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INSIDE STORY: Direct access to the Adaptation Fund: Lessons from accrediting NIEs in Jamaica and Senegal

Developing countries have been able to access climate finance directly from the international Adaptation Fund – rather than applying through intermediary, regional institutions – when their national institutions have met the high accreditation standards required to handle the funds. These national bodies are known as National Implementing Entities (NIEs). Jamaica and Senegal were among the first countries to secure accreditation for NIEs.

In this CDKN Inside Story, Direct access to the Adaptation Fund: Lessons from accrediting NIEs in Jamaica and Senegal, Will Bugler of Acclimatise and Benoît Rivard of LTS International assess Jamaica’s and Senegal’s contrasting experiences. They also draw implications for developing countries’ readiness to access money from the Green Climate Fund. The Green Climate Fund, which is due to become operational next year, is intended to offer far greater volumes of climate finance to developing countries.

Key messages of this Inside Story include:

  • Different types of organisation can become National Implementing Entities (NIEs) in order to access money from the Adaptation Fund (AF).
  • NIEs in both Jamaica and Senegal have faced common challenges in managing large sums of money and meeting the fiduciary standards of the AF.
  • Including civil society early in the NIE accreditation process is beneficial for later phases of project implementation.
  • Once accredited, the NIEs in both Jamaica and Senegal encountered problems in accessing adaptation finance because of their range of core responsibilities and institutional capacity, respectively.
  • Working with multilateral agencies to develop internationally-accepted accreditation standards would allow wider access to adaptation finance for NIEs.
  • Nations with limited institutional capacity may not be able to establish NIEs; in such cases Regional and Multilateral Implementing Entities can provide access to finance.
  • The Green Climate Fund will channel even larger amounts of finance than the AF.  Institutions that qualify as NIEs may not automatically qualify for direct access to this new Fund.
  • To avoid uneven access, vulnerable countries need help to build their institutional capacity.