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About the 1% for Development Fund

In Resolution 2626 (XXV) of 24 October 1970, the UN General Assembly set a target for official development aid of 0.7% of the GNP of developed countries. Frustrated at the inertia of most countries concerned (they allocate on average 0.3% of their GNP) and of the UN system, a small group of international civil servants decided to start practicing what governments preached, by contributing 1% of their salary to development projects. Officials are also motivated to join 1% by the observation that community needs can often be met by projects too small to fit the programmes of large national and international development agencies. See our Position Paper here.

In 40 years the Fund has spent about 8 million Swiss francs in support of some 800 community development projects in 91 countries, mostly in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Under Projects you will find brief information about some recent successes, as well as links to eye-witness accounts of other projects.

How does it work? Project proposals can come from Fund members or from non-governmental organisations. A committee of members meets several times per year to compare the intrinsic merits of individual proposals and identify those that are most compatible with the Fund's commitment to diversity and its available resources. Twice a year, this committee submits a list of candidate projects to a general meeting of all members of the Fund for discussion and approval. Volunteer members keep in touch with recipients of 1% financing to follow the implementation of approved projects, verifying the correspondence of expenses to proposed budgets and compiling evidence of the accomplishment of project goals. When possible, additional follow-up information is obtained by Fund members and their colleagues who have the opportunity to visit project sites on working or vacation trips. Once a year, our Treasurer submits the Fund's accounts to an independent auditor. The 1% website presents a regularly updated selection of projects to members and the public; members also have access to full follow-up reports that are updated for each general meeting. The Fund's statutes can be found here.

What percentage of members' contributions is spent on administration? None. The entire amount of members' contributions is allocated to development projects. Our only administrative costs - postage and the rental of this website - can be covered by occasional craft sales and non-member donations because the Fund is administered entirely by its members as volunteers. The International Labour Office kindly provides office space and meeting rooms.

The first 1% Fund was set up in Geneva in 1976; others were established in the 1980s in Rome (based at FAO; see their site here), New York (UN; site here), and Vienna (drawing members from IAEA, UNIDO and other UN agencies). A group of volunteers of VSO International established a 1% Thailand that worked with Geneva to fund numerous projects between 2009 and 2014.

1% for Development Fund, International Labour Office, Room 4-80
Route des Morillons 4, CH 1211 Geneva 22, Switzerland
The webmaster updated this page on 3.2.2016