Outreach & Events

Development Banks: Fulfilling COP28 goals demands a shift in approach

18/04/2024 — Washington, D.C. — Multilateral Development Banks need to change how they work to accelerate the transition from climate finance to climate results. Most urgently, they need to mobilise private climate investment, forge stronger partnerships, and improve collaboration with other development actors, according to a new study from the Multilateralcollaboration with other development actors, according to a new study from the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN).

MOPAN recognises that Development Banks are key players for climate action and results, and have ramped up climate work since the 2015 Paris Agreement. Their joint statement issued at COP28 builds on this progress, committing the banks to enhanced knowledge and policy support, and private sector mobilisation, while demonstrating results and working more closely together as a system.

However, the new MOPAN study finds that despite the progress achieved over the past decade, Multilateral Development Banks will face fundamental challenges in delivering on their shared climate ambitions.

“Development banks are pivotal in driving the Paris Agreements aspirations forward, and in shaping our climate trajectory”, said Suzanne Steensen, Head of the MOPAN Secretariat. “Development bank reform presents an unparalleled chance to embrace transformative actions and step-up efforts on climate results – unlocking a greener, more resilient future for all”.

In the backdrop of the Spring Meetings, the MOPAN study, building on performance assessments of eight multilateral development banks, identifies five key actions that the development banks must consider if they are to accelerate climate action and deliver on their COP28 Joint Statement, at scale.

Multilateral development banks need to:
1. Clearly demonstrate how their knowledge and advice strengthens national climate priorities
2. Scale up concessional climate finance, allocating it more efficiently and positioning these funds for impact in the countries that need it most
3. Work more coherently and flexibly to enable private sector climate action
4. Improve the ability to report on climate results; and
5. Collaborate better with partners, and optimise support for country-led climate action.

As the world gears up for COP29, the imperative for the development banks to redouble their climate action efforts has never been more pressing.

The Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) is an independent network of 22 member states who have a shared vision to promote an effective multilateral system trusted to deliver solutions to evolving global goals and local challenges. Together, MOPAN members and collaborators provide USD 100 billion in annual contributions to and through the multilateral system – the majority of the system’s official development assistance (ODA) funding.

For media enquiries about MOPAN, or about this MOPAN Insights study, Accelerating climate action: Multilateral Bank's Readiness and Performance, please contact: Cara.YAKUSH@mopanonline.org.


IFAD is responsive in face of global challenges but its ambitious agenda necessitates strategic focus

15/02/2024 - Rome – Operating in an increasingly complex development environment, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)’s, role in transforming rural communities and food systems is as crucial today as when it was founded 45 years ago. The organisation, mandated to support inclusive rural agricultural development and food systems, has a dual mandate as a UN agency and an International Financial Institution and holds a unique place in the multilateral system.

According to the latest Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) report, the organisation is well-positioned to respond to critical global challenges and has demonstrated agility and flexibility in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The assessment of IFAD’s business model and results – released today in Rome, by MOPAN members Canada, Finland and France – looks closely at IFAD’s effectiveness and performance. The report boasts top ratings of “satisfactory” and “highly satisfactory” for 11 out of 12 of MOPAN’s key performance indicators focused on the organisation’s management. However, the challenge for IFAD is in its selectivity, strategic prioritisation and engagement in partnerships aligned with its role in the multilateral system.

“Our assessment shows that IFAD is an agile, responsive and inclusive organisation, giving voice in decision-making to partners countries and marginalised local communities” said Suzanne Steensen, Head of the MOPAN Secretariat.“ Given its dual mandate as an IFI and UN agency - and the many critical global challenges it is addressing - ensuring strategic prioritisation of resources and partnerships regarding its mandate and comparative advantage will be critical to the success of IFAD-13”.

To maximise its results and impact, IFAD needs to strengthen its strategic focus, doubling down on its past successes, based on strategic analysis of its mandate in light of global needs, and to leverage for impact in ways that are aligned with IFAD’s strategy. This includes commitments outlined in IFAD-13: concentrating on climate-resilient agriculture, supporting smallholder farmers in fragile and conflict-affected states, supporting the Leave No One Behind agenda and fine-tuning its operational model will further enhance IFAD’s impact, effectiveness and efficiency.

The Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) is an independent network of 22 member states who have a shared vision to promote an effective multilateral system trusted to deliver solutions to evolving global goals and local challenges. Together, MOPAN members and collaborators provide nearly USD 70.6 billion in annual contributions to and through the multilateral system – the majority of the system’s official development assistance (ODA) funding.

For further information on MOPAN, or about this MOPAN Assessment of IFAD, please contact: Cara.YAKUSH@mopanonline.org


UNHCR has built a new house but now needs to learn to live in it

09/02/2024 - Geneva – With an uptick in global displacement, the role of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the world’s leading refugee agency, is more critical than ever. Mandated to deliver protection, assistance and solutions for refugees, asylum-seekers, and internally displaced and stateless people – in more than 130 countries around the world, the UN agency operates in an increasingly complicated environment. Doing this well requires the right business model to be fit for purpose for the evolving global and local challenges UNHCR, its partners and the people they serve face amidst the crises of today and those of tomorrow.

The 2024 MOPAN assessment of UNHCR – released today by the Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) in Geneva, championed by the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and Switzerland – looks closely at UNHCR’s business model. On the heels of December’s Second Global Refugee Forum, the report focuses on the organisation’s progress since the last MOPAN assessment conducted five years ago and the areas where the organisation needs to further its change process—working even more closely and transparently with its donors, partners and stakeholders.

Suzanne Steensen, Head of the MOPAN Secretariat, echoed the importance of UNHCR’s position in the multilateral system, at today’s launch stating, “If UNHCR is to live up to its potential and deliver on its mandate to provide protection, response and solutions in today’s complex geopolitical environment, it must have the right business model”.

For an organisation with such a critical role to play in the humanitarian space, UNHCR has honoured its mandate and protection focus in a turbulent global landscape. Partners applaud the organisation for its impressive emergency response mechanisms and clear leadership in refugee situations and internal displacement situations, reinforced by strong global advocacy for forcibly displaced and stateless people.

In response to the previous MOPAN assessment conducted in 2017-18, which found a need for greater organisational cohesion and a more agile operating model for UNHCR, the 2024 assessment finds the organisation transformed. UNHCR has undergone a root to branch change process which has set it up to deliver results efficiently and effectively in the midst of increasingly protracted conflicts and worsening global challenges like climate change - together driving displacement and human suffering to unprecedented levels. In response, the UNHCR of today has an organisational structure that allows flexibility and agility in decision making, supported by clear and accessible policies.

In addition, UNHCR has made ground-breaking strides in thwarting sexual misconduct – a priority for MOPAN members.

However, despite good progress in most areas, UNHCR could do more to strengthen its relationship with donors and partners. Many of the organisation’s external stakeholders, note that UNHCR could further strengthen consultation and transparency with its governing structure, ExCom. UNHCR also needs to become a less demanding and more reasonable funding partner.

Finally, UNHCR’s new business model aims to enable a longer-term mindset into an organisation that is increasingly dealing with protracted crises; but these adjustments have not yet translated into a multi-year way of working. In addition, the organisation is aware of the need to work towards including refugees in national services and supporting them to become economically active and self-sufficient, but despite significant efforts, has not yet found a systematic way of handing over responsibility to national governments and development actors.

The Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) is an independent network of 22 member states who have a shared vision to promote an effective multilateral system trusted to deliver solutions to evolving global goals and local challenges. Together, MOPAN members and collaborators provide over USD 70 billion in annual contributions to and through the multilateral system – the majority of the system’s official development assistance. 

