agencies (members of the Joint Steering Committees etc). The guidelines are web-based and accessible directly through the PBF website ( They are accompanied by various templates which are to be used for budget requests related to the Immediate Response and Peacebuilding Recovery Facilities, as well as for monitoring and reporting.

The revised guidelines have been developed with UNDP’s Multi Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF) and other key partners in the UN system via consultations at headquarters (PCG) and in the field.


Additions and Changes

These guidelines contain several significant additions and changes from the original version of October 2009. The following are the most significant updates:

What is Peacebuilding?

Section 2 provides a short introduction to peacebuilding, outlining basic information about the concept and evolving definition of peacebuilding, as well as elements for successful peacebuilding programming.


New Deal and g7+

The PBF considers self-identification as a member of the g7+ and/or participation in the New Deal as important indicators of a country’s commitment to peacebuilding. Section 2 explains briefly why this type of commitment is an important factor for determining PBF priorities in the future.


PBF Strategy and Business Plan

Section 3 outlines the PBF priority areas of support and contains the Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO) strategy for country engagement and prioritization of the PBF. The strategy highlights the response to countries where national actors are undertaking policies and processes to tackle peacebuilding challenges. This strategy, developed in late 2011, builds on the PBF Business Plan covering the period 2011 – 2013.


Gender Mainstreaming

The Fund is working towards achieving the 15% target of allocating peacebuilding funds for women’s specific needs, advancement of gender equality or empowerment of women, to which the Secretary-General committed the UN system in 2010. Gender considerations are therefore an essential part of the assessment of project proposals, whether women’s needs are the principal objective or not. Every project will receive a gender score.


Roles and Responsibilities of Key Actors

Peacebuilding engages a significantly large group of actors with complementary roles. Section 3 contains details of the key actors involved and their roles and responsibilities within PBF supported interventions. Also included is PBF’s commitment in providing surge support if capacity gaps at country level exist.


Peacebuilding Commission and Statement of Mutual Commitment (SMC)

Section 3 outlines the role of the Peacebuilding Commission (PBC) in reviewing and commenting on PBF investments for countries on the PBC agenda. The Statement of Mutual Commitments (SMC) is a new way of engaging with the peacebuilding architecture in PBC countries. It is a statement of the mutually agreed priorities that form the basis of partnership between the government in question and the Peacebuilding Commission.


Civil Society Engagement

These guidelines provide guidance on the role that civil society can play in peacebuilding and how civil society organizations can apply for PBF funding using procedures at the country level.


How to Access the Peacebuilding Fund

Section 4 constitutes a summary of the eligibility criteria as a precondition to receive PBF funding. After the approval of eligibility, countries will be authorized to request financial support for an eligibility package before a programme will be launched. These funds can be used e.g. for establishing a PBF secretariat or tasks that ‘prepare the ground’ for ensuring good programme quality.


Timeframe of Decision-Making

The PBSO recently committed to processing, within three weeks of a formal receipt of documentation, requests for eligibility, approval of a priority plan and/or approval of an IRF project. When approval is authorized, PBSO requests that information be provided addressing conditionality within four weeks of providing a particular country with notice of conditional approval (see Sections 5 and 6).


Renewals Policy

Section 6.1 sets out criteria for deciding whether additional funds were warranted for an “original allocation” (e.g. in situations where peacebuilding needs persist and funding gaps remain).


Expanded Priority Plan (EPP)

Section 6.2 explains the concept of an Extended Priority Plan that goes beyond the original Priority Plan and that is relevant mainly for countries on the agenda of the PBC.


Strengthening Joint Steering Committees (JSCs)

To enhance the accountability of Joint Steering Committees, the updated guidelines now include responsibilities of the JSC for keeping oversight and being accountable for more results-oriented reporting at the end of each year (see Sections 6.3 and 7.5).


M&E and Reporting on Strategic Results (Performance Management Plan – PMP)

Section 7 of the guidelines recognizes the important role Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) has to play for a sound analysis of the status of programme implementation and knowledge about how to improve performance. This section focuses on key M&E issues in project/programme preparation and implementation, and outlines ways to ensure quality monitoring, reporting and knowledge management.


Visibility of the Peacebuilding Fund

While this has always been a part of the MoU between each recipient UN organization and the Administrative Agent, these guidelines explicitly draw attention to the expectation that “each recipient UN organization will take appropriate measures to publicize the PBF.” These efforts, however, should not undermine ‘New Deal’ principles where UN coherence and Government ownership in achieving peace dividends are of the utmost importance.



The Annex contains updated Templates and Guidance Notes which are expected to enhance M&E and results-based management (RBM) of PBF supported project portfolios.