The Africa Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) readiness for the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Project led by CARE, PACJA, ENDA Senegal, and GermanWatch hosted their training of trainers’ workshop in Senegal on 3-4 February 2022.  The workshop that was attended by the 10 project partner countries was held to build capacity and provide an opportunity for CSO empowerment, by enabling trained participants to become experts on the GCF and climate finance, as well as multipliers of CSO readiness for the GCF alongside other citizens and communities.

The GCF was established in 2010 to serve the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement in assisting developing countries to access climate finance for mitigation and adaptation interventions to grow their resilience and create a paradigm shift in low emission development pathways. The fund has thus far approved over 190 projects, 52% of those being mitigation projects and 48% adaptation projects through accredited entities designated by governments in both developing and small island states.

Civil Society Organisations are important stakeholders in the GCF processes.  They help the fund achieve expected results and ensure local and indigenous needs and, realities are considered through their advocacy and lobbying skills and as such, a need for CSO engagement in the GCF processes is being globally encouraged.  The “Civil Society Organisations Readiness for the Green Climate Fund – focus Africa” project, is under implementation in 10 African countries namely Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Morocco, Senegal, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivoire, Egypt, Madagascar and Namibia, with the aim to build CSOs capacity to engage and take on tasks of monitoring and assessing GCF funded projects in their respective countries in order to held project implementers to account and ensure that proposed projects reach expected results.  The Namibia Nature Foundation is the partner institution for Namibia.

The Training of Trainers workshop program and materials were designed in response to the issues raised by CSOs with regards to their engagement with the GCF, evaluated from a CSO survey conducted last year across the ten partner countries and the various experiences partner organizations have had with the GCF.   The two-day conference was held in a hybrid format accommodating almost over 20 participants both seated and virtually.

Module 1 of the workshop modules focused on capacitating participants on the climate finance architecture and the political economy of climate finance, facilitated by Louise Brown from Triple Capital, a partner of the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) for the project.

Presentation slide from Louise’s module presentation on climate change, climate finance architecture, and the political economy of climate finance

Presentation slide from Louise’s module presentation on climate change, climate finance architecture, and the political economy of climate finance

Module 2 was facilitated by Bertha Argueta from GermanWatch who explained the GCF institutional structures, access modalities, project cycle, investment criteria, and result areas of the GCF.

In Module 3 on Project design and assessment, participants were introduced to relevant policies of the GCF including its climate rationale, investment policies, gender policy, and the environmental and social safeguards policy, and how they are implemented through projects. This module was also facilitated by Bertha Argueta.

Module four discussed the importance of monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the GCF projects.  This module was facilitated by Marlene Achoki a project monitoring and evaluation expert from CARE Academy, who addressed the rationale and principles of participatory monitoring and evaluation of GCF projects while stressing the roles that CSOs can play in the M&E of projects.  The module included some case studies from Kenyan GCF-funded projects.

The CSO engagement, advocacy, and lobbying module were collaboratively facilitated by Mirja Stoldt from Namibia Nature Foundation and Emmanuel Seck from ENDA Energy Environment Development.  The two facilitators addressed the importance of CSO engagement in project rationale and how CSO advocacy and lobbying influence GCF projects.  The module included some case studies on how various projects have been influenced by CSO through advocacy. The GCF recognizes the value and role CSO can play as a national and international advocate and, acknowledge them to be drivers and implementers of the GCF Funded activities.

Bertha from GermanWatch facilitating modules 3 on climate rational

Bertha from GermanWatch facilitating modules 3 on climate rational

Other than practical theory and presentations on climate finance, GCF structures, policy, monitoring and evaluation, and importance for CSO engagement in the GCF processes, the workshop also carried out practical exercises.  Participants were divided into groups of four with an exercise to work out climate rationale projects and pin them to specific GCF result areas while, using the logical framework and the project tree to figure out the problem (causes), the impacts, activities to address the problem, and implementation approaches.

The ToT workshop was facilitated in both English and French and it is expected to build the capacity of the project partner organizations (as trainers) to facilitate discussions, extend training and build local CSO knowledge and capacity to advocate, lobby and evaluate GCF funded projects in their respective communities.  The overall project is expected to train African CSO observers of the GCF funded activities on a local and national level and build their technical capacity to provide constructive inputs into the development of GCF policies and frameworks and, bring their expertise to international discussions and become supportive structures in the GCF funded local projects.  The project is currently in its second phase of implementation and, it is being implemented in African countries with GCF funded activities.