For further information on MOPAN, or about this MOPAN Assessment of UNHCR, please contact: Cara.YAKUSH@mopanonline.org 


IFC has made important gains supporting private sector-led growth to support sustainable development in most challenging contexts

22/01/2024 - Washington, D.C. Private sector-led development is imperative to deliver sustainable development results at scale and address climate change and other global challenges. The International Finance Corporation (IFC)’s institutional vision, IFC 3.0, has been instrumental in positioning IFC to create markets, crowd-in finance and deliver development results, according to a recent assessment report from the Multilateral Organisation Performance Assessment Network (MOPAN).

MOPAN’s assessment of the IFC’s organisational performance — launched today with the World Bank Group Executive Board in Washington, DC. — looks closely at IFC's institutional transformation to implement IFC 3.0 and pivot to creating markets. The report tells the story of IFC's transformation, including the introduction of new teams, tools, processes and instruments such as the “upstream approach” and IDA Private Sector Window. Despite a highly uncertain global context caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine, IFC's transformation is now yielding results, including new investment and mobilisation in the most difficult contexts. Notably, IFC’s investments in fragile and conflict-affected states have nearly tripled over the assessment period.

“MOPAN's assessment of IFC demonstrates the importance of the private sector in contributing to sustainable development, harnessing the private sector to identify solutions to the most pressing global issues as governments face mounting fiscal pressures”, said Suzanne Steensen, Head of the MOPAN Secretariat.

The report highlights IFC's role as a leader among Development Financial Institutions in a number of important areas, including private capital mobilisation, blended finance, transparency and management of environmental and social risk. In particular, the report highlights innovative approaches introduced to facilitate IFC’s pivot toward creating markets, including the introduction of the upstream approach, the Anticipated Impact Monitoring and Measurement (AIMM), Country Private Sector Diagnostics (CPSDs) and country-driven budgeting, among others. IFC's Performance Standards, through the Equator Principles, remain the de facto standards for the management of environmental and social risks in private sector operations. Their strategic approach to working in partnership to harmonise approaches and promote good practices is a model for wider Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) coordination going forward.

However, implementing IFC 3.0 in an uncertain global context has had some implications for their performance. IFC exceeded its budget control targets due to resource needs to deliver institutional changes alongside lower than expected loan and fee income. Growth in mobilisation and the investment portfolio was slower than expected. As the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the war in Ukraine subsides, IFC is now starting to see the full results of its transformation. These include a growing pipeline of upstream engagements to create markets, strong growth in commitments in challenging contexts and record levels of mobilisation. These positive achievements have been complemented by steady improvement in development outcomes and consistently high levels of client satisfaction with the services IFC delivers.

[more findings available for download, below]

The MOPAN assessment of IFC comes after a recent MOPAN assessment of the World Bank Group, released last year in conjunction with the Bank’s Evolution Roadmap.

For further information on MOPAN, or about this MOPAN Assessment of IFC and the World Bank, please contact: Cara.YAKUSH@mopanonline.org.


IOM is an agile, entrepreneurial organisation, but with fragile foundations

30/10/2023 - Geneva – The way organisations are funded can help UN agencies focus on delivering results on the ground, but can also undermine key central functions – as appears to be the case for the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

The 2023 assessment of IOM’s business model and results – released today by the Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) in Geneva, in conjunction with IOM’s new Director General Amy Pope and MOPAN members Belgium, Canada and the Netherlands – looks closely at what other UN organisations, funders, and other key stakeholders can learn from IOM, one of the most heavily earmarked organisations in the multilateral system.

“Our assessment shows that IOM is an agile, entrepreneurial and delivery focused organisation, highly valued by MOPAN members” said Suzanne Steensen, Head of the MOPAN Secretariat. “But it also shows the limitations of IOM’s business model – for example IOM has little capacity to back up its operations with technical advice, or wiggle room to respond to new crises or support action before crises hit”.

MOPAN’s assessment shows that IOM is strong on the ground: in crisis response, providing value for money, contributing to overall response efforts, targeting vulnerable people, supporting national governments, as a partner to other organisations, and in providing durable solutions for internally displaced people.

