Readiness Community Experiences

Between the 8th and the 10th of October, 2018, the GCF Readines Programme convened experienced practitioners (national coordinators and/or technical experts), and Readiness delivery partners.  The purpose of the workshop was to reinforce the iterative knowledge management process of implementing GCF readiness activities in countries with different socio-economic, political, geographic, and climatic contexts. Readiness support globally is reaching maturity and it was therefore timely to take stock of results and challenges to-date and feed these into new approaches for accessing GCF funds. The workshop served to take stock of the key lessons and challenges learned during the implementation of GCF Readiness initiatives in different countries. Participants presented how the support was applied, which tools were used, and the results and lessons over the course of interactive sessions.
Institutional Strengthening of NDAs: 
The Perspective from Ghana: Ayirebi Frimpong, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in Ghana. Download the presentation here
Mr. Frimpong presented Ghana’s experience with institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms created for decision making on GCF pipeline and priorities.  As the GCF has been evolving since the beginning of the project, it took time to understand the processes and enhance NDA capacities to engage effectively with the GCF. The rotation of NDA personnel presented challenges in the process of capacity strengthening, so the project focused on producing tools including an NDA operations manual, prioritization tools and a MRV system.

Some lessons learned for Ghana are:

  • Sustained capacity building is necessary to properly strengthen NDA capacities
  • South-south exchanges are very beneficial to learn and share best practices
  • A functional national coordination system is key to successful engagement with GCF
The Perspective from Nepal: Pragyajan Yalamber Rai, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in Nepal- Download the presentation here
Mr. Pragyajan shared Nepal’s experience in strengthening institutional capacities to access GCF. The first step for Nepal was to decide on a required structure within the national institutions to address climate finance issues.  This structure included a Technical committee, a Climate Finance Unit and a Climate Finance Steering Committee. Nepal faced the same challenge as Ghana regarding personnel rotation, but having an established national coordination structure for climate finance issues helped the NDA office to overcome the challenge of personnel rotation. 

Some of the lessons learned from Nepal’s experience are: 

  • Knowledge gaps should be assessed and relevant training should be developed
  • Establishing a national functional structure for decision making is key
  • Inclusive stakeholder engagement is crucial to ensure inclusive support of the projects
  • A robust knowledge management structure will help to mitigate the risk of turnovers in the government
Climate Policy and Law as instruments for finance readiness:
Climate Policy and Law in El Salvador - Carlos Gómez, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in El Salvador- Download the presentation here.

When the project started El Salvador had a Climate Change Policy, a National Climate Change Strategy and a National Climate Change Plan, but it lacked the climate sectorial policies and a Climate Finance Strategy. So, they worked on policies for 2 sectors which contribute significantly to carbon emissions and are the main recipients of public spending on climate change: (i) energy and transport and (ii) agriculture forestry and land use. They also conducted a study of current public investment in climate change for both sectors and developed a new agricultural policy incorporating climate change risks and solutions.  

The following lessons can be drawn from El Salvador’s experience in climate policy and law:

  • Policies should be created and adapted to individual country needs
  • Selection of priority sectors to be targeted by these policies should be agreed by governing bodies at national and sectorial level. 
  • Stakeholder engagement is crucial in creating and applying a national climate policy/law.

The main challenge currently faced by El Salvador will be to maintain the support for climate change initiatives after the change of government in March 2019

Climate Policy and Law in Benin - Marius Gandonou, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in Benin - Download the presentation here.
Mr. Gandonou explained that in many African countries including Benin, the process of passing a new law can take anytime between 5 to 10 years. The process entails convincing the relevant government bodies and stakeholders of the importance of the specific law. However, with the Programme’s support, a Climate change law was drafted and passed on the 18thof June 2018 by the Parliament of Benin within a span of only two years. Mr. Gandonou noted that it was more efficient to align the emerging policies and laws with current national plans such as National Adaptation Plans or National Development Plans.

Some of the challenges faced by Benin are:

  • How to successfully transition from planning to actual mobilization of resources for climate change action
  • A  myriad of guidebooks on climate change have produced for Benin by different entities, including UNDP and government entities. These guidelines should be condensed into one document so that they could be used more effectively and avoid duplication.
  • Integrating specific budget lines for climate change into the national budget is currently not possible unless it becomes a requirement by the law.


Climate Finance Decision Making Tools:
Climate Finance Decision Making Tools in the Philippines - Theresa Espino-Yap, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in the Philippines - Download the presentation here.
Ms. Espino-Yap presented the Philippines’ experience with climate finance tools. In the Philippines there is no Climate Change Strategy yet, which would provide a more precise guidance for monitoring climate finance, but there are other frameworks and polices such as National Climate Change Action Plan. The Philippines tracks climate change expenditures with the Climate Public Expenditures and Institutional Review System (CPEIR). Furthermore, the process of prioritization has greatly improved thanks to the NDC.

The following lessons can be drawn from the Philippines:

  • It is critical to have a lead climate finance institution 
  • Country programmes are critical to guide the climate finance efforts
  • Direct access accreditation is important in terms of country empowerment, but should understand and support country’s priorities and NDCs.
  • Stakeholders engagement and agreement is key 



Climate Finance Decision Making Tools in Colombia - Javier Sabogal, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in Colombia - Download the presentation here.

Mr. Sabogal spoke about the MRV system implemented by the government of Colombia as part of the GCF Readiness Programme.  The analysis done was directed to measure the amount required to finance climate change in the country, the amount of current investment in climate change and the finance gap. Once the finance gap was determined, the next step was to find financing instruments to close this gap. 

The MRV was designed to track public, private and international climate flows and help determine the climate finance gap.

Some lessons learned from MRV design and utilization are:

  • It is difficult to define an expenditure as ‘climate change expenditure’
  • MRV is not one time project, but it is living system for collecting and updating climate finance data to support decision-making
  • The MRV design must be in line with NDCs
  • Decentralized governments should be fully engaged in the design of the system and users should be properly trained. 
  • Obtaining private climate finance data is very difficult. 


Climate Finance Decision Making Tools in Uzbekistan - Ulugbek Dedabaev, GCF Readiness National Coordinator in Uzbekistan - Download the presentation here.

Mr. Dedabaev discussed Uzbekistan’s implementation of the Investment and Financial Flows (I&FF) Assessment. Uzbekistan has recognized the effect of climate change in its rising temperatures as well as the country’s need to monitor climate change and climate finance in order to achieve its NDCs and its Paris Agreement commitments. The I&FF presented a tool to identify and assess financial needs for mitigation and adaptation that no one single strategy or programme could define. Energy, agriculture and social sectors were selected for the assessment. 

The main lessons from conducting these assessments are:

  • The process of conducting the assessment strengthened institutional capacities in the country
  • Lack of data limited the scope of the assessment 
  • The assessment can be effectively used for project prioritization. 


Accreditation of National Institutions to GCF: Jesica Andrews and Dima Reda (Accreditation case studies from Fiji and Nepal). 

Ms. Reda and Ms. Andrews presented their findings and similarities and contrasts of accreditation processes for both Fiji and Nepal.

Accreditation of national entities was envisioned as one way to empower countries to access GCF funds directly without intervention of international accredited institutions. Even though the accreditation process has been long and costly for the national entities, it has helped them improving their capacities, so that they could comply with the international standards requested. 

Some of the lessons learned from direct access accreditation support are:

  • It is more beneficial to conduct a transparent selection process, like it was done in Nepal, where national entities submitted expressions of interest to be accredited instead of being simply appointed by the government. This allows entities to engage more proactively and willingly in the process.
  • Top management from DAE candidate institutions should understand that they are accessing these funds on behalf of their countries for specific projects. These are not funds for their regular operations.  
  • Entities should work closely with NDAs and ensure that they embark in projects that are in line with country priorities
  • The accreditation process is worth it only if the accredited entity intends to implement not one project, but several projects.



