“Now is the time to make an impact”, said SEI Research Associate Kevin M. Adams, SEI’s focal point in building the partnership between SEI and the GCF’s Independent Evaluation Unit (IEU).

“The goal of the IEU is to use the best available evidence to review the fund’s progress, both with regard to project outcomes and to institutional practices, and SEI can help provide some of that evidence during this key phase of its evolution.”

Understanding the GCF’s impact

The GCF is one of the world’s most important climate finance institutions, tasked with investing in a paradigm shift toward low-emission and climate-resilient development in developing countries.

With a portfolio of 93 approved projects amounting to over US$4.6 billion, the GCF finances work ranging from efforts to reduce flood risk from glacial lakes in Northern Pakistan to supporting ecosystem-based adaptation in the Gambia, alongside a wide variety of public and private sector actors.

A key element of assessing the GCF’s success will be understanding how its projects and programmes have contributed to emissions reduction, building resilience, and its other strategic priorities.

“One area we are particularly interested in collaborating on is systematic review and evidence-based environmental management, an area where SEI has substantial experience. The IEU hopes to use this method to get a better grasp of best practices across sectors, the key determinants of successful climate action, as well as of what the research community still has to learn,” said Adams.

Group of business people holding a jigsaw puzzle pieces.

Putting the puzzle together to make the GCF more equitable and effective. Photo: courtneyk / Getty.

Improving institutional arrangements as new fundraising launched

Having allocated more than 60% of its current resources, the GCF has recently launched its first formal replenishment process, aiming to raise billions of dollars from donor countries to support future activities. As part of this process, the fund will also be reviewing its institutional structures and key programmes of work, beginning with the GCF Readiness and Support Programme and Results Management Framework.

“That is where SEI’s work on climate finance within the Global Initiative on Finance and the Stockholm Sustainable Finance Centre can come into play, particularly our work on multilateral climate funds,” said Adams.

The agreement between SEI and the GCF IEU runs initially for one year, and Adams is convinced that both organizations will benefit from it: “This agreement will allow us to better understand the needs of the GCF, the challenges they are facing, and contribute to resolving those debates in a way that prioritizes equity and effectiveness and supports vulnerable communities.”