Funding the UN: support or constraint?

Baumann, Max-Otto / Silke Weinlich
External Publications (2020)

in: Stephen Browne / Thomas G. Weiss (Eds.), Routledge handbook on the UN and development, Oxon, New York: Routledge, 151-164

ISBN: 978-0-367-18685-2

Adequate and predictable funding to multilateral development organizations is key to promoting global sustainable development. Funding volumes and practices matter. They affect the scale and scope of solutions that can be offered. They reveal the extent to which multilateral organizations are owned by member states when looking at who shares the risks and costs of multilateral activities, and they demonstrate the level of trust placed in an organization. Through resource politics, states exercise influence and control over an organization. This influence can serve to support and strengthen multilateral organizations by helping them to be efficient, effective, and innovative. Or, it can also undermine international organizations by making their work harder, hampering development effectiveness, and eroding multilateral assets. The UN development system (UNDS) illustrates both kinds of financial engagement, often in parallel. This chapter begins by describing the current funding patterns of the UNDS, analyzes the main drivers, and assesses repercussions. It then takes stock of responses by individual organizations as well as by the system as a whole. The chapter concludes with some reflections about the inherent challenges in finding remedies to the unsustainable funding structures that endanger the system’s multilateral assets.

About the authors

Weinlich, Silke

Political Science


Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Science


Further experts

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Olekseyuk, Zoryana


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Stewart, Benjamin

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