How DPA is Funded
The Department of Political Affairs plays a central role in United Nations efforts to prevent and resolve deadly conflicts around the world. To carry out its mandate effectively, the Department relies on funding through the regular UN budget and through additional voluntary donor contributions. Voluntary funds offer flexibility and a genuinely rapid response capacity for preventing conflict.
The mechanism used to mobilize voluntary contributions is called the Multi-Year Appeal. This is a strategic and results-oriented document that is fully aligned with the regular budget strategic framework and links priority areas with proposed extra-budgetary activities.
The appeal, which covers the 2011-2013 period, includes two rapid response windows: one for mediation and conflict prevention and the other for electoral assistance. These windows allow the rapid use of pre-positioned funding to deploy envoys/staff and provide the necessary expertise and logistical support.
The 2013 Update of the Multi-Year Appeal, launched by Under-Secretary-General Jeffrey Feltman at DPA’s Annual Donor Meeting in late 2012, calls for $16 million in 2013. Support is sought for the following priority areas:
- Responding faster, providing rapid response to prevent armed conflict, strengthening mediation support, and ensuring proximity through field presences which serve as platforms for dealing with crises (e.g. regional offices, envoys and political missions)
- Working with others, especially regional partners and UN system partners, to increase access, develop leverage and maximize resources
- Reinforcing democratic processes around the world, particularly through electoral advice and support, in close cooperation with partners
- Honing innovative tools and mechanisms, building capacity, and assessing impact to ensure that lessons from one engagement are applied in the future.
DPA activities in 2012
In its soon-to-be released 2012 Annual Report, the Department highlights how it used extra-budgetary funding in 2012 to spearhead UN efforts to respond to crises or support transitions in Africa (Mali and the Sahel, Malawi, Central African Republic and Guinea-Bissau), the Middle East and North Africa (Syria, Yemen, Egypt and Libya), and Asia (Maldives).
Voluntary contributions received under the Multi-Year Appeal helped identify warning signs of emerging crises and offer timely diplomatic and political interventions. Tools used to prevent, contain and resolve conflicts included preventive diplomacy, mediation and good offices.
DPA's sustained focus on gender is reflected in the outcome of its work. Political efforts in Somalia, for instance, have helped establish a 30% quota for women in the country’s Independent Electoral Commission, the National Constituent Assembly and the new Federal Parliament.
Increased level of contributions
In 2012, DPA called for $19.1 million to cover its activities under the Multi-Year Appeal and the separate funding appeal for Syria. Thanks to the generous support of Member States, a total of $17.8 million, 93% of the requested amount, was programmed. This was a significant increase compared to 2011, when DPA received only half (or $9.1 million) of what it had originally requested.
DPA’s donor base has also diversified, with 19 donors contributing to the Multi-Year Appeal. An additional multi-year agreement was also signed in 2012, bringing the total number of multi-year agreements to six. These longer term agreements, which provide more predictable support for the Department, confirm that an increasing number of Member States trust the Department’s ability to deliver on its mandate.
Increased recognition by Member States
The Department is witnessing increasing and sustained political support for its work. The Group of Friends of Mediation, for instance, which includes around 40 Member States and regional entities, has helped draw attention to the importance of mediation efforts.
Focusing on results and better planning
DPA continues to embed a culture of results in designing its interventions and strengthening its monitoring activities to track outcomes and measure the impact of its work.
The Department enhanced and is further improving its Results Framework, and has further instituted a learning and evaluation framework and board. It develops annual learning and evaluation plans and has in place an assessment framework to better evaluate its engagements in preventive diplomacy and mediation, in addition to adding in-house capacity. These activities are all undertaken with a single goal: learning from the past to deliver more effectively in the future.
DPA is embarking on a strategic planning exercise to provide the Department and its Special Political Missions (SPMs) with direction and a set of strategic objectives to be achieved in the medium and longer terms.
Official Development Assistance
DPA services are typically provided to fragile and/or conflict-affected states and are related to political processes that are essential for economic development and welfare. In recognition of the role that political processes play in development, in 2012 the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) officially registered DPA as an organization eligible to receive Official Development Assistance (ODA). This registration allows donors to meet their voluntary development assistance targets when pledging funds to DPA.