As a voluntary and informal state-led process, the GFMD does not have a regular funding mechanism. Financial contributions are offered on a voluntary basis to rotating Chairmanships. Each Chair-in-Office prepares a comprehensive budget for the Chairmanship period, indicating the part it will cover through its own resources and the part for which it will require external funding.
Financial contributions are paid to a fund administered by the Chair-in-Office through the GFMD Support Unit and in coordination with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), which hosts the Support Unit. The Chair-in-Office, directly or through the Support Unit, incurs expenditures in accordance with the budget and ensures the efficient management of all funds received, including controlling and auditing.
For its part, the Chair-in-Office assumes a varied scope of financial responsibility, depending on its economic situation. Each Chair establishes a national task force consisting of national experts and international advisers to the GFMD Chair. The host governments usually shoulder the salaries, travel and other costs of national task force members. Meanwhile, international advisers are usually seconded or paid by other donors. These costs, however, are not considered as part of the core budget of the Chair-in-Office.
Governments' responses to calls for financial and in-kind contributions have also varied from one Chairmanship to another. Nonetheless, the number of donor governments has grown remarkably, averaging around 15 to 20 donors each year, since 2010. Records show that the number of contributors to developing country Chairs-in-Office is comparatively higher than to developed country Chairs-in-Office.
Since the establishment of the GFMD, contributions-in-kind have also been occasionally provided by governments or international organizations and foundations to the Chairs-in-Office. Such in-kind contributions may take the form of secondment of experts, drafting of Roundtable background papers or supplementary papers, or logistical assistance with preparatory activities. In these respects, the IOM in particular has been an important and steadfast contributor to the GFMD.
GFMD funding framework
In 2012, a GFMD self-assessment reached the conclusion that the Forum was in need of a more stable and predictable funding mechanism to ensure the sustainability of the process. On the basis of the consolidated GFMD Assessment Paper published in 2012, the Swedish GFMD Chair in 2013-2014 led the GFMD in developing a long-term financing framework with the following elements:
- Clear governance and accountability in accordance with established international financial and accounting standards;
- Annual standardized core budgets that include the costs of preparatory activities, the operational costs of the GFMD Support Unit and the costs of organizing the GFMD Summit in the host country;
- Early voluntary pledging to be held at the start of each Chairmanship; and
- A broader donor base, with the GFMD welcoming contributions of any amount by as many countries as may be possible.
The 2018 GFMD Ten-Year Review Report (EN | FR | ES) in turn recommended a review of the funding framework of the GFMD, noting that further GFMD funding reform is necessary for the continued sustainability of the Forum. The report also offers some recommendations on how to improve the GFMD funding systems.
Financial arrangements with IOM
Contributions to the GFMD process are received and facilitated through the International Organization for Migration (IOM), although they are received specifically with reference to the GFMD and thus are set apart from other IOM projects. All payments and disbursements are made in accordance with the IOM Rules on Procurement, and since 2011, the GFMD accounts have been examined each year by the IOM External Auditor (before this having taken part in the overall IOM Audit).