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Sub-recipients and Sub-sub-recipients


The Sub-recipient (SR) is contracted by the Principal Recipient (PR) of the grant to assist in implementing programme activities. The PR is responsible for the oversight of the implementation by the SR. SRs often play a pivotal role in the implementation of programme activities, the management of grant resources and the timely achievement of grant results.

The UNDP–Global Fund Grant Regulations define an SR as an entity to which UNDP provides funding in order to carry out activities contemplated under the programme. In UNDP terms, an SR is a ‘responsible entity’ or ‘contractor’.

It is important to distinguish between SRs and other entities that provide services in a project.  For example, PRs are not expected to be directly engaged in the manufacture and sale of goods, the establishment and use of mechanisms at an international level to facilitate the procurement of goods (such as mechanisms that would not ordinarily be  developed by the PR solely to undertake activities under the grant or grants), or  the innovation and delivery of services that are not directly tied to programme interventions (for example, a PR would not be expected to undertake the development and implementation of accounting or other financial software packages, but may be expected to undertake the development and  implementation of a training course for medical personnel or supply management chains for programme material). Accordingly, entities contracted by the PR to perform these activities (such as manufacturers, procurement agents for certain tasks, and certain service providers) should not be treated as SRs.”  Please refer here for further guidance on distinguishing between SRs and contractors.

We note that the decision on whether to treat a contractor as an SR or subcontractor under this definition will often be unclear. In cases which do not clearly fit within the definition, it is advised to consult the UNDP Global Fund/Health Implementation Support Team with respect to the particular case in question.


Sub-sub-recipients (SSRs) are SRs of SRs. UNDP is legally accountable for any project implementation by SSRs – as it is for SRs – within Global Fund grants for which it is PR.

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