In late April 2019, the guidance note entitled “Financing across sectors for sustainable development” was published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This note provides guidance on an innovative approach developed by the UNDP and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine-supported STRIVE Research Consortium (STRIVE) to boost efficient resource allocation for integrated planning and programming for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The approach, known as ‘cross-sectoral co-financing’ or simply ‘co-financing’, offers a new way to budget for interventions that deliver benefits across multiple sectors and SDG targets simultaneously.
Specifically, co-financing calls for costs of high-value interventions to be split among benefitting sectors. Specific contributions are guided by each sector’s willingness to pay (WTP) for expected results. Co-financing responds to a well-documented challenge: high-value, cross-cutting initiatives that have positive impacts on multiple SDGs often appear too costly for a single payer (e.g. a Ministry of Education or Health) to fund or scale-up. As a result, they are typically under-valued, under-financed and under-implemented.
This guidance note builds on UNDP’s Strategic Plan 2018–2021 which recognises UNDP as an integrator to support greater collaboration across sectors and partners, in order to deliver impacts at scale and to utilise limited resources efficiently. The guidance also builds on UNDP’s HIV, Health and Development Strategy 2016–2021 which stresses the need for innovative approaches that harness synergies across the goals, particularly given the need to make the most efficient and effective use of available development resources.
The guidance note adds to tools, expertise and financing solutions developed by UNDP’s Strategic Policy Unit and Development Finance team. It is intended primarily for public sector planners and budget managers, including senior finance managers and programme managers from relevant ministries including finance. The note also addresses economists and development partners supporting governments to plan for, finance and implement the SDGs.
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