Final Reports

Dear IPPF,

We are pleased to present the final reports of the Independent Governance Reform Commission and the Independent Resource Allocation Commission for your consideration and deliberation. We are grateful for your responses from the two rounds of survey we conducted and the many thoughtful comments and suggestions we received throughout the extensive process of consultation.

The Commission members worked hard to prepare reports that respond to our mandate to propose a radical reform of IPPF's approaches to governance and resource allocation. At the same time, we listened carefully and took very seriously the criticisms and concerns many of you expressed along the way.

We realize that we will not please everyone in every aspect of what we propose. However we hope you will appreciate we have tried hard and done our best to be fair and judicious, while at the same time proposing challenging new approaches that we believe will be in the Federation’s best interests.

We look forward to seeing many of you in New Delhi at the end of next month and hearing your reactions to our proposals.

With warmest regards,

Steven W. Sinding, chair, IGRC

Gillian Greer, chair, IRAC

The Commissions undertook an extensive consultation between June to October, including:
  • Two web-based surveys - approx. 200 Member Associations (MAs), volunteers and staff responded to each survey
  • An interactive website with regular updates and a live discussions
  • Consultation at regional council meetings and youth forums
  • A range of webinars in various languages
  • The Commissions reviewed the governance and resource allocation models of other Federated organisations.
  • The Commissions’ final reports and recommendations were submitted to MAs and the Governing Council in mid-October for discussion and decision at the November General Assembly.
Why such a short timetable for change?
Many of you asked why the reform process is being conducted so quickly.
This is due to:
  • Assurance given to the Charity Commission that IPPF's governance would be reviewed in a short timeframe
  • The Governing Council has given IPPF six months for the reforms to be to complete
  • Donors strongly supporting the need for reform and have provided resources for IPPF to facilitate the reform process within this timeframe.

Independent Governance Reform Commission: Summary

In recommending a revised system of governance the Commission considered:

Many of you asked why the reform process is being conducted so quickly.

This is due to:

  • Assurance given to the Charity Commission that IPPF's governance would be reviewed in a short timeframe
  • The Governing Council has given IPPF six months for the reforms to be to complete
  • Donors strongly supporting the need for reform and have provided resources for IPPF to facilitate the reform process within this timeframe.

Through the consultation with MAs (volunteers, executive directors and youth representatives), donors and Secreteriat staff, significant insights emerged about the current governance structure. These have informed the design of the future governance structure.

Governance System

The commission recommends a streamlined model, with a General Assembly and Board of Trustees, including:

  • Board and committee members selected on the basis of skills and experience.
  • Enhanced MA engagement through global and regional assemblies.
  • The General Assembly being the peak governance body.
  • Regional assemblies and youth forums focusing on exchange and shared learning.
  • Clear distinction between governance and management.
  • More rigorous professional oversight of fiduciary responsibilities.

The model respects and sustains IPPF's federated ethos while removing longstanding ambiguities regarding decision making authority, transparency, and accountability.

The proposal intends to better support MAs, which is essential to the movement’s success, while ensuring a more effective and efficient delivery of the Federation’s purpose worldwide.

The Commission believes that the result will be a quantum leap forward in IPPF's ability to fulfil its mission and its goals.

The Commission recommends a governance structure comprised of a General Assembly, a Board of Trustees and a set of Committees reporting to the Board of Trustees.

The Commission also recommends that regular Regional Assemblies and Youth Forums be held. These would not be part of the governance function.

Independent Resource Allocation Commission: Summary

The current formula-based allocation of unrestricted income has remained relatively unchanged since it was first introduced in 1997.

The current allocation approach is not well understood, it is not uniformly applied in the regions and there are serious concerns about the transparency of decision making. The broad opinion is that the resource allocation model is no longer fit for purpose. In the opinion of the Commission, there is little evidence that the current formula provides the best and most strategic use of the restricted funds available to the Federation.