Panel Discussion: Pragyajan Rai, Nepal National Coordinator, Vinaisi Dilikuwai, Fiji, Acting National Coordinator, Nancy Soi, Kenya UN Environment, Theresa Espino-Yap,Philippines National Coordinator

The panel discussed the question of advantages of being an accredited entity and whether these entities would be able to successfully develop projects and obtain required co-financing.

The entities selected in both countries, Fiji and Nepal, are strong entities, capable of fulfilling the standards required by GCF. However, the accreditation process takes time and the entities also require training on how to develop project proposals. In addition, they need to engage stakeholders and obtain support for co-financing. Nonetheless, these entities have increased their capacities throughout the accreditation process, and it is expected that once they are accredited and gain experience in project development, this process will prove to be transformative for the countries.


GCF Project Pipeline Development: Project Prioritisation Case Studies from Ghana and Nepal - Ayrirebi Frimpong and Pragyajan Yalamber Rai - Download the presentation here

Mr. Frimpong explained the project prioritization tool created in Ghana to improve transparency in the project selection process. Project ideas/concepts are initially submitted to the NDA and the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) for a preselection prior to using the prioritization tool. After this step, projects are scored using the prioritization tool and then the decision is made on which projects would be prioritized. 

Some of the challenges and lessons learned from this prioritization process are:

  • Consultations are very important for stakeholder engagement
  • Selection is dependent in part on expert judgement
  • It takes time to master the effective use of the prioritization tool
  • There is an assumption that projects submitted by sectors are in line with their priorities, but this process may not be fully transparent. 

Mr. Pragyajan presented the prioritization process in Nepal which was inspired by Ghana’s prioritization tool. GCF project ideas in Nepal should be in line with the National Climate Change priorities and GCF strategic impact areas. The prioritization process begins with a call for project ideas followed by a screening process by the NDA and Technical Committee. Projects are then prioritized based on Nepal’s predetermined scoring methodology.

Some challenges and lessons learned from Nepal are:

  • Ensuring transparency in the process and ensure proper consultation with stakeholders
  • Achieving efficiencies in proposal review process
  • Engaging Direct Access Entities
  • Ensuring government ownerships by effective involvement by relevant ministries. 


A panel discussion followed, focused on the question on the prioritization process used in the four countries represented on the panel - Uzbekistan, Kenya, El Salvador, and the Philippines. 

GCF Project Pipeline Development: Project Proposal Development Case Studies from Kenya - Nancy Soi - Download the presentation here

The Government of Kenya has identified priorities in adaptation. A project pipeline was built from a call for proposals and existing pipelines from various institutions: NDA, NEMA (National Environment Management Authority) and IUCN (The International Union for Conservation of Nature). A technical working group reviewed applications to be submitted to GCF. Together with IUCN, a $26.4 million GCF project proposal for adaptation was developed and submitted.

Some of the challenges and lessons learned from Kenya’s experience with GCF proposal development are:

  • The proposal preparation process is intensive and time consuming, so expectations should be realistic. 
  • Significant financial resources are required to produce credible data and to contract international expertise for project proposals development.
  • Close collaboration between government and direct access entities is key.


GCF Project Pipeline Development: Project Proposal Development Case Study from Benin - Marie-Ange Baudoin - Download the presentation here

Ms. Baudoin presented the developing of a project proposal in Benin. There was a preliminary consultation with the Government on two ideas presented by two NGOs. One was approved by the government to be further developed into a concept note. It was an adaption 5-year project with requested GCF funding of $9m- It was since approved by the GCF Board in March 2019. 

Some of the challenges and recommendations from proposal development in Benin are:

  • Development project proposals is a very long process. Collecting reliable data was a complex endeavor, as not all the documentation required is readily available. 
  • Benin being a Francophone country, the language barrier posed additional difficulties, as all the documentation to be submitted to GCF required translation into English. 
  • It is important to identify the accredited entity for the proposal and work closely with them in the early stages of the process.
  • Addressing GCF comments was very challenging due to lack of clarity and guidance from GCF.
  • International expertise is often required, so this increases the cost of proposal development. 
  • It is important that the project development is in line with country priorities.