From 21-23 May, Cath Traynor (Natural Justice Associate) participated in the “Ensuring Climate Finance Effectiveness in Africa” workshop in Magaliesburg, South Africa, organised by the Heinrich Boell Foundation, Pan African Justice Alliance, and Transparency International Kenya. The workshop provided a platform for civil society actors and other stakeholders in the region to share experiences, strategies and tools and improved the capacity of participants to play a more active role in the governance of climate finance on the African continent.
Participants discussed the importance of civil society influencing effective policy development, and exerting their watchdog role in the monitoring and implementation of climate finance. Experiences of monitoring national climate finance governance were shared from Kenya, Senegal and Zambia, amongst others. Relevant tools for capacity building and mechanisms for monitoring and oversight were discussed. Key issues raised included:
- Applying lessons learned from finance monitoring in similar spheres, for example, Overseas Development Aid;
- Opportunities for civil society organisations to influence climate finance have increased in recent years, however, advocacy is required to enhance and broaden these spaces and create new ones;
- In addition to addressing the institutional and instrumental issues of climate finance, civil society organisations should influence the agenda setting and bring in the human element to financing decisions;
- Mutual accountability of all actors involved in climate finance is required, including donors, governments, and civil society organisations, as this increases climate finance effectiveness;
- Effectiveness assessments should include the impact of climate finance especially upon marginalised groups and poor communities who are most vulnerable to climate change; and
- Climate finance should be aligned with national development strategies, include gender equity and human rights considerations, and include social accountability.
The workshop finished by discussing the potential to build and operationalise regional networks and alliances to ensure climate finance effectiveness.