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Frequently asked questions

STAGE 1 Applications:

  • Can proposals be submitted by email instead of the online format?

    No, PBSO will only be accepting proposals submitted through the online format.

  • Will feedback be provided by email or by phone?

    We are confident that most of your questions will be answered by this comprehensive guide. PBSO will not be able to answer specific questions related to individual submissions. Urgent technical questions can however be submitted by E-Mail via the online format.

  • What languages are proposals accepted in?

    English and French

  • Regarding the Gender Marker- is there a need to elaborate further after putting the score?

    No. However, PBSO will check to make sure that the project meets the criteria for the score it has been given (at a minimum, indicators should be sex-disaggregated, the situation analysis/background should include gender analysis, and outcomes should be clearly definable in terms of their contributions to gender equality and women's empowerment such that one can see what part of the budgets is to be allocated to these areas). More details about Gender Equality Markers, including PBF’s approach is available here.

  • Does PBSO prefer an overall Theory of Change for the project or one for each outcome?

    We are encouraging only one ToC for the whole project.

  • Where can we find information on what other PBF funded programmes are being planned or implemented in order to help us to better assess the complementarity of our project and possibilities of coordination?

    Further to consulting the PBF website for general information of PBF’s strategic aims, you can access current and past projects on our Fund Administrator's website, (http://mptf.undp.org/) by going to "analyse all data" tab to the left. For the most up-to-date information, however, we urge you to be in touch with UN colleagues in country directly.

  • What is the definition of youth?

    Security Council resolution 2250 (2015) defines youth as 18 to 29. For statistical purposes, the UN refers to youth at people aged 15 to 24. Generally, the UN also defers to national or regional definitions of youth where appropriate.

  • Is it only the primary/lead recipient that needs to submit audited financial statements, annual reports and a letter from an external auditor, registration documentation and proof of tax exempt status or do all Recipient Organisations need to submit these documents?

    It is only the primary recipient organisation (RO) which needs to submit the audited financial statements. This is because the RO will be the one receiving the funds and, as a results, the one which will be accountable for them. It is up to the RO to exercise their own fiduciary control over its partners. Organisations whose proposals are invited to participate in STAGE TWO will also be required to get a recommendation letter from a UN organisation with whom they have worked previously prior to submitting the full proposals.

  • What is the difference between recipient organisations (RO) and implementing partners?

    Those organizations listed as RO will receive direct PBF funds through the Administrative Agent MPTFO, while implementing partners will receive their funds through the lead RO.

STAGE 2 Applications:

  • Signature from a representative of the national counterpart (e.g. Minister). Which is the ministry that we need to approach and on what level? Will PBSO facilitate this? Who else other than the minister can sign this?

    PBSO in NY is not in a position to say which Ministry you should be approaching; it should be the one that is most relevant to the sector in which you are proposing the work and in line with the established rules of the country. We strongly recommend that you contact our country-based colleagues for guidance on this question.

  • For CSO Proposals, who is the UN signatory and how and when do we get their signature on the project cover page?

    Successful applications in STAGE ONE will be invited to develop full proposals, which must be accompanied by government and UN signatures on the cover page. The UN signatory is the senior-most UN resident representative (either the UN Resident Coordinator in non-Peacekeeping Mission settings, or the Special Representative of the Secretary-General -- or their Deputy -- in Mission settings). The Recipient Organisation proposing the initiative is responsible for obtaining all in-country signatures, including the RC or D/SRSG's signatures. PBSO can help facilitate contact with their offices if need be. We are requiring the Recipient Organisation to obtain the in-country signatures because it will be important that the funded initiative is brought into the overall UN approach to peacebuilding in the country. Such coordination and oversight will require the establishment and fostering of a good relationship between the UN and the Recipient Organisation throughout project implementation, a relationship that begins at the proposal stage.

  • Can we make any breakdowns in the budget template or we need to go ahead with existing one?

    The existing one is what is required by the Fund's Managing Agent. If you would like to propose a more detailed budget in addition to the one that is required, please do.

  • What degree of flexibility is there in relation to the budget from concept note to full proposal? Are budget increases accepted? To what limit?

    We appreciate that as planning becomes firmer, costs may shift. That said, reasonableness of budget and its association with the stated interventions was among the criteria by which concept note proposals were scored. Deviating too much from what was proposed, then, would violate the level playing field of competition that took place in the first round. On more substantive terms, a substantial departure in budget would also imply a difference in the results expected, which would also violate the principles of competitiveness we established in the first round. We have set a limit of a 10%% margin of change in either direction for the final budget, compared to the budget proposed in the first round.

