Large Innovation Projects

Call for Proposals

The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) invites eligible Parties to the Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement to submit proposals for large innovation projects, using the services of accredited national implementing entities (NIEs), Regional Implementing Entities (RIEs) and Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs). Proposals submitted will be considered under the Adaptation Fund (AF) Programme on Innovation: Large Innovation Projects, under the Innovation Facility of the Adaptation Fund.

This funding opportunity makes available grants of up to US$ 5 million to NIEs, RIEs and MIEs starting with the first request for proposals under an indicative set-aside of US$ 30 million, approved at second session of the thirty-fifth meeting of the Adaptation Fund Board in October 2020.


The Adaptation Fund Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) was approved by the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) in October 2017 and focuses on three main pillars: Action, Innovation, and Learning and Sharing. The MTS implementation plan outlines expected results, outputs, and activities that will be undertaken to put the MTS into action, indicators for measuring performance and a tentative budget and timeline.

The objective of the innovation pillar of the MTS is to support the development and diffusion of innovative adaptation practices, tools, and technologies. This objective will be supported through the establishment of an Innovation Facility, which will include small and large grants. All accredited implementing agencies, whether national, regional or multilateral, will be eligible to receive large grants for innovation. The large grants for innovation may fund single-country, regional or multi-regional projects and programmes. The funding from this window is separate from that used to fund regular single-country or regional projects or programmes, and as such, does not count towards respective funding caps in place for such projects.

For the large innovation projects specifically, two expected results have been identified by the MTS implementation plan:

  • Successful innovations rolled out. Innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies that have demonstrated success in one country spread to new countries/regions;
  • Viable innovations scaled up. Innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies that have demonstrated viability at a small scale piloted at larger scales.

The MTS implementation plan also states that the expected outcome of the innovation pillar will be that innovation for effective, long-term adaptation to climate change will be accelerated, encouraged, and enabled.


Implementing Entities (IEs) proposing large innovation projects must be a National Implementing Entity (NIE), Regional Implementing Entity (RIE) or Multilateral Implementing Entity (MIE) to the Adaptation Fund and have an accreditation status of “Accredited”.

How it works

The innovation facility will provide at least six large grants of up to US$ 5 million to NIEs, RIEs and MIEs starting with the first request for proposals under a set-aside of US$ 30million launched in 2021. A second request for proposals under a set-aside of US$ 60 million is expected to be launched in 2022.

The implementation modalities will be similar to that which apply to the single-country and regional concrete adaptation projects and programmes under the Action pillar of the MTS. It is recommended that a two-step process will apply to single-country projects/programmes and a three-step process to regional proposals.

Furthermore, the proposal submission timelines with respect to Board meetings or intersessional review cycles are similar to those of regular projects and programmes.

Project Formulation Support

Single country projects/ programmes

NIEs that are at the concept development stage of the Fund’s project cycle process have the option to request a Project Formulation Grant (PFG) up to a maximum of US$ 50,000 per project together with their submission of the project concept to the Board. PFGs can support project formulation activities, including among others feasibility studies or consultations. A PFG could only be awarded when a project concept has been presented to and endorsed by the Board. The template for a Request for PFG is available under Project Proposal Materials. PFGs would be funded from the provision dedicated to the Large Innovation Projects.

For a project for which PFG funding is sought, the total amount of funding inclusive of PFG cannot exceed US$ 5 million.

Regional projects/programmes

RIEs and MIEs that are at the concept development stage of the Fund’s project cycle process have the option to request a PFG up to a maximum of US$ 30,000 per project together with their submission of the regional project concept proposal to the AFB.


The innovation projects at the Innovation Facility can be used to address adaptation challenges in various thematic areas, including but not limited to:

  • Advancement of gender equality (women and girls’ empowerment);
  • Agriculture;
  • Coastal zone management;
  • Disaster risk reduction;
  • Enhancement and protection of cultural heritage;
  • Focus on communities;
  • Food security;
  • Forests and Land Use;
  • Human health;
  • Inclusion of youth;
  • Innovative adaptation financing;
  • Marine and fisheries
  • Nature-based solutions;
  • Rural development;
  • Social innovation;
  • Urban adaptation;
  • Water resources management; and
  • Wildfire management.

Following receipt of the proposal for an innovation large project, the Adaptation Fund Board secretariat will review the application and make a recommendation to the Board. The Board will then make a decision on the proposal and, if approved, funds will be transferred to the accredited IE to implement the activities as outlined in the proposal.

How to Propose Projects

To propose a large innovation project, please find below the large innovation project proposal form, letter of endorsement template, and guidelines on how to propose a large innovation project. The large innovation project proposal form must be submitted together with a signed letter of endorsement by the Designated Authority (DA) to the Adaptation Fund.

The Adaptation Fund Board accepts and considers project proposals for Large Innovation Projects twice a year. The proposals are considered at the regular meetings of the Board. The next submission deadline can be found under Apply for Funding and on the calendar on this website.

Submissions should be sent to with copy to and

Suggested Reading

The secretariat has created two guiding documents to support Implementing Entities in their application process:

Please note that these documents are expected to be updated periodically. Thus, it is suggested to read them before developing any new proposal. 


Attachment Type Size
Operationalization of the large innovation projects PDF 553 KB
Funding Proposal Template – Application Template for Fully-developed and Concept Proposal DOCX 126 KB
Funding Proposal Template – Application Template for Pre-concept proposal DOCX 122 KB