Financial arrangements
Financial arrangements
National UN Volunteer in health and nutrition, Yuly Enith Gómez Calvache, supports UNICEF in early childhood development activities in Colombia.
© Josué Mejía Cuartas / UNICEF, 2019

Financial arrangements for UN Volunteer assignment

Who pays for the UN Volunteer assignment?

On-site UN Volunteers
On-site UN Volunteers

The UN partner hosting an on-site UN Volunteer covers the cost of a UN Volunteer assignment. The cost varies depending on the volunteer category selected, which you can refer to in the overview of proforma costs for UN Volunteers.

Fully funded UN Volunteers
Fully funded UN Volunteers

UNV also has a limited number of UN Volunteer assignments that are fully funded by donors and allocated in close consultation with the Member State. UNV is the main interlocutor for UN entity partners hosting a UN Volunteer sponsored by a UNV funding partner.The main entry point for UN entities to discuss the possibility to host a sponsored UN Volunteer is the UNV Field Unit, or, for countries without a UNV presence, the respective UNV Regional Office.

Online Volunteers
Online Volunteers

The Online Volunteering service is free of charge to all eligible partners. This is made possible through process efficiency measures put in place in 2019 such as the digital transformation project and mainstreaming of the OV service into respective sections’ mandates and functions.

What is the Service Clearing Account (SCA)?

Established for the “Non-Quantum Agencies”

For UN entities who do not use Quantum (ERP), a dedicated Service Clearing Account (SCA) is established for each UN entity.

Transactions and Services Reporting Method
Transactions and Services Reporting Method

A method developed allowing transactions to be reported between two UN Host Entities. An official report is pulled out of Quantum every month and provided to the UN Host Entities for their review and reconciliation.

Managed by UNDP

The SCA is managed by UNDP, so the UN Host Entities will see charges from both UNDP and UNV in the monthly SCA reports.

How does a UN Host Entity Fund a UN Volunteer Assignment through the SCA?

• SCA acts like a bank account.

• UNV is able to initiate identification of candidates and recruitment of UN Volunteers only upon receipt of a financial authorization from UN Host Entities.

• Until UNV has a Financial Authorization, no UN Volunteer transactions should be charged against the SCA account of a UN Host Entity.

• When the UN Host Entity transfers funds, into the UNDP SCA bank account, is an internal decision for the UN Entity, depending on their internal SCA process.



How to Pay and Replenish Specific Host Entity SCA?


It is the responsibility of the UN Entity to ensure their SCA has sufficient funds available.

No transfers

No transfers to local bank accounts.

SCA Report

All payments and replenishments reflect in the monthly SCA report.

Info account


Info Bank



Can the UN Entity Transfer the Full Contract Amount to UNV?

The answer is yes and no.

The UN Entity can transfer as much as they like to the SCA, UNV has no say in this.

UNV cannot expense the volunteer costs in one report.

Why not?

☐ As per IPSAS (international accounting standards) and UNDP Financial Rules and Regulations, expenses are recognized only after goods or services have been rendered or received. 

☐ No way to pay the volunteer a lumpsum in advance, we pay them after the month has been worked.

☐ Most, if not all UN Entities follow IPSAS rules as well.

☐ Applies to Quantum Agencies too.


Here you can find detailed guidance on the general process, UNV requirements, the standard UNDP SCA bank account for Host Entities and the standard chart of accounts for SCA related charges:

When and how does a host entity provide financial authorization?



UN Host Entity inquires about recruiting or extending a UN Volunteer



UNV provides the proforma cost estimate (See tab on "Proforma costs for UN Volunteers" above.)



UN Host Entity officially requests to recruit a UN Volunteer by submitting a Description of Assignment (DoA) and financial authorization to UNV.



A financial authorization (FA) should either be;

• an UMOJA FA (for entities using UMOJA) or,
• the UNV Service Request Form for non-UMOJA entities, or,
• an official entity specific financial authorization meeting UNV FA requirements.



