Project Overview

This joint project plans to promote local action on climate change adaptation at scale in Bangladesh. It was developed as a concept by the European Union (EU) in consultation with UNDP-UNCDF and Local Government Division (LGD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives (MoLGRD&C), Bangladesh. The action was initially designed as a single donor action titled “GCCA+ support for enhancing communities’ resilience to climate change and related disasters” which was approved in 2015 by the EU. In 2015, Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) learned about this project from the EU and subsequently discussed with UNDP and UNCDF to explore possibilities of partnership. Since then the project has evolved as a multi-donor action and aiming to make this project a flagship action for building local resilience, the Government of Bangladesh approved it as “Local Government Initiative on Climate change” (LoGIC) based on the EU approved action document and following UNDG’s Joint Project Document Framework. This project is implemented by UNDP and UNCDF and executed by LGD. The project will address climate change impact in Bangladesