Overview Overview

Readiness Support

The Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme (the Readiness Programme) is a funding programme to enhance country ownership and access to the Fund.

The Programme provides resources for strengthening the institutional capacities of NDAs or focal points and Direct Access Entities to efficiently engage with the Fund. Resources may be provided in the form of grants or technical assistance.

All developing countries can access the Readiness Programme, and the Fund aims for a floor of 50 percent of the readiness support allocation to particularly vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and African States.

Up to USD 1 million per country per year may be provided under the Readiness Programme.

Of this amount, NDAs or focal points may request up to USD 300,000 per year to help establish or strengthen a NDA or focal point to deliver on the Fund’s requirements.

The GCF Board has also allocated up to USD 3 million per country for the formulation of national adaptation plans and/or other adaptation planning processes by NDAs or focal points. This support can facilitate the development of National Adaptation Plans, which set national priorities for measures to address adaptation to climate change.

Furthermore, GCF can provide capacity building for national or regional organizations (Direct Access Entities) that are nominated by their local NDAs. Support can be provided to enhance the ability of an entity to seek accreditation with the Fund, including for the fast-track accreditation process (pre-accreditation support).

Support can also be provided to build the capacities of Direct Access Entities that are already GCF accredited (post-accreditation support).

In each case readiness funds will be allocated in coordination with, and with the approval of, the relevant NDAs / focal points.

Programme Outcomes

The Programme aims to support five outcomes connected to the Programme objectives: strengthening country capacity, engaging stakeholders in consultative processes, realizing direct access, providing access to finance, and mobilizing the private sector. These outcomes are contained in Section 2 of the Readiness and Preparatory Support Proposal Template (logical framework).

1. Strengthening country capacity

This can include providing support for building the capacity of developing country NDAs or focal points. Outcomes can include strengthened coordination mechanisms led by the NDA or focal point, establishing ‘no objection’ procedures to guarantee country ownership of GCF climate projects, as well as ensuring the monitoring, oversight and streamlining of climate finance.

2. Engaging stakeholders in consultative processes

The Programme can support the development of stakeholder engagement processes in relation to country priorities. This can include support for the development of a country programme that identifies strategic priorities for engagement with GCF, and annual reviews of the GCF portfolio for that country.

3. Direct access

The Programme supports activities to support Direct Access Entities including: the accreditation of Direct Access Entities, post-accreditation support to build capacity, and the development of work programmes for accredited entities.

Readiness support is also available to help national and regional entities with in-depth assessments of their institutional capacity, fiduciary, Environmental and Social Safeguards (ESS) and gender standards to meet the GCF accreditation standards. The GCF Secretariat has developed a roster of institutions that can provide technical and capacity-building support on ESS and gender.

GCF has signed a service contract with PwC, a consultancy firm, to provide technical assistance to Direct Access Entities wishing to seek GCF accreditation. This support can be provided in any region, and NDAs can access this to ensure delivery of a package of support to Direct Access Entities. Outputs from the package will include the creation of an in-depth assessment of the entity, followed by support to create an action plan to help them get ready to apply for GCF accreditation.

4. Access to finance

The Programme can realise outcomes linked to achieving access to climate finance in developing countries. This might include supporting outcomes such as ensuring that country programmes implement high-impact priorities identified in Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) and other national strategies, and ensuring the alignment of funding proposals, including for adaptation, with country priorities.

5. Private sector mobilization

Support can also cover measures to crowd in private and capital market financing for the implementation of country programmes, and enabling private sector participation in public-private partnerships. Outcomes may include engaging the private sector in country consultative processes, approving private sector funding proposals, and creating enabling environments for private sector investments.

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    Frequently asked questions

    1. 1. What is Readiness Support?
      The GCF Readiness programme is a funding programme to enhance country ownership and access to the Fund. It provides resources for strengthening the institutional capacities of National Designated Authorities (NDAs) or focal points and Direct Access Entities to efficiently engage with the Fund. It also assists countries in undertaking adaptation planning and developing strategic frameworks to build their programming with the GCF.
    2. 2. Which countries can apply?
      All developing countries can access the Readiness Programme, and the Fund aims to ensure that at least 50 per cent of the readiness support available goes to particularly vulnerable countries, including Least Developed Countries (LDCs), Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and African States.
    3. 3. How much can a country access?
      The Readiness programme provides up to USD 1 million per country per year for all readiness activities (except for adaptation planning), and up to USD 3 million per country for the formulation of National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) and/or other adaptation planning processes. Countries may submit multiple requests over durations based on the needs of the country.
    4. 4. Are there any limits?
      Yes, of the USD 1 million annual country cap, there is a USD 300,000 limit to help establish or strengthen a NDA or focal point to deliver on the Fund’s requirements, and within that amount a maximum of USD 100,000 can be used for NDA-led stakeholder meetings.
      A full list of eligible costs is available in the readiness support template guidance.
    5. 5. Which countries have accessed the Readiness programme and how does it benefit them?
      Readiness support provided to date involves NDA strengthening; support for Direct Access Entities; adaptation planning process; pipeline development; and strategic frameworks. More details, including a list of the countries that have benefitted from the programme, are available here.
    6. 6. How can I apply for GCF Readiness support?
      All applications for readiness support are made by developing countries’ National Designated Authorities (NDAs) / focal points. This is the case whether the support will directly benefit the developing country NDA, or if it is to support a Direct Access Entity.