UN missions follow a pre-established workflow for financial authorizations. Count on our UNV Field Office for support, they have your back.

What is a Financial Authorization (FA)?



The authorization should cover the costs for the full contract period – including contracts that spread over multiple years – based on the proforma cost estimate.



If a UN Entity cannot provide an FA over multiple years the contract can only be generated to the end of the period reflecting in the FA.



UN Volunteers cannot be recruited, nor charges incurred, without a Financial Authorization! Be it for the initial contract or for the extension.



In case of extension, contract can only be generated once the FA for the next period is submitted to UNV.



See guide for detailed information on what a financial authorization should include.


Service Request Form -2024 (Financial authorization for recruitment and extension)

  • The first page of the Service request form for all non-Quantum UN Entities
  • The second page is Service request form for all Quantum-UN Entities using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNCDF, UNWOMEN, UNU, UNV, UNDP)
  • The third page is for all Quantum-UN Entities NOT using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNFPA, UNITAR, UNSSC)


Where to access the report on UN Volunteer expenses?

Follow the guidance below to access the report on volunteer expense information charged to host entities:



The official SCA reports are uploaded monthly at this link.



If the respective colleagues in the host entity do not have access to the above site, please either contact the SCA focal point within the Host Entity or contact for access.



If it is unclear how the host entity treats the monthly SCA report entries, please get in contact with your SCA focal points to request for guidance on internal processes within the host entity.




All fund transfers to UNDP/UNV as well as all expenditures charged to the host entity will reflect in the monthly SCA report.



The host entity should review and reconcile the SCA balances on a regular basis and record the respective expenditures in their financial system.



The SCA report is broken down by volunteer country of service and expense category - down to the transactional level. This makes it easy for host entities to identify the charges for each of their volunteers.



UNV is not responsible for providing or reconciling the SCA report for host entities.

Proforma Cost Overview 2024 for national and international UN Volunteer assignment


Proforma Cost Overview 2024 for UN Volunteers (NUNV, IUNV)


Proforma cost description 2024 for UN Volunteer assignments (EN)

Proforma Cost Overview 2023 for national and international UN Volunteer assignment



Proforma Cost Overview 2023 for UN Volunteers (NUNV, IUNV)


Proforma cost description 2023 for UN Volunteer assignments (EN)

Online Volunteering service pricing

The Online Volunteering service is free of charge to all eligible partners. This is made possible through process efficiency measures put in place in 2019 such as the digital transformation project and mainstreaming of the OV service into respective sections’ mandates and functions.

What elements are included in the proforma costs?

UNV’s proforma costs include UNV’s cost recovery mechanism, which follows a three-tiered methodology, applied to all UN partners volunteer management costs, as follows: 

  • A one-time Deployment Charge: This charge recovers the onboarding costs for deploying UN Volunteers and the related UNV internal workload attribution, independent of the volunteer contract duration. 
  • Recurring Charge: This is a percentage charge (13%), applied monthly, to recover the recurring maintenance cost for administering UN Volunteers, UNV staffing and other related costs incurred for volunteer contracts and entitlements management and support. 
  • Country Office Support Cost: This is a monthly percentage change (2.5%) to cover the cost of transactions performed in the UNDP country offices towards recruitment, deployment and administration of UN Volunteers. The amount collected is fully distributed to UNDP Country Offices once a year. 

What are the allowances and entitlements of UN Volunteers in the proforma costs?

The proforma cost estimates that UNV shares with UN partner COs upon request are structured in three parts: 

  • Volunteer Entitlements include (as per the applicable COS): Monthly Living Allowance, Family Allowance, Entry Lump Sum, Well-being differential and Exit Allowance. 
  • Volunteer Assignment Costs include (as per the applicable COS): Insurance, Learning, Travel, medical evacuation, monitoring travel and medical services fees. 
  • UNV Volunteer Managements costs include: the [one-time] Volunteer Deployment Charge, Recurring Charge and the Country Office Support Cost as explained in the above question on cost-recovery charges for onsite UN Volunteers: 

The “take home” pay for the UN Volunteers is primarily the Monthly Living Allowance (MLA). However, MLA and other entitlements such as travel (pre-departure entitlements, assignment and repatriation travel lumpsums), UNV learning  programmes, insurances and medical / security evacuation coverage should be considered part of the package. 


