Call for consultants: Facilitating access to innovative financing mechanisms for local institutions in the Global South
07 Jul 2021
Consultancy: Developing a landscape analysis and framework for action aimed at bridging the gap between innovative (particularly climate) finance and local institutions in the Global South
Location: Flexible / remote
Duration: Three months between September – November 2021
Application deadline: Friday 13th August 2021
There is broad consensus that the SDGs will not be realized without the full involvement of local organizations and communities in the Global South. Despite global commitments made by international development actors to increase the flow of direct funding to local organizations in the Global South, barriers within the current aid system continue to undermine their ability to take greater control of financial resources and to exercise increased power in decision-making.
The United Nations argues that a much greater commitment across sectors and industries is needed, far beyond traditional public finance and international aid, to meet the ambitions of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to prevent a complete breakdown of the climate system.
Innovative finance refers to all those mechanisms and initiatives that provide finance to achieve the 2030 Agenda. This includes development banks, philanthropic organizations, philanthropic investment firms, impact investors, companies, investors, social enterprises, and high net worth individuals. These new actors have introduced new financing instruments and grant schemes aimed at unlocking capital for business oriented support models for projects and investments in support of SDGs, thereby complementing traditional bilateral and multi-lateral aid agencies. Blended finance is the new mantra.
As new financing models have emerged there continue to be significant barriers for local civil society organizations in the Global South to navigate this fast-developing field and to access and participate in the new opportunities that are available.
Some of the barriers have been brought to the fore in the context of climate finance, in particular. The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), for instance, in its 2019 report Money where it matters: designing funds for the frontier points to the “missing middle” in the climate finance architecture. This describes the gap in financing for small enterprises and organizations and prevents climate finance from trickling down to local organizations, enterprises and ultimately communities. In the same report, IIED highlights a number of challenges, such as “high levels of intermediation”, the focus on “short term projects designed by distant experts”, the interconnectedness between high levels of intermediation, trust and biased relationships, power imbalance and complex rules and procedures, to name but a few. In fact, according to the IIED 2017 report Delivering real change – getting international climate finance to the local level only under 10% of climate finance was prioritized for the local level. These challenges also apply to other sectors outside climate finance and include the inability of innovative finance actors to provide low-end financial products and provide the necessary capacity support, and the limited number of brokers in the Global South who are able to translate the needs of local organizations to access finance and opportunities.
The realization that the current innovative financing system is unsuitable and ill-equipped to cater for the financing and investment needs of organizations and communities in the Global South is a matter of great concern for organizations of the Global South. While there is a myriad of literature on innovative financing produced for academics and research departments of well-resourced organizations, little effort has been made to assist small and under-resourced local organizations in the Global South to navigate the system, understand its complexities and provide tools that would help local organizations grab these opportunities to further their objectives.
We are inviting interested individuals to assist in developing a landscape analysis and framework for action and advocacy, including practical solutions on how to bridge the missing middle. This includes:
- Collecting data from organizations in the Global South about experiences with experimenting with accessing innovative finance and current partnership practices.
- Compiling compelling case studies of successes in accessing innovative finance and successful partnerships.
- Providing practical solutions and advocacy strategies for local organizations in the Global South, individually or collectively, on how to bridge the missing middle.
Experience and Skills
- Demonstrable experience in and knowledge of the global innovative financing system, particularly clean and renewable energy solutions.
- An appreciation of the systemic challenges faced by local actors in navigating and accessing innovative financing and the critical role that they need to play in ensuring that climate and other kinds of financing reach the community level.
- The ability to: facilitate new relationships and connections between different and disconnected parts of the current funding and civil society infrastructure aimed at increasing the flow of resources to local actors in ways that respect and appreciate local ownership; provide advice on potential practical solutions (pilots, experiments); and, develop advocacy and influencing strategies for local actors and networks.
Interested applicants are welcome submit their proposal to Simone Moodley at the GFCF (firstname.lastname@example.org) by Friday 13th August. Please include the following documents:
- Cover letter clearly describing your approach to this assignment and the difference you bring to this assignment.
- Project plan for this assignment.
- Summarized CV outlining relevant expertise in relation to the requirements of this assignment.
- Evidence of previous experience and three contactable referees who experienced your offering on similar projects.
- A financial proposal including rates and estimated hours for completion of this project (no travel is anticipated).
The GFCF works to strengthen, harness and demonstrate the value of community philanthropy as an essential element of people-led development and as a strategy for shifting power. For the past 14 years, through a combination of grantmaking to organizations around the world, network strengthening and evidence building, the GFCF has sought to support, accompany and amplify the emerging global community philanthropy field, both as theory and practice.
Community philanthropy is an emerging and evolving practice and body of work. We define it as both a form of, and a force for, equitable, locally-driven development that strengthens community capacity and voice in claiming, operationalizing and expanding rights, builds understanding and trust, nurtures solidarity and most importantly, taps into and builds on local resources, which are pooled together to build and sustain a strong community.
We locate our work in the context of larger, system-level change, and we seek to engage with a deliberately diverse range of like-minded allies and partners around the world and across the development aid, philanthropy and civil society system, who share our belief that change must be led from the ground up. The GFCF is a champion of the #ShiftThePower movement.