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Partnerships overview
The United Nations Volunteers (UNV) programme supports the United Nations, its different programmes and specialized agencies. In some 40 countries UNV has arrangements with cooperating organizations or national focal points to assist with assessment, interviewing and briefing of UN Volunteer candidates.

Funding UN Volunteers

The majority of UN Volunteer assignments are funded by UN agencies directly. However, a substantial number (19 per cent in 2005) are funded partly or completely through contributions received directly from donors.

The main methods for receiving these funds are UNV’s Special Voluntary Fund, co-financing and the full-funding mechanism.  In the latter, donors provide the total costs required to support individual UN Volunteer assignments. These funds are generally managed through cooperating agencies or organizations that are designated as UNV's focal point in a country. Cooperating organizations include government agencies (e.g. a country’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and national agencies that send volunteers abroad, such as the German Development Service (Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst, DED).


Activities undertaken by fully funded UN Volunteers cover a wide range of sectors and geographical regions.  On the whole, the key factors determining fully funded assignments include:

  • Demand expressed by the host organization via the Terms of Reference submitted;
  • Donor preference to support activities in certain countries and/or thematic areas;
  • Donor support for their own nationals only (though there are some exceptions which will finance other nationals, including national volunteers, on a limited basis);
  • Security considerations/language requirements, etc.

Level of contributions

Donors give contributions for fully funded assignments by allocating a specific amount which UNV manages or specifying a number of posts or persons/months.

While a few donors will currently guarantee long-term support for full funding, contributions usually have to be negotiated on an annual basis.

In 2005, 363 fully funded UN Volunteers served under the full funding mechanism.


Periodic reports received from UN Volunteers are forwarded to respective cooperating organizations.

UNV's Finance section issues financial statements of account every June, providing information on income and expenditure per UN Volunteer for the previous financial year.

UNV is administered by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)