New INFF Knowledge Platform supports the development of national frameworks for financing the SDGs and a post-COVID recovery

Small boats full of food sit on water

The United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the European Union (EU) are launching the Integrated National Financing Framework (INFF) Knowledge Platform today at the 2021 Financing for Development Forum.

Mobilizing resources, both domestic and global, to support sustainable development remains a key challenge for many developing countries. The economic impact of COVID-19 has made this even harder. 

According to the 2021 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, published in March by the Inter-Agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF), the pandemic has caused the worst recession in 90 years and pushed around 120 million people into extreme poverty.  

Countries are mobilizing unprecedented levels of economic stimulus, but more than 80 percent of the USD 16 trillion in support measures are concentrated in the developed world. Many developing countries face tight financing constraints, and more than half of the poorest countries are at risk or already in debt distress. 

Emergency intervention remains paramount for all governments in the short-term, but fiscal stimulus packages and investments in recovery also offer an opportunity to set economies on new growth and development pathways in the long-term. The need for integrated financing strategies to help countries mobilize financing, manage risks and coordinate investments is more urgent than ever. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has amplified the need for the kind of holistic, integrated approach to financing the INFF embodies,” said Marcos Neto, Director of the Finance Sector Hub at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). INFFs can help countries shape the immediate response to the economic impacts of COVID-19 and prevent the erosion of hard-won progress on critical SDG targets.  

Conceived as a planning and delivery tool to help governments finance national development priorities and the SDGs, INFFs provide a framework for strengthening planning processes and building national capacity to strategically manage financing for sustainable development. “The COVID-19 crisis has significantly set back SDG progress and exacerbated countries’ fiscal challenges,” said Mr. Navid Hanif, Director of the Financing for Sustainable Development Office at UN DESA. “INFFs can help them to rebuild better and take a more long-term perspective to overcome these financing challenges.”

Since INFFs were first introduced in the Addis Ababa Action Agenda, interest in integrated financing for the SDGs has grown exponentially. In 2019, 16 countries committed to pioneering the INFF approach. Today, governments in more than 70 countries are taking steps to develop and implement INFFs. 

The international community, led by the IATF, has responded by combining and aligning resources and tools in support of national efforts, including through targeted technical assistance and methodological guidance.

The new INFF Knowledge Platform, a joint effort by the EU, UNDP and UN DESA, is a digital space for gathering and sharing all INFF-related knowledge, lessons, resources and tools. The platform houses a series of step-by-step guidance materials developed by the IATF to help countries get started. According to Mr. Hanif, the Knowledge Platform is a “one-stop-shop for government officials and other INFF practitioners to find guidance and learn from their peers.”

Moving forward, the platform will work to support a growing community of practice by sharing successful approaches and lessons learned. By forging connections between stakeholders across a range of sectors, countries and regions, the platform hopes to accelerate the pace of progress toward the achievement of the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda.