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3. The Peacebuilding Fund (PBF)

3.1 What is the PBF?

The Peacebuilding Fund was established in 2005 through General Assembly resolution 60/180 and Security Council resolution 1645 to stand alongside the Peacebuilding Commission and Peacebuilding Support Office and ensure the early availability of resources for launching critical peacebuilding activities. These resolutions requested the Secretary-General to “establish a multi-year standing peacebuilding fund for post-conflict peacebuilding,” to be managed by the Secretary-General on behalf of Member States.

The Fund’s purpose is to respond to country-identified peacebuilding priorities via UN sponsored programming. The Fund’s Terms of Reference (A/63/818), revised and approved in mid-2009, determine current operations and state that PBF:

  • Is a global fund designed to support several countries simultaneously and which combines the scope of a global fund with the country-specific focus of a multi-donor trust fund.
  • Will support interventions of direct and immediate relevance to the peacebuilding process and contribute towards addressing critical gaps in that process, in particular areas where no other funding mechanism is available.
  • Shall provide immediate response, recovery needs and peacebuilding assistance to countries on the agenda of the Peacebuilding Commission, and those not included under the PBC’s agenda. In all cases, the Secretary-General will inform the Commission on the activation of funding facilities and provide justification for the selection of countries and allocations made.

PBF’s expected added value is outlined below. In requesting PBF support, UN agencies and their partners should consider how their vision for PBF support is utilizing and building on this added value.

  • Empowering UN leadership to be more strategic and coherent in responding quickly to peacebuilding needs within a specific country context and addressing conflict dynamics at a broader scale
  • Explicit consideration of the political lens and encouraging innovative approaches, including well thought-out risks that may be too high for traditional donor
  • The ability to engage a variety of actors at country level as a starting point for peacebuilding processes
  • The potential to achieve programmatic results going beyond the scope of individual UN agency achievements and taking advantage of their specific expertise and capacity
  • The potential for catalytic effects 1 by providing  early support in areas crucial to starting, unblocking or accelerating specific components of the peacebuilding processes or that are financially gap-filling at a critical moment in time.


3.2 What are the PBF Funding Mechanisms?

In accordance with its Terms of Reference, the PBF was created to support countries recovering from conflict or considered to be at risk of lapsing or relapsing into conflict, while also supporting efforts to address immediate needs in countries emerging from conflict at a time when sufficient resources are not available from other funding mechanisms that could provide support to peacebuilding activities. As per its Business Plan, the Fund has the capacity to support approximately 20 countries at any given time.

PBF provides this support through two financing tracks:

  • The Immediate Response Facility (IRF) is the project-based financing mechanism of the PBF that was created to address critical peacebuilding needs in the immediate aftermath of conflict or as a result of a dramatic change in the country situation. It provides rapid funding to address urgent peacebuilding needs to support critical transition moments. With small, catalytic resources, the Fund demonstrates to governments and citizens that new paths to sustainable peace are possible.
  • The Peacebuilding and Recovery Facility (PRF) is the programme-based financing mechanism of the PBF, typically aimed at countries within several years following the end of a conflict. The PRF requires the elaboration of a strategic plan for peacebuilding, called the Peacebuilding Priority Plan, which supports national efforts at peacebuilding. While PBSO has final approval of the Priority Plan, project-level approval is delegated to a Joint Steering Committee (JSC) that is established at country level and co-led by the United Nations and the partner government. In this way, PRF provides conflict-affected countries that have made clear commitments to addressing post-conflict fragility with longer-term support for initiatives that consolidate peace. It also creates mechanisms for effective partnerships between national authorities, the UN, donors, and civil society organizations (CSOs) at the country level to support governments with strong commitments to peacebuilding.

For both IRF and PRF, the PBSO aims to render a decision within 3 weeks of a formal submission from the field, that is, a submission addressed to the ASG for Peacebuilding Support and is co-signed by the senior-most resident UN representative and the Government. The amount of work and time needed to prepare the two processes varies, however. Obtaining IRF support speaks to the PBF’s mandate to be fast. Approval can be swift, but largely depends on how quickly the UN team in country can design the project document and obtain Government approval. Part and parcel of developing a strong proposal is whether there is an existing, robust analysis to justify the proposal’s scale, scope and priorities. In PBF’s experience, this generally takes two to three months in total.

