oPt HF allows partners to start the application process for eligibility throughout the year outside the allocation processing period (approximately one week before opening the allocation process and one month after closing the process). The eligibility process consists of several steps.
Step 1: Preliminary Screening of Prospective Partners
Before the capacity assessment process begins, prospective partners undergo a preliminary screening to determine if they meet basic minimum standards. This screening includes a questionnaire that assesses the organization's experience in humanitarian operations, adherence to humanitarian principles, the existence of required policies, and protection against abuse. If an organization does not meet the criteria, the eligibility process stops. Prospective partners can self-assess their eligibility and fill out the questionnaire even when applications are not being accepted. Feedback on the screening results is provided to organizations that do not meet the criteria.
Download the oPt HF Preliminary Screening Questionnaire Form here.
Step 2: Registration in the UN Partner Portal and Grants Management System
Prospective partners who want to apply for oPt HF eligibility must register in the UN Partner Portal (UNPP) and provide necessary documents such as governance documents, organizational charts, annual reports, audit reports, and ethics policies. Partners should ideally register in UNPP before the preliminary screening. Registration in UNPP is mandatory, and failure to register prevents partners from proceeding further in the eligibility process.
Step 3: Due Diligence and Capacity Assessment
Once registered in the UNPP, partners move on to the due diligence (DD) and capacity assessment (CA) process. During this step, partners submit required documents and undergo a review of their capacity and compliance with minimum requirements. The DD and CA process assesses institutional, technical, management, and financial capacity. The assessment is divided into three sub-components: due diligence, verification of excluding questions, and capacity assessment. The capacity assessment evaluates governance and institutional capacity, program and partnership capacity, operational and financial capacity, and protection against sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA). Each section is assessed using a questionnaire, and partners must achieve a minimum score of 60% in the operational and financial capacity section to be eligible.
Step 4: Assignment of Initial Risk Level
Based on the score obtained during the capacity assessment, partners are assigned an initial risk level: high, medium, or low. The assigned risk level determines the applicable operational modalities, grant conditionalities, and oversight activities. Partners who pass the capacity assessment are deemed eligible, while those who score below the threshold are considered ineligible. Organizations that narrowly miss the eligibility threshold may be conditionally eligible and can become eligible with a high-risk level after implementing corrective measures.
Exceptions to the capacity assessment requirement can be made in exceptional cases where funding is urgently needed for critical or life-saving activities. In such cases, alternative methodologies for determining eligibility can be used with proper justification.
Step 5: Feedback and Capacity Strengthening
The feedback and capacity strengthening process is an integral part of the oPt HF eligibility process. It ensures transparency and provides organizations with notifications and feedback reports at each step of the process. For organizations that reach the Due Diligence and/or Capacity Assessment stages, detailed feedback reports are generated, highlighting findings and recommended areas for improvement. Recommendations are categorized by their criticality level, and partners are required to implement corrective measures within specified timelines. Failure to implement these measures may result in non-compliance measures, including suspension of eligibility. Conditionally eligible partners must implement critical recommendations to gain full eligibility, while ineligible organizations receive feedback and support to develop capacity strengthening plans. The feedback and capacity strengthening process aims to assist organizations in meeting eligibility requirements and accessing oPt HF funding.
This CBPF Eligibility Guidance Note describes the process in detail.