Unsurprisingly, the MOPAN assessment also identifies key areas for improvement that include working with funders to ease reliance on earmarked funds; finalising, operationalising and consolidating the rollout of IOM’s ambitious programme of institutional and business process reforms; further empowering IOM to deliver its cross-agency lead role on migration; scaling up work to be accountable to the people IOM serves, and working more closely with local actors – who are often the first responders in crisis settings.

The dilemma for DG Pope, as she settles into office, will be how to achieve all this without compromising IOM’s entrepreneurial DNA – indeed MOPAN recognizes that nearly all of IOM’s organisational capacity challenges are in many respects the flipsides of its core strength of agility and responsiveness.

And for other UN organisations – who are all facing an uptick in earmarked funding – IOM provides good learning about how to deliver the right results while coping with difficult funding environment, while also sounding the alarm about what can happen when there is only limited funding for central capacities and functions.

The Multilateral Performance Network (MOPAN) is an independent network of 22 member states who have a shared vision to promote an effective multilateral system trusted to deliver solutions to evolving global goals and local challenges. Together, MOPAN members and collaborators provide nearly USD 70.6 billion in annual contributions to and through the multilateral system – the majority of the system’s official development assistance (ODA) funding.

For further information on MOPAN, or about this MOPAN Assessment of IOM, please contact: Cara.YAKUSH@mopanonline.org


MOPAN calls for long term vision and a revamp of the UNAIDS business model

05/09/2023 – The UNAIDS Joint Programme, consisting of 11 UN cosponsors and a Secretariat, remains the best tool for a coordinated UN response to HIV, but if it is to lead the global AIDS response to and beyond 2030, it must adapt. Modifying its operating model will be necessary to remain fit-for-purpose as it moves towards achieving the 2030 goal of ‘ending HIV as a public health emergency’. This is what MOPAN concludes in its latest assessment of the UNAIDS Secretariat. It calls on the UNAIDS Secretariat together with its stakeholders to consider, what the HIV epidemic will look like beyond 2030, what the comparative advantage of the UN system response will be, and provide the necessary leadership to create a vision for the global AIDS response post the Sustainable Development Goals.

MOPAN presented the assessment of the UNAIDS Secretariat to UN member states, UNAIDS Cosponsors (UN Agencies), and NGO Delegations, alongside Denmark and the U.S. who served as liaisons for the assessment on behalf of the MOPAN membership. The assessment focuses on the global function of the UNAIDS Secretariat, including its fitness for purpose on core functions. It highlights that the UNAIDS Joint Programme has been successful in engaging UN agencies in global and country level responses to HIV, and points out the UN system has a comparative advantage, now and beyond 2030, in setting global norms and providing countries with technical guidance for a multisectoral response.

The MOPAN assessment finds that since its last assessment in 2016, the UNAIDS Secretariat improved performance in a number of areas. Monitoring the epidemic, generating evidence for shaping the global response to the HIV epidemic, supporting global HIV policy processes, advancing norms through policy dialogue with member states, and coordinating joint UN support to countries remain some of its strengths. UNAIDS has created and implemented a process for the development of a joint UN AIDS response workplan, budget and accountability framework, and established an independent evaluation function. Looking forward, the assessment finds that the UNAIDS Secretariat is fit for purpose to play some, albeit not all, of its functions.

The assessment finds three fundamental, interrelated challenges that seriously hamper the UN system’s response to HIV globally. First, the UNAIDS Secretariat has been unable to mobilize adequate resources to fully fund the Joint UNAIDS workplan. Second, years of financial constraints and unmet expectations of the UNAIDS Cosponsors has resulted in strained relationships at the global level. Third, stakeholders are waiting for the UNAIDS Secretariat to lead the development of a vision, sharply focused on HIV, for the global AIDS response towards and beyond 2030 with the role UNAIDS Joint Programme well defined. Although these issues have been highlighted in several earlier reviews, Secretariat and Cosponsors representatives have failed to address them.

