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Project Modification

Last updated: 06 Oct 2022

Overview

Different donors have different requirements for a formal modification process. It is important to review the donor agreements, consult the donor websites or seek additional guidance from the relevant IOM Offices on the process for each donor. See the Programme Support Functions: Who can help you? entry for contact details.

Guidance on the Process

Project Modification: How to assess whether a modification is needed

In an emergency situation, changes in the context often occur rapidly. These changes can be as a result of actual shifts in the situation or a result of having more information that challenge assumptions made earlier on in the response.

In the event that a change in the context results in delays or even the need to cancel project activities, project managers and mission support staff should review the original proposal and identify whether formal modifications need to be made.

Modifying project deliverables and reflecting these changes in project documents will reduce the risk of:

  1. Having to report to the donor that a project could not be completed as planned;
  2. Having to return funds because activities could not be carried out; or
  3. Having to absorb unforeseen expenses in the event that a donor disallows costs that are inconsistent with what was agreed upon in the project document.

A change in the context of the emergency can have considerable impact on project implementation. Specifically, the following aspects of implementation can be affected:

 

Aspect of Project Implementation Affected by a Change in the Context

Modification Needed

Note: This varies depending on the scale of the change needed and the regulations of the specific donor.

Time frame: Delays in implementation may result in the need for more time to achieve project outputs or results. No Cost Extension
Resources: Resources needed to carry out specific activities may be different from what was anticipated and budgeted at the time the project was developed. Budget Modification

Targets: Changes in the context may result in the inability of the project team to complete the targets as stated in the project document.

There may be a need to revise the targets to reflect what is realistically achievable in light of the new situation.

Modification or Addendum to Project Narrative and possibly a modification of the budget

Deliverables (outputs and/or activities): In some cases, activities may no longer be relevant or it may no longer be possible to carry out specific activities.

There may be a need to modify, remove and /or replace activities or outputs.

Modification or Addendum to Project Narrative and possibly a modification of the budget

 

Mindful of the change in context, it is important to review the project document (narrative and budget) and assess the situation using the following guiding questions:

 

Guiding Questions If your answer to the question is YES, then: If your answer to the question in NO, then:

1) With the current change in context, can the project deliverables be met within the agreed upon parameters?

i.e. Can the targets be met within the timeframe of the project and at a cost that was allocated for each activity?

No action needed.

Modification is not needed.

Review the project agreement and the regulations of the donor.

Proceed to Question 2

2) Are the changes within the threshold outlined by the donor as not needing formal modification?

No further action needed.

Modification is not needed.

Discuss with your Chief of Mission, Project Manager and Resource Management Officer whether it might be good to inform the donor of this development in project implementation.

Formal modification may be needed.

Proceed to Question 3.

3) Does the donor have a local counterpart in country?

Different donors have different requirements.

Where possible, contact your donor counterpart locally to explain the situation and inform them that you will be seeking a project modification.

They will advise on how to proceed. Depending on the timeframe of the project, proposed modifications may be presented within an interim report or a separate modification process may need to be initiated.

Also be sure to update the relevant IOM Office (see Programme Support Functions: Who can help you? entry) to inform them of these developments. These Offices can reiterate the request to Donor headquarters.

In the event that no local donor counterpart is available, contact the relevant IOM Office (see Programme Support Functions: Who can help you? entry); inform them of the need for a modification.

They will contact their focal points at the donor's headquarters advise on how to proceed.

4) Donor agreement does not clearly specify thresholds Consult with the DOE RTS, DRD or IOM Office (see Programme Support Functions: Who can help you? entry) on how to proceed. Consult with the DOE RTS, DRD or IOM Office (see Programme Support Functions: Who can help you? entry) on how to proceed.

 

If you realize that a modification will be needed for an ECHO funded project, you will need to get in contact with RO Brussels as the modification must be submitted centrally and agreed upon by ECHO Brussels. An agreement (even written) with the ECHO field expert is not sufficient and might lead to ineligible expenditures. Any modification request has to be submitted at least one month before the end of the project date.

In case of any unforeseeable and/or exceptional situation that is beyond our control that would require a temporary (partial) suspension, please contact RO Brussels immediately as the first day of communication is critical in determining which costs can be eligible.

Contacts

For more information and guidance contact your DOE RTS or the relevant IOM Office.