On June 15, 2011, the Adaptation Fund Board (AFB) organized a side event during the 34th meeting of the Subsidiary Bodies of the UNFCCC, in Bonn, Germany. The event took place within the Ministry of Environment (MoE) of Germany. It aimed at presenting key achievements of the Adaptation Fund over the past year and share lessons learned, including the design process, the accreditation of National Implementing Entities using the direct access modality and the collaboration with civil society. It also provided the opportunity to present the newly launched accreditation toolkit.

The event was opened by Ms. Ana Fornells de Frutos, the AFB Chair, who welcomed the audience and moderated the presentation. The first speaker Mr Richard Muyungi, Board member and former AFB Chair, presented the history of the Fund and the key features – the representativity of its governing body, the direct access modality and the innovative source of funding through 2% of the proceedings of the CERs – that make it an innovative financial mechanism which will allow developing countries to finance their adaptation needs. Mr Amjad Abdulla, former chair of the Project and Programme Review Committee of the AFB followed with a description of the project cycle and the lessons learned in the process of project funding, since the first project was funded in September 2010. He mentioned the temporary decision on setting a funding cap of 10 million US dollars per country, as well as the 7 projects that have been approved since September 2010.

The lessons learned on monitoring and evaluation (M&E) and the development of the results-based management framework (RBM) were then presented by Mr Mirza Shawkat Ali, chair of the Ethics and Finance Committee of the AFB. He described the process of developing the policy documents and guidelines related to M&E and RBM, which are now available for their use not only at the projects level, but also at the Fund level. Ms Marcia Levaggi , manager of the AFB secretariat then took stock on the lessons learned from the accreditation process for implementing entities, describing the process, informing on the number of entities accredited so far, i.e. 3 national and 8 multilateral entities, and describing the issues that were identified and that could explain the low number of national entities accredited so far.
Following this, the newly developed accreditation toolkit was launched by Ms Shyla Raghav from the secretariat, who presented its main features to the audience. The toolkit is now available in the AF website and will hopefully help countries in better apprehending and succeeding in the accreditation process.

The final presentation on the collaboration of the AFB with civil society organization was made by Mr Sven Harmeling, Senior Advisor for Climate and Development at the German environment and development NGO Germanwatch. This organization has been following the AF since the beginning and has provided very useful inputs such as the development of the AF newsletter, the Germanwatch report on the AFB meetings, the project tracker as well as several briefing papers. The presentation focused on the emerging AF NGO network which will target local NGOs in the AF accredited countries through capacity building support, with a special attention to the more vulnerable communities. Mr Harmeling praised the opportunities offered to CSO by the AF mechanism, notably through open access to its Board meetings, the availability of the meeting documents to the public in advance in order to allow for comments and the inclusion of all stakeholders in the project evaluations. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of transparency and community involvement, and Germanwatch had some suggestions to make.

The presentations were followed by questions, mostly related to the accreditation process, i.e. the criteria of choice of an NIE, the types of institutions that could be designated as NIE candidates, the difficulties in getting an NIE accredited or the benefits of going through the process of an NIE instead of choosing a MIE. To all these questions, the panel members replied by emphasizing the need for project ownership through NIEs, the free choice of countries on which institution to designate and the necessity to have more NIEs accredited in countries.