At its twenty-first meeting in October 2018, the Board of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) approved the 2019 Work Plan of the Independent Evaluation Unit of the GCF. A key element of this plan was to conduct an independent evaluation of the GCF's country ownership approach (COA). Country ownership is a core GCF principle, as reflected in the GCF Governing Instrument.
What is country ownership?
The IEU built an expansive definition of country ownership, highlighting three important pillars.
- Countries lead and engage: Countries lead strategic processes to identify GCF investments to meet their own climate needs and undertake meaningful consultation with stakeholders.
- Countries have institutional capacity: Stakeholders in-country have the capacity to plan, manage and implement activities that address GCF objectives and are supported by GCF.
- GCF and countries share responsibilities and accountability: The GCF, accredited entities and recipient countries develop and adopt global best practices in planning, delivery and reporting on GCF investments (that help countries transition to low-emissions and high resilience pathways), and are accountable to each other for following and implementing these practices.
Key questions in our evaluation
- How does GCF conceptualize and operationalize country ownership?
- How does GCF contribute to country leadership and engagement?
- How effective is GCF in building institutional capacity (in countries and in itself) for country ownership?
- How effective is GCF in using its business model (accreditation and direct access) for supporting country ownership?
Key recommendations in our evaluation
- Represent the climate action needs of non-state actors by operationalizing a normative standard of country ownership that extends beyond the national government.
- Remove country ownership from the list of six investment decision-making criteria and use as a single, minimum eligibility criterion.
- Initiate a proactive strategy that provides a sound rationale for developing country programmes. The strategy should incentivize countries to develop country programmes that foster agreement between governments and non-government actors and identify high-impact and paradigm-shifting pipelines.
- Create a handbook of best practices and provide training support for the secretariat in national designated authorities and focal points.
- Encourage international accredited entities to co-develop and co-implement GCF investments jointly with nominated direct access entities. This will effectively build direct access entity capacity and ensure international accredited entity investments are more country-led.
- Improve transparency by promoting the public release of documents relating to country programmes and annual performance reports.
- Build a strategy that encourages countries to take a longer view of direct access entity nominations. The GCF could help countries make informed decisions on direct access entity nominations by providing more clarity about resource availability.
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