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  1. The IOM Development Fund, established in 2001, has been providing support to IOM developing Member States and Member States with economy in transition for the development and implementation of joint government-IOM projects to address particular areas of migration management, particularly in the field of capacity-building.
  1. The allocation and application of the Fund is guided by Resolution No. 18 budget regulations and practices of 27 June 2018.[1] The main purpose of this Guidance Note is to explain the characteristics of the Fund as well as to provide practical guidance on the operation and management of the Fund.

Main characteristics of the IOM Development Fund

  1. The Fund includes two ‘lines’ of funding. Line 2 is broadly similar in its operation to Line 1 with the exception that Member States subject to Article 4 of the IOM Constitution will not be eligible to benefit from funding under Line 2. [2] In addition, Line 2 has an increased upper ceiling for funding of both national and regional projects as explained in paragraph 10. 
  1. In 2019, the available funds[3] for the IOM Development Fund are:
  • Line 1 - USD 1,479,887; and
  • Line 2 - USD 14,878,559
  1. Equitable allocation of the funds across regions and within regions remains a core management principle in assessing requests for funding under the IOM Development Fund.

Beneficiaries of the IOM Development Fund

  1. The beneficiaries of the IOM Development Fund are IOM developing Member States and Member States with economy in transition. Eligibility is based on the most recent version of the list of low-income through to upper middle-income economies as designated by the World Bank. Countries that would otherwise be eligible because they are on the World Bank list will be excluded upon joining the European Union. Voluntary withdrawal from eligibility remains open to any eligible Member State. 
  1. Eligibility for funding lines 1 and 2 is as follows:
  • For Line 1: all eligible Member States may apply for funding and/or benefit from funded projects.
  • For Line 2: all eligible Member States not subject to Article 4 of the IOM Constitution may apply for funding and/or benefit from funded projects.
  1. In the context of regional projects, non-IOM Member States are included among the beneficiaries, only where a majority of the beneficiaries are eligible Member States. In this case, non-IOM Member States are responsible for their own expenses when attending activities (travel and DSA costs).
  1. Non-IOM Members are ineligible to apply directly for support from the Fund.

Funding Levels

  1. The following maximum funding levels apply:
  • Line 1: USD 100,000 for national and regional projects. Exceptional increases at the regional project level will continue to be considered up to USD 200,000;
  • Line 2: USD 300,000 for national projects and USD 400,000 for regional projects. Funding requests beyond these limits will not be considered.

Project Duration

  1. The maximum project duration for Line 1 funded projects will be 12 months. The maximum project duration for Line 2 funded projects will be 24 months.

Types of Projects Eligible for Funding Under the IOM Development Fund

  1. The IOM Development Fund supports capacity-building projects in the various IOM areas of activity, including relevant research and feasibility studies.
  1. National and regional projects are eligible for funding.
  1. Projects with good prospects for future funding and projects that provide co-funding or bridging funds are encouraged.
  1. A follow-up project to a previously funded project under the Fund (Line 1) will not be admissible for further funding under Line 1.
  1. A follow-up project to a previously funded project under the Fund (Line 1) will be considered under Line 2 (as stated in the IOM Strategy Document approved by Resolution No. 1150 (XCIII)).
  1. The types of activities not eligible for consideration by the IOM Development Fund include the following:

a. Movements: activities that are overseen by IOM's Resettlement and Movement Management Division, including IOM’s traditional refugee and migrant transport and resettlement programmes.

b. Emergency: activities that are overseen by IOM's Department of Operations and Emergencies; for example, activities in response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

c. Major conferences and similar events that are continuations of ongoing dialogues and similar, well-established activities. However, conferences and similar events that may be useful in launching new regional processes, opening new geographic coverage or increasing programme planning and implementation between IOM and Member States are not excluded.

d. Projects mainly supporting IOM staff and office costs, including projects proposed for the specific purpose of opening an IOM office, are excluded. IOM staff and office costs may, however, be included in the budget for project implementation according to standard IOM project development guidelines, to a limit of 30 per cent (30%) of the total project budget.

e. Assisted Voluntary Return and Re-integration (AVRR) projects, unless they include significant elements of government capacity-building alongside the return component.

Application Procedure

  1. A project for consideration can be presented by the government of an eligible Member State, including by its Permanent Mission in Geneva.
  1.  A project may also be presented by IOM Offices, or by IOM Headquarters’ departments, in coordination with the Regional Office. 
  1. All projects are referred to the participating IOM Mission(s) for coordination and support.
  1. All submitted projects, including those submitted by the Permanent Mission in Geneva, must be supported by a written endorsement and request for IOM Development Fund funding by the respective capital. In the case of regional projects, a minimum of two eligible and benefiting Member States must endorse the proposal. If regional projects benefit many Member States, the Fund management will request additional letters of support from a majority of the eligible and benefiting Member States and may require additional information on the expected outcomes and impact. This endorsement should take the form of a letter to IOM from the cooperating arm of the government, citing the specific project and making specific reference to the Fund support[4].
  1. Governments must assign a focal point and contact information (address, phone number) for the project prior to implementation.
  1. Projects must be presented in the IOM Development Fund template, with complete budgets,[5] wherein the total of staff and office cost should not be more than 30 per cent (30%) of the total budget. Consistent with the IOM Project Handbook, projects should also receive endorsement from the relevant Regional Office and in some cases the relevant IOM HQ Department[6] before final consideration by the Fund management.
  1. A minimum of five per cent (5 %) of the IOM Development Fund budget must be set aside for gender related activities. Projects that focus on gender or include gender specific components will contribute to the 5 per cent requirement. Furthermore, all projects should mainstream gender throughout the project document (in the activities and outputs as well as having carried out a needs assessment) to achieve a 2a gender marker.
  1. It is not necessary for an eligible Member State to create the project document for consideration. Eligible Member States can discuss with or otherwise relay their areas of interest to the nearest IOM Offices, or IOM Headquarters, and if the initiative is prioritized for that budget year, the relevant IOM unit will then work with the government to shape and finalize the document and the project design.
  1. Project inquiries and applications are accepted in any of the three official languages of the Organization, throughout the year.
  1. The IOM Development Fund Management has a deadline for the submission of regional applications. This measure is necessary to improve planning of the disbursement of funds with respect to both regional initiatives and national priorities. The deadline is as follows:
  • 1st: 30th June 2020
  1. Requests for funding should specify the line under which funding is sought (Line 1 or Line 2). In the absence of specific mention of a funding line, projects will be considered under Line 1 or Line 2 by the Fund management on the basis of the level of funding requested, the proposed duration of the project, as well as the availability of funds. Please note that while incomplete applications will not be considered, unsuccessful requests due to funding shortfalls can be reconsidered for funding at a later date.
  1. It is strongly encouraged to speak with the Regional Office prior to developing a project concept to avoid unfounded expectations by government counterparts, where funding is not available or an initiative is not eligible.

Relevant Criteria and Considerations in Prioritising and Processing Applications for the IOM Development Fund

  1. In addition to the factors outlined in preceding paragraphs of this Guidance Note, the following considerations will apply when prioritising and reviewing applications for funding, noting that demand for funding may exceed the funds available:
  • The level of IOM Development Fund support previously received by Member States.
  • Efforts by the relevant IOM Office/and or Member State(s) in securing traditional funding support through donor outreach and any evidence of possible future donor interest and/or support.
  • The level of active engagement and support for the initiative/project by the relevant Member State(s).
  • Risks to successful project implementation, including IOM’s capacity to implement the project.
  • Consistency with the IOM Strategy and the IOM Development Fund’s objective and criteria
  1. The IOM Development Fund management will consult with relevant Regional Offices with a view to consolidating and prioritizing the requests for funding primarily in accordance with the considerations in the preceding paragraphs.

Funding Allocations in 2020

  1. Project selection and funding allocations for national projects will be made throughout the year, subject to the availability of funds. Regional project applications are subjected to deadlines as outlined in paragraph 27.

