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Risk escalation process

All UNDP personnel have a role in risk management and are responsible for identifying and managing the risks that affect the achievement of objectives related to their areas of work within their delegated authority. All UNDP personnel are also responsible for reporting allegations of misconduct as per process detailed in Where to Go When Guide of the UNDP Ethics Office. All UNDP personnel must inform themselves of their responsibilities and obligations as outlines in the UNDP Code of Ethics and consequences outlines in the UNDP Legal Framework for Addressing Non-Compliance with UN Standard of Conduct.

When a Risk Owner and/or a Project Manager of a UNDP-implemented Global Fund project faces circumstances pertaining to the risk treatment that exceed his/her authority/mandate or expertise, the risk is escalated. Global Fund project level risks are escalated upward according to the UNDP Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) risk escalation conditions:

  • Risk treatment requires expenditures that are beyond what the Risk Owner is authorised to decide; and/or
  • Risk cuts across, or may impact, multiple offices (e.g. reputational risk, changes to corporate policies); and/or
  • Grievances from stakeholders have been received to which the Risk Owner cannot impartially and/or effectively respond (e.g. through UNDP’s Stakeholder Response Mechanism); and/or
  • A serious security incident has occurred which has impacted UNDP personnel, facilities or programmes or the security environment has deteriorated requiring additional treatment measures and/or security advice; and/or
  • When the risk significance level is determined to be High.

Risks are escalated from the Project Manager / Risk Owner through the project risk register in Quantum by changing the ownership of the risk and only after the receiving manager has confirmed that s/he accepts the ownership. See UNDP ERM policy for details.

Risk management is a bottom-up process and for risks identified by the project, the risk escalation flow in Figure 8 is followed:

Risk Escalation Flow for GF Projects

Figure 8. Risk Escalation Flow for GF Projects

In addition, the BPPS Global Fund Partnership and Health Systems Team (GFPHST) developed additional escalation criteria with a flow from the GFPHST to the RRs and the Regional Bureaus through the semi-annual reporting of the risks identified by BPPS. These are triggered when the GFPHST during the quarterly and semi-annual Performance and Risk Reviews, or as per the Team’s regular risk monitoring and oversight functions, recognizes that issues have materialized and require Regional Bureau’s involvement.

Additional guidance to support this area of work are also available through a number of resources listed below:

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