The Elsie Initiative Fund’s goal is to remove financial barriers that some member states face that prevent them from recruiting and deploying more uniformed female peacekeepers.
Troop and/or Police Contributing Countries (T/PCC) who are interested in accessing project funding are required to conduct a credible assessment of the main barriers in their particular national context, to identify the main factors impeding their deployment of uniformed women peacekeepers to UN missions.
The Elsie Initiative Fund provides financial support through the following two different funding types, or modalities:
- Project Funding – where a grant is provided to:
- current or prospective T/PCC to conduct a Barrier Assessment – and is required to access project funding. The suggested criteria for a Barrier Assessment are detailed in Appendix A of the Elsie Initiative Fund’s Terms of Reference (TOR)
- current or prospective T/PCC to undertake one or more approved projects that seek to address specific barriers identified in a Barrier Assessment
- support projects submitted by UN organizations which are designed to implement and test innovations.
- Gender Strong Unit (GSU) Premium – designed to incentivize T/PCCs to deploy and integrate more women into formed police units (FPU) and/or military contingents, with women integrated horizontally and vertically throughout the unit across all roles and ranks.
Eligible projects include:
- a credible national Barrier Assessment, required to access project funding, using either the DCAF – Geneva Centre for Security Sector Governance Measuring Opportunities for Women in Peace Operations (MOWIP) Barrier Assessment methodology, or an equivalent reliable methodology, to ascertain the nature and extent of barriers impeding the deployment of trained and qualified women peacekeepers. The DCAF methodology:
- is a comprehensive methodology, designed to be used by a research partner to identify and analyze information and gaps within a specific gendarmerie, military or police institution and within a particular country specific context
- requires both high-level gendarmerie and/ or military and/ or police ownership of the assessment, as well as commitment to address the outcomes, to ascertain the nature and extent of barriers impeding deployment of trained and qualified women peacekeepers
- one or more coordinated initiatives undertaken under the direction of the applicant that aims to address at least one relevant barrier to the meaningful deployment of uniformed women peacekeepers.
The Elsie Initiative Fund’s Terms of Reference (TOR) provides examples of other types of projects, with a focus on innovative and evidence-based project design.
Gender Strong Unit Premium
A Gender Strong Unit (GSU) is a military contingent or FPU that includes a high percentage of women in operationally significant roles. The GSU premium is designed to incentivize T/PCCs to train, deploy and integrate more women into formed units, integrated horizontally and vertically – across all roles and ranks.
This funding modality sees a T/PCC paid an incentive to deploy a unit with a percentage of women that exceeds the United Nations Uniformed Gender Parity Strategy (UGPS) 2018-2028 target by 5%. For example, in 2020, the military contingent target is 6.5%; therefore, a military contingent would require to deploy with at least 11.5% women working in all roles including operational roles such as patrolling or demining, or as members of engineer construction teams, a quick reaction force (QRF) or a utility or attack helicopter unit.
Additionally, T/PCCs must ensure that:
- women’s and men’s safety is provided for and the women are fully trained and equipped
- the unit includes substantial representation of women overall – and in positions of authority
- gender-equity training has been provided to all unit members
- parity of deployment conditions exist for women and men peacekeepers.
Upon independent verification, T/PCCs will be paid the GSU premium at the end of the 12-month deployment. To further encourage and normalize the cultural and systemic changes that are being sought, additional incentives for a subsequent deployment of a different GSU are:
- 2nd year – premium increases by an additional 25%
- 3rd year – premium increases by an additional 50%.
Explanation of EIF GSU Calculations: In the first year of deployment, the GSU premium would be equivalent to 20% of the UN’s troop/police cost reimbursement rate, for 20% of the unit’s personnel. The current rate the UN pays is US$1,428 per soldier per month, therefore the EIF would pay a premium of US$57.12 per soldier / police officer in a formed unit per month.
Approximate Value of GSU Premium, based on 12-month rotations
|Military Battalion |
(approximately 850 personnel)
|Formed Police Unit |
(approximately 160 personnel)
|Year 1: $580,000 USD||Year 1: $110,000 USD|
|Year 2 (+25%): $730,000 USD||Year 2 (+25%): $137,000 USD|
|Year 3 (+50%): $875,000 USD||Year 3 (+50%): $165,000 USD|
|TOTAL: $2.2M USD||TOTAL: $412,000 USD|