“We have made great progress in the global HIV/AIDS response”, says Dr. John Nkengasong, U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Senior Bureau Official for Health Security and Diplomacy of the U.S. Department of State, “but those gains are fragile and HIV/AIDS is still a threat to health, development and security. UNAIDS continues to be our best tool to lead a global response. The MOPAN review provides highlights of the progress made since 2016, but it also clearly demonstrates that a sharp focus on HIV/AIDS and stronger partnerships within UNAIDS must be the priority going forward. The U.S. is confident the Secretariat will successfully take up this challenge.”

MOPAN recognizes that a coordinated UN system response to HIV remains relevant, now and in the future. Funding for UNAIDS in its current ‘version’ is however drying up. MOPAN challenges the UNAIDS Board and Cosponsors to go back to the drawing board and work seriously to create a renewed vision with an appropriate way of working leading up to and post 2030. The MOPAN assessment suggests they consider a joint programme with fewer Cosponsors and a leaner secretariat function, with improved funding by and accountability to participating Cosponsors. Whatever the solution, it will require not only the Secretariat’s commitment, but also that of its Cosponsors, Member States and civil society partners. “MOPAN’s assessments are always food for thought for both sides”, concluded Erik Brøgger Rasmussen, the Danish Ambassador and Permanent Representative, at the launch on Friday.

For further information on MOPAN’s Assessment of the UNAIDS Secretariat, please contact secretariat@mopanonline.org.


Aotearoa New Zealand joins MOPAN as an observer

29/08/2023 – Wellington – Aotearoa New Zealand has formally become a MOPAN observer, joining the Network for a period of twelve months, effective 1 July 2023.

MOPAN’s Chair, Laura Aghilarre, welcomed Aotearoa New Zealand to the Network, noting the excellent alignment between MOPAN’s activities and Aotearoa New Zealand’s efforts to promote a more effective multilateral system which delivers on development outcomes and the sustainable development goals.

Following a visit in Wellington this week with the MOPAN Secretariat, New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Deputy Secretary of Pacific and Development Group, Bernadette Cavanagh, confirmed that Aotearoa New Zealand is looking forward to engaging with the Network over the coming year under this new partnership.

Aotearoa New Zealand achieves global reach through engagement and support for the multilateral system, humanitarian assistance, and regional programmes, aligning to MOPAN’s commitment to improving the multilateral system.

In 2021, Aotearoa New Zealand provided USD 223.4 million of gross official development assistance (ODA) to the multilateral system, of which 15.5 percent of total ODA was allocated as core contributions to multilateral organisations.

With the addition of Aotearoa New Zealand, and the MOPAN Network expands to include 22 members and observers, representing 90.4 percent of total contributions to the multilateral system by official providers.

For further information on MOPAN’s engagement with Aotearoa New Zealand, please contact secretariat@mopanonline.org.


Information briefing to launch the MOPAN performance assessment of FAO & WFP

28/08/2023 - MOPAN will host a briefing session to launch the 2023 MOPAN assessments of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and World Food Programme (WFP). The session will provide an overview of plans for both assessments including discussions about the methodological approach, the timelines and ways of working. Members of FAO and WFP’s Executive Boards will participate in the session. The event will be hosted at WFP headquarters and take place on Friday, 15 September 2023 from 14:00 to 15:30.

Interpretation in Arabic, English, French and Spanish will be provided.


