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Selection of Implementing Partners

Last updated: 02 Apr 2024


In emergencies, IOM is committed to working with implementing partners (IPs) in programme delivery and to ensure that the needs of the affected populations are met. The purpose of partnership is to support IOM with the implementation and delivery of programmes to address the needs of the affected population. Partnerships could range from local and international NGOs to community-based organizations.

This entry provides information specific to the procedures for selecting IPs.

Scope and Application

This Chief of Mission (COM)/authorized delegate should ensure that the partner has a good understanding of the project area, works in the project district, is a registered entity and has a good track record and recognition in the community. The standard procurement procedures should be applied.


Selection of Implementing Partners

Steps in the selection process and working with IPs:

  • Project Staff should identify area(s) of partnership and develop the scope of work. The decision to go with partnership rests with the COM/authorized delegate.
  • The selection of the partner should be taken well in advance of the planned implementation date by using the procurement forms for services that are part of the Procurement Manual (Annex 20.6 Identification and Selection of Implementing Partner. Available in the Guidance Documents and Tools for Procurement and Logistics entry).
  • If a Partner has been pre-identified by the donor, UN cluster or UN Country Team, in such exceptions, the COM/delegate should waiver the competitive bidding procedure.
  • The COM/authorized delegate should consider issuing an expression of interest for IPs working in the project area, followed by an introductory workshop where all IPs are provided with information on the possible area of partnership, scope of work and intended results.
  • The preliminary screening of IPs should be done based on the information provided and the preferred IP should be selected.
  • The selected IP selected should submit a proposal and detailed budget to be reviewed by the COM/Project Staff/Resource Management Officer (RMO).
  • Evaluation, negotiation and final selection of IP: due diligence/reference checks should be performed and partner selection must be documented.
  • The partnership agreement should be prepared and coordinated with the Office of Legal Affairs (LEG) for endorsement prior to approval and signing. Funding and financing should be in line with the agreement signed with the IP on how the funds would be disbursed. The COM/RMO should also check on budget availability.
  • The COM/Project Staff should organize a planning workshop where IOM procedures, partner obligations, reporting requirements are explained. If there are any specific donor requirements in terms of procurement, management of stock and equipment, this should also be explained in the workshop.
  • Technical support and capacity building should be provided to the IP during project implementation. Due diligence and periodic reviews should also be conducted.
  • Narrative and financial reporting by the IP should be clearly stated in the agreement, including due dates, currency of reporting, formats, exchange rates to be applied and supporting documentation.
  • Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) should be performed by the M&E/Project Staff based on the detailed implementation plan. Evaluation should take place throughout the project.
  • Assets procured or donated to partners must be clearly indicated in the agreement. Any assets donated must be supported by a deed of donation.

Key Considerations

When selecting and working with IPs, the COM/authorized delegate should establish structures and other measures of accountability to ensure that funds have been used efficiently, for intended purposes, and with a minimum risk of mismanagement.

Relevance to IOM’s Emergency Operations

Offices in emergencies should first check whether the emergency plans already include preferred partners based on the requirement of the project and the operational context. An IP can be engaged at the request of the donor, selected by the UN Country Team, by Cluster under the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). Otherwise, IPs will be selected following the procurement processes and forms for services.

Appropriateness of the choice of preferred partner may also change depending on the nature of the emergency. It is recognized in that in an emergency, difficulties may arise in following the guidelines set in the initial response. It is imperative that whatever steps are taken in the selection process of a partner, this should be carried out with adequate due diligence and fully documented.


For more information and guidance on legal agreements contact the Office of Legal Affairs: LEG@iom.int.

Key Points

  • Services to be received from implementing partners shall be treated based on the guidance provided in the Changes to Procurement, Implementing Partners Selection and Related Contracting Procedures Manual (IN/284).
  • Certain donors may require conformity with their own prescription list. This should be taken into consideration prior to contracting Implementing Partners (IPs).
  • Payments to IPs should only be initiated in line with the agreed budget, based on verified financial reports and related to agreed and confirmed deliverables.
  • Financial health and liquidity of IPs should be positively assessed during the selection process.

References and Tools



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