Latest updates on Partnering for Impact events. For funding application information, please consult the relevant fund page.
COVID-19 Contract Adaptation Measures: Update
COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact globally, regionally and domestically.
Mindful of the impact of COVID-19 on New Zealand non-governmental organisation partners, and the ability to deliver our shared development cooperation activities, MFAT issued a menu of flexibility measures in March 2020, with a view to easing pressure and enabling adaptation. These include: no-cost extensions; re-allocation of funding; reporting extensions; approval to continue paying local staff; and time-bound co-investment relief.
We are reissuing this same menu of options, with additional information where appropriate, to ensure maximum clarity.
Given the diversity of our NZ NGO partners, the different impacts experienced, and the complexity of the Partnerships Fund, we are taking a bespoke approach to adapting each activity as may be required.
The principles we have applied in determining these initial measures, and the process to be followed in agreeing them with NZ NGOs, include:
- Kotahitanga (partnership) –we are committed to the principle of partnership, and collaborating to develop fit-for-purpose solutions that respond to distinct needs.
- Kawekawe (impact)– we are committed to working together to deliver development impact, with a focus on increasing the resilience of vulnerable and marginalised communities in the Pacific and South East Asia – especially important during these challenging and uncertain times.
- Manaakitanga (uplifting mana)– we are committed to supporting and empowering our local partners, and ensuring they have the resources necessary to continue supporting local communities.
- Maia (courage) – we are committed to continuing to listen to NGOs' experiences, and adapting our approach as necessary, within available resources. Please continue to share feedback with us.
We look forward to continuing to engage with NGOs as appropriate to agree fit-for-purpose solutions, so that we can continue to empower and support vulnerable and marginalised communities in the Pacific and beyond. We provide responses to some frequently asked questions below.
He waka eke noa.
Contract Adaptation Options
No-cost extensions for up to 12 months for activities. We are also open to ending activities early if this is preferred/appropriate in the circumstances.
Re-allocation between activity outputs and/or activity years
Reallocations between outputs or activity years as necessary, subject to this not requiring either an activity extension beyond 12 months, or changes to the total Activity budget.
Up to 3 months where necessary and partners are otherwise up to date reporting. Some essential information will still be required, including if the reporting is required for the release of a tranche payment.
In-country partner payment
If activity direct output delivery needs to be temporarily paused, we are comfortable with local partners continuing to be paid for a short period, with a review by 31 May 2020. Local staff would need to be productively alternatively employed for MFAT to consider providing relief beyond this period.
A partial, time-bound relaxation of co-investment on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of six months equivalent of the Activity’s design life. We would require you to work with us to plan how any reduction of the overall funding envelope would affect delivery.
Adaptations to activities, where it allows your partner to continue to deliver activity support and/or undertake COVID-19 related development work, if it makes sense within the overall outcomes of the activity.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you planning to lift the 10% administration cap for NZ-based costs?
- The 10% administration cap is an MFAT-wide policy. We have it in place because we believe that overseas development assistance should largely be going overseas. In addition to the 10% administration costs for NZ-based partners, local partners are also entitled to claim a 10% administration fee. This means up to 20% of any activity is already available for administration costs.
- Therefore, if we were to double the cap for New Zealand NGOs, it would result in 30% of the value of any activity going to administration costs. We do not currently see this as defensible, and it would create inequity between New Zealand and local partners. Our position of principle is that we do not intend to make an MFAT-wide policy change at this time that would see beneficiaries on the ground receiving less funding.
- NZ NGO partners can seek to access business continuity support measures for New Zealand-based costs. They can also speak with the Partnerships team about bespoke relief measures we can put in place.
Will MFAT universally remove co-investment for the Partnerships Programme?
- MFAT is willing to suspend (i.e. defer or waive) 6 months of co-investment for all our NGOs who need this, and have been encouraging the sector to approach us. Some have already requested a waiver for certain activities, while others have indicated that they will not be seeking to reduce their level of co-investment. At this point in time, we are not willing lift or reduce co-investment across the board. There are two main reasons for this:
i) Removing co-investment leads to a reduction in the level of support we are providing to in-country partners.
ii) Co-investment is one of the key value-propositions of the Partnerships Programme. It is the reason we have been able to create special funding mechanisms for NZ NGOs. If we remove this across the board, it will impact on our ability to retain our NZ NGO-specific funding programme.