MOPAN Performance Assessments of FAO and WFP
Information Briefing, WFP HQ

15 September 2023, 14:00-15:30

1. WFP and FAO: Welcome

  • Ms. Beth Bechdol, Deputy Director-General, FAO
  • Mr. Carl Skau, Deputy Executive Director, WFP

2. MOPAN Members

  • Ms. Laura Aghilarre, DDG/Principal Director for general affairs and development cooperation policy orientation, DG Development Cooperation, Italy
  • Ms. Ellen Luger, Acting Deputy Chief of Mission and Minister Counselor for Agriculture, United States of America

3. MOPAN Secretariat: Overview of the two assessments, their methodologies and process

  • Suzanne Steensen, Head of MOPAN Secretariat
  • Jolanda Profos, Assessment Manager, MOPAN Secretariat

4. Questions from Member States, Discussion (Moderated by MOPAN)

5. Closing Remarks - Institutional Leads

  • Ms. Barbara Curran, Director-General, Global Affairs Canada
  • Ms. Krisztina Bende, H. E. Res. Rep. and Ambassador, Switzerland


MOPAN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development

11/07/23, New York - MOPAN co-hosts High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development with Permanent Mission of Italy, Indonesia and Costa Rica in New York.

Sustainable Financing at a time of poly-crisis: Creating ties that bind

The protracted effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the consequences of the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, food insecurity and soaring inflation are impacting global stability and economy and exacerbating ongoing crises.

The discussion on sustainable financing of multilateral organisations – and in particular of the UN – is a long-lasting discussion. It is a central discussion: if the multilateral system is to deliver results, it must be financed in the “right” manner.

And yet, while multilateral financing has increased nearly 40% in the past decade, nearly all this growth has been in inflexible, project-based earmarked funding. The Secretary-General’s Funding Compact highlighted transformative shifts proposed to the membership to ensure a more sustainable financing model for the UN Development System.

To overcome the longstanding dichotomy between “core” and “non-core” resources, a third way was proposed to encourage quality non-core resources: the management of development-related inter-agency “pooled funds” and single-agency “thematic funds”.


MOPAN in UNDS Roundtable at Multilateral Finance Development week

29/11/22, Geneva - Ms Suzanne Steensen, MOPAN's Head of Secretariat, participated in the Roundtable, "Financing the UN Development System: Embracing Change", at the Multilateral Development Finance Week [virtual] event. The event addressed pressing quesstions affecting multilateral effectiveness--What does the current UN funding situation look like? What kind of consequences does it carry for the UN’s work and for multilateralism? Why are bilateral contributions so heavily earmarked to the UNDS and what are the incentives to support more flexible funding? 

Ms. Steensen discussed the constraints and funding challenges within the multilateral system, its implications for the UN's work and rebuilding trust between the UN system and MOPAN members. Watch the Roundtable.


MOPAN 20th Anniversary Event: Multilateralism at a Crossroads

Since 2002, MOPAN has been at the forefront of pushing effectiveness in the multilateral system, yet today, the multilateral system is at a crossroads, facing unprecedented demand and a growing number of crises. How can organisations be agile and fit-for-purpose to meet evolving demands? How can multilateral stakeholders work together to deliver on shared goals and values?

Today, recent progress by the multilateral system in delivering in these areas is threatened by a dramatic increase in the scale and complexity of global challenges. These challenges, which include cascading crises with global impact, growing political fault lines, a stretched Official Development Assistance (ODA) environment, as well as ongoing pressures to deliver on the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals and the climate agenda, threaten to undermine the future of multilateralism.

The effectiveness of the multilateral system is at the heart of this endeavour.

MOPAN 20th Anniversary Event:

MULTILATERALISM AT A CROSSROADS: Rising to the challenges of today and tomorrow

12 December; 10:00 - 11:30 

Hilton Geneva Hotel and Conference Centre

High-Level Event Recording

MOPAN’s 20th Anniversary High-Level Event will convene executive-level officials from MOPAN members and development partners, along with multilateral organisation leaders to reflect on the future of the multilateral system. Participants will consider the key emerging challenges and their implications with the aim of building a common understanding on potential responses to maximise multilateral effectiveness to deliver the 2030 Agenda, including MOPAN’s role in supporting these efforts.


Since our founding over 20 years ago, MOPAN has used its unique position to strengthen the multilateral system’s contributions to achieving greater development and humanitarian results – primarily through promoting accountability; learning and shaping multilateral performance standards.

- Suzanne Steensen,

Head of MOPAN Secretariat 


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