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CM(2009)10 final 13 March 2009
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1050 Meeting, 11 March 2009
11 Administration and Logistics


11.1 Resource Management and Mobilisation Strategy for the Council of Europe Programme of Activities
Document prepared by the Directorate of Strategic Planning

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INTRODUCTION

1. The Council of Europe needs a coherent, organisation-wide resource management and mobilisation strategy. A coordinated approach towards resource mobilisation should take into account, in particular: raising additional resources while ensuring implementation capacity, enhancing sustainable donor relationships while stressing the alignment with organisational priorities, and improving transparency and access to information while reducing bureaucracy and simplifying reporting.

2. The Council of Europe’s Ordinary Budget is insufficient to finance identified needs as defined by the Third Summit Action Plan. This strategy therefore aims to consolidate the volume of Joint Programmes with the European Commission following the significant increases over recent years and to increase extra-budgetary contributions from other sources by some 20% by the end of 2010 (see overview of extra-budgetary receipts since 2001 in Appendix I). At the same time, the external funding should remain aligned with the priorities of the Council of Europe and take into account the need for human resources and the cost of overheads required for successful implementation. Transparency and easier access to information as well as meaningful reporting and evaluation practices should contribute to the consolidation of sustainable relationships with donors.

3. Meeting these challenges requires a strategic approach in particular: embedding the management and mobilisation of resources in an overall framework for multi-year planning, appropriate budgeting including allocation of human resources, programming and evaluation. In this context, an increase in the proportion of non-earmarked voluntary contributions is sought, where appropriate. Below a minimum threshold, individual voluntary contributions would be pooled.

4. This document builds on previous work to define an organisation-wide resource management and mobilisation strategy, and it proposes a number of measures to support the Council of Europe’s long term objectives. Implementation of much of what appears in this document has already begun. It is an important element in enhancing the added value of the Council of Europe in the medium term.

MANAGING AND MOBILISING RESOURCES MORE EFFECTIVELY

5. In the context of budget constraints concerning the Ordinary Budget which contrast with much larger identified needs, the focus must be on additional resources (joint programmes, voluntary contributions and public/private partnerships). At the same time, additional efforts must be made to improve planning, budgeting and administration of resources. In this context, the following objectives will be pursued:

Mix of financing mechanisms

    v Develop integrated budgetary and programming processes ensuring that the core activities are primarily funded by the Ordinary Budget.

    v Seek external resources for activities contributing to the Council of Europe’s fundamental objective which cannot be funded by the Ordinary Budget.

    v Propose suitable projects to external partners who can bring added value (financial and
    non-financial) to the projects.

    v Explore and initiate innovative approaches to generate additional resources (e.g. fundraising events, new partnerships and long-term alliances, selling of selected products and services, and combinations of grants and loans or via the Human Rights Trust Fund).

    v Define in advance acceptable limits of private sector partnerships, where they present themselves, to ensure that partner organisations share the goals of the Council of Europe, are not involved in activities which would not be compatible with the values of the Council of Europe, and do not influence the nature and implementation of the project.

Develop Donor Relationships

6. Overall coordination of donor relations is necessary in order to ensure Organisation-wide coherence. Existing channels of communication between operational entities and donors should be maintained and further developed within this overall framework. In addition, an enhanced role for in-country teams (including Special Representatives of the Secretary General) with respect to contacts with donors and beneficiaries and project development is foreseen. In particular, sustainable donor relationships should be strengthened by the following measures:

    v Identify donor priorities and requirements through research into possible sources of funding.

    v Encourage long-term partnerships (taking into account the different needs of donors and the input from decentralised entities including field offices).

    v Submit targeted project proposals which match Council of Europe and donors’ priorities. Encourage targeted resource mobilisation plans for major programmes requiring external resources.

    v Coordinate and maintain regular contacts with major donors.

    v Encourage contacts with major partners (in particular the European Commission and the permanent representations, Ministries of Foreign Affairs, specialised ministries and development agencies of member and observer states), annual bilateral consultations and multi-year framework agreements using standard contracts.

    v At the same time, maintain and develop specialised partnerships in different sectors.

FRAMEWORK FOR PROJECT SELECTION, IMPLEMENTATION, REPORTING AND EVALUATION

7. To establish a coherent and co-ordinated approach and to improve and stabilise the resources in a pluri-annual perspective, the framework will be further enhanced:

    v Plan all programmes and projects through an integrated process to ensure alignment of objectives (inclusion in the Programme of Activities) and include external resources in the planning process.

    v Ensure that project proposals emphasise the value-added nature of the proposed project and clearly set out the objectives foreseen.

    v Encourage pluriannual planning.

    v Take due account of the absorption capacity of the beneficiary when designing projects.

    v Consider only donor contributions which support agreed objectives.

    v Design all project proposals in accordance with document CM(2006)101 final, Establishing criteria for projects.

    v Consider the implementation capacity of the entity responsible for the implementation of the project.

    v Consider only project proposals which include estimates of the full cost of human and financial resources required for each project and the conditions for successful implementation.

    v In decision making, take into account the reporting record of the implementing unit.

    v Ensure that reporting is harmonised and proportionate.

    v Provide adequate training for project management in order to improve efficiency of planning and effective implementation and monitoring of projects.

    v Provide for appropriate evaluation of the project in line with the Council of Europe evaluation policy (CM(2008)156) and donor requirements agreed beforehand.

    v Identify key indicators suitable for short-term and long-term impact assessment and provide a final assessment of this impact at the conclusion of the project.

An overview of internal management structures is appended to this document (Appendix II).