Given its programmatic focus and the need to secure strong national commitment to the broad strategic objectives of the Priority Plan, the PRF requires an admittedly longer process. The PRF’s Priority Plan must align to existing strategic transition plans where they exist, and ensure complementarity. Countries that are new to the PBF will need to obtain a declaration of eligibility from the Secretary-General to enable them to receive funds above the $3 million threshold. Other elements that contribute to a longer approval process for the PRF include: the need for a current, gender-sensitive conflict analysis to inform priority setting; the setup of a Joint Steering Committee and capacity building to enable all members to contribute meaningfully to the process; the design and approval of a Priority Plan; and the design and approval of project documents that operationalize the broad strategic priorities identified in the Priority Plan. In PBF’s experience, this process takes 9 to 12 months from the start to the release of funds. Nonetheless, the timing is very much in the hands of the UN Team in the country, and heavily depends on UNCT leadership as well as how quickly a JSC Secretariat support structure can be put in place. PBSO can provide support at all stages of the process, the level of which will depend on the capacity constraints on the ground.


Short-term support: IRF

Medium to longer-term support: PRF
WHEN? Wherever peacebuilding opportunities arise in the
immediate aftermath of political crisis or conflict.
Typically applied within several years following the end of a conflict to support national efforts and consolidate peacebuilding.
WHAT?2 Scope for intervention (as per four PBF priority

  • Support the implementation of peace agreements and political dialogue.
  • Promote coexistence and peaceful resolution of conflict.
  • Revitalize the economy and generate immediate peace dividends.
  • (Re)-establish essential administrative services.
WHO? Potential Fund users are:

  • UN agencies, Funds and Programs (direct fund recipients).
  • UN Secretariat departments, including DPA and DPKO (direct fund recipients).

Indirectly (as implementation partners to the UN agencies) governments, NGOs and CSOs can also be Fund users.

  • Project based funding mechanism.
  • Funding ceiling:
    1. 1) PBSO Assistant Secretary General can approve up to $3 million for Immediate Response without formal eligibility (known as ‘provisional eligibility’).
    2. 2) If a country is declared formally eligible for PBF funding by the UN Secretary General, it can receive up to $ 15 million for the IRF project portfolio (counting active project portfolio, not projects which are operationally closed).
  • Duration: 6 to 18 months.
  • One-step approval process by PBSO.
  • Programme based funding mechanism
  • Funding ceiling:
    1. 1) No formal limit: based on Priority Plan needs and capacity.
    2. 2) Approved case-by-case basis by the PBSO.
  • Duration: 18 to 36 months.
  • Two-step approval process: Priority Plan approved by PBSO; selection
    and approval of fund recipient agencies and project proposals by Joint
    Steering Committee (JSC).


3.3 What Does the PBF Support?

PBF funding is not earmarked for thematic areas, rather it responds to country-specific needs within the limits set by the PBF Terms of Reference. In fact, one of the hallmarks of the PBF is its recognition that peacebuilding looks different in each country and, thus, it can encompass a broad range of interventions. Nevertheless, the PBF has four broad Priority Areas that it supports (as per its TORS), and has further identified eleven Focus Areas under each Priority Area, following guidelines in the 2009 SG report and the PBF Terms of Reference.

PBSO encourages countries to develop specific outcomes in accordance with the context and needs in the country. However, in order to be able to aggregate and analyze PBF support, it is important that each project (whether for PRF or IRF) is clearly attributable to one of the below 12 PBF Focus Areas. While not all country-based projects may map easily onto the below list, PBSO recommends countries to determine which Focus Area provides the best fit for the project’s intended outcomes. If a project cannot be classified under any of the below Focus Areas, please contact the appropriate PBF programme officer to discuss further. With respect to PRFs, while a Priority Plan typically supports more than one Focus Area, individual projects should be assigned to only one Priority Plan Outcome and to only one PBF Focus Area (see also Results Frameworks).


