Last Updated: Thursday, 26 May 2016, 08:56 GMT

UNHCR/UNDP Co-operation With Regard to Development Activities Affecting Refugees and Returnees

Publisher UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
Author United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
Publication Date 23 November 1987
Cite as UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNHCR/UNDP Co-operation With Regard to Development Activities Affecting Refugees and Returnees, 23 November 1987, available at: [accessed 26 May 2016]

The following provisions will guide the enhancement of UNHCR/UNDP co-operation in the areas of mutual interest identified in these provisions. They complement and supersede existing arrangements for co-operation between both organisations.[1]

1.         As agreed in the 1981 exchange of letters between the Director-General for Development and International Economic Co-operation and the High Commissioner regarding the "relationship between Resident Co-ordinators and the field programme activities of UNHCR," UNHCR will continue to keep the Resident Co-ordinator closely informed on UNHCR activities that have a bearing on development and will consult the Resident Co-ordinator at an early stage in the preparation of such projects. The initiative for UNDP in a project related to, or involving, refugees or returnees will continue to come from UNHCR and the recipient government.

2.         Where projects necessary to enable refugees to support themselves or to integrate into the local community need to go beyond the scope of UNCHR programmes, i.e., need to benefit also substantial numbers of local people and contribute to the development of the area, it is appropriate for UNDP to be involved, at the request of UNHCR and the government concerned, in the formulation and implementation of such projects.

3.         It is also appropriate for UNDP to be involved, at the request of UNHCR and the government concerned, whenever a UNHCR project aimed at enabling refugees to support themselves or to integrate into the local community has successfully achieved its objectives and can be phased out on the grounds that the refugees concerned have attained a degree of self-sufficiency comparable to that of the local population.

4.         It is also appropriate for UNDP to be involved, at the request of UNHCR and the government concerned, whenever a UNHCR project aimed at providing initial short-term relief to enable returnees to re-establish themselves in their former home environment can be phased out in favour of recovery or rehabilitative assistance projects aimed at improving the local infrastructure and formulated and implemented, with the concurrence of the government by UNDP. In such cases, it is desirable for the recovery or rehabilitative phase to commence as early as possible and, wherever possible, to run concurrently with the relief phase undertaken by UNHCR.

5.         Co-operation between UNDP and UNHCR should begin at the outset or emergency stage of a refugee or returnee influx, when UNDP can guide UNHCR in identifying the long-term developmental implications of a refugee or returnee situation and co-operate in choosing the most appropriate course of action to pursue. To this end, as soon as it becomes clear in a given refugee or returnee situation that significant developmental recovery or rehabilitative activities will be required, UNDP should be informed, and may be involved where appropriate as per paragraphs 2-4 above. Similarly, with a view to early consultations, the Resident Representative will, with the concurrence of the government, invite UNHCR to participate in the UNDP County Programming exercise and will encourage the government to take due account of the developmental aspects of refugee/returnee situations, during the programming exercise as well as in annual and mid-term reviews of Country Programmes. In this process, the government may decide to include in the Country Programme a project or project elements which relate to the needs of refugees/returnees, provided that such activities are primarily of a developmental nature. Financing for such activities may be provided in whole or in part from IPF resources and/or from other funds administered by UNDP, the latter being subject to specific authorisation from the Administrator. In all such cases, informal UNDP programming policies and procedures will apply.

6.         In countries where Round Tables are held and where there are significant numbers of refugees or returnees, UNDP, with the concurrence of the government, will invite UNHCR to take part in the various aspects of the Round Table process and meetings.

7.         For projects funded jointly from UNDP resources and through UNHCR and/or third parties, the mechanism for UNDP cost-sharing may be utilised (UNDP circulars UNDP/PROG/60 and 82 refer). In cases where full funding is to be provided through UNHCR and /or third parties, the UNDP trust fund mechanism would apply. Support costs to UNDP and executing agencies would be paid in accordance with arrangements applicable to the method of financing involved and would be met from such financing sources.

8.         When required, UNDP and UNHCR would collaborate in seeking appropriate funding from third parties.

9.         In addition to these types of co-operation, UNDP may provide upon request specified management and/or technical services to UNHCR or a third party in the formulation, execution or evaluation of a project. In such cases, UNDP will charge a fee calculated to cover fully UNDP's costs. Where appropriate, UNDP would consult with specialised agencies in the provision of such services.

10.       Under currently applicable UNDP Governing Council decisions, UNDP would make appropriate charges to other UN executing agencies for any services which UNDP field offices might provide to such agencies in connection with the execution of non-UNDP trust fund activities negotiated directly by the agency with donors which services by OPE are involved, the combined UNDP and OPE support costs will not exceed the authorised standard support costs applicable to UN system executing agencies.

11.       The Government should be requested to determine, from the beginning of any UNDP-UNHCR activity, which ministry or body at the central government level will act as the principal co-ordinating authority during the implementation of such activity.

12.       While informal consultations and proposals at the field level between UNDP Resident Representatives and UNHCR Representatives are encouraged, formal arrangements for joint endeavours will be decided upon at the Headquarters level. Both headquarters, as well as the respective field offices involved, will oversee the remaining action to be taken.





DATED 23 November 1987 IN NEW YORK


[1]1 See UNDP/ADM/Field 733 issued in November 1980 and Add.1 issued in July 1984.

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