6.2 Gender and the international Climate Funds

For those seeking an overview of the global climate finance architecture and differences in their priorities and practices, the resources listed in Box 4 are quite helpful.

Box 4. Further reading about climate funding fundamentals

During preparation of the Sourcebook, online application materials were reviewed for six major international funds providing climate adaptation (Table 2) to identify what the funds asked for and required with respect to gender and other social issues. Fund requirements and requests for gender often mirrored the gender practices of the parent institution (i.e., applicants to the GEF funds were expected to conform to the GEF Gender Policy). In addition, other information was obtained regarding the pending Green Climate Fund (GCF) and its gender-related plans. The latter is supposed to become a significant source of multilateral adaptation finance in the global climate finance architecture. It likely will be the largest single source of international adaptation funding as it has a mandate to “balance”its allocation between mitigation and adaptation. The governing instrument of the GCF mandates that it take a “gender-sensitive approach”to its funding. If fully implemented, this will make the GCF the first multilateral climate fund to integrate gender from the very onset.

TABLE 2. Climate Fund Facts
Fund Administrator Name of Fund Implementing Entities
Global Environment Facility (under auspices of the UNFCCC) Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF)http://www.thegef.org/gef/LDCF Multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies (10)
Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF)http://www.thegef.org/gef/SCCF Multilateral development banks, United Nations agencies (10)
Adaptation Fund Secretariat (hosted by the GEF) Adaptation Fundhttps://www.adaptation-fund.org/about/secretariat National implementing entities that meet fiduciary standards, multilateral development banks
Climate Investment Funds Administrative Unit (hosted by the World Bank) Pilot Program for Climate Resilience (PPCR)https://www.climateinvestmentfunds.org/cif/node/133 Multilateral development banks (NB: PPCR is one of three funding streams under the Strategic Climate Fund).
Nordic Development Fund Nordic Development Fundhttp://www.ndf.fi/ Nordic Development Fund
Nordic Development Fund Nordic Climate Facilityhttp://www.nefco.org/financing/nordic_climate_facility Nordic Climate Facility

For most of the funders, the stakeholder consultation element described in their application guidance was the main proposal location that had opportunities for engaging women’s participation and eliciting their perspectives. There is variation across the funds in terms of their requirements for stakeholder participation and gender analysis. Some of these differences are likely to be attributable to the existing practices and guidance from the institutions which are administering the fund:

  • The Nordic Development Fund and the Nordic Climate Facility do not mention stakeholder consultation or gender analysis in their guidelines to applicants.[7]
  • For the funds administered by the GEF, its application guidance requests early coordination with stakeholders, prior to submission of a funding request to the GEF and consistency with GEF’s Public Involvement Policy and the GEF Gender Policy.
  • The Adaptation Fund lays out detailed requirements for stakeholder consultation prior to the submission of fully developed proposals. These requirements are a good practice example because they help both project designers and proposal writers understand how to undertake, use, and discuss these processes (Box 5). However, gender is not specifically addressed by these requirements.

    Box 5. Good practice example: stakeholder consultation practices and proposal discussion

    • Provides project formulation grants to facilitate a comprehensive stakeholder consultation process in the project preparation phase
    • Requires comprehensive consultations for a fully developed proposal and that data collected reflect the project design
    • Specifies that consultations should involve all direct and indirect stakeholders of the project/program, including vulnerable groups, with special attention to minority and indigenous peoples in the project areas
    • Specifies that gender considerations should be taken into account
    • Requires applicants to include a proposal section that includes (1) a list of stakeholders already consulted
      (principles of choice, role ascription, date of consultation), (2) a description of consultation techniques used (tailored specifically per target group), and (3) the key consultation findings—in particular, the suggestions and concerns raised)
    • Requests that, when possible, applicants include a framework, strategy, timetable, and budget about their plans and arrangements to ensure key stakeholder consultation and participation.


  • The PPCR proposal requirements from the Climate Investment Fund provide another useful model for discussing stakeholder consultation within a proposal. What is unique about the Climate Investment Fund proposal requirements for consultations is that they go beyond lists of meetings and findings and ask country applicants to think critically about the strengths and weaknesses of how participatory processes for climate planning have been conducted in the past and at present. The Climate Investment Fund asks applicants to discuss how their governments’participatory processes could be improved for PPCR planning. One dimension of this meta-assessment is the consideration of how particular groups that are more vulnerable to climate risks can be identified and consulted, and how their views on solutions to climate risks have been considered, including women, youth, indigenous people and local communities, and other vulnerable social groups. Proposals are also expected to describe specific plans for public dissemination and awareness-raising of climate impacts and the PPCR in the country.

Besides the stakeholder consultation section of CCA funding proposals, two funders specifically mention gender requirements for other sections (Table 3). Two funds list gender-related criteria for fund eligibility: the Adaptation Fund has a requirement that the projects/programs provide social benefits, including gender considerations;and the Nordic Development Fund mentions gender as part of a proposal’s consideration of “other impacts.”

TABLE 3. Gender Requirements of the Climate Funds, by Proposal Section
Proposal Section Gender Requirements Fund
Project/Program Justification, including Beneficiary Analyses “Describe how the project/program provides economic, social and environmental benefits, with particular reference
to the most vulnerable communities, and vulnerable groups within communities, including gender considerations.”Discuss “the equitable distribution of benefits to vulnerable communities, households, and individuals.”Discuss any concerns about negative development with respect to benefit distribution and how these threats and risks of further marginalization would be addressed.
Adaptation Fund
Climate Resilience Stocktaking Summarize country-level activities already underway on climate resilience, by government, non-state actors, and development partners. Proposal should assess the adequacy of country-specific data on climate change impacts, vulnerabilities and adaptation, including the “degree of disaggregation of data by regions and by demographic groups, including by gender,”whether there is qualitative information to complement quantitative data and how participatory monitoring can be used. PPCR

While these general requests and requirements establish floors for engaging stakeholders and addressing gender issues, applicants are given wide latitude to more thoroughly collect gender data and address gender issues in their CCA proposals. As noted above, the expectations of fund staff are likely to increase over time, with respect to how well proposals address gender issues and the quality of proposed activities, indicators, and others.

For the two funds administered by the GEF, the LDCF and the SCCF, the GEF’s gender mainstreaming policy[8]
applies to the proposals submitted by applicants, as does it Revised Programming Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change.[9]