- We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19, and will reconsider this position as required.
Are you considering additional relief measures?
- Not at this time. We will continue to monitor the impacts of COVID-19 and are open to considering the situation again should that be required. As it stands, however, we have not received any additional funding for COVID-19, and are required to work within our exisiting allocations. We will keep you updated.
Does MFAT intend to proceed with the Partnering for Impact Programme?
- MFAT is committed to progressing P4I. As a funding approach, we consider it remains fit-for-purpose despite COVID-19. However, each Manaaki activity and Negotiated Partnership programme will be tested for feasibility, relevance and value-add in the new COVID-19 context.
Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa: Hui Tuatahi
The first meeting of Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa), the new NGO reference group established to support the Partnering for Impact (P4I) programme, was held last week. As with the last NGO reference group, the purpose of Toroa is to support the ongoing design, mobilisation and adaptation of P4I – the Ministry’s new approach to delivering development cooperation assistance in partnership with NGOs. Following a sector-wide expression of interest process, the membership of Toroa comprises: Caritas Aotearoa NZ, cbm, Oxfam NZ, Save The Children, the Pacific Koloa Collective and CID.
The first meeting saw members confirm the Terms of Reference [PDF, 394 KB] for Toroa, and agree that the group would aim to meet every six weeks or so during the current COVID-19 conditions. The agenda included items on COVID-19 and the outlook for the Partnering for Impact programme; a principles-based approach to budgeting; and contracting for outcomes.
COVID-19 and the outlook for Partnering for Impact
Following an update on P4I, MFAT confirmed its intention to continue to progress work on the programme, commenting that, as a funding approach, it appeared fit-for-purpose despite COVID-19. It was noted, though, that each Manaaki activity and Negotiated Partnership would need to be tested for feasibility, relevancy and value-add in the new COVID-19 context.
Initial views were sought on the impact of COVID-19 on Pacific partners, and the ways in which NGOs may be able to support in this new context. Points discussed included:
- NGOs’ ability to deliver development cooperation assistance in the new environment, through well-established in-country partners and communities;
- NGOs’ ability to reach the vulnerable and marginalised;
- The capacity and adaptability of local networks;
- NGOs’ focus on areas of anticipated essential need in the wake of COVID-19. For example: water, sanitation, hygiene; health; protection of children, youth, women and other vulnerable and marginalised groups; economic resilience; and climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction;
- Some NGOs are already adapting/pivoting to provide COVID-19-related support;
- In the context of extended state powers, NGOs’ ability to assist in the social accountability sphere (i.e. governance, participatory decision-making processes, maintaining/building resilient/vibrant civil societies, protecting human rights);
- NGOs’ abundance of connectivity – domestically, regionally and internationally, and the ability to mobilise this in providing support; and
- The adaptability of the new P4I programmatic approach.
It was agreed that a slim think-piece would be developed with Toroa assistance, focusing on the implications of COVID-19 on in-country partners, and exploring the value-add NGOs may be able to bring. It was noted that, despite current challenges, we should continue to “dream, dreams” around how we can enhance our collective development impact, with a view to empowering and increasing the resilience of vulnerable communities in the region. If anyone wishes to contribute views, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Principles-based approach to budgeting
Noting that the Negotiated Partnerships Programme invests significantly in up-front due diligence and capability mapping, MFAT explained its interest in piloting a new principles-based approach to budgeting for Negotiated Partnerships. Detailed feedback was provided, with a general preference for this more flexible approach. [A draft non-paper is available on request, should anyone wish to comment]. In addition, the Partnerships team sought feedback on the pros and cons of removing the current PFID split requirements for costs related to direct output delivery, direct output support and in-country support for both Manaaki and Negotiated Partnerships (MFAT-wide budget policies would be retained though). The expectation is that these two proposals would be more administratively efficient, flexible and adaptable. Toroa members have been asked to share any further feedback by the end of April.
