An Integrated national financing framework (INFF) is a planning and delivery tool to finance sustainable development at the national level. Country-led and country-owned, they help policymakers map the landscape for financing sustainable development and lay out a strategy to increase and make the most effective use of all types of finance for sustainable development, coordinate technical and financial cooperation, manage financial and non-financial risks, and ultimately achieve priorities articulated in a national sustainable development strategy or plan. In short, INFFs are a tool for governments to operationalise the Addis Ababa Action Agenda at the national level.
INFFs can also play a two-fold role in supporting governments to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and its fallout. First, specific elements of INFFs can support immediate crisis response efforts, such as a rapid assessment of the impact on the financing landscape and a rapid review of support options from the international community. Second, INFFs can help formulate comprehensive strategies for recovery that are aligned with the SDGs, the Paris Agreement and sustainably financed (see Box 1).
The Addis Ababa Action Agenda, which introduces the concept of INFFs, provides a framework for financing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It recognises that public and private finance have important, differentiated roles to play in advancing sustainable development. The agenda lays out both national and global actions, underlining the importance of an enabling international economic environment. Member States of the United Nations (UN) have agreed that national efforts are crucial in delivering this global agenda, with ‘cohesive, nationally owned sustainable development strategies, supported by integrated national financing frameworks…at the heart of our efforts’.
The Inter-agency Task Force on Financing for Development (IATF) has been tasked with supporting countries’ efforts to operationalise INFFs by developing toolkits and guidance material.FN Additionally, the Secretary-General’s Strategy for Financing the 2030 Agenda and its three-year Roadmap of actions and initiatives commit the UN development system to support countries in adopting and implementing INFFs. A number of countries have decided to pioneer the INFF concept with support from the UN and the European Union.
This inception phase guidance is the first in a series of guidance documents that will be published in support of INFF implementation. Others will cover the four INFF building blocks: (i) assessment and diagnostics; (ii) the financing strategy; (iii) monitoring and review; and (iv) governance and coordination. These all build on the 2019 Financing for Sustainable Development Report, particularly Chapter II on INFFsFN .
The focus in the next sections is on how to start the process of operationalising an INFF (technical guidance) and who should do so (the political dimension). Section 2 provides an overview of what an INFF is (and is not). Section 3 provides guidance on the preparatory work needed for the design and implementation of INFFs at the country level: section 3.1 lays out the initial scoping exercise; section 3.2 covers how to institutionalise an INFF within a national government, along with stakeholders that will need to be mobilised; section 3.3 provides guidance for developing a roadmap or plan of action to set up an INFF. Key steps are summarised in the form of a checklist (see Annex).