Project Tracking, Reporting and Management

  1. The IOM Development Fund-funded projects are managed by the relevant IOM Offices or, in exceptional cases, the relevant IOM Headquarters unit, in coordination with the appropriate arm of the government of the benefiting Member State. IOM includes IOM Development Fund proposals in its normal project tracking procedures.
  1. Consistent with the IOM Project Handbook, Chiefs of Mission and Heads of Office are encouraged to assign a qualified IOM staff (not consultant) as Project Manager on PRISM, and to ensure that they have full access to PRISM project monitoring reports. This will strengthen the capacity and accountability of IOM staff and will help ensure close monitoring of project deliverables and budget.[7]
  1. A draft risk management strategy and exit strategy are required within the first quarter of project implementation. Offices are required to provide regular updates to both strategies during the duration of the project.
  1. Regular progress reports, including financial reports, are required through the established IOM reporting channels. The project manager is expected to ensure that any adjustment to objectives and budget are made in concert with the relevant government project counterparts and Regional Offices. Requests for project extensions and adjustments to the budget should be submitted (once cleared by the Regional Office) to the Fund as soon as possible and no later than one month before the last agreed project end date for evaluation and approval.[8]
  1. Projects with a duration of 12 months and beyond (including extensions) require an interim narrative and financial report every 6 months (to be submitted, to the IOM Development Fund, the donor, within 6 weeks after the interim reporting period) using the standard IOM Development Fund reporting templates and a final narrative and financial report within 3 months of project completion. Interim reports require all sections, not only the results matrix to report on the activities which took place during the specified reporting period. Example: for a 24 months project, the first interim report due after 6 months should cover a reporting period from 0-6 months, the report due after 12 months should cover a reporting period from 6-12 months, and the report due after 18 months should cover a reporting period from 12-18 months. Unless there are extension requests, the final report is then due after 24 months. The report will be reviewed by the Regional Office, the IOM Development Fund and the Regional Accounting Support (RAS) group.
  1. Projects with a duration of less than 12 months do not require an interim report, however, such a report may be deemed appropriate by the Fund management for projects extended to 12 months and beyond. [9]
  1. Projects requiring an extension of 3 months or more after the due date will require a written request and justification from the relevant governments each time a new extension is requested. The government support letter has to be submitted. Projects requiring an extension of 3 months or more will also require a Budget Monitoring and Revision Form (BMRF) to be submitted.
  1. One of the requirements when completing the Final Narrative report is to fill in the ‘Evaluation form’.[10] On project completion, final narrative and financial reports are forwarded to the relevant Permanent Mission(s) in Geneva by the IOM Development Fund. IOM Offices are expected to share project information/reports with relevant government counterparts.
  1. The IOM Development Fund management conducts regular reviews of projects. Detailed project financial guidelines are provided to its implementing IOM missions in order to ensure compliance to the Fund’s specific project financial requirements. These can also be found on the IOM Development website
  1. Since 2017, the IOM Development Fund requires all projects to include a post project evaluation after the project is completed. The evaluation should be conducted within 6 to 12 months after project completion. For more information in this regard, you may refer to the IOM Development Fund Post Project Evaluation guideline.

[1] Section IV, paragraph 13 of Standing Committee on Programmes and Finance Resolution No. 18 states the following: “The Director General is requested to allocate one million four hundred thousand United States dollars from Operational Support Income for the development of migration projects in favour of developing Member States and Member States in transition, on the basis of an equitable regional distribution, without prejudice to funds already allocated for these purposes, referred to as funding Line 1.” Section IV, paragraph 14 states that: “Twenty-five per cent of Operational Support Income (excluding security) in excess of USD 20 million will be allocated to the IOM Development Fund, referred to as funding Line 2.”, while in paragraph 15 of the same section it states that “The total amount available for the IOM Development Fund (excluding direct voluntary contributions) cannot exceed total miscellaneous income (unearmarked contributions and interest income).”
[2] Article 4, paragraph 1, of IOM’s Constitution states that “If a Member State fails to meet its financial obligations to the Organization for two consecutive financial years, the Council may by a two-thirds majority vote suspend the voting rights and all or part of the services to which this Member State is entitled….”. Resolution No. 1150 (XCIII) approved the IOM Strategy Document which states that “access to funding under Line 2 will be linked to outstanding contributions and Member States subject to Article 4 will not be eligible for funding.”
[3] Taken from balance at closure of 2019 accounts. To be confirmed at closure of 2019 accounts.
[6] Project Handbook – Module 3
[7] Project Handbook – Module 4


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