The IPU is funded by its members and associate members through annual assessed contributions and through voluntary funds provided by donors. The IPU enjoys a solid funding base and is not dependent on voluntary funds to cover its basic needs. However, to realize its full potential and meet increasing demands for assistance, additional funds are required. The expanded agenda, which includes programmes to promote democracy, development and peace, requires more funding that is both predictable and flexible.
In March 2016, the Governing Council of the IPU approved the Guidelines relating to voluntary contributions to the Inter-Parliamentary Union.
The IPU’s programmes and the requirements to carry them out are presented in a document entitled "Implementing a Strategy for Better Parliaments and Stronger Democracies - planned activities and requirements 2012-2014". Alongside the IPU Strategy for 2012-2017, the plan and its associated programme documentation provide the basis for discussions with donors about support.
As a result of efforts to obtain predictable and stable funding from voluntary resources, in 2008 the IPU established multi-year partnerships with the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), Irish Aid and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The initial grants from these partnerships expired in 2011. The IPU currently manages an ongoing multi-year (2011-2014) funding grant from Sida. The grant is available for use on aspects of the IPU Strategy dealing with democracy, peace and development. Irish Aid provided a new grant for gender equality activities in 2011-2012 and is discussing potential partnership arrangements for 2013 and beyond.
Other government and multilateral donors contribute to specific programmes and projects. The IPU’s work on maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) has generated interest and support from a variety of sources including the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (Norad), the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Vision International, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The IPU’s programme on gender continues to receive additional funding support, including a grant from USAID for activities in 2011-2013 to strengthen the capacity and influence of women in parliaments. The IPU is co-implementing a project with UNDP in Palestine, funded by the European Union, providing IPU support to the Palestinian Legislative Council Secretariat. The Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs has funded the IPU’s work on parliamentary measures to support nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament.
Collaboration with the United Nations continues in many areas. Projects to strengthen national parliaments are often carried out in cooperation with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). There are several specific agreements with the IPU which provide funding for the IPU to implement these joint activities. New or extended agreements are expected for Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Maldives, Myanmar and Pakistan. The United Nations provided support in 2012 to updating the Map of Women in Politics. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) continues to provide funding for parliamentary support to combat violence against children. A two-year grant provided by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) has ended and the Programme is currently considering whether to provide further funding.
Additional project funds have been provided by Finland for human rights activities, as well as by the Belgian government, which contributed towards activities in West Africa in cooperation with the Sahel and West Africa Club (SWAC). This latter funding arrangement came to an end in June 2012. The European Commission has funded a parliamentary project in Equatorial Guinea. Discussions with an increasingly wide range of additional donors are continuing.
The IPU is encouraged by and grateful for the confidence and support received from a core group of donors, whose generous contributions allow the implementation of important programmes in support of parliaments around the world. It is our hope that the Strategy for 2012-2017 will attract the attention and further support of both current and new donors.