  • Can the full proposal change the geographic scope or number of partners or make other substantive changes from the concept note?

    We understand that as you firm up your planning, some changes in what you had proposed may be required. If you are changing the proposal, however, you should outline why, making clear how this strengthens rather than limits what had been earlier proposed. In addition, please keep in mind that any changes that will have budget implications cannot change the budget by greater than 10%% (either up or down). You may change some of the local partners, but if there was a partner who had been a co-submitter who is being omitted or changed, we would strongly question the proposal.

  • Are we allowed to change the outcomes/wording of the outcomes from what we submitted for STAGE ONE?

    We will accept refinement of outcomes but not a wholesale change in outcomes. Radical change would violate the competitive nature of the concept note selection process.

  • Can we plan to carry out a baseline survey in the monitoring framework?

    Yes. We appreciate that some baselines may need special data collection exercises that may be supported through the monitoring plan and budget of the proposed project. In this case, please indicate "TBD" in the proposal and revise upon completion of the survey as soon after implementation begins as possible.

  • On the results framework: the application form indicates 2 outcomes, 3 outputs per outcome and 3 indicators per output. Is this structure encouraged or can we add or have less outputs and/or indicators?

    This is just a suggested structure, but we would caution against adding additional outcomes or outputs unless the justification is very strong.

  • Does PBSO prefer quantitative or qualitative results indicators?

    PBSO welcomes a mix of qualitative and quantitative. The only caveat is that a given target needs to be more precise than "improved," "strengthened" or "increased". If the initiative is seeking to improve youths' advocacy skills within local decision making structures, for example, one could develop a type of index that specifies the kinds of skills improvements youth are expected to attain. To measure, one could then -- possibly -- conduct quarterly, very focused "partnership" surveys among local decision makers and/or community members to gauge their attitudes toward youth involvement or contribution on key issues. They do not need to be elaborate, expensive surveys. The key here is to define what you mean by the qualitative assessment so that there is some means of comparing outcomes and transparency in evaluating it by others.

  • Can we annex an M&E framework or does the Results Framework suffice?

    You should include both an M&E framework (this is part of the proposal template) AND a results framework (this is an annex within the proposal template). The results framework tells us how you see the various outcomes and outputs contributing to each other and what kinds of indicators you will use to measure progress on these. The M&E framework, then, informs us of the specific actions you will take to monitor that progress throughout implementation and how you will evaluate the outcome in the end. You should indicate budget lines against all major deliverables within the M&E framework.

  • Is the RO responsible for the final audit or will it be taken care of by PBSO?

    The final audit is the responsibility of the Recipient Organization.

  • What about auditing when there are several UN recipient agencies?

    UN recipients will follow their normal audit procedures as stipulated in their corporate procedures or policies the same as is done for other PBF allocations. The administrative arrangements, including requirements for project closure, are detailed in the IRF template that was provided.

  • Does the final independent evaluation have to be with an international consultant/firm or can it be a national one?

    If there is sufficient national capacity to produce a high quality peacebuilding focused evaluation, we would accept a national evaluator. You should set aside though, around 5-7%% of funds for M&E, of which a sufficient amount should go to the evaluation.

  • Normally the policy of PBF is that we don't need to carry out final evaluation for project with a budget under 1 million. Are we going to plan a final evaluation for GYPI 2017 project that are under 1 million?

    Yes. While PBF does not automatically require a final evaluation for projects of less than 12 months or under $1 million, our guidelines clearly indicate that PBF may require final evaluations even of these kinds projects for specific kinds of interventions (where we are supporting a pilot, where a particular intervention may be risky or highly unusual, or where there is some other imperative to systematically capture learning). Since we will be conducting a meta evaluation for all GPI and YPI initiatives to consolidate global learning, we are requiring final evaluations of all GPI and YPI funded work.

  • What will be the actual starting date of the project counting towards the 18 months?

    The starting date will be the date the funds are wired to the organization by the UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund Office (MPTF-O).

  • When will funds be disbursed?

    MPTFO will disburse funds for UN projects in October/November. For CSO projects, the fund will be disbursed in several tranches. The first tranche of 50%% will be transferred upon signing of the project.

  • What is the latest possible starting date for the 18 month period?

    We do not have hard and set rules on this, but for projects that are accepted in September 2017, we would expect implementation to begin by the end of Q1 2018 at the latest.

If you did not find an answer to your question please email us at info@pbfgypi.org.