Priority Area 1: Support the implementation of peace agreements and political dialogue

1.1    Security Sector Reform

1.2    Rule of Law

1.3    Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR)

1.4    Political dialogue


Priority Area 2: Promote coexistence and peaceful resolution of conflict

2.1    National reconciliation

2.2    Democratic governance

2.3    Conflict prevention/ management


Priority Area 3: Revitalize the economy and generate immediate peace dividends

3.1    Employment

3.2    Equitable access to social services


Priority Area 4: Re-establish essential administrative services

4.1    Strengthening of essential national state capacity

4.2    Extension of state authority/ local administration

4.3    Governance of peacebuilding resources (including JSC/PBF Secretariats)


Under Priority Area 1, the PBF engages in three main areas to support the implementation of peace agreements in post conflict states: Security Sector Reform (SSR); Disarmament, Demobilization and Reintegration (DDR) and the Rule of Law. In post conflict countries the security sector is often left decimated. The PBF provides assistance to update equipment, train security forces/ police and improve essential infrastructure. To galvanize a functioning judicial system the PBF strengthens national justice systems at both the national and local levels facilitating decentralization. The rehabilitation and reintegration of ex-combatants has been a major focus of the PBF’s involvement with DDR projects. All this support has often come at a time when other funding has not been readily available.

Under Priority Area 2, in promoting coexistence and supporting the peaceful resolution of conflict, the PBF supports national reconciliation, good governance and the management of natural resources, including land. Such projects can span a wide range of peacebuilding initiatives including social cohesion, women’s empowerment, and peaceful resolution of land disputes and strengthening independent institutions and non-state actors.

Under Priority Area 3, the PBF is concerned with stimulating the post-conflict economy and generating some immediate peace dividends through the creation of targeted short-term employment opportunities and through fostering sustainable livelihoods for those affected by, previously involved in or at risk of conflict. Activities include strengthening economic governance through the promotion of private sector partnerships, development of viable micro-enterprises and livelihoods diversification, as well as the use of employment schemes and public works, often focused on youth and women and always with the peacebuilding focus.

Under Priority Area 4, the PBF supports projects that are designed to rebuild the key state administrative services , including providing basic targeted infrastructure and improving public service delivery and strengthening the decentralization objective. With governments primarily focused on security and political processes in post-conflict settings, resorting basic administrative services becomes a key priority as a way to restore state legitimacy and rebuild the confidence of conflict weary populations.  PBF management and administration is used for PBF Secretariats and other similar projects, necessary to implement PBF but not related to a thematic priority area.

3.4 Gender as a cross-cutting priority approach

Gender responsiveness is a cross-cutting priority for all PBF supported projects, either through targeted projects or through mainstreaming of gender equality and women’s empowerment in all programming. Women, men, girls and boys have different experiences of conflict and will require tailored programming approaches to meet their needs during post-conflict interventions. Also, women’s potential contribution to peacebuilding is often not adequately harnessed or supported. Therefore, priority plans and project proposals must include a gender analysis to assess the impact of the proposed initiative on women and girls, whether they are the direct targets or not. Additionally, at the project level, PBSO uses a gender marker system, ranging from 0 to 3, a rating that indicates the extent to which gender equality and women’s empowerment are being addressed in the project proposals.

Projects receive gender marker scores based on the following criteria:

  • Score 3 for projects that have gender equality as a principal objective (targeted actions).
  • Score 2 for projects that have gender equality as a significant objective (gender mainstreaming).
  • Score 1 for projects expected to contribute in some way, but not significantly, to gender equality.
  • Score 0 for projects not expected to contribute noticeably to gender equality.

The responsibility to score the project lies with the submitting UN organization. In doing so, the UN organization needs to thoroughly assess whether their project is based on a solid gender analysis and whether gender has been integrated in the outcomes, outputs, target population groups, activities, indicators and budget. The gender marker score will be reviewed by the Joint Steering Committee (for PRF) or the Project Appraisal Committee (for IRF). The gender marker score will also be re-visited through independent evaluations at critical moments in the programme/project cycle (in light of the actual activities, budget allocations, approaches and results) and revised where needed.

PBSO is committed to supporting the implementation of the Secretary-General’s Seven Point Action Plan on Gender-Responsive Peacebuilding. As such, PBF is working towards achieving the global target of allocating at least 15% of peacebuilding funds for projects whose principal objective is to address women’s specific needs, advance gender equality or promote women’s empowerment. Under the Seven Point Action Plan, UN Country Teams are required to include a gender analysis in their assessment and planning processes and are urged to allocate at least 15% of programme budgets to projects that have gender equality as the main objective and to otherwise mainstream gender equality in all projects. PBF encourages all countries teams to strive to have peacebuilding portfolios composed of projects scored as gender marker 2 and 3.


