Financing instruments & Development Partnerships

Supporting the creation of the Blue Action Fund

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Strategy & Concept development: Supporting marine and coastal protection is a strategic priority of the German government. We helped KfW to translate this priority into the setup of a conservation trust fund dedicated to supporting marine-protected areas and coastal waters of Africa, Latin America and Asia. The fund addresses an important funding gap and serves as a global platform and financial partner for NGOs to channel funding to marine/coastal conservation projects (

Project design & Evaluation: With the aim of creating an efficient, far-reaching, impactful funding vehicle, we developed the institutional and operational aspects of the Blue Action Fund in a Design Study. The study laid the groundwork for founding the fund as a German Foundation. Furthermore, we elaborated a Grant Procedures Manual and an internal Operations Manual to design all processes from project preparation to monitoring of ongoing projects. 

Process facilitation & Training: We supported the entire process from developing the initial idea to setup of the Fund and organising the first call for proposals from participating NGOs. This busy period of one and a half years saw a number of multi-stakeholder conferences, workshops and steering committee meetings. It served as an important source of inspiration and buy-in from the many stakeholders.

Strengthening the Partnership between KfW and UNDP as well as UNICEF

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Strategy & Concept development: To enhance smoother cooperation between UNICEF/UNDP and KfW in their common endeavor to support children and families living in conflict settings, we facilitated the development of standard operating procedures (SOPs). The key objective was to develop projects more quickly and make management more efficient and predictable. In addition, we supported the partners in engaging in effective knowledge exchange and in the co-creation of innovative approaches with the aim of leveraging existing knowledge in both organizations and harnessing it for more impact in projects.

Project design & Evaluation: We developed a concise and user-friendly SOP manual that elaborates the typical project design and implementation process. During the piloting phase, this was applied to several UNICEF and UNDP programmes to test its effectiveness in improving programme design.

Process facilitation & Training: Our support lasted over a year and was organized in an agile manner with enough space to analyze, define, test and adapt solutions. We organized stakeholder participation through dialogues at management level for joint planning and review as well as on the working level for joint development of solutions and testing. All exchanges used different live and online/virtual formats and methods that supported transparency and a strong results orientation.

Prequalification of NGOs for a rapid response mechanism in Eastern Africa

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Strategy & Concept development: International NGOs have become important Implementation Partners for our client, an international donor. However, a competitive selection of the best suited NGO takes time and can delay necessary assistance. Therefore, the client wanted to set up a rapid response mechanism. To establish this mechanism, we prequalified a pool of NGOs to enable quick project preparation.

Process facilitation & Training: We undertook a screening of NGOs active in relevant countries and sectors in East Africa and invited a large number of NGOs to submit an Expression of Interest. We assessed their capacities and experiences through a visit to their regional offices in Nairobi. For this purpose, we developed a customized assessment tool that operationalizes the donor’s requirements. Based on our analysis, we developed a comprehensive report that allows the client to easily identify relevant NGOs per country and sector.

Environmental and Social Management Framework (ESMF) for a Refugee Fund in Uganda

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Project design & Evaluation: The Refugee Response Fund aims to improve basic social services in and around refugee settlements through projects implemented by international NGOs. Since specific measures and locations were not known, an ESMF was required to ensure compliance with international and national standards. We developed the ESMF including guidance and tools for how to address key E&S issues. In addition, we developed Environmental and Social Management Plans for the pilot projects in the education and WASH sector and a Land Acquisition and Compensation Framework for the case that land acquisition cannot be avoided.

Process facilitation & Training: We closely collaborated with a team of local experts and undertook joint field visits to project regions to look at potential project sites. In addition, we organized stakeholder consultations with local officials, potential target group members and schools to analyze land acquisition risks and identify other non-intended impacts. We held several workshops with the project implementing agency to familiarize them with the environmental and social standards, mitigation measures and safeguard instruments.

Toolbox for Remote Management and Monitoring of Development Projects

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Strategy & Concept development: Managing and monitoring projects and verifying information is challenging when security risks are high and travel is restricted. New technological solutions have the potential to make data collection and transmission easier and more reliable. At the same time, local project staff and the project target group can be important players in ensuring project success. We advised a major international donor on the possibilties and risks of remote managing and monitoring.

Project design & Evaluation: Through an analysis of good practices, we developed a toolbox for project managers that includes more than 60 examples of innovative approaches for remote programming. The toolbox also provides guidance on opportunities and risks, remote project cycle management, managing stakeholder conflicts, and addressing technology-related legal and regulatory issues.

Process facilitation & Training: We undertook broad consultations to develop the toolbox. We assembled approaches used in the private sector, the construction sector, development cooperation, NGOs and universities. At several stages of the study, we involved the client through participatory workshops, and we presented the results to a wide range of the client’s staff.

Operations manual for the Climate Bridge Fund in Bangladesh

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Project design & Evaluation: The Climate Bridge Fund supports areas affected by climate-induced migration in Bangladesh. We developed the governance structure and processes of the Fund and ensured that the institutional set-up is in line with the objective to set up a legally independent Trust Fund according to Bangladeshi law. We also developed an Operational Manual, including rules and procedures for the decision-making bodies of the Fund and templates for all processes such as project selection, contracting and reporting.

Process facilitation & Training: Applying our expertise in Fund solutions as well as donor requirements, we developed a customized concept for the Climate Bridge Fund in close cooperation with all stakeholders. We held two interactive workshops with BRAC in order to ensure alignment on Fund procedures. We also interviewed potential implementing partners as well as representatives of the target group to ensure ownership of the fund approach.