The most substantive change being proposed is that unrestricted funding will move from a simple formula based allocation to a more flexible stream-based allocation model. It will be a mixed model applying a combination of formula and proposal-based approaches. The Commission recommends the introduction of a model which allocates unrestricted resources through three streams:

Stream 1 will account for at least 80% of total unrestricted funding, and will support MAs and Collaborative Partners in low to upper middle income countries to deliver their core SRHR role (SRH services, CSE, advocacy). It will also fund the core functions of the Secretariat to enable them to support MAs. Grants to MAs will be allocated through a transparent formula with a focus on unmet SRHR needs. The funds will be awarded against 3-year plans and approved allocations, offering both predictability and transparency.

The exact criteria for the formula for Stream 1 will be developed in Phase 2. Part of that will also be the need for transition planning. In order to facilitate MAs who are confronted by strong drops in funding. A model for smoother transitioning will also be developed in Phase 2.

Stream 2 is a Strategic Fund, which will provide funds on a competitive, proposal basis to all MAs. And Collaborative Partners. It will focus on areas of the strategy that require additional support, for example to deal with barriers such as opposition attacks, detrimental legislation or research. It will also be for innovations that can be replicated and that will help IPPF deliver on its strategy.

Stream 3 will provide funds for resilience, emergency preparedness and initial emergency response. It will be accessible to all MAs and Collaborative Partners.

Flow chart
Funding streams/Key design features Stream 1: Accelerating the Response Stream 2: Strategic Fund Stream 3: Initial Emergency response
Definition of each type of funding To cover core governance functions and support the accelerated response. Focus on "difficult to fund" activities. Strategic interventions to deal with barriers such as opposition attacks, detrimental legislation or the link. It will also be for replicable innovations that will help IPPF deliver on its strategy Revolving fund to support resilience/preparedness and initial short-term response to emergency situations (restricted funds expected to cover the full response).
Eligibility Available to MAs in low income and lower/upper middle-income countries. All MAs and Collaborative Partners All MAs and Collaborative Partners
Strategy and Policy decision Board to approve allocations between the 3 funding streams
Global Governance Body approves MA allocation formula, indictive formula and 3-year CO/RO plans
A special Technical Committee will advise IPPF management team on the proposals by MAs.
Director Leadership Team approves MA plans.
Global Governance Body approves guidelines and allocations for Strategic Fund (advised by Technical Committee). Director General approves allocations as required.
Recommended model for allocation Formula based for the MAs (largely driven by unmet SRHR needs modified approach to performance-based funding). In upper middle income countries, level of existing funding will be taken into account. Proposal based. Guidelines will be developed to identify objectives, set funding ceilings, co-financing arrangements etc.) Ad hoc - as needs dictate.
Accountability arrangements Reporting against 3-year work plan/proposal (MAs, ROs and CO). Progress against key milestones and indicators set out in project proposals. To be agreed.
Timeframe 3 years Generally 2-3 years case by case.
Transition plan The model will be phased in over time. Elements of new approach to be introduced from 2021 with an independent midterm review in 2022.
Benefits of the Model

It is the opinion of the Commission that the proposed model will improve efficiency and accelerate progress towards IPPF's strategic objectives through:

Better targeting of unrestricted funding to areas most in need through a mixed formula and proposal-based approach, and a focus on services and other roles like comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) and advocacy that are "difficult to fund".

Better resource planning and predictability, using the expertise of Regional Offices and a Technical Committee to help develop robust and relevant 3-year plans which best meet country challenges.

Greater MA-centricity: Member Associations are at the heart of the proposed RA model, and building their capacity to ensure “no one is left behind” is a key element.

More transparency in financing the Secretariat: clarity around resource allocations to the Secretariat, whose role as enablers of MAs will be clarified and strengthened.

Stronger results focus across the Federation: a more comprehensive performance-based funding approach, with a wider range of key performance indicators that will measure contributions to IPPF’s mission.

Positive culture changes: unrestricted funding will be planned and budgeted for, ensuring that both MAs and the Secretariat are more strategic and aligned with each other; Member Associations, Regional Offices and Central Office (CO) will all submit plans, in a more equitable approach to resource allocation and a more collaborative approach to delivery.

Ongoing relevance: the model will be agile and dynamic, through regular reviews and modifications.