UNESCO’s requirement for voluntary contributions in the form of funding gap is defined by outputs in its biennial programme budget approved by its Member States. Voluntary contributions are essential to strengthen the impact of UNESCO's programme and its role in the achievement of the SDGs.
Various donors from UNESCO’s Member States, other multilateral organizations, the private sector and other entities provide voluntary contributions to UNESCO. While governmental and multilateral donors have been and will continue to be critically important, UNESCO has also been expanding its donor portfolio with regard to corporations, foundations, individuals and High-Net-Worth individuals.
UNESCO's engagement with donors and other key partners is framed within the spirit of common purpose and mutual accountability, as outligned in the latest Comprehensive Partnership Strategy.
Structured financing dialogue
Against a backdrop of the stagnation of core funding, and a lack of flexible, predictable funding, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) requested the Executive Boards of the UN Funds and Programmes, and invited the Executive Boards of the UN Specialised Agencies to organise "Structured Financing Dialogues (SFD)" to ensure the funding of their respective development plans (QCPR 67/226 - para. 46).
UNESCO has also adopted the practice of SFD, as one facet of its overall strategy to create a better enabling environment for resource mobilization. Through various decisions taken between 2015 and 2017, the Executive Board of UNESCO decided to organize, with the support of the Director-General, a structured dialogue on financing with Member States and relevant partners.
SFD aims to monitor and follow up the adequacy, predictability, flexibility, transparency and alignment of both regular programme and voluntary contributions, including information on resource requirements.
Partners who opt for flexible funding
Donors of flexible funding provide a vital source of catalytic funding which is highly responsive to UNESCO’s emerging programmatic priorities and most pressing needs to achieve its expected results. It allows UNESCO and its partners to achieve greater impact and sustainability, while reducing transaction costs and fragmentation of support.
Flexible funding includes contributions to pooled funding modalities that promote programmatic coherence such as the un-earmarked support provided by Sweden and Norway to UNESCO’s education programme. It also concerns core funding to UNESCO’s Category I institutes, such as the major annual contributions from Italy to the International Centre for Theoretical Physics based in Trieste.
To foster a strong enabling environment where donors feel comfortable with providing flexible funding, UNESCO attaches great importance to high quality programme design and reporting, strong consultation mechanisms with key stakeholders, and robust risk management systems.
Structured Financing Dialogue with UNESCO's Member States
Spring Session (211 EX/5)
- Information Document: update on resource mobilization
- Strengthening UNESCO's engagement with the private sector
Autumn Session (210 EX/5.III.A)
Spring Session (209 EX/5)
Autumn Session (207 EX/5.III.C)
- Presentation to the Board
- Information Document: Review of the frequency and modalities of UNESCO SFD
- Evaluation of SFD
Spring Session (206 EX/5.II.B)
Spring Session (204 EX/5.II.B)
- Presentation to the Board: Structured Financing Dialogue and Revised Resource Mobilization Strategy 2018-2019
Autumn Session (202 EX/5.III.C)
Spring Session (201 EX/15.INF.3)
Autumn Session (200 EX/5.III.E)
Spring Session (199 EX/5.II.F)