Trust Funds in Fragile and Conflict-affected States: Lessons from Northern Ireland


A ‘Trust Fund’ or ‘Multi Donor Trust Fund’ (MDTF) is a multi-agency funding mechanism, designed to receive contributions from more than one donor (and often also the recipient government), that is held in trust by an appointed administrative agent.

Existing literature on trust funds tends to focus on the national government as the primary stakeholder. This can overlook the importance of considering trust funds from the perspective of local stakeholders, which might foster ‘ownership’ and promote ‘inclusion’. This PSRP Spotlight draws a number of lessons from the experience of Trust Funds in Northern Ireland. Its goal is to help identify salient issues to inform the founding and functioning of funding mechanisms in other conflict-affected settings.