As per UNV’s methodology and policy, the National UN Volunteer monthly living allowance (MLA) increases by the same percentage as National Staff salary increases. Learn more about the adjustment of Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA) for national UN Volunteers.

Proforma elements guide for UN partners

Volunteer entitlements
Volunteer Entitlements

The monthly allowance is intended to meet basic living costs. It should not be considered a salary.

For international UN Volunteers, MLA is calculated by multiplying a base rate (established by UNV) by the Post Adjustment Multiplier (PAM). PAM is set by the International Civil Service Commission (ICSC) for each duty station.

For national UN Volunteers, MLA is aligned to local conditions. Rates are established and updated based on surveys conducted by the ICSC. Rates are normally benchmarked to the annual total net salary of locally-recruited UN personnel at GS-2, Step 6. They may be adjusted at the request of the UN Country Team and/or Resident Coordinator, with the approval of the UNV Regional Manager.

UN Youth, UN University and UN Community Volunteer rates are 80%, 60% and 40% of the UN Volunteer specialist rate, respectively. UN Expert Volunteers receive the same MLA as UN Volunteer specialists.

A one-time, lump sum to help eligible UN Volunteers buy basic household items and cover other one-time expenses that are typically incurred in moving and setting up a new residence. This includes additional costs of temporary accommodation and other living expenses in the early days after arrival. Entry lump sum is set at a standard rate, depending on volunteer type.

UN Expert Volunteers receive a 40% experience differential in addition to MLA.

In certain duty stations, where local rental markets are distorted due to temporary extenuating factors, International UN Volunteers may receive an extra allowance to meet the costs of rent. This applies to the whole duty station, not individual UN Volunteers.

International UN Volunteer specialists, UN Expert Volunteers and UN Youth Volunteers (from 1 October 2021) who are supporting recognized dependants receive a family allowance in addition to their MLA. There are monthly, flat rates for:

  1. one dependant; 

  2. two or more dependants;

Dependants are either a spouse or unmarried children under 21 years old.

Dependants do not need to be present at the duty station for the International UN Volunteer to receive family allowance.

Recognizes added health, security, climate, and psychological burdens faced by UN Volunteers serving in non-family duty stations, where living conditions are substantially below conditions in family-duty stations. There are two rates, depending on criteria set by UNV which is based on ICSC classification.

The UN Country Team or Resident Coordinator may request UNV to apply an exceptional WBD in locations that are not eligible according to ICSC classification, if justified by local conditions.

A lump-sum to help UN Volunteers re-establish themselves professionally and personally after their assignment ends.

Volunteer Assignment Costs
Volunteer Assignment Costs

Covers comprehensive healthlife and disability insurance for UN Volunteers.

For Agencies Funds and Programmes: For the initial and repatriation travel of international UN Volunteers, a standard amount is charged and flows into a central fund, regardless of actual travel costs. The amount charged depends on the volunteer category.

For eligible assignments, an amount is charged monthly for home visit travel. Home visit allows international UN Volunteers and their dependents to travel home to rest and to renew personal, cultural and professional ties in the home country.

National UN Volunteers may receive a lump sum amount to cover costs of travel if they live outside of commuting distance to the duty station.

For UN Missions: Travel and home visit charges are based on actual costs.

Duty travel is budgeted by each section of the mission as done for mission staff. It is not included in the UN Volunteer proforma.

A monthly charge applies per volunteer to cover costs incurred for medical services provided by the UN Office in Geneva. Services include medical clearance, approval of medical evacuation and certification of long-term sick leave.

