Concept: NIE country exchange visits under the Readiness Programme for Climate Finance

Country exchange visits under the Readiness Programme seek to enhance the capacity for project design, development and implementation by accredited national implementing entities (NIEs) through direct interaction and engagement with project stakeholders, and facilitation of benchmarking for these NIEs towards an Adaptation Fund project within a sector or model of interest.

Country exchange visits are a useful tool that can be used to complement other efforts to support capacity building for the implementation and execution of high quality adaptation projects/ programmes. They feed into the Adaptation Fund’s Medium-Term Strategy which is implemented under three strategic foci: Action; Innovation; and Learning. The strategic focus on Action includes three expected result (ER) areas, one of which (ER 2) is that Institutional capacity is strengthened. Under this result area, it is expected that the long-term capacity of national and regional institutions to implement and execute high quality adaptation projects/programmes is strengthened through Fund processes, including accreditation and adaptive management.  The expected outputs from activities under this result area are the following:

  • (i) Additional technical support during project/programme implementation,
  • (ii) Enhanced readiness activities for climate finance

Activities identified under output (i) above include the enhancement of local capacity through communities of practice, webinars, country exchanges, workshops, and field visits by the Adaptation Fund Board secretariat (the secretariat). In particular, country exchanges would explore field exchange visits between NIEs with projects in the same sector or that use a similar model to build capacity in project design, development and implementation and explore lessons learned.

Country exchange visits for NIEs were included in the proposed secretariat workplan for activities under the Readiness Programme that would be implemented in Fiscal Year 2019 (FY19, 1 July 2018 – 30 June 2019), which was approved by the Board at its thirty-first meeting, through decision B.31/28.

Features of country exchange visits

A single country exchange would be undertaken per calendar year. The country exchange visits are generally expected to last a couple of days and not exceed a week. Each exchange visit would be between accredited NIEs. NIEs participating in the country exchange would be those that have a project/programme [under development or implementation] or that have indicated an interest to design and prepare a project/programme within the same sector or that applies a similar model to the project/programme under implementation by the host implementing entity (IE). A group of NIEs with similar interest would travel to a host IE country within the same region or in another region for the exchange.

Identifying host NIE

It is expected that the host IE should have an Adaptation Fund project/programme under implementation that has progressed enough to be able to draw learnings and share knowledge and skills with participating NIEs in that exchange. The entity should have tangible achievements on their project/programme as evidenced by the submission of at least two project performance reports (PPR) for projects/programmes with a life span of less than 4 years, or a mid-term evaluation/review (MTE/MTR) for projects/programmes with a life span of more than 4 years. The host for each visit would be identified by the secretariat through a joint exercise with the pool of IEs with “active” accreditation status with the Fund.

The secretariat will crowd source sectors and models of interest to NIEs through a survey. Interested NIEs would then be grouped by sector, region and model. This categorization would form the basis to identify potential hosts and participants that have a project under implementation in the relevant area of interest, either in the same geographic region as the expressed interest or elsewhere.

Identifying participant NIEs

The exchange would include a few NIEs that are applying a similar adaptation model, pursuing resilience in the same sector or with similar interests. Participant NIEs for each visit would be identified based on responses received from the crowd sourcing which would be done through the survey mentioned above.

Logistical and other arrangements

A programme for the field visit would be developed by the host IE with input from the secretariat to ensure that critical aspects of project design, development and implementation are captured and covered during the exchange. The secretariat would pay for the full cost of the country exchange within the confines of the procurement and travel policies of the Fund, although in some cases, cost-sharing arrangements with the host IE would be made.  At times there could be need for interpretation services in the field, particularly where it concerns interaction with project beneficiaries.

The host IE is also expected to provide in-kind support for the procurement of domestic logistics and is expected to plan for and facilitate participants’ meetings with a range of stakeholders involved in the project design, development and implementation process, including but not limited to: The Designated Authority (DA); committee members or individuals involved in project planning and design; NIE staff responsible for implementation; executing entities (EEs); and project beneficiaries.

Expected Outputs

At the end of the country exchange, participating NIEs are expected to provide feedback to the secretariat on their experience, learning or highlights of the exchange, and how they would apply the lessons learnt to their own projects/programmes as relevant. The secretariat would provide a template for providing feedback which would facilitate processing of feedback from different individuals as well as concise reporting.

Expected Outcomes

The country exchanges would have the following expected outcomes. First, accredited NIEs of the Fund receive experience and insights that support them during the Fund’s project/programme cycle process, and increase their capacity to design, develop and implement quality adaptation projects/programmes.  Second, the exchanges will strengthen the community of practice which is expected to increase the ability of NIEs to draw on each other’s advice. Third, the exchanges will help build bilateral ties between NIEs. The outcome will feed into the Fund’s MTS, and contribute data and information for performance monitoring and assessment of relevant indicators for implementing the MTS.

Country exchange in FY19

The first exchange visit will be held in April 2019. It will adopt a learning by doing approach, so as to draw on lessons that can further enhance the experience and outcome of future country exchange visits.