PROCESS STAGES

Identification of needs

8. All project proposals must be based on a sound assessment of needs with the involvement of key stakeholders for the implementation of the projects. Projects can be designed and implemented by all sectors of the Council of Europe, but the following general principles and guidelines should be applied:

    v Programme and/or project proposals should address identified needs and must be in line with agreed Council of Europe priorities, have potential to reach a sustainable positive impact, have been agreed with the beneficiary authorities, and have been designed in collaboration with potential partners for implementation.

    v Programmes and projects proposed should not duplicate or repeat work done by other international actors in the field. Efforts should be made to promote cooperation rather than competition.

    v Align the process for external resource programme/project approval with that of core-funded programmes/projects.


Identification of external sources of funding

    v Use donor profiling to identify potential donors, their funding capacity and allocation criteria, matching individual programmes/projects or project themes with identified resources.

    v A systematic donor profiling database will be developed through a survey of current and potential donors, taking central and decentralised expertise into account.

Targeted fundraising plans

    v Develop fundraising plans for specific programmes/projects, targeted to donors with matching interests. Facilitate the presentation of projects and programmes according to specific donors’ requirements (thematic, country and regional).

    v Encourage multi-annual partnerships to fund pluriannual programmes/projects.

Coordinated fundraising and contract negotiation

    v Promote the use of Council of Europe standard contracts and coordinated negotiation procedures.

    v Adapt fundraising methodology to targeted donors as appropriate.

Project implementation and Donor satisfaction

    v Introduce monitoring mechanisms for project implementation and reporting to ensure donor satisfaction and, at the same time, avoid unnecessary bureaucracy, responding to donors with particular emphasis on the achievement of results and objectives, timely execution of projects, efficient use of resources, timely and adequate reporting and evaluation as well as donor visibility.


COMMUNICATION AND PRESENTATION

9. The presentation of programme/project proposals should be done in a standard format in line with the Council of Europe’s Project Management Methodology (PMM), comprising: logframe; project description; project budget; and project work plan. Proposals for projects to be funded by voluntary contributions will be included in the draft Programme of Activities submitted for approval by the Committee of Ministers. Voluntary contributions will then be solicited on the basis of the approved Programme of Activities. Further envisaged improvements are as follows:

    v Communicate project proposals to potential donors in an attractive format, making use of media tools (including Internet dissemination tools).

    v Encourage donor involvement in project implementation through participation in events such as seminars and symposia in order to maximise Council of Europe and donor visibility and recognition.

    v Develop general and thematic information to attract the interest of decision makers within potential donors.

CONCLUSIONS

10. Resource mobilisation is an integral part of a medium-term effort to implement the decisions of the Warsaw Summit and thus to fulfil the goals assigned to the Council of Europe by its stakeholders. It complements ongoing efforts to increase efficiency, effectiveness and transparency of the Council of Europe. The implementation of the strategy will contribute to developing an integrated approach to the management of resources through the coordination of the various instruments and mechanisms of the Council of Europe. The strategy and the target for the volume of additional resources being sought should be reviewed after two years.

Appendix I

Appendix II

INTERNAL MANAGEMENT STRUCTURES

1. To ensure consistency in the implementation of this policy and to facilitate donor access to information, a dedicated entry point (External Resources Unit) for all stakeholders will be made available. This Unit will also exercise an internal service and support function by co-ordinating project design, donor matching, contract negotiation, reporting and evaluation. This support function will be based on close cooperation with decentralised entities responsible for project management.

2. The External Resources Unit will ensure implementation of the resource management and mobilisation strategy by giving support and advice concerning the elaboration of projects; facilitating access to the various sources of external funding; developing standard procedures for contract negotiation, project management and reporting; and acting as a clearing house and repository of best practices in resource management and mobilisation for the Council of Europe as a whole. Apart from establishing and further developing a resource mobilisation database, the Unit will also play a role in the allocation of non-earmarked contributions and in promoting, together with the Human Resources Directorate, appropriate training arrangements.

3. Further division of responsibilities:

Project financing

    v The External Resources Unit will be at the disposal of all Major Administrative Entities for donor prospection. Individual MAEs will pursue existing fundraising contacts with traditional donors and may undertake further prospection subject to communication and coordination with the External Relations Unit and other relevant areas of the organisation. They may also conclude specific sectoral contracts within the framework of agreed programme and project planning.

Project implementation and reporting

    v Operational Major Administrative Entities will remain responsible for project proposals and implementation as well as for narrative and financial reporting. They will develop and implement monitoring procedures in accordance with general guidelines in order to ensure that project implementation is in accordance with contractual agreements. This will allow for variances to be reported promptly to the donor, indicating the difficulties encountered, the actions taken and, where appropriate, what further steps are proposed.

Reporting framework and evaluation

    v The External Resources Unit, in consultation with implementing entities, will develop a standard common reporting (narrative and financial) and evaluation framework for all projects, irrespective of the source of funding. Standard guidelines and criteria for evaluation will be developed in connection with the Council of Europe Evaluation Policy [cf CM(2008)156]. A minimum threshold for reporting on individual contributions will be established.

    v The External Resources Unit will promote and encourage donors to accept the standard reporting and evaluation framework for projects, to harmonise and streamline the process and support implementing entities in their attempts to avoid complicated and disproportionate reporting obligations for individual contributions.

4. Responsibility for the management of extra-budgetary resources is included in the Secretary General’s annual delegation of financial responsibility. The External Resources Unit will contribute to the overall coordination of external resources within this framework and the current fixed-rate deductions from external resources will be reviewed to ensure that all attributable costs resulting from additional activities are covered in an appropriate manner.



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