SPOTLIGHT: INFFs and COVID-19
SPOTLIGHT: INFFs and COVID-19

Inception phase

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The inception phase focuses on how to start the integrated national financing framework (INFF) process and who should be involved.

Sustained commitment across government is a necessary prerequisite for developing an INFF. The primary objective of the inception phase is to lay the groundwork for national ownership of the INFF process. It is an essential first step in bringing all key stakeholders together, galvanising commitment to the process and building consensus on a way forward.

The inception phase typically involves three main steps: (i) scoping existing information related to the four INFF building blocks, (ii) identifying an institutional home for the INFF process and (iii) developing an INFF roadmap to guide the way forward.

National governments should take the lead throughout the process. Political backing and leadership at the senior technical level within key ministries are the foundation for strong national ownership of the INFF. The participation of other stakeholders from the legislature, private sector, civil society and national research institutions will help ensure broad-based support for the process. Development partners – including the United Nations, the European Union and international financial institutions  – can provide technical and convening support. 

Inception phase components


The scoping exercise gathers all available information and assessments related to each of the four building blocks. Because an INFF is intrinsically linked to a country’s national sustainable development strategy/plan, the scoping exercise should also review this document. This information provides a first indication of available financing and capacity and identifies potential gaps and constraints associated with financing national sustainable development priorities.

For a detailed overview of financing trends now and in the future, a growing number of countries are using the Development Financing Assessment (DFA) tool developed by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). See the box below for more information on how countries are implementing DFAs.

The scoping exercise gathers all available information and assessments related to each of the four building blocks. Because an INFF is intrinsically linked to a country’s national sustainable development strategy/plan, the scoping exercise should also review this document. This information provides a first indication of available financing and capacity and identifies potential gaps and constraints associated with financing national sustainable development priorities. 

In parallel to the scoping process, the inception phase should identify and/or establish an institutional home for the INFF. This also involves establishing a central oversight body or committee that will drive the INFF development and implementation process. 

In many countries, an appropriate institutional mechanism for the INFF is already in place – for example, the body responsible for implementing the national development plan. When no such mechanism exists, relevant ministries can be brought together during the inception phase to consider whether a new mechanism should be established and determine a way forward. 

The inception phase concludes with agreement on next steps. A plan should be drafted and agreed upon by the oversight committee. It may take the form of a formal roadmap document. Alternatively, the oversight committee may wish to articulate these steps in by incorporating them into existing workplans, or in some other format.

Regardless of its format, the aim of the plan is to clearly lay out the steps for developing and implementing an INFF. It should outline timelines, milestones, responsibilities and support required from the international community.

Guidance for implementing inception phase activities

The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development is developing a series of guidance documents to help countries develop and implement their INFFs. The inception phase guidance document is the first in this series of materials to support INFF development.

View guidance materials

Spotlight on development finance assessments (DFAs)

DFAs have been completed or are underway in more than 35 countries.

A DFA is a country-level process that brings together a wide constituency of actors to identify and build consensus around policy reforms that support more integrated financing of the SDGs. 

DFAs were first developed by the Asia Pacific Development Effectiveness Facility, a country-led platform for technical assistance, peer exchange and knowledge generation on INFFs. Since 2014, the DFA methodology has evolved to better align with the SDGs, reflect lessons from country experiences and respond to challenges such as COVID-19. 

DFAs analyse financing trends and four aspects of government systems: (i) the integration of planning and financing within government, (ii) public-private collaboration, (iii) monitoring, and (iv) review and transparency and accountability. They contribute to national reform processes by focusing on strengthening the link between policy action and mobilising finance for national sustainable development objectives.

News

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