Presently, there is a trend within international climate finance towards large-scale investments rather than local community projects. This trend has been no different within the world’s largest climate fund – the Green Climate Fund (GCF), with subnational entities remaining on the fringes of decision making. In June 2016, thirty-seven (37) local practitioners gathered in Dodoma, Tanzania, for their first GCF training workshop – “Accessing the Green Climate Fund in Tanzania” – to prepare the President’s Office for Regional Administration and Local Government (PO-RALG) for GCF accreditation and project development. This would allow PO-RALG to gain direct access to the GCF’s significant financial recourses, helping to channel climate finance to the local level.
This two-day training workshop provided an overview of the climate finance landscape, and the GCF’s processes, procedures and concepts to the thirty-seven participants from PO-RALG, the Institute for Rural Development Planning (IRDP), and the Local Government Training Institute (LGTI). It was part of the inception phase of the project to build PO-RALG’s capacities for GCF engagement led by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), within IIED’s and the UN Capital Development Fund’s (UNCDF) wider programme to scale-out devolved climate finance in Tanzania through to 2021 – funded by UK AID.
Climate and local financing experts from IIED, Neha Rai and Ced Hesse, in collaboration with Dr Lucy Ssendi from PO-RALG, delivered introductory climate finance and GCF specific training across two days in six key areas:
- The climate finance regime and climate finance context: and introduction to the key international and national stakeholders with respect to climate finance in Tanzania, from the UNFCCC to climate change mitigation and adaptation investment priorities in Tanzania.
- Overview of the GCF: an introduction to the basics of the GCF, including how Tanzania can go about accessing its funding, and the role different local and international entities may play in maximising the use of these financial recourses.
- Accessing the GCF – getting national entities accredited: an overview of the GCF accreditation processes. The standards and processes, which a national Tanzanian entity must be able to portray to directly, access GCF funding. This consisted of an introduction to the GCFs basic and specialised fiduciary standards, and its Environment and Social Safeguards (ESS).
- How can entities demonstrate basic fiduciary standards: delving deeper into the basic fiduciary standards of the GCF, including the key administrative and financial capacities, and transparency and accountability functions required, and how prospective accredited entities can demonstrate these required capacities.
- How can entities demonstrate specialised fiduciary standards: delving deeper into the GCFs specialised fiduciary functions on project management, grant awarding, on-lending and blending, as well as the GCF’s ESS. This included a review of the skills and capacities required by prospective accredited entities.
- Proposal development processes: an overview of the GCF’s proposal development process, including the Funds investment framework and risk appetite, as well as the linkages with Tanzanian climate change and development strategies.
These basics on the GCF were also disseminated through awareness raising material developed by PO-RALG and IIED, called: “Eight things to know about the Green Climate Fund”, providing a “snapshot” of the GCF processes and procedures to help PO-RALG staff members and other national stakeholders build their knowledge on GCF concepts and standards. Available at: http://pubs.iied.org/pdfs/10160IIED.pdf
In addition to information dissemination, the workshop provided opportunities for discussion with question and answer sessions (Q&A) and group breakouts, enabling PO-RALG to:
- Identify focal persons from relevant departments for the GCFs basic, specialised and ESS accreditation standards. It is important to make sure the relevant expertise for all requirements and policies are in place;
- Mock development of project proposals in-line with national Tanzanian climate and development strategies (National Climate Change Communication Strategy [NCCCS] and National Climate Change Strategy [NCCS]). The four groups which undertook this exercise all developed project ideas around water security, including: rice and semi-arid irrigation systems, community managed dams in dry-land areas, and the construction of drip wells in local government authorities.
This workshop provided just the first stage of readiness support from IIED and IRDP to assist PO-RALG in GCF accreditation and project development, providing PO-RALG staff with the basics of the GCF, and the importance of collaborating with national stakeholders, especially the National Designated Authority – VPO:
In addition to this collaboration and awareness raising phase, IIED and IRDP in close collaboration with the VPO, will assist PO-RALG further by facilitating:
- An institutional assessment and gap analysis of PO-RALG with respect to the GCFs accreditation standards and project development capacity, followed by a consensus building workshop to agree upon the type of accreditation PO-RALG shall seek;
- Capacity development to fill the accreditation and project development gaps identified during the institutional assessment; and
- Liaising with the VPO and the GCF Secretariat to facilitate the nomination and successful submission of PO-RALGs accreditation, concept note and subsequently project proposal submissions to the GCF.
In collaboration with the VPO, further awareness raising material will be developed to help PO-RALG and other prospective national accredited entities in Tanzania undergo accreditation with the GCF. This will include a jointly developed GCF accreditation toolkit explaining in greater depth the requirements for GCF accreditation and project development.