WORKING WITH DG ECHO AS AN NGO PARTNER | 2021 - 2027
EU HUMANITARIAN PARTNERSHIP CERTIFICATE 2021 - 2027
An EU Humanitarian Partnership Certificate is awarded to organisations that, as a result of the positive assessment of their partnership application (more information on the application process can be found on the page ‘How to become a Partner’), are considered suitable to apply for EU funding for the implementation of humanitarian aid actions.
The Certificates state that the organisation fulfils the conditions to apply for EU humanitarian funding.
They identify the basic principles and obligations that the certified organisation commits to (e.g. respect of the relevant EU, international and national law, commitment to humanitarian principles, coherence with EU policies on transparency and accountability, etc.) and set the minimum standards for the preparation and implementation of humanitarian actions.
Moreover, they define the duties of the certified organisation to ensure compliance with the conditions for the partnership for its entire duration, in particular regarding significant changes in the organisation’s set up, full respect and appropriate communication of the principles of the Certificate, exchange of information, promotion (through visibility and communication activities) of the partnership and of  EU humanitarian funding.
TYPES OF CERTIFICATES
Depending on the type of application submitted and on the type of partnership expected, the certificates that can be awarded to the Humanitarian Organisations are the following:
1) EU HUMANITARIAN PARTNERSHIP CERTIFICATE 2021
Awarded to all eligible non-profit-making autonomous non-governmental organisations that applied for standard partnership.
2) EU HUMANITARIAN NICHE PARTNERSHIP CERTIFICATE 2021
Awarded to successful applicant niche organisations, defined as non-profit-making autonomous non-governmental organisations providing specialised capabilities in support of humanitarian aid operations (e.g. map-making, mine-clearance, telecommunications, organisations offering specialised humanitarian transport services).
3) EU HUMANITARIAN PROGRAMMATIC PARTNERSHIP CERTIFICATE 2021
Awarded to organisations, which are non-profit-making autonomous non-governmental organisations with which DG ECHO may potentially establish programmatic partnerships (to be designed in support and for the implementation of innovative ways of working). Certified potential programmatic partners can apply for funding as standard partners as well.
The Certificate will last seven years: from 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2027. This period corresponds to the period covered by the Multiannual Financial Framework of the EU.
However, organisations may apply for the Certificate  at any time.
The Certificate may be awarded for a shorter duration (one year). Such a provisional Certificate gives the same rights to the partner (eligibility to apply for EU humanitarian funding) but for a limited period.
1. If the ex-ante assessment had highlighted material weaknesses (ex-ante assessment’s scores between 5 and 6), which led to the preparation of an action plan for implementing remedial measures.
In such cases, a follow-up within a year of the award of the provisional Certificate will have to be performed by the partner's auditors for re-assessment of those questions with a score greater than 4 and below 6 and recalculation of the average score of the additional suitability requirements block.
If the new assessment report provided by the provisional partner leads to an overall rating of Acceptable (A), then the partner will be awarded a Certificate valid until the end of 2027. The organisation will be systematically included in DG ECHO's Audit Plan and audited by DG ECHO auditors during the first year of the Certificate, (i.e. in 2021 if the Certificate has been awarded in 2020).
If DG ECHO, based on the new assessment report provided by the partner, considers that recommendations have not been fully implemented and that the new additional suitability requirements score is insufficient (below 6/10), the partner will not be proposed a standard Certificate.
It is to be noted that, while it is possible to submit an application for being awarded a standard Certificate even though the independent auditors have considered that the applicable score was below 6/10, DG ECHO will decide on such application based on the content of the independent audit report, without performing itself again any part of the work already carried out by the independent auditors.
Partners whose certification is not extended can avail themselves of the usual administrative review procedure provided for under the certification procedures.
2. If the description provided in Annex 4A or 4B of the assessment report highlights the existence of indirect financial flows via entities established in non EU developed countries, DG ECHO will engage with partners to find a solution to fully guarantee the protection of the financial interests of the EU while complying with the Humanitarian Aid Regulation.
Should the implementation of a solution require time, a provisional Certificate could also be proposed to the concerned partners.
In any case, meetings with relevant DG ECHO services would be recommended to discuss about the way forward before a final decision is made.
EU HUMANITARIAN PARTNERSHIP CERTIFICATE - GUIDANCE, SEC. 2; 2.3 - 2.4