The IKI in 2020

Despite difficult conditions in 2020, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) continued to make its contribution to global climate action and bio­diversity conservation – a retrospective.

The 2020 ‘Pandemic Year’ also proved very challenging to the International Climate Initiative (IKI) and to the projects that it supports. While the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic were many and wide ranging, IKI nonetheless fully spent its allocated budget of 567 million euros. Actual expenditure in 2020 for a total of 385 new and ongoing projects was about 601 million euros (2019: 467 million euros, 2018: 410 million euros); the difference between budget appropriation and actual expenditure results from excess funds retained from previous years. Commitments were made totalling to 619 million euros for actual expenditure in 2020 and planned expenditure in following years. This sum also includes payments made into international climate and biodiversity funds as well as commitments for the IKI Medium Grants managed by Zukunft – Umwelt – Gesellschaft (ZUG) gGmbh, the IKI Small Grants managed by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the NAMA Facility. By the end of the year, 109 projects in partner countries had either been started or had received more funding.

Thematic ideas competitions: 3 new calls and 934 project outlines

In the thematic selection procedure funding pillar, three ideas competitions started in 2020. In the 2020 thematic call, on the subject of ‘Creating Green Societies in Challenging Times’, proposals for projects with a funding volume of 8 million euros to 30 million euros were requested for a total of 13 funding priorities. With the IKI Medium Grants (funding volume of up to 800,000 euros), four complementary funding priorities were available: energy, transport, cities and biodiversity. The IKI Small Grants (up to 100,000 euros) cover the entire range of topics in the IKI funding areas.

Overview of calls and work packages started in 2020:

  • 2020 thematic call: outline submission by March 2021 and outline review
  • IKI Medium Grants 2020: outline submission by May 2020 and processing of the 204 project outlines received
  • IKI Small Grants 2020: outline submission by February 2021 and outline review

­Alongside the new ideas competitions, further progress was also made in thematic selection procedures started previously to the 2020 thematic call. The milestones were:

  • Thematic call 2019 1.0: submitters of 13 project outlines were requested to prepare a project proposal
  • Thematic call 2019 2.0: receipt of 188 project outlines and shortlist of 14 projects
  • IKI Small Grants 2019: receipt of 542 project outlines, shortlist of 38 projects, funding approved for 2 projects

Alongside the international calls, the ‘Funding Institutions’ component was also launched in the context of IKI Small Grants. This provides support to both national and regional funding institutions looking to expand their institutional capacities with the aim of holding their own ideas competitions for local projects. In 2020, cooperation with the first of these funding institutions was initiated: the National Environment and Climate Fund (Fonds national pour l’Environnement et le Climat, FNEC) in Benin. FNEC provides funding together with IKI small-scale projects, which contribute towards the country’s Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

IKI funding volume 2020 by funding areas. Source: BMU
IKI funding volume 2020 by region. Source: BMU

Country-specific selection procedures: close cooperation with partner countries

In the country-specific selection procedure-funding pillar, IKI launched two new ideas competitions in the IKI focus countries Peru and South Africa in 2020:

  • South Africa: receipt of 17 project outlines
  • Peru: outline submission by April 2021

For another nine ideas competitions already ongoing, the selection process was prepared and continued in 2020:

  • India (2019): review of 14 project outlines
  • Indonesia (2019): review of 19 project outlines
  • Thailand (2019): review of 6 project outlines
  • Viet Nam (2019): review of 10 project outlines
  • Argentina (2018): submitters of 1 project outline were asked to prepare a project proposal
  • Costa Rica (2018): submitters of 1 project outline were asked to prepare a project proposal
  • Colombia (2018): submitters of 2 project outlines were asked to prepare a project proposal
  • Mexico (2018): submitters of 1 project outline were asked to prepare a project proposal
  • Ukraine (2018): review of the 6 outlines received
  • Russia (est. 2021): joint preparation of funding priorities with the Russian Government

Impact of the pandemic on IKI’s work

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, IKI projects faced major challenges when implementing their objectives. With local meetings, seminars and workshops cancelled, and far-reaching travel restrictions imposed, many projects faced problems, especially at the outset. Thanks to effective communication from all involved, IKI responded quickly and was able to extensively facilitate its projects to ensure that delays did not threaten the quality of their results.

During the first lockdown, the BMU also extended the submission deadlines for ongoing calls by two weeks. As the duration of the pandemic went from weeks to months, IKI adapted its working practices to suit the new conditions and developed solutions for the various issues encountered. This was possible mainly due to IKI’s global partners’ capacity to implement solutions quickly, based on close collaboration and the rapid communication of difficulties.

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