This paper highlights how civil society organizations can play critical roles in establishing transparent and accountable climate finance systems that put communities at the center of decision-making. It draws from the Adaptation Finance Accountability Initiative’s experiences in Ethiopia and Uganda as well as lessons learned from similar efforts in Bangladesh, Kenya, and the Philippines. It offers valuable information to help civil society organizations build their engagement and capacity on climate adaptation finance.
Local communities are left out of climate adaptation finance decision-making. Research in Ethiopia and Uganda, as well as in other countries on the front lines of climate change, found that communities and local governments are currently marginalized from national planning and financing of climate adaptation, which can lead to ineffective and misaligned investments.
Civil society organizations are critical for building inclusive finance systems for adaptation. Civil society organizations can facilitate community participation and provide leadership in climate adaptation decision-making, monitoring, and tracking climate-related finance flows and policies.
Four steps for building CSO engagement and capacity on climate adaptation financing. Based on work in Ethiopia and Uganda, civil society organizations can build their capacity and expertise they need to play a role in ensuring transparent and accountable climate finance systems that put communities at the center of decision-making by following a four-step process:
Conduct an assessment of the political economy that details government planning, budgeting, and management, the relationships between different levels of government, parties and influencers, and a mapping of the ability for citizens and civil society organizations to freely organize, participate, and communicate without restrictions.
Analyze how climate finance plans and allocations, both domestic and international, are determined, implemented, reported, and made public.
Develop and implement a strategy for greater engagement and advocacy on climate finance based on the conditions and political environment in the CSO’s host country. CSOs can partner with other organizations to leverage different areas of expertise and networks.
Build CSO capacity through training, peer-to-peer learning, and information sharing.