The History of SACFP: 



Funded by the United Kingdom’s Department of International Development (UK DFID), the first phase of the project (July 2016 to March 2017) provided support to Namibia and Zambia to engage and test the approach. The pilot phase provided an opportunity to map the climate finance landscape in southern Africa and determine the emerging needs of institutions beginning their journey towards accessing finance from the Green Climate Fund (GCF).



Phase II of the SACFP (2017 – 2020), funded by the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), enabled SSN to coordinate knowledge sharing and capacity enhancement efforts amongst key public and private sector institutions from six focus countries in southern Africa (Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia & Zimbabwe). This phase of the work aimed to encourage and support the development of country—owned and –managed climate finance project portfolios that attract finance from the likes of the GCF, and which mobilise private sector investment where possible, to address country climate change priorities.


This phase provided SSN with an opportunity to test the application of various knowledge brokering approaches to the emerging practice arena of climate finance. In doing so, the programme assisted key institutions to uncover new knowledge, to better understand the constraints and barriers to climate finance access at play, and to share lessons to overcome these, within an emerging climate finance community of practice in Southern Africa (CoP). These include lessons pertaining to strategies for achieving GCF accreditation, developing project proposals that clearly articulate the climate rationale, responding to the requirements of the GCF gender policy and environmental and social standards, as well as overcoming barriers to private sector engagement.


Reflecting on the outcomes of the programme in the SACFP II MEL Review, SSN recognizes the continuing need to enhance the capacity of practitioners to design climate projects that are financially feasible and which maximise social co-benefits in line with national development priorities. Furthermore, there is a need to enhance institutional capacity to implement climate projects across the region through the evolution of organisational strategy, policy and process.



Through the support of the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) SSN is able to initiate a third phase to the SACFP, commencing in April 2020 and extending for a further three years. SACFP III leverages the trusted position SSN occupies as a knowledge broker within the CoP and the extensive relationships built in the prior phases, to bring academics to the intersection of climate finance implementation in southern Africa. In doing so, SACFP III seeks to deliver greater outcomes for stakeholders and for the region as a whole by probing more deeply, capturing more accurately, encouraging more widely, and sharing more extensively.