3.5 Conflict sensitivity as a cross-cutting approach

PBF operates in fragile and post-conflict environments where the population is still recovering from the devastating effects of the conflict. In such situations, every intervention affects the relationships and perceptions between different individuals and groups and can have effects that go far beyond those expected by the project, even destabilizing or disgruntling certain groups. For example, provision of supplies can be used by armed groups to sustain their warfare. Project benefits can be co-opted by local players to a political end. Targeting of certain beneficiaries can be seen as discrimination by others, especially if they were on differing sides of the conflict. As such, the details of the assistance provided – including its intended and unintended consequences – can dramatically affect a project’s success.

It is crucial, therefore, that all programmes and projects funded by PBF are conflict sensitive. That is, those designing and implementing PBF-funded projects must gain a sound understanding of the two-way interaction between project activities and context, and must act to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts of intervention on the conflict. The Do No Harm approach 3 focuses on ensuring that interventions that take place in conflict or post-conflict environments do not lead to unintentional harm due to the way they are designed or implemented. In designing the projects and programs, the UN Country Team and RUNO, in collaboration with the government and other partners, need to carefully consider all the implications from the intended support in line with Do No Harm principles. A thorough and inclusive conflict analysis is recommended for all projects and is a pre-requisite for all funding under the PRF track. 4

Furthermore, as part of conflict sensitivity, all programmes and projects must take into account the Human Rights Due Diligence policy. This means that they must identify and assess any human rights risks from their project and also prevent and mitigate any potential adverse human rights impacts. This is particularly important in the area of security sector reform and DDR where projects are most likely to work with ex-combatants.


3.6 Risk taking, innovation and catalytic effects

As previously mentioned, an important component of PBF added value is providing quick support to areas that are innovative and potentially risky, but also likely to have significant peacebuilding effects if successful. This is particularly important given that PBF financial support typically is modest in terms of size and that PBF support is meant to be relatively short term and quick-impact even though both peacebuilding and development are long and complex processes.

Risky projects most often imply one of four considerations: i) the general context/setting in which the project is implemented is volatile (although peacebuilding initiatives should try to reduce precisely this risk), ii) the sensitivity of the issue the project addresses is rife with tension or seeks to dismantle existing exclusionary forms of power, iii) the innovative and political nature of the approach raises the risk that the project may be side lined by spoilers, or iv) the low capacity on the ground, including possible delays and fiduciary risks which may come from it. While PBF encourages innovative thinking towards risk and is not averse to taking programmatic risks with a view to achieving peacebuilding outcomes. However, all risks need to be well thought-out, with significant analysis to support them, and with a strong risk mitigation and early warning mechanism, which will help ensure that the project reacts quickly to both positive and negative results. Moreover, these risks need to be properly balanced with the foreseen peacebuilding benefits in taking them.

In addition to risks noted above, PBF recognises other specific risks related to the environment, including natural resources, in fragile contexts. According to UNEP, in the past 60 years, up to 40% of internal conflicts globally were connected to disputes over natural resources. PBF urges in-country partners anticipating programming in this area to request assistance from UNEP’s Conflict Prevention, Peacebuilding and Natural Resources unit, which can provide technical assistance to support design of interventions that transform conflict drivers related to the environment into peacebuilding opportunities (for more information on conflict and natural resources, see UNEP’s website). In addition to conflict drivers and opportunities for peace presented by natural resources, PBF underscores the importance of ensuring that all RUNOs comply with their specific organisational policy commitments on climate change and environmental sustainability.

Most PBF projects are expected to have the potential to be catalytic, although not all projects will realize that potential. Catalytic nature can be process-based or financial. On the one hand, the project can catalyse a broader peacebuilding effect through starting a new or re-launching a blocked peacebuilding initiative. On the other hand, the project can catalyse additional finances by filling in the crucial initial funding gap and then catalysing other donors and the Government to provide longer-term support. 5


3.7 Who Can Receive Funding?

Any country emerging from conflict that demonstrates a commitment to peace consolidation may be eligible for funding through the PBF. Countries access PBF funding, however, through resident UN partners, who must also demonstrate the value added their role brings to the peacebuilding process. The following sections of these guidelines outline the application process for countries seeking support for peacebuilding efforts.

