Fast and Inclusive: That’s a Difficult but Attainable Goal, Says AfDB Expert

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Fast delivery of results versus promotion of multi-stakeholder engagement and participation in CIF programs and projects was the main debating point during the in-country partnerships session at the Climate Investment Fund (CIF) Partnership Forum, hosted by the African Development Bank (AfDB) in Cape Town on 24 and 25 June, 2011.

On the one hand, there is the need to act and deliver on climate change as quickly as possible. But on the other hand, a wide variety of stakeholders, including the target beneficiaries, must be engaged at all levels not just in the design but also implementation stages. There is an inherent tension between speed and depth, as the latter tends to be a lengthy process.

Mafalda Duarte, Principal Climate Specialist at the AfDB and CIF Coordinator, said there must be concerted efforts to engage all relevant in-country stakeholders. One of the main challenges in this regard is to ensure inclusiveness and representativeness of in countries lacking systems that capture the institutional landscape.

Another important issue faced at country-level is how best to engage private investors in the preparation of the CIF investment plans, a strategic phase where key constraints and opportunities for both private and/or public investments are identified and agreed upon.

An important way to address such type of constraints is to reinforce country systems and continue to increase awareness regarding the importance of engaging all relevant stakeholders including private sector ones.

“If we make these investments now countries will be better prepared for new opportunities for increased climate investments and they will attain better results’, said Ms Duarte.

Her comments were echoed by fellow panelist, Guy Patrice Dkamela of the Network for the Environment and Sustainable Development in Central Africa. He suggested creating a common communications platform that would create clear communications rules and a strategy for consulting all actors.

In the same vein, David Reed,  Climate Change Consultant,  argued for the creation of matchmaking agencies – national climate registries that would help match up national needs with available funding, helping to link stakeholders in the process.

With more creative ideas like this, it should be possible to be fast and inclusive at the same time. Given the urgency to address climate change, this is good news indeed.

Ms Duarte says more in a podcast entitled: "Where does the CIF fit in the climate finance puzzle?" She was joined in the studio by Matthew Wyatt from the Department for International Development (DFID, UK) and Thomas Heller, Climate Policy Initiative.