NIE Small Grants for Innovation

Call for Proposals

The Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) invites eligible Parties to the Kyoto Protocol or the Paris Agreement to submit proposals for small-grant projects, using the services of accredited national implementing entities (NIEs). Proposals submitted will be considered under the Adaptation Fund (AF) Programme on Innovation: Small Grants Projects through Direct Access Modality, under the Innovation Facility of the Adaptation Fund.

This funding opportunity makes available grants of up to US $250,000 to NIEs, starting with the first request for proposals under a set-aside of US $2 million, launched in December 2018.


The Adaptation Fund (the Fund) Medium-Term Strategy (MTS) was approved by the Adaptation Fund Board (the Board) 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. The small grants will be awarded to vulnerable developing countries through two routes: directly through national implementing entities (NIEs) particularly to those countries that have accredited NIEs, and through an MIE aggregator delivery mechanism to other entities (organizations, groups, associations, institutions, businesses, agencies, etc.) that are not accredited with the Fund.

For the small grants specifically, two expected results have been identified by the MTS implementation plan:

  • New innovations encouraged and accelerated. Development of innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies encouraged and accelerated; 
  • Evidence base generated. Evidence of effective, efficient adaptation practices, products and technologies generated as a basis for implementing entities and other funds to assess scaling up.

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.


NIEs applying for innovation grants must be a National Implementing Entity (NIE) to the Adaptation Fund and have an accreditation status of  “Accredited”.

How It Works

The innovation facility will provide at least 28 small grants of up to US $250,000 to NIEs, starting with the first request for proposals under a set-aside of US $2 million launched in December 2018.

The innovation grants 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);
  • Disaster risk reduction;
  • Enhancement of cultural heritage;
  • Focus on communities;
  • Food security;
  • Inclusion of youth;
  • Innovative adaptation financing;
  • Nature-based solutions;
  • Social innovation;
  • Urban adaptation; and
  • Water resources management.

Following receipt of the proposal for an innovation grant, 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 NIE to implement the activities as outlined in the proposal.

Apply for Innovation Small Grant Funding

To apply for an innovation small grant, please find below the application form, letter of endorsement template, and guidelines on how to apply for an innovation small grant. The innovation small grant application 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 Innovation Small Grants 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.

Applications should be sent to with copy to and

For more information on the small grants on innovation take the free e-training available on how to apply for funding.


Attachment Language
Innovation Small Grant Application Form English
Letter of Endorsement by DA English
Adaptation Fund Innovation Small Grant Application Sample English
Instructions for preparing a request for an innovation small grant (English, French and Spanish)