Pakistan ERF Update Issue 13 | January – March 2015


The New Pakistan ERF

In February 2015, OCHA released the 2015 Operational Handbook for Country-based Pooled Funds (CBPF), a set of new global guidelines for managing CBPFs. In Pakistan, the CBPF is known as the Emergency Response Fund (ERF).

The Handbook includes the following main changes in the operation of CBPFs:

  • Strategic alignment of CBPFs will support implementation of Humanitarian Response Plans (HRPs) but retain the flexibility to respond to unforeseen events. This change establishes a clear link between CBPFs and the Humanitarian Programme Cycle while strengthening the leadership and coordination role of Humanitarian Coordinators (HCs) in driving the allocation of CBPF funding to locally identified needs and priorities.

  • An accountability framework and operational modalities will provide a set of risk management tools to address risks that i) may hinder the ability of CBPFs to achieve their objectives and ii) are present when disbursing funds to implementing partners. This allows OCHA country offices determine the disbursement schedule, monitoring strategy, programmatic and financial reporting requirements, and auditing plan most suitable to the capacity level of the partner.

  • Standardized allocation modalities (standard and reserve) are explained in the Handbook.

  • Clearer financial management guidance will ensure a common understanding of budgeting, administrative aspects and procedures. Specifically, the project budget structure and template was revised and aligned with the standard UN Development Group budget categories.

  • The Grants Management System (GMS) is a new mandatory tool for CBPFs and is critical in supporting the management of CBPFs and rationalizing the workload of Humanitarian Finance Units. It is a fundamental management instrument for OCHA at the country and headquarter level. It facilitates partners' interaction with CBPFs at all stages of the grant cycle and promotes efficiency, effectiveness, transparency and supports risk management.

In the second quarter of 2015, OCHA will hold activities in Pakistan to prepare key stakeholders with the roll-out of the Handbook. This will include i) developing a country operational manual based on consultations with key stakeholders, ii) inviting almost 60 nongovernmental organization (NGO) partners to undergo a capacity assessment to render them eligible as a CBPF implementing partner, and iii) conducting a series of trainings for NGO partners and clusters on GMS.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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