Process for Transition

Process for Transition or Transferring the PR role to National Entities

  • Confirm the timing of transition planning
  • Transition planning should ideally be conducted at the onset of a grant with the identification of a future PR and at the same time as capacity development planning. In this way, selected capacity development planning milestones become transition 'triggers' for certain functions..
  • Organise the transition planning process
  • Link with capacity development planning as appropriate, and confirm the approach for planning, including key responsibilities, scheduling, reviews required, and partner involvement.
  • Set-up management arrangements
  • Transition is owned both by the prospective PR(s), and by UNDP; each organisation will need to have effective management arrangements in place to jointly control and coordinate transition activities.
  • Identify milestone indicators, transition scheduling, and risks
  • Based on the capacity development plan and scheduling of Global Fund grants and processes, identify milestone indicators for transition, scheduling for transition of selected functions, and risks to be managed.
  • Develop an estimated budget
  • Detail budget requirements for transitioning functions; including, for example, file transfers, data conversion, mentoring, duplicate reporting runs, quality assurance reviews, etc.
  • Draft the transition plan report
  • Document elements of transition, including milestone indicators, transition triggers and scheduling, management arrangements and responsibilities, and budget.
  • Conduct integrated reviews
  • Review the transition plan and budgets with senior management, functional managers, and stakeholders to finalise, approve, and gain support.
  • Move toward implementation
  • Confirm approach, responsibilities, oversight structures and funding required to initiate and implement the transition plan.

A Transition Plan

A transition or transfer plan should outline the following:

  • A sequenced timeline for transitioning the PR role from UNDP to one or more national entities.
  • Capacity milestones to be achieved that may signal transition of specific activities or full functions.
  • A risk mitigation plan to outline the risks involved with moving responsibility for services and the ways of minimising them.
  • The transition plan may be integrated with a capacity development plan since the milestones for transition are associated with capacity strengthening, and can be measured through indicators in the capacity development plan.

Activities to be included when planning for Transition

The main activities to be included in a Transition or Handover Plan involve recruiting and training the staff who will manage the grant in the future PR, as well as ensuring written procedures and training and adherence to these procedures by all staff. The focus should be on:

  • Establishing and staffing a dedicated department or a cross department unit that will manage the grant in the future PR.
  • Development of Operations Manuals and Standard Operating Procedures covering all aspects of grant implementation such as finance, reporting, asset management, procurement, etc.
  • Ensuring the future PR has suitable software to manage finances, to collect and verify data, and to ensure a functioning Logistics Management Information System, which meet national and Global Fund requirements.
  • Strengthening each functional area to the Global Fund minimum standards


Example: Capacity Development Activities to consider for Transition Planning

 Example: Detailed Capacity Development Activities to consider for Functional Areas to consider when Transition Planning



Milestones are tools used in transition planning and review to mark specific points along a project timeline. These points signal fixed points where certain capacity has been achieved, showing that the national entity is fully prepared to take overall responsibility for that specific activity or for the full function.

Although timelines should be set to guide and support the achievement of these milestones, they act as major progress points that must be reached to achieve success and can be flexible in time.

Example: Milestones

After Transition

UNDP is committed to support capacity development of the nominated PR for the period of the grant.  However, capacity development is a long-term process and it is unlikely that real sustainable capacity can be developed during this period unless it is linked to longer-term support.  UNDP also aims to provide on-going support beyond any handover and beyond the life cycle of the grant, as necessary, to continue to develop the capacity of national entities.

In many countries UNDP does this through a crucial advisory role, through CCMs or directly to new Principal Recipients and implementing partners. This soft support is particularly important when UNDP has been acting as the PR in a country, and has handed over the PR role to national partners. In this case, UNDP assumes a ‘mentoring role’ towards the new PR or the national structures.