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FEATURE: Speed up! Move up! Speak up!


July was a month of progress for the CDKN, with many strands of work underway. One of the major highlights was the first meeting of our Quarterly Management Oversight Committee. The meeting, held in late July at DFID, gave us the opportunity to put forward our vision for a regionally led but globally connected programme and how we are setting out to achieve it. In the words of Simon Maxwell, the CDKN Executive Chair, our current priority is to ‘Speed up! Move up! Speak up!’

  • ‘Speed up’ means delivering more activity across all parts of the network. Our early progress has been in technical assistance and advisory services, dominated by engagement in African countries. Moving forward, to achieve our targets, we need to start to commission new research and to become more active in both Latin America and Asia. I’m pleased to say that this is already happening (as you can see below).
  • ‘Move up’ indicates creating more knowledge products and more intensive engagement with higher level partners. Inevitably in the early months of the network we have had to invest considerable time internally in establishing processes, creating our regional offices and, given the diverse group of organisations within our alliance, getting to know each other. As we move forward we will be able to focus much more of the time of our senior people on building relationships with the highest levels of government in our target countries and begin to tailor our programme to create knowledge products that meet their needs.
  • ‘Speak up’ emphasises raising our profile to develop a stronger external voice so that we have a view on key issues in area of climate compatible development. We will begin to bring experts together to discuss the major topics and build partnerships with other organisations operating in the field.

For me, the changes will have one significant implication. As we move towards a more externally focused operation my tenure in the CEO role will naturally come to an end. We have begun the search for a permanent CEO to make these priorities a reality.  We advertised the role in early July and I’ve been pleased to see the extent of interest in the role.  We are clearly going to have a difficult decision on our hands but I’m very confident that I will be able to pass over the role in the autumn to a chief executive of the stature and background that we need to move us out of the inception phase and hit the ground running in full operational mode.

Raising our global profile

Building relationships with client governments and prospective partners, as well as raising our international profile is no small feat! Yet in just a month CDKN has taken several important steps. Our team has had a number of meetings with influential climate change/development actors, including a high level meeting in Pakistan that was presided over by the Minister of Environment. We have also formed new partnerships with organisations such as the Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training (START), the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and ClimDev Africa.

Out on the road, the CDKN participated in a number of conferences and events. We were part of the Asian Development Bank/DFID joint workshop in Kathmandu, Nepal, on Building Capacity to Respond to Climate Change in South Asia; the Local Solutions to Climate Change talks at the Ashden Awards for Sustainable Energy; and The CPA UK Third International Parliamentary Conference on Climate Change in London.

In the pipeline

At the same time, we have continued to make significant advancements on several projects that I mentioned last month. For example, we completed the first stage of a long term project to assist the Ministry of Environment in Ghana to produce a ‘Single Climate Policy Framework’. In addition, we have several new project requests across the three regions already in the pipeline, but they’ll be more on this and our continued progress in my next update.

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