SSN Practice Areas


SSN’s Climate Services Practice Area works to understand and enhance the application of climate information in various development contexts in Africa. Climate services involve the provision of climate information to support decision-making through appropriate engagement processes and effective response to user needs. At SSN the focus is on responsible and effective communication of long-term climate trends to guide policy making and strategic planning. This Practice Area works through the following areas:


  • Advising users of climate information on correct interpretation and application of available information
  • Integrating climate information into development planning decisions
  • Applied research that assists donors, designers of climate service programmes, and implementers of programmes with bespoke information to understand the social-political and institutional contexts of service delivery
  • Convening and connecting stakeholders across the science-policy divide: Facilitating new partnerships between climate and adaptation scientists and different decision-maker networks
  • Aggregation and synthesis of existing knowledge into easily accessible formats for different audiences: Accessible and responsible communication through news, blogs, briefs, and other digital formats
  • Learning collaboratively: With wider communities of practice, participating in and convening learning initiatives and capacity development projects


Through these work areas, and alongside the activities of the other two practice areas within SSN, the Climate Services Practice Area promotes the integration of climate information and contexts into project design and implementation and connects projects to relevant stakeholders, information providers and researchers.


Highlighted Projects:


  • Driving learning, capacity development and knowledge exchange interventions for Future Climate For Africa
  • Developing a climate risk screening tool for Rwanda’s Environmental Fund, FONERWA
  • Applied research and learning on co-production and use of weather and climate information services for WISER
  • Analysis on the demand and supply of climate information to inform African infrastructure planning decisions for the World Bank



The overall goal of the climate finance practice area is to support SSN, strategically, to contribute to impacting a paradigm “shift to low-emission development pathways” and “increased climate-resilient sustainable development”.   Its goal is transformative at country level, and its focus is on select African countries.


Developing country governments are the primary beneficiaries with support targeting the National Designated Authority (NDA) as the mandated legal country mechanism to develop country-financing programmes and to strengthen national capability. Participating countries will be selected according to country government commitment and willingness to invest in GCF programmes, as well as ongoing relationships with SSN. Channels of climate finance will benefit too, as they will be presented with country owned programmes that will support the achievement of their goals. Finally investors, particularly the private sector, will be engaged with the pipeline development, achieving extensive leverage in relation to GCF provided funds.




Building a practice area provides the normative basis for the development of climate finance activities within SSN and enhances and strengthens institutional capacity to support country partners and other institutions. Over time, the objective is to establish SSN as a trusted partner for governments and other actors, and innovators in climate finance matters in Africa.


The practice area will provide support to African decision makers related to:


  • Understanding GCF policies and practices.
  • Supporting activities related to strengthening NDA/Focal Points.
  • Facilitating country ownership processes.
  • Facilitating the development of investment programming options and processes.
  • Knowledge generation, and south-south cooperation among governments and institutions on a range of climate-finance related issues and identification of innovative approaches to improve accessibility of climate finance.


Specifically, the Practice Area will target the following types of support:


  • Providing detailed information on the GCF operational policies and procedures for the NDA, in particular the results areas, investments frameworks, best practice guidelines, environmental and social safeguards and gender matters.
  • Supporting capacity building, institutional strengthening and stakeholder engagements.
  • Identifying opportunities emerging from the GCF related Board processes for consideration by NDAs for proposal and programme development.
  • Information and knowledge management related to external and internal GCF engagements approaches.


Finally, the practice area will develop and refine normative climate finance practices for all SSN projects and programmes, and in this regard will provide quality assurance for ongoing programmes that have climate finance components.


Current Highlighted Projects:



The Climate and Development Implementation Practice Area supports implementation of the development priorities of African developing countries and takes a strongly African-centred approach. As such it works alongside the activities of the other two practice areas within SSN, the Climate Services Practice Area and the Climate Finance Practice Area. In addition to the overarching strategic direction to the organisation that the practice area provides, it implements a suite of projects and programmes which focus on the four pillars of Knowledge, Brokering, Connecting and Leadership.


Knowledge: Distilling and packaging useful and applicable knowledge for the implementation of climate compatible development, with a focus on the knowledge and experiences within Africa.


Brokering: Connecting knowledge with decision makers by adapting knowledge to be useful and relevant to the decision making process while also encouraging the uptake and use of the knowledge.


Connecting: Bringing practitioners together to share experiences and engage in peer-to-peer learning.


Leadership: Mentoring and empowering champions in Africa in climate and development.


The themes and sectors which are being supported are: off-grid energy supply, green industry, resilient livelihoods, Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU), Sustainable Cities, Climate Induced Migration and Resilient Infrastructure. Deep engagement country-focused work is undertaken within the practice area but also more broadly with a focus on the sub-regions of Africa and the continent as a whole. The Climate and Development Implementation Practice Area contributes to the setting of national and subnational policy, moves into the planning of implementation and crosses into resource mobilisation in its initial phases. In particular, it focuses on mainstreaming, regulation and enforcement.


Current Projects: