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Developing investment cases for transformative results

Manual and Guideline
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This toolkit is designed to support UNFPA regional and country offices to develop country investment cases in support of one or more of the transformative results. It provides a concise and practical guide on how to develop a national investment case, including a step-by-step guide on:

  • How to prepare for the investment case
  • How to estimate the cost of the investment using standardized tools
  • How to develop investment scenarios to determine the scale of the impact that can be attributed to the investment
  • How to frame the investment angle
  • How to use the investment case in national advocacy efforts.


UNFPA embraces the vision set forth in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the targets included in the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through its strategic plan (2018-2021) with the goal to, “achieve universal access to sexual and reproductive health, realize reproductive rights, and reduce maternal mortality to accelerate progress on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda, to improve the lives of women, adolescents and youth, enabled by population dynamics, human rights, and gender equality”, (UNFPA, 2019) (UNFPA, 2017). UNFPA’s work is organized around three transformative, people-centred results in the period leading up to 2030. These results include: (a) ending preventable maternal mortality; (b) ending the unmet need for family planning; and (c) ending gender-based violence (GBV) and harmful practices including female genital mutilation (FGM) and child, early and forced marriage (Figure 1).

These transformative results reflect UNFPA’s mandate, comparative advantage, work experience, and capacity for advancing elements of the SDGs, and, in particular, are most closely aligned to Goal 3 (ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages), Goal 5 (achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls), Goal 10 (reduce inequality within and among countries), Goal 16 (promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels), and Goal 17 (strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development) (United Nations, 2019). The transformative results reflect UNFPA’s prioritization and commitment to achieving SDG 3 and SDG 5, and are aligned with:

  • Target 3.1: By 2030, reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births.

  • Target 3.7: By 2030, ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including family planning, information and education and the integration of reproductive health into national strategies and programmes.

  • Target 5.2: Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.

  • Target 5.3: Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM).

  • Target 5.6: Ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights as agreed in accordance with the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Beijing Platform for Action, and the outcome documents of their review conferences.

UNFPA, together with its partners across the globe, plans to attain the three transformative results by 2030 through three consecutive strategic planning cycles: (a) Strategic Plan 2018-2021, which sets the vision and starts action; (b) Strategic Plan 2022-2025 to consolidate gains; and (c) Strategic Plan 2026-2030 to accelerate achievements.


In 2019, ground-breaking research by UNFPA and its partners determined the cumulative global price tag to achieve the three transformative results by 2030 for the first time (UNFPA, 2019). This analysis used aggregate country-level estimates from several different data sources and was guided by tailored tools and clear methodology. It revealed that achieving the three transformative results by 2030 in priority countries will cost $264 billion, of which $42 billion is currently projected to be provided by donors during this period in the form of development assistance. This means that new investments of $222 billion are required to meet the three transformative results by 2030 (Table 1) to be raised from mostly domestic resources, including government expenditures.


This toolkit follows UNFPA’s Guidance to Country Offices Volume I (UNFPA), which provides a roadmap and the information required for management and staff at UNFPA headquarters and regional and country offices intending to develop thematic investment cases. This toolkit, or Volume II of the Guidance, builds on Volume I and provides UNFPA country offices and investment case implementers with a stepwise approach to develop thematic investment cases to meet the transformative results by 2030. There is an individual toolkit for each transformative result; based on the respective needs and priorities in their settings, countries can choose to develop investment cases for one or more of the transformative results.

The toolkit is divided into seven chapters to guide users through the process of developing their own country investment case(s), including how to use their investment cases in advocacy efforts with partners.

The toolkit is intended for use by UNFPA business unit management and staff, as well as those carrying out the costing portion of the investment case, and provides a comprehensive guide to help users prepare and plan for the development of the national investment case, ensuring technical consistency in the application of tools and across all phases of the approach including the validity of cost estimates, investment scenarios and the scale of impact attributable to the targeted investment (UNFPA).