KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE
- A lack of predictability, transparency, and efficiency on the part of the GCF has hindered countries’ abilities to make informed, country-led decisions about how to engage with the Fund. - While countries have used Country Programmes to identify priorities for engagement with the GCF, they have frequently struggled to prioritize their investment pipelines because of the absence of investment-related guidance from the GCF.
After publication of this study in 2019, GCF has published several policies and guidelines to improve this, including but not limited to the updated investment framework, private sector strategy, Simplified Approval Process (SAP) technical guidelines, guidance on adaptation, and seven sectoral guides (links are provided below). See Policies and strategies, and Operational documents for the updated publications. • Initial investment framework (2020) • Country Programme guidance (2021) • Private sector strategy (2022) • Guidance on adaptation (2022) • Sectoral guides and Simplified Approval Process (SAP) technical guidelines
- Direct access is perceived as fundamental for country ownership by country stakeholders. - Common constraints to NDA/focal point capacity relate to human resources, and limited management and technical skills.
The GCF provides a range of support from the RPSP work programme not only the grant-based readiness support but also professional services and technical assistance that can be particularly resourceful to the most vulnerable developing countries (including the least developed countries, small island developing states, and African States). Countries can receive tailored support for the preparation of country programmes and related processes through consulting firms contracted for the professional services. A roster of firms is available to support NDAs on project idea and/or concept note development. From 2023, professional services will also be utilised to expand on the training initiatives and ensure a comprehensive training programme and resource for both NDAs and DAEs. With technical assistance provided by individual experts, NDAs and DAEs can receive technical support in identifying readiness needs and action plans and in developing readiness proposals aligned to long-term planning instruments and the 2020- 2023 Strategic Plan priorities. In addition, as requested by decision B.32/05, paragraph (d), the Secretariat will ensure continued provision of readiness support for SAP and access to the technical assistance provided by the Readiness Programme for the preparation of SAP proposals, including for activities that can transfer knowledge and skills on how to rapidly access SAP. These experts may also be deployed for technical assistance support for training on new GCF policies including the Private Sector Strategy, project-specific accreditation approach and application of the readiness results management framework and other support as needed.
The report provides two recommendations to the GCF regarding fully embracing a definition of country ownership that goes beyond national government and strengthening guidance to countries on country ownership.