Decentralising Climate Funds in Mali and Senegal

IIED is part of a community of practice in Mali and Senegal supporting local government to access and disburse climate finance, investing in priorities chosen with communities for adapting to climate change. Including local knowledge and experience in government planning is vital to the success of the investments.

Florence Crick

Senior researcher, IIED's Climate Change group

Mobilising money to where it matters
A programme of work helping to initiate a positive shift in the quantity and quality of climate finance reaching the local level to support locally-led solutions that address climate change, poverty and biodiversity loss
Sheep grazing dry season pastures in Mopti, Mali (Photo: Near East Foundation)

Sheep grazing dry season pastures in Mopti, Mali (Photo: Near East Foundation)

Decentralising Climate Funds (DCF) in Mali and Senegal is an action research project through which local governments have established six devolved Climate Adaptation Funds (CAF) of £500,000 (445 million CFA francs) each. The work is part of a wider programme underpinned by shared principles and a common approach to devolving climate finance to the local level.

The Near East Foundation leads the research consortium under the Building Resilience and Adaptation to Climate Extremes and Disasters (BRACED) programme, funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). IED Afrique leads in-country implementation in Senegal, with NEF doing the same in Mali.

Communities decide how the CAFs are allocated to fund public good investments, which they prioritise through inclusive planning processes embedded in local government systems. Working in four Départements in the Kaffrine region in Senegal (Koungheul, Kaffrine, Birkilane and Maleme Hodar) and three Cercles in the Mopti region of Mali (Koro, Douentza, and Mopti), the project seeks to build the resilience of 750,000 people to climate variability and extreme events.

The people in these two regions are dependent on natural resources and on institutional structures which are poor, making them vulnerable to climate extremes.

The ongoing process of decentralisation in both Mali and Senegal provides a local government structure that can be built upon to make sure that decision making and access to the funds is in the hands of those men and women most directly affected and most able to identify strategies for building local resilience.

What is IIED doing?

Local governments now have discretionary authority over implementing the devolved climate finance mechanism. The CAFs finance community-prioritised, public good investments and are managed in a transparent, accountable, and cost-effective manner. They are consistent with public finance policy, complementary to local governments' existing budgets and capable of drawing down and managing climate finance from national climate funds and other sources of climate finance.

As part of the community of practice, IIED is providing research and conceptual guidance, learning from the experience of implementing the mechanism in Kenya and Tanzania. IIED also offers technical expertise in communications and monitoring and evaluation, including through the TAMD methodology.

Access to international funds

In Mali, the National Agency for Territorial Collective Investments (ANICT) has been nominated by the National Designated Authority as the country’s first prospective National Implementing Entity. ANICT plans to apply for accreditation in April 2018 and at the same time is working on an Enhanced Direct Access project proposal to extend the devolved climate finance mechanism to more local governments in new regions. If successful, this work would start in 2019.

Accreditation of ANICT — responsible for the coordination and finance of local development — will improve Mali’s access to climate adaptation financing, while helping to make sure that such funds reach local communities.

Access to climate information

The project also ensures that people in Mali and Senegal have greater access to – and capacity to use – climate information, which improves planning and responses to climate extremes. Once the committees have prioritised investments, local government implements locally-approved resilience projects through a public procurement process, building on the capacity of the local government itself, civil society organisations and the private sector to manage construction and operation of public good investments.

Evidence and learning

To assess how climate change adaptation and development investments can strengthen local people's resilience to climate extremes (differentiated by gender, age, wealth), the project has established and institutionalised information systems and monitoring frameworks, including the Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) methodology

The next stage: BRACED X

In early 2018 an external review was completed of the work carried out so far. The next stage of the project - BRACED X – will consolidate the learning from this review, improving the mechanism before a second round of funding of community-prioritised investments.

In Mali the programme is building a partnership with UNCDF’s LoCAL programme, coupling performance-based climate finance with participatory planning and budgeting to incentivise improved climate risk management. During this extension phase, ANICT will work to formalise the combined strengths of each partner into a single revised devolved climate finance mechanism, ready for programme expansion in 2019.

Additional resources

Video presentation: Strengthening women’s voices in public and private governance (April 2021)

Climate adaptation funds, Ced Hesse (2015), IIED Backgrounder

Community and government planning together for climate resilient growth: issues and opportunities from Longido, Monduli and Ngorongoro Districts, northern Tanzania, Ally Msangi, Joseph Rutabingwa, Victor Kaiza, Antonio Allegretti (2014), IIED report

Ensuring devolution supports adaptation and climate resilient growth in Kenya, Ced Hesse and James Pattison (2013), IIED Briefing paper

Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development (TAMD) through a gender lens, Susannah Fisher (2014), IIED Briefing paper

Tracking Adaptation and Measuring Development: a step-by-step guide, Nick Brooks and Susannah Fisher (2014) IIED report

Isiolo County Adaptation Fund: activities, costs, impacts after the 1st investment round, Kenya National Drought Management Authority (NDMA) (2014)

Blogs and News

Q&A: Mali is extremely vulnerable and unable to combat climate change impacts, Q&A, November 2016

How devolved climate finance can deliver climate resilience at local level, news item, November 2016

Devolved climate finance approach forges new ways of working between citizens and state, blog, November 2016


Government partners in Mali and Senegal:

Agence de l'Environnement et du Développement Durable (AEDD) 

Centre de Suivi Écologique (French language site)