Learning Stream on Humanitarian Financing: UN humanitarian funding – demystifying NGO access

UN agencies often partner with international and local NGOs to implement humanitarian assistance and protection. NGOs, on their part, are faced with the challenge of understanding and dealing with different, and often complex, UN partnership frameworks. Understanding how these frameworks function, and how humanitarian funding through the UN is evolving, was the topic of the second session of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, jointly organized by ICVA and PHAP.

In this session, experts from two major agencies – the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the World Food Program (WFP) – presented their organizations’ approaches to implementing partnerships and discussed challenges related to the existing funding modalities together with an NGO representative. Participants were provided with an overview of key procedures, as well as trends and challenges regarding UN humanitarian funding opportunities for NGOs.

Please note that on 10 November there was a separate learning session on pooled funding mechanisms, discussing the Country Based Pooled Funds (CBPFs) and other pooled funding mechanisms, including those managed by NGOs, such as the START Network's and NEAR Network's pooled funds. You can read more about this session and register at phap.org/10nov2016

Read the written responses to the follow-up questions by Fatima Sherif-Nor and Marcus Prior

Read the interview with Marcus Prior on WFP's approach to delivering through partnerships with NGOs

Recording (Adobe Connect - higher quality)

Recording (YouTube - faster loading time)

Closed captions available in English

Sous-titré en français

الترجمات متوفرة باللغة العربية

Recording (audio podcast)

Briefing paper

ICVA has prepared a briefing paper based on the discussions during the event. You can access the document in EnglishFrench, and Arabic.

For additional resources on this topic, you can go here.

Introductory whiteboard video

Learning objectives

  • Awareness of some UN funding mechanisms available to NGOs
  • Familiarity with the overall procedures for grant approval and monitoring with WFP and UNHCR
  • Awareness of the main trends and challenges for NGOs accessing UN funds
  • Knowledge of the different sources of information on UN funding

Target audience

The stream specifically targets NGO staff, including field, policy and HQ staff, but all live sessions are open to anyone interested in improving their understanding of humanitarian financing.

Recommended resources


Fatima Sherif-Nor

Head of the Implementing Partnership Management Service at the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)

Marcus Prior

Head of NGO Partnerships in the Partnerships, Advocacy & Coordination Division at the World Food Programme (WFP)

Kenneth Hansen

Program Manager at FAROS

Cecilia Roselli

Institutional Partnership Advisor at Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)


Angharad Laing

Executive Director, PHAP

Melissa Pitotti

Head of Policy, ICVA


PHAP Credentialing Program

Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem
This event will help you prepare for the PHAP Credentialing Program certification in Understanding the Humanitarian Ecosystem.

In particular, the event will address segment 2.6 of the certification assessment outline. It will also address some aspects of segments 1.5, 2.3, 2.5, and 3.1.

Read more about the PHAP Credentialing Program

Learning stream on humanitarian financing

As part of the learning stream on humanitarian financing, this event was the second of six live interactive online learning sessions that ICVA and PHAP have organized between September 2016 and March 2017 with the purpose of providing NGOs and humanitarian workers with a stronger understanding of the humanitarian financing system.

Geneva Humanitarian Connector

This event was made possible by ICVA and through the Geneva Humanitarian Connector, an initiative of PHAP supported by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

October 12th, 2016 10:30 PM   through   12:00 PM

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