Dhaka, Bangladesh, 13 April 2016. Over 20 key stakeholders in climate finance from Bangladesh attended this ecbi dinner discussion hosted by ecbi member International Centre for Climate Change and Development. Participants includedMr. Kamal Uddin Ahmed, Secretary of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Bangladesh, and member of the Green Climate Fund (GCF) Board; the Joint Secretary and Additional Secretary from the Economic Relations Division (ERD) of the Ministry of Finance – the National Designated Authority (NDA) for Bangladesh; and private and public sector representatives.
As guest speaker, Anju Sharma (Head of ecbi Publications and Policy analysis Unit) presented the state of affairs with regards to the GCF’s Enhanced Direct Access (EDA) modality. A copy of her presentation is attached.
A very lively discussion followed. While there was a reasonable level of knowledge and understanding among most of the key actors within government (as well as to some extent in the private sector) on the GCF, there was also a sense of frustration among the first applicants for “National Implementing Entity” (NIE) status with the length and difficulties of the process of accreditation. Two organizations currently undergoing the accreditation process – the Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) and the Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL), highlighted the problems they were facing, including having to change their auditing procedures, and change nationally accepted practices.
ERD is encouraging six public sector entities to apply for NIE status, while encouraging private sector companies to approach the Private Sector Facility (PSF) of the GCF. Projects are also being put forward through “multilateral implementing entities” (MIEs). As a result, a project submitted through the Local Government Engineering Department (LGED) on Climate Resilient Infrastructure Mainstreaming (CRIM) through KfW, an MIE, was one of the first 8 projects to be approved by the GCF Board.
There was a clear consensus at the meeting that the GCF Board should be asked to consider priority accreditation for least developed countries, and also for those entities that would like to submit EDA project proposals. Such entities would need to have the right sort of in-country channels and networks to allow for a devolution of funding decision to the local level – traditional NIEs and MIEs may not fit this role. Participants also highlighted the need for capacity building and readiness support for procedures such as applying for accreditation to the GCF, to facilitate their access to funds.
It was highlighted that a longer-term strategy would include getting good projects ready for submission as soon as NIE status is achieved, including for EDA projects; and encouraging private sector entities to apply for accreditation under the PSF of the GCF.
Participants also highlighted the importance of demonstrating good systems of transparency and robust systems of accountability (both by government agencies as well as third parties and even citizens).