Implementing Partners


To know more, see also the FAQs on implementing partners

The Partner may entrust tasks forming part of the Action on a non-profit basis to one or several implementing partners, based on agreements to that effect.

The Partners shall ensure that the conditions applicable to it under the Specific Grant Agreement, are also applicable to implementing partners especially for what concerns the rules related to conflict of interest, visibility, communication and information, eligibility of costs, procurement right of access, evaluation of the action, audits, and other controls etc

Signing a Memorandum of Understanding (or equivalent) with the implementing partners is essential to clarify the rights and obligations from the outset.

In any case, remember that the partner remains fully responsible for all activities implemented by its implementing partners and shall ensure and guarantee an effective management and control of the whole Action.

Furthermore, partners should ensure access to full documents of the Implementing partners during audit at Headquarters.

Implementing Partners and contractors

Some time it could be difficult to draw the line differentiating a contractor from an implementing partner. In order to help you, here below you can find a table with the main differences between these two actors.

Partner Contractor Implementing Partners
Purpose To acquire goods, services or works required for the implementation of the action To secure the necessary local support and cooperation in the implementation of the action
Selection Procedure Competitive and negotiated tendering procedures should always be used Relations based on sharing of common values and objectives. Tendering procedure not required
Delegation of Power Contractors do not enjoy a discretionary margin for the execution of their contract. The partner cannot delegate the execution of key elements of the Action to contractors IP may enjoy a delegation of power from the partner. IP may implement key activities of the action. The partner however, remains responsible towards ECHO for the actions of its IP and has to put the appropriate supervision and monitoring system into place
Legal Instrument The result of a procurement procedure is a contract The rights and obligations of IP are established in an agreement or in a Memorandum of Understanding
Profit The contractor's remuneration normally includes an element of profit The agreements signed between the partner and the IP must not have the purpose or effect of producing a profit for either party

Implementing Partners and the Single Form

The decision to entrust implementing Partners should be declared in the session 6.7 of the Single Form that should present and explain

  • The prospect of having recourse to implementing partners;
  • The estimated budget share that would be allocated to the activities carried out by implementing partners.

At this regard, there is no set minimum or maximum budget share that can be allocated to implementing partners and in some cases, it is also possible to entrust tasks forming part of the Action to an Implementing Partner which is allocated 0% of the budget.

The partner will decide to include an implementing partner in the Single Form according to the role it plays in the Action. In particular, the partners will consider: the need to ensure transparency towards ECHO, the share of the budget managed by the Implementing Partners in question, the level of the involvement of the IPs in the Action and the type of Action.

The partner should however remain reasonable in terms of level of details provided in the Single Form, both as regard to the number of Implementing Partner presented and quantity of information.

The partner can add or remove implementing partners unilaterally, as this is considered a non-essential operational change. However, if it considers that there would be significant operational consequences from removing an Implementing Partner, or if the partner is aware that adding an Implementing Partner may raise problems in terms of compliance with the humanitarian principles, it is obliged to contact ECHO under its duty of full information sharing foreseen in Article 5 of the General Conditions.

Procurement by Implementing Partners

Read here to know how to deal with the procurement by implementing partners.

References & useful links