Contracting for Outcomes
MFAT provided an update on efforts underway to develop an outcomes-based contracting approach for Negotiated Partnerships. While NGO grant funding arrangements have traditionally focused on outputs, an outcomes-based contracting agreement would focus on short, medium and longer term outcomes. It will enable the relationship between partners to be more strategic, and provide a more effective environment for learning, reflection, flexibility and adaptive management (critical in uncertain and dynamic environments, such as the current COVID-19 context). The approach would be supported by clear monitoring, evaluation, research and learning frameworks – both for each individual programme, and for the overall P4I programme. MFAT has been considering models used internationally and domestically, and is looking to draw-on an outcomes-based approach successfully used by MBIE when partnering with NGOs. A draft non-paper is available on request for anyone who would like the opportunity to comment.
Toroa members signalled a preference for this more adaptable and “higher-trust model” way of working together. It was noted that careful consideration would need to be given to how we measure results (e.g. despite best efforts, things may not go to plan due to other external developments outside our control), and to coordinating efforts/frameworks where multiple NGOs are seeking to achieve similar outcomes. It was noted that it would be good to retain the current payment against milestone approach. It was agreed we would discuss flexibility, variation, co-financing, reporting and how Te Puni Kokiri and others work with Māori in tracking outcomes at a future meeting.
A further exchange will be held sometime in the next six weeks or so. An agenda will again be shared with the sector beforehand.
Manaaki Round Two Application Update
In light of the uncertainty around the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Partnerships team at MFAT would be grateful if NGO partners could include brief responses to the following two additional questions in any Manaaki round two applications, due on 29 May 2020:
- Please describe how the design and implementation of your proposed activity could be completed if COVID-19 conditions and restrictions still exist during those stages.
- Please describe how the proposed activity remains relevant and/or could add value in the wake of COVID-19 (for example, will the activity help strengthen vulnerable and marginalised communities in some way, or respond to a current or anticipated need?).
The application form has been updated accordingly in the Manaaki section of the website. You are also welcome, however, to send the extra information requested in a covering email or additional attachment when submitting your application, if either of those options are easier.
Please feel free to reach out if you’ve any questions about this additional requirement (email@example.com).
Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa ('Toroa') Inaugural Meeting
MFAT sought expressions of interest earlier this year for our new NGO reference group, Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa). Thank you to everyone who submitted EOIs; we were humbled by the level of interest expressed.
We are pleased to advise that the membership of Toroa will include:
- CID: Director, Josie Pagani
- Pacific Koloa Collective (rotating representation)
- Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand: Director, Julianne Hickey
- Oxfam NZ, International: Portfolio Manager, Anna Mosley
- cbm: Programme Manager, Linabel Hadlee
- Save the Children: Programme Manager, Kylie Enoka
Toroa has been established to help support the ongoing design, mobilisation and adaptation of the Partnering for Impact programme. We are also keen to use it as a platform to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on our shared development cooperation efforts.
The inaugural (ZOOM) meeting for Toroa is scheduled for Wednesday 15 April. The agenda currently includes three substantive items:
1. COVID-19 and the outlook for Partnering for Impact
We’re keen to seek initial thinking on the impact COVID-19 may have on development sector, and what we collectively need to bear in mind to ensure the relevancy and value-add of our joint development cooperation efforts. As part of that, we’re keen to consider the comparative and competitive advantages NGOs could bring to the fore in the COVID-19 context.
2. A new principles-based approach to budgeting?
We will provide a short overview of our thinking so far, and invite feedback. We’re also keen to seek views on our current 50/30/10/10 budget approach.
3. Contracting for outcomes
We plan to provide a short overview of how contracting for outcomes may be applied to the Negotiated Partnerships Programme, and then invite feedback. We see real value in adopting an approach along these lines, including as it’ll enable us to more readily adapt – something which is needed in the current COVID-19 context.
If you would like to input any views, you could either contact any of the Toroa members, or send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A short note will be distributed following the meeting.
He Waka Eke Noa
Please see the link below for the first edition of He Waka Eke Noa, the Pacific and Development Group's periodic newsletter.
He Waka Eke Noa is part of MFAT's efforts to ensure we're keeping the development sector updated during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
He Waka Eke Noa: 6 April 2020 [PDF, 875 KB]
COVID-19: Immediate measures available for NZNGOs
Message from the Partnerships Team - 31 March 2020
E ngā rangatira, tēnā koutou katoa
We hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and well.