      A completed readiness template and readiness budget and procurement plan should be submitted to the GCF Secretariat by the NDA. It can be submitted by email to .
    7. 7. What is a National Designated Authority (NDA)?
      NDAs are government institutions that serve as the interface between each country and the Fund. They provide broad strategic oversight of the GCF’s activities in the country and communicate the country’s priorities for financing low-emission and climate-resilient development. Further information on guidelines for NDAs or focal points is available in Annex XIII of GCF/B.08/45. A directory of NDAs is available on the GCF website.
    8. 8. What is a Direct Access Entity?
      Institutions that apply for accreditation through the direct access modality. They are regional, national and sub-national institutions that are required to provide evidence of a nomination from a NDA or focal point with their application documents. Entities that are accredited under the direct access modality, or wish to be accredited, may be eligible to receive support under the Readiness Programme at the request of its NDA or focal point.
    9. 9. What is a Delivery Partner for readiness support?
      Institutions selected by the National Designated Authority (NDA) or focal point to implement activities approved under the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme are described as delivery partners. Delivery partners provide services such as: development of readiness request proposals; implementation and supervision; fiduciary management; progress reporting; and project completion and evaluation.

      Readiness support delivery partners may be organizations that have signed a Readiness Framework Agreement.

      They may also be Accredited Entities to the Fund (organizations that are approved to implement projects with the Fund), but this is not necessary. If delivery partners are not Accredited Entities, then they should complete a Financial Management Capacity Assessment (FMCA) questionnaire.
    10. 10. What are Readiness Framework Agreements?
      Countries may choose to work with partner organizations to implement their readiness activities. Readiness Framework Agreements enable organizations to serve as readiness support delivery partners with the Fund. Organizations that have signed such agreements can then deliver readiness support in response to demands from developing countries.

      The Readiness Framework Agreements that GCF has signed to date are available here.
    11. 11. How long does it take for a Readiness Support proposal to be approved?
      GCF tries to process applications as quickly as possible. In some cases this means less than two months between grant application and GCF approval.

      Once the application is approved, a grant agreement document is signed between GCF and the NDA / focal point or the Delivery Partner.

      The agreement is based on the grant agreement template.

      Once the legal requirements are in place, disbursement of readiness funds will generally begin at the start of the next yearly quarter, i.e. 1 January, 1 April, 1 July, or 1 October.
    12. 12. I have seen inception reports listed on the GCF website: do I need to complete an inception report?
      No. Inception reports were part of the planning process for early readiness projects and are available on the GCF website. They are no longer part of the Readiness process and do not need to be completed for new readiness projects.
    13. 13. Can a rejection of a readiness application be appealed?
      The Green Climate Fund has an Independent Redress Mechanism (IRM) which is charged with administering complaints related to the operation of the Fund.

      The IRM can consider requests by developing country National Designated Authorities or Focal Points to reconsider funding proposals which the GCF has rejected.

      You can find further details of the IRM’s role and procedures here.
    14. 14. Can Direct Access Entities apply to GCF for readiness support?
      Direct Access Entities may be the beneficiaries of support under the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme.

      However, all requests for support under the Readiness and Preparatory Support Programme must be made by NDAs / focal points. Direct Access Entities that wish to receive support should therefore contact the relevant NDA / focal point rather than approaching the Fund directly.
    15. 15. Can an NDA / focal point nominate more than one Direct Access Entity for support under the Readiness Programme?
      There is no specified limit on the nomination of entities by an NDA / focal point. More than one Direct Access Entity within a country may therefore receive readiness support from the Fund, either in the form of in-kind support or financial support.
    16. 16. Can accredited Direct Access Entities receive support under the Programme to help them apply to upgrade their accreditation category?
      Yes. Post-accreditation support may include support to help prepare the entity to upgrade their accreditation type to a higher category.
      As is the case for all readiness support, the application must be made by the relevant NDA / focal point.
    17. 17. Which NDA / focal point should nominate a regional Direct Access Entity for support?
      A regional Direct Access Entity may be nominated for readiness support by the NDA / focal point of any country within which the entity is operationally active, for activities that are applicable to that country.
    18. 18. Is there a separate proposal template to use when requesting Readiness resources to support the development of national adaptation plans and/or other adaptation planning purposes?
      No, the standard GCF Readiness proposal is to be used by countries when requesting Readiness resources for NAPs and/or other adaptation planning purposes. The Readiness Guidebook has been updated to help applicants prepare proposals for adaptation planning activities by providing guidance on specific aspects to be addressed when completing the template.
    19. 19. Is there a list of indicative outcomes and/or activities that countries could undertake under the USD 3 million readiness window on national adaptation planning processes?
      Annex iv (page 17) of the Readiness Guidebook includes an indicative list of adaptation planning outcomes and sub-outcomes that can be supported through the Readiness Programmes. This guidance takes into consideration NAP technical guidelines and the objectives of the GCF Readiness Programme. In addition, indicative activities and admissible costs for each of the outcomes are under development – for posting later in 2017 – with the benefit of learning gained through successful proposals and best practices with other funds.
    20. 20. Can NDAs work with multiple delivery partners to administer the USD 3 million for NAPs and other adaptation planning processes?
      Yes, this is possible. NDAs retain the flexibility to determine what their adaptation planning priorities are, how they intend to use the USD 3 million available to them, over what time frame, and which delivery partners are best suited to carry out the activities. In such instances, it would be advisable for the NDA to submit separate proposals with different delivery partners. However, there may be a rationale to submit one proposal where opportunities for integrated activities or potential for synergies exist. Irrespective of the approach followed, there should be coherence in the overall approach to adaptation planning.
    21. 21. Who can I contact at GCF about Readiness Support?
      Within the GCF Secretariat the Country Programming Division is responsible for Readiness Support.

      Please email .