For international UN Volunteer assignments with UNHCR, OneHR Center charges a fee per candidate for reference verification services.

Charged at a rate of either 3% or 5% of MLA, depending on the duty station for assignments with UNDP/UNV or UNCDF for UNDP to meet its security obligations.

The training and learning charge contributes to a central fund to cover free access for UN Volunteers to UNV’s online learning platform. It also covers the cost of maintaining UNV’s internal capacity to deliver the volunteer learning platform and group learning.

An additional charge is applied for UN Youth Volunteers to pay for assignment preparation training.

A monthly contribution is collected into a central fund to cover costs of a potential medical evacuation.

A standard monthly charge, per volunteer, to enable UNV Regional Office and Field Unit personnel to travel for monitoring of conditions of service implementation in the field.

Host Entities are encouraged to budget additional 5.000 USD per UN Volunteer assignment for provision of reasonable accommodation for person with disabilities. Reasonable Accommodation flyer (ENG, FRA, ESP)

Residential security costs when incurred are charged directly to the project/host UN agency at actual cost and are not included in proforma estimates. There are two types of costs for which host entities need to budget:

  1. Costs dependent upon the duty station for implementing Residential Security Measures (RSMs).
  2. Any possible security relocation/evacuation related charges. For international UN Volunteers this includes compensation for loss of personal effects due to war, civil unrest or natural disaster.

Volunteer Management Costs
Volunteer Management Costs

A one-time, fixed amount charged at the beginning of the assignment to recover costs expended by UNV to:

  • Develop partnerships and manage the assignment pipeline

  • Manage the UNV talent pool, conduct outreach, source and assess candidates

  • Identify, select and recruit candidates and onboard UN Volunteers and their dependants

  • Close assignments and repatriate UN Volunteers and their dependants

The deployment charge varies by UN Volunteer category.

Paid to UNDP country offices for UNDP infrastructure support with UN Volunteer recruitment, deployment and administration as per the agreement between UNV and UNDP Bureau of Management services (BMS). This is not applicable to assignments with UN Peace Operations, as these provide the needed infrastructure, including personnel.

A monthly charge to recover costs expended by UNV to manage contracts and entitlements and provide ongoing support for UN Volunteers including:

  • UNV premises

  • UNDP corporate fees

  • UNDP legal services

  • UNV personnel

  • Payroll and banking information services provided by the Global Shared Services Unit (GSSU) in Kuala Lumpur and Copenhagen

  • Information technology (IT) equipment purchase and maintenance and IT services

  • Communications and advocacy

Encompasses general oversight and management functions of UNV/UNDP and includes receipt, allocation and reporting to the donor of financial resources; branding, knowledge transfer; leadership and representation; programme direction and accountability; operations management and administration.

GMS is charged at a negotiated rate as a percentage of all costs associated with UN Volunteer deployment and management.


Service Request Form -2024 (Financial authorization for recruitment and extension)

  • The first page is Service request form for all non-Quantum UN Entities
  • The second page is Service request form for all Quantum-UN Entities using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNCDF, UNWOMEN, UNU, UNV, UNDP)
  • The third page is Service Request Form for all Quantum-UN Entities Not using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNFPA, UNITAR, UNSSC)

Service Request Form (FA) - 2023

(Financial authorization required for recruitment)

  • The first page is Service request form for all non-Quantum UN Entities
  • The second page is Service request form for all Quantum-UN Entities using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNCDF, UNWOMEN, UNU, UNV, UNDP)
  • The third page is Service Request Form for all Quantum-UN Entities Not using Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) - (UNFPA, UNITAR, UNSSC)
Proforma Costs for UN Volunteers

Proforma Cost Overview 2023 for national and international UN Volunteer assignment


Proforma Cost Overview 2023 for UN Volunteer (NUNV, IUNV)


Proforma Cost description 2023 for UN Volunteer assignments (EN)