MFAT’s focus over the last few weeks has been on helping countries prepare for COVID-19, agreeing an initial support package, dealing with the movement of people, and preparing for the current lockdown. The challenges Pacific countries face are significant and our scenario planning has led us to conclude that financial stability, social cohesion issues, and security issues will be very real in a number of countries. We believe that we have a reasonable understanding of vulnerabilities across our development relationships. However, New Zealand’s capacity to provide support is at present limited – due to demands on our own system and because transport links are closing down.
We believe NZ NGOs have an important role to play. With your established in-country partners, we trust that some of you will remain able to continue to support local vulnerable communities. That said, we are conscious that COVID-19 is impacting you and your local partners in many ways. We’ve appreciated the feedback we’ve been receiving in this regard, and remain keen to continue hearing from you - including about the ways you and your partners are adapting to the situation, and also the ongoing development and COVID-19 related support you are looking to provide.
Stage one: immediate measures
In response to your feedback about the impact COVID-19 is having on your operations, the Partnerships Team has been giving careful thought to the types of measures we might be able to immediately offer for development partnerships with us that are within our current allocations. We are conscious we have a diversity of partners, and that each of you will require bespoke, fit-for-purpose support. We propose to continue to have conversations with you to assess what might work best.
The types of immediate measures we will consider on a case-by-case basis, include:
- No-cost extensions for up to 12 months for activities that require this. We are also open to ending activities early if this is preferred/appropriate in the circumstances.
- Re-allocation of funding between activity years as appropriate.
- Reporting extensions of up to 3 months will be considered where this is necessary and partners are otherwise up to date on their reporting. Some essential information will still be required.
- If an activity needs to be temporarily suspended, we are comfortable with local partners continuing to be paid for a short period, with a review by the end of May 2020. Local staff would need to be productively alternatively employed in ways that broadly contribute to activity outcomes for MFAT to consider providing relief beyond this period.
- A partial, time-bound relaxation of co-investment on a case-by-case basis, up to a maximum of six months. We would require you to work closely with us to plan how any reduction of the overall funding envelope would affect delivery.
- Adaptations to activities where it allows your partner to continue to deliver activity support and/or undertake COVID-19 related development work, if it makes sense within the overall outcomes of the activity.
We have also been engaging with other government agencies to confirm the extent to which the NGO international development sector is able to access business continuity packages. We will continue to share any information we receive.
We will continue to progress the Negotiated Partnerships Programme and activities for Manaaki round one. However, in response to NGO feedback, we have deferred the closing date for Manaaki round two by eight weeks to 29 May 2020 (see post below).
Stage two: short to medium term measures
In addition to the immediate actions above to ease pressure and support adaptation, we are also beginning to explore other possible options, which we need time to develop. These options might include:
- The ability for MFAT to top-up co-investment – if, for example, partners can demonstrate that the work is essential to ensuring the sustainability of the activity’s outcomes.
- Repurposing funding unable to be spent on other activities. We’d be interested in hearing if there is any COVID-19 related development work that you and your local partner(s) are capable of delivering over and above what you are already doing.
We need time to work through stage two the issues and options, and plan to engage the new NGO reference group Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa when we’ve done further thinking.
To assist with this, we’d welcome it if you could continue to engage with the Partnerships Team on any COVID-19 related impacts for ongoing activities or any changes to activities that you have planned or think may be possible in response to COVID-19. For each activity we’re keen to confirm what will continue as is, what might be suspended or ended and what might need variation.
We will also be working with the broader Pacific and Development Group to prepare a regular update, which will be shared with the sector. If you have any COVID-19 related stories you or your local partners would like to include, please do let us know.
We look forward to remaining in close touch with you all during this challenging time. If you have any questions or comments, we’d welcome hearing from you (email@example.com).
Kia tiaki tō hauora,
Manaaki Round Two extension
In response to the impact caused by COVID-19, and feedback we have received from our NGO partners, the deadline for the second round of our contestable fund Manaaki, will be extended from 5pm 30 March to 5pm Friday 29 May 2020. Subject to any further unforeseen developments, the revised timeline for Manaaki is provided below, for your planning purposes:
- Concepts are due 29 May 2020
- Concepts will be assessed and due diligence undertaken between June – August 2020
- Activity design, appraisal and contracting will be completed between September – November 2020
- Implementation will start from December 2020 onward.
