Update on the accountability activities of the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF)
In 2017, the Somalia Humanitarian Fund (SHF) scaled up its accountability activities through the enhanced project monitoring and financial controls, and the acceleration of partner assessments.
Since January, more than 35 new partners have become eligible to receive direct SHF funding and the Fund has now transitioned to a rolling assessment system and has also further systematized the use of information from recent assessments conducted by other UN agencies. Using the available information in complementarity with SHF-commissioned assessments has already proven instrumental in decreasing the costs and lessening the burden on partners.
In a bid to ensure further compliance and availability of accurate information, the list of SHF eligible partners will now be updated in real time to include only partners that (1) have passed the SHF capacity assessment, (2) have their due diligence status in the SHF Grant Management System approved; (3) and have no outstanding SHF oversight and compliance issues.
The SHF has also intensified project monitoring by scaling up SHF field visits alongside Third Party (TPM) and Remote Call Monitoring (RCM) to verify the quality of implementation of funded projects. As such, besides providing performance insights in funded projects, monitoring results are used to update performance indicators associated with eligible SHF partners to determine the overall partner risk.
In addition to audits (each SHF project is subject to audit), financial spot checks were recently added as an extra accountability tool to ensure that partners have adequate financial controls in place. The spot checks entail the review of a partner’s financial records to obtain reasonable assurance of the accuracy of the amounts stated in submitted reports, as well as to assess the soundness of the internal controls adopted by the partner and compliance with the UN financial regulations (FFR).
The recently adopted SHF Operational Manual also sets the basis for the implementation the Fund’s operational modalities, which – alongside the varying disbursement tranches – define the project-specific set of assurance mechanisms applied to ensure appropriate grant management that depend on the assessed risks of an individual partner and location-specific risks of individual projects. This marked a shift from a static partner-based risk management to a more dynamic risk management system based on tailored funding modalities and individualized assurance measures.