Building on GCFWatch

2019-03-12T11:50:22+00:0009 Mar 2019|Tags: , , , , , , |

by Janssen M. Martinez

Note: Janssen M. Martinez is an ICSC climate policy analyst. He participated in the February 2019 Green Climate Fund board meeting with Angelo Kairos Dela Cruz, associate for climate policy.

Kairos and I attended the twenty-second board meeting of the Green Climate Fund (or B.22) last February 26-28 in Songdo, South Korea.

Compared to the first GCF board meeting I witnessed, July 2018’s B.20, which has been described as a failure, B.22 went on smoothly and daily agendas for the formal board proceedings were followed.

Behind the scenes, we and other representatives of civil society organizations (CSOs) conducted meetings to strategize our interventions in key agenda items and issues, which can be seen in the daily CSO updates.

The GCF headquarters in Songdo during the 22nd board meeting, February 2019.

We also met to discuss GCFWatch, an online resource center on the Fund made primarily by and for civil society groups. ICSC is one of the founding organizations of GCFWatch and is a sitting member of the platform’s Steering Committee since its founding in 2015.

We were glad to hear that the website has been gaining traffic over the previous months since its soft launch during B.20. We even heard encouraging feedback on the site from the Fund’s Independent Evaluation Unit, which ensures that the GCF is an accountable and teachable organization.

GCFWatch was formed at an opportune time when the Fund gained speed through an increase of pledges of developed countries and the establishment of countries’ national designated authorities (NDAs). It aims to encourage members of civil society, especially from developing countries, to assume their role as stakeholders and engage their own governments, as well as other public and private institutions which are accessing the Fund.

Right now, the GCFWatch site is still in its infant stage, and is still undergoing content mobilization and generation. Nevertheless, it already contains unique features which make it a promising tool in watching over the further utilization of GCF.

Regional Nodes. Coordination among member CSOs, or GCFWatchers, are divided into regions. Focal organizations, also called Regional Nodes, are tasked with coordination among and within regions, including the vetting of information relevant to their regions’ Fund-related activities. The leadership of the regional nodes leadership go beyond the compilation of information; they are expected to produce analyses of the projects being implemented in their respective areas.

Project Tracker.This portion of the site contains not only funding proposals approved by the Board, but also CSO comments on each proposal which are submitted to the Board for discussion every meeting.

Board meeting updates.>Every board meeting, the CSO bloc always comes up with their own report, which includes contentious points discussed during the meeting and CSO board interventions delivered by the Fund’s CSO active observers.

Other features of the site are still underway, including the Project Maps, which will locate GCF projects, NDAs, and accredited entities (AEs) in countries. Aside from civil society comments on GCF Projects, a compendium of all GCF board meeting interventions by CSOs will be put up in the website, which will benefit not only CSOs looking into the GCF, but the Fund itself and all institutions interested in evaluating the implementation and impact of its climate change projects and programs.

CSOs discuss GCFWatch on the sidelines of the 22nd GCF board meeting, February 2019.

We expect the website’s new features to be up and running by the end of 2019. By then, with the help of the Fund’s civil society observers, we hope the GCFWatch would surpass its infant stage and start maximizing its potential as one of the most comprehensive resource centers on the GCF. We want it to become a meeting point of CSOs working on GCF issues worldwide, bring in more relevant information regarding GCF projects and programs to a wider audience, and catalyze more external engagements and analyses of the Fund.

Go to www.gcfwatch.org to learn more about the initiative. You can also send an email to info@gcfwatch.org if you want to know more about GCFWatch or if you want to contribute and become a fellow GCFWatcher.