From the time it was created, IDEP has maintained an integral relationship with the UN system both generally and with the UNECA in particular. This should not be surprising because, in part, it grew out of the effort of the UN to respond to an expressed need from its African Member States – much in the same way as it responded to the needs of its Member States from Latin America and the Caribbean by enabling the creation of a similar institutional facility for them by the same resolution of the General Assembly that established IDEP. An important part of IDEP’s regular budget was - and is still - provided in the form of an annual grant from New York disbursed through the UNECA.
The Institute is established in the strategy of the UNECA as a sub-programme of the Commission and enjoys a functional position and role in the overall organizational structure and approach of the UNECA. The statutes of the Institute provide for the Executive Secretary of the UNECA/UN Under Secretary-General to serve as the Chair of its Governing Council.
The UNECA itself has, over the years, offered additional budgetary and human resource support to the Institute which operates as a subsidiary body outside its headquarters in Addis Ababa. Specific programme activities, such as the masters degree programme, enjoyed the patronage and funding of the UNDP for many years. Agencies such as the UNFPA also housed some of their research and training initiatives within the Institute over a number of years. At present, the Institute collaborates with the UNDP, UN Women, and UNICEF.
The finances of the Institute are managed in close concert and under the rules and overall oversight of the relevant UN officials in New York and Addis Ababa, including the operation of its main bank account into which its regular budget is paid. The relevant staff members are bound by the ethical guidelines of the UN.