Under the direction of the HC, the SHF aims to support the timely allocation and disbursement of donor resources to the most critical humanitarian needs, as defined by the HRP or strategy agreed by the HC. To meet this goal, the SHF has two inclusive and efficient allocation processes:
- Standard allocation: The process through which most of the funds will be allocated to ensure funding for priority projects in line with the HRP. Upon availability of sufficient funding, a standard allocation will be launched at the beginning of every year. Other standard allocations may take place throughout the year.
- Reserve allocation: A more streamlined process used for the rapid and flexible allocation of funds set aside by the HC, taking place as required in the event of unforeseen emergencies or to immediately address strategic humanitarian needs. The SHF has specific criteria for the Reserve for Emergencies. They are described in the SHF Programmatic Manual. The Reserve for Emergencies will constitute a minimum of 20 per cent of the fund’s annual contributions.
The standard and reserve allocations are completed within a specified time frame to allow partners to respond in a timely manner. For all allocations, the HC publishes an allocation strategy, which specifies the sectors and activities eligible for funding. It is developed by OCHA in coordination with the relevant IASC sectors. The SHF Advisory Board reviews and endorses the allocation strategy paper. All allocations fit within the SHF positioning statement agreed with the Advisory Board each year.
The allocation strategy paper also lists the key strategic and technical criteria for project proposals, including beneficiary targeting, programmatic approaches, guidance on cross-cutting issues of accountability to affected populations, environmental protection, protection mainstreaming and gender responsiveness in humanitarian response.
The SHF project cycle is managed in OCHA’s Grant Management System (GMS), which is an online platform that allows streamlined management of humanitarian financing processes and institutional knowledge of all country-based pooled funds (CBPFs). SHF partners use this interface to submit project proposals, revisions and reports, and OCHA coordinates project review, monitoring and partner performance.