We are keen to be as accommodating as we can during this challenging time. If you’ve questions in relation to Manaaki or any other MFAT activities, please do reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Please find linked below the Manaaki Guidelines for Applicants, Manaaki Application Form, Activity Design Document and Activity Appraisal Framework, and the Partnering for Impact Frequently Asked Questions.
Round Two Manaaki Guidelines for Applicants March 2020 [PDF, 993 KB]
Round Two Manaaki Application Form March 2020 [DOCX, 389 KB]
Manaaki Activity Design Document March 2020 [PDF, 723 KB]
Manaaki Activity Design Appraisal March 2020 [PDF, 548 KB]
Please note the Manaaki Activity Design Document and Manaaki Activity Design Appraisal are indicative only and may be amended prior to NZNGOs beginning design in round two.
Partnering For Impact Wānangā
|We provided more information about Manaaki Round 2|
|Tui Dewes, MFAT and Greg Coyle, The Salvation Army|
We held Partnering for Impact (P4I) wānangā in late January in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch. We provided an update on progress with P4I, presented our new P4I Monitoring, Evaluation, Research and Learning Framework, shared some tips for applying for round two of Manaaki and provided more information about our new P4I NGO Reference Group: Toroa. There was a great turn-out at each of the wānangā, and we really appreciated the useful feedback we received.
If you have any questions or feedback, please do not hesitate to be in touch via email@example.com.
Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa ('Toroa') - New NGO Reference Group
Following on from the success of the inaugural Partnering For Impact (P4I) NGO Reference Group, we are moving to set up a new reference group to support the ongoing design, implementation and adaption of the P4I programme. The new reference group is called Te Rōpū o Ngā Toroa (Toroa).
Please click here to find the Terms of Reference [PDF, 394 KB] for Toroa.
If you are interested in nominating yourself, or someone else, please complete the Expression of Interest [DOCX, 312 KB] form.
All nominations will be accepted as long as the nominee has agreed and the information sought in the EOI form is provided. Please note that inaugural Reference Group members may be appointed, as might representatives from organisations not receiving MFAT funding, as well as those being considered for/receiving MFAT funding - including from PFID, Negotiated Partnerships and/or Manaaki.
Applications will close at midday on Monday 17 February 2020. We will contact all those who submitted EOIs by the end of February with the outcomes of the application process. We plan to hold the first Toroa in Wellington in March 2020.
If you have any questions about the process, please do not hesitate to be in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org.
MFAT and World Vision in Solomon Islands
The MFAT Partnerships team was fortunate to join World Vision NZ recently in the Solomon Islands. We participated in the Negotiated Partnership programme design workshop, sharing views on supporting communities in remote regions to realise economic and social benefits. We discussed the benefits of adaptive management and what that means for on-the-ground staff. We welcome engaging with our partners on the ground, and seeking to live-up to our organisational value of manaakitanga – respect.
MFAT - NGO Hui
On 22 October 2019, around 120 participants attended the Annual Manatū Aorere/MFAT NGO Hui at the Tiakiwai Conference Centre in the National Library. Under the theme of "Partnerships", the hui focused on engaging meaningfully with the domestic international development NGO sector to advance New Zealand Aid Programme priorities. MFAT's Chief Executive Chris Seed reflected in his opening sppech on the way in which MFAT's values and the Pacific Reset principles influence the way we work. A copy of his speech is available here [DOCX, 37 KB]. He spoke too about MFAT's Partnering for Impact programme, which seeks to better leverage the relationships, resources, and technical expertise available within MFAT and NZ.
The hui was attended by Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister of Building and Construction, Ethnic Communities and Customs, who delivered the keynote address. Minister Salesa focused in her comments on her personal experience in creating synergies between the Government's domestic and international efforts to partner with and uplift Pacific peoples.
A panel of PDG senior leaders also took to the stage to outline key programme priorities in their respective areas, including opportunities for NGOs to work with MFAT.
In line with feedback from NGO partners ahead of the hui, the day also included a wānanga on Effective Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Learning for Better Development Outcomes.
We were very happy with the hui, and have also received positive feedback from the development sector. Thank you to everyone who made this a special and successful hui.