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Technical assistance


The CDKN’s Technical Assistance service provides tailored and demand-driven support to developing country decision-makers in the design and delivery of climate compatible development policies and practices, and acts as a catalyst to maximise the impact of increasing flows of donor climate and development funding.

Working with the Partnerships and Knowledge Management service areas, we also seek to play a brokering and coordinating role with other donor programmes.  We are able to both lead end-to-end policy processes and pick up specific activities within an existing framework. 

What services are provided?

A range of short (3-12 months) and longer-term (> 1 year) services are provided, including a rapid response service (4 weeks) for high priority, time-critical assistance.  CDKN is able to provide services including:

  • Strengthening institutional and policy frameworks to tackle climate change
  • Climate change impacts and adaptation information for decision-making
  • Adaptation strategy advice and economic analysis
  • Implications of carbon markets and greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations
  • Scaling up low carbon energy and technology solutions
  • Developing forestry, biodiversity and land-use strategies and programmes
  • Accessing and leveraging climate financing

Who are the services for?

We operate in Latin America & the Caribbean, Asia and Africa. Our priority clients are developing country governments in these regions, plus regional and sub-national governments.  Other stakeholders such as UN agencies and developing country actors (multilateral institutions, NGOs, climate change organisations/initiatives, etc.) can access some services.  Some BASIC and middle income countries in these regions may be eligible for support where the demand is innovative, highly replicable elsewhere and/or fosters south-south learning.

How do we identify demand?

All CDKN Technical Assistance services are demand-led.  This means that we operate in response to requests for assistance from eligible service recipients.  Requests can reach us by several means; direct as a letter requesting assistance or through dialogue with CDKN staff; or indirect through signposting and coordination with other organisations, programmes or initiatives, with whom we are always happy to explore opportunities for collaboration and co-financing.  Once requests are received, we look for evidence of buy-in from relevant senior politicians or decision-makers, and play a “critical friend” role to shape the request for assistance into a robust terms of reference that meets the service recipient’s objectives.

How to we prioritise and select projects?

Decisions to fund Technical Assistance projects are made jointly between the Head of Technical Assistance and the relevant Regional Director.  We have four sequential levels of project selection criteria shown here.  Level 4 filters projects according to annual priority themes that have been developed in response to requests for assistance received to date.  Current priority themes for 2011-12 are as follows (although please note there are regional variations):

  • Developing climate compatible development strategies and plans, at national, sub-national, regional and sectoral levels
  • Distilling climate impact data into vulnerability assessments to aid decision-making
  • Developing approaches to enable best use of and absorptive capacity for climate finance
  • Supporting  emerging policy areas, such as on land use and water scarcity
  • Considering the role of the private sector

 How do we deliver projects?

Technical Assistance projects are mostly delivered by external service providers.  CDKN runs procurement processes to appoint the best available service providers, with a focus on value for money.  Where possible, we seek to deliver through local or regional service providers in the south, or by partnerships with local stakeholders, to ensure local capacity building.

If you would like to be a potential future service provider, please register on our CDKN Roster of Experts in order to receive news of CDKN procurement processes seeking your areas of expertise.

For further details of what it means to work with CDKN as a service provider or service recipient, please see how to work with us.

What are our latest projects?




Latin America and the Caribbean


 Click here for more information on our range of projects.