As noted above, while funding is provided to support a country’s peacebuilding priorities, the actual funds are delivered through the UN Secretariat departments (including DPA and DPKO), UN agencies, funds, and programmes, and intergovernmental organizations such as IOM, which have a similar status and immunities as the UN. Government agencies and ministries, non-government organizations (NGOs) and Community Based Organizations/Civil Society Organizations (CBOs/CSOs) cannot access the Fund directly; however, they may implement projects through partnership arrangements with eligible UN agencies and organizations. In these cases, the Recipient UN Organization (RUNO) acts as a managing agent, receiving the funds from the MPTF-O and then passing the funds to the NGO/CSO. The RUNO, however, retains overall accountability for the funds and must ensure that funds are utilized for the agreed purpose and that outputs and outcomes are reported on, using PBF templates.

It is important to highlight that the PBF is not a Fund to enhance the UN’s capacity to undertake peacebuilding. PBF funding is generally not to be used for hiring UN personnel, although it can be used for the necessary project staff. As previously mentioned, the Fund’s purpose is to respond to country identified peacebuilding priorities and to deliver assistance via UN sponsored programming. The logic of priorities chosen must rely on a country-based analysis (as opposed to focusing on UN funding gaps). The logic of RUNO selection must rely on the mandate, expertise, experience and capacity to implement the identified peacebuilding priorities. Moreover, in selecting the RUNOs for the projects, UN policies for coordination, integration and transparency should be applied, and the whole UN team should work closely together.

Projects can be led by a single UN agency or by several agencies jointly. Again, where UN agencies are applying for a project jointly, it is important that they do so in a complementary and coherent manner and are guided by their capacity and expertise in achieving the objectives or the project and, in cases of PRF, the Priority Plan.

3.8 How to Apply for PBF Funding at the Country-Level?

While requirements differ according to the two facilities (IRF/PRF), the key actors to engage with the PBSO are the same: national authorities, UN leadership, national and international CSOs/CBOs, international development partners, and UN agencies. In the event of a PRF grant, these actors form a Joint Steering Committee, which oversees the PBF funds in the country and approves individual projects to implement the Priority Plan.

Ideas for PBF-financed activities can be generated by any of the key stakeholder groups and brought to the attention of the most senior Resident UN official (SRSG, ERSG, or UN Resident Coordinator). Depending on the level of engagement with the PBF, UN leadership can either pursue discussions locally and/or contact PBSO.

Individual actors are welcome to contact PBSO directly for informal advice, but all proposals will have to be discussed locally within the whole Country Team (and the UN Mission, if there is one in place) and submitted formally by the Senior Resident UN official, who is accountable for the information flow and for ensuring a transparent environment for decision-making. Proposals should be submitted using the specific, relevant templates provided on the PBSO/PBF website. For project proposals, each proposal needs to clearly identify at least one UN agency that will be responsible for the implementation of the project, financial management and reporting.

More information about the specific responsibilities of actors in relation to the IRF and the PRF, including Joint Steering Committees, are listed below.

3.9 Key Actors Involved

The key actors involved in the design, implementation and monitoring of projects funded by PBF include the following:


National Authorities

As stated above, PBF provides support to countries whose government and leaders show commitment towards peacebuilding and towards a joint vision for peace. As such, national authorities must play an active role in providing leadership and ownership for peacebuilding projects supported by PBF funds. For IRF activities, this leadership is provided through the mandatory co-signing of project proposals. For PRF programmes, this leadership is channeled via co-chairing the JSC and co-signing the Priority Plan and related PRF project proposals.

Moreover, in designing and implementing projects, RUNOs are urged to work closely with the relevant government ministries and agencies, to align their support to any existing government plans in the area of peacebuilding and, to the extent possible, work to strengthen the government’s capacity. This is particularly important for projects that aim at strengthening public administration and provision of public services, given that work in these areas is essentially about extending the reach of the State into areas where government’s presence has been impeded as a result of the conflict.


Senior Resident UN Representative

The Senior Resident UN Representative (e.g. SRSG, ERSG, or UN Resident Coordinator) is the main interlocutor between the UN Family, the government and PBSO/PBF. Every request to PBF must be co-signed by the senior UN representative in country and a representative of the government. In addition, the senior resident UN representative is responsible for the official submission of the project proposals (IRF) and Priority Plan (PRF) to PBSO, and, with respect to IRFs, is accountable for the results – at both outcome and output levels – that justified budget approval in the first place.

The Senior Resident UN Representative serves a critical function in fulfilling a communication link with the UN Country Team, ensuring the whole Country Team’s understanding of the PBF’s purpose and operation and guaranteeing that PBF support is used by the UN Family in a way that best addresses the identified peacebuilding priorities and gaps in the country. The Senior Resident UN Representative will promote UN policies for coordination and integration and will ensure transparency and information sharing within the UN Country Team on all key decision-points relating to PBF support.


UN Country Team (UNCT)

In delivering assistance, the PBF benefits from the broad skills and presence of the broader UN system. The UNCT should be fully aware of discussions undertaken by the senior resident UN Representative on how to access the PBF. UNCT members should have the opportunity to review and comment on any proposed submissions. UNCT discussions concerning the PBF should center on developing a common understanding of peacebuilding needs, priorities, concrete programmatic responses and the best use of the Fund as inter-agency support.


The Joint Steering Committee and Supporting Structures (applicable to PRF only)

Co-chaired by the Senior Resident UN Representative and a senior government representative, the JSC oversees the elaboration and implementation of the Priority Plan, including reviewing and approving project proposals, monitoring and reporting, including assessing programme-wide achievements before the end of each calendar year.

The JSC is a management body, accountable to both the Government and PBSO for the allocation and utilization of resources, including for results achievement as formulated in the Priority Plan. If appropriate mechanisms already exist (such as a Multi-Donor Fund Board) for maintaining oversight on results of peacebuilding activities, no parallel structures should be established. In designing the JSC membership and functioning, it is important to strike a balance between transparent and collaborative processes and the need to limit additional transaction costs. Importantly, the effectiveness of the JSC oversight rests to a large degree on the in-country leadership and collaboration, both within the UN Country Team and/or Mission and with the Government. PBF experience suggests that where this is absent, the PBF processes can become a lot more cumbersome.


Recipient UN Organizations (RUNOs)

RUNOs receive the physical funds from PBF and are responsible for project design and implementation. Projects financed by PBF can be implemented individually or jointly by the RUNOs, and joint programming is encouraged where it can bring best results. Each RUNO operates under its own financial rules and regulations and assumes full financial and programmatic responsibility for funds disbursed by the Administrative Agent (e.g. MPTF Office). Each RUNO is responsible for:

  • project implementation and achievement of expected results within the agreed duration of the project, including those components implemented by their partners (e.g. CSOs);
  • timely project monitoring and evaluation with full cost coverage, and financial and narrative reporting;
  • complementarity and coordination with other Agency specific sources of peacebuilding funding, with other implementing UN agencies and partners to ensure that the projects achieve results that go beyond their immediate outputs and which contribute to higher peacebuilding outcomes in a coherent, complementary and inclusive manner.


NGOs and CSOs

Thanks to their closer direct links with populations affected by conflict and their ability to access such hard-to-reach places, national and international NGOs/CSOs can play a critical role for PBF supported projects. While NGOs and CSOs are not able to access funds directly, they may still participate in PBF funded initiatives in various ways. They should be involved in the planning stage, including the conflict analysis and the identification of key gaps and priorities for PBF support. In the most pro-active scenario, an NGO or CSO may approach the JSC (PRF) or the Senior Resident UN Representative (IRF) with a proposal they would like to be considered. If it is determined that the proposal addresses a clear peacebuilding need that falls within the terms of the PBF priority areas as well as the country’s own priorities, the JSC or Senior Resident UN Representative may commit an eligible UN Agency, Fund or Programme to partner with the NGO or CSO and act as a Managing Agent for the project.

Recipient UN Organizations are strongly encouraged to partner with NGOs in the implementation of PBF supported projects, or at the very least, to consult them and ensure complementarity of support. If NGOs/CSOs are contracted as implementing agents, RUNOs act as the Managing Agent. As such, RUNOs remain accountable for the quality of service provided by NGOs throughout the implementation cycle as well as the overall financial management and progress reporting. Additionally, if not directly involved in implementation, they may be engaged as third-party monitors to monitor and report on peacebuilding projects. In the case of PRF, Joint Steering Committees are expected to ensure NGO/CSO representation.


Bilateral donors

PBF support aims to catalyze a broader effect on peacebuilding, going beyond the scope of an individual project. It often relies on other donors providing additional or longer term support to areas initially supported by PBF. As such, it is paramount to ensure that PBF support is complementary to what other donors’ strategies and that key donors are involved at the various stages of the process, including – in PRF – through participating in the Joint Steering Committees.

Peacebuilding Support Office (PBSO)

As the home of the Peacebuilding Fund, PBSO plays a critical role in the review and approval of proposals for both IRF (at the project level) and PRF (at the Priority Plan level) facilities. In addition to its formal role in decision-making, PBSO also makes available technical support for project and programme design, development of in-country Fund management structures, monitoring, reporting, and evaluation. In some cases, this can include a package of ‘surge support’ that may include PBSO personnel or PBSO partners or peacebuilding consultants deploying to the country to prepare key documents for PBF submission. In other cases, such support may include feedback on drafts and assistance with specific parts of documents (such as M&E Frameworks), which can be provided through regular online and phone contact between PBSO personnel and country personnel.


Peacebuilding Commission (PBC)

If the country requesting PBF funding is on the agenda of the PBC, the Commission will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal. In many cases, apart from their formal comments, the PBC Chair and his/her team will also have a more direct involvement in the elaboration of or quality assurance of the Priority Plan and/or the design of the projects.

PBSO also strongly encourages UN Country Teams to ensure that the PBF support and the PBC priorities in the country are well aligned, and work to support and complement each other. The Priority Plan needs to be aligned with the statement of mutual commitment 6 . The PBC configuration will also remain involved throughout implementation, including through reviewing reports and providing political support in specific areas, as needed.

Regardless of whether or not the country is on the agenda of the PBC, PBSO informs the PBC Chair of any new IRF and PRF grants.


Multi Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF-O)

The UNDP MPTF Office serves as the Administrative Agent of the PBF and is responsible for the receipt of donor contributions, transfer of funds to Recipient UN Organizations, as well as the receiving and uploading of RUNO reports on the Gateway website and their sharing with PBF and donors. As the Administrative Agent of the PBF, MPTF Office transfers funds to RUNO Headquarters, in accordance with the approved project budget, upon submission of signed project documents and fund transfer requests and based on signed MOUs between each RUNO and the MPTF Office.


International Financing Institutions (IFIs)

PBF seeks to increase its collaboration with the International Financing Institutions (especially the World Bank and the African and Asian Development Banks) operating in the countries supported by PBF. This collaboration can be done during analysis or during the design and the implementation of a project (e.g. where PBF provides the initial funds that IFIs can then continue or where PBF provides the peacebuilding component of a broader programme implemented with IFI support). In particular, the World Bank’s State and Peacebuilding Facility operates in similar priority areas as PBF and there are many potential areas for collaboration. Collaboration can also happen at the M&E level through joint monitoring and evaluation exercises during the implementation of the Priority Plan. The UN Senior Resident Official and the RUNOs are encouraged to explore the areas of potential collaboration with IFIs in the field. In case of country presence, a representative from IFIs should be encouraged to be a member of the Joint Steering Committee.


  1. 1. For further details on the meaning of catalytic, please refer to PeaceNexus and PBF, “Programming for Catalytic Effects in Peacebuilding: A Guide”, 2012
  2. 2. As determined in the Terms of Reference (2009)
  3. 3. See more on the Do No Harm framework here:
  4. 4.See more in conflict analysis in the PBF Conflict Analysis Guidance Note
  5. 5.For more information, see PeaceNexus and PBF, “Programming for Catalytic Effects in Peacebuilding: A Guide”, 2012
  6. 6.The PBC and the countries on its agenda define the engagement through a statement of mutual commitment that identifies the overarching peacebuilding political framework under which the PBC and country will operate.