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Budgets and project revisions

How to draft an SHF Budget?

Through the budget, the SHF partner demonstrates how funds will be used. Cost estimates should be fair and transparent. To limit time spent on budget revisions, it is important that costs are broken down as much as possible and explained in the remarks box of the budget.

Different types of costs

An SHF budget has three types of cost: direct, support and programme support.

Budget lay-out

The budgets provided in the ERRM concept notes and RfE Cases for Funding should provide a succinct overview of the categories, indicating the costs of the main activities, support costs, PSC and total cost. When submitting the proposal in the Grant Management System (GMS), a more detailed budget is required.

Budget elements

The budget line description should briefly describe the cost and the location where the project will be implemented. If the project has more than one cluster, the relevant cluster name should be mentioned for each budget line. In the case of joint costs, the relevant cluster and the percentage of each cluster line should be specified.

Budget categories

There are seven budget categories – see as well annexed box:

  1. Staff and other personnel costs
  2. Supplies, commodities, materials
  3. Equipment
  4. Contractual services
  5. Travel
  6. Transfers and grants to counterparts
  7. General operating and other direct costs

Breaking down budget lines

Large activities must be split into separate budget lines. In the remarks box, these budget lines should provide a detailed calculation and technical specifications or should refer to an Excel table with a budget breakdown uploaded in the GMS ‘document’ tab. All amounts in the remarks box or attached sheets should be in US$. Excel sheets with breakdowns should be named after the budget line code (e.g. 2.1, 4.2, etc) and not the budget line description.

Maximum budget amount

NGOs must provide a budget in line with the SHF operational modalities, within their risk level. Maximum amounts per risk level can be found here, in the operational modality table.

New partners eligible to receive funding for the first time and assessed as high risk can apply for only one project, for a maximum of 12 months. After the Final Financial and Narrative Reports for the first project are submitted and approved by OCHA, and provided no red flags have been identified, additional project proposals can be submitted, and the regular Operational Modalities apply.

Partners can request their current risk level status by sending an email to

Other tips

  • In GMS, the percentages of the clusters on the cover page of the proposal should indicate the actual costs per cluster component over the overall sub-total of direct and indirect costs. Once the budget is drafted, these percentages should be checked again.
  • Disbursement schedules depend on the risk level, project duration and project value. The schedule figures are in table 7, Operational Modalities, in the SHF operational manual.
  • Financial reporting is required before each disbursement, by the 31st of January, as well as part of the progress report and the final report.


Guidance note 8 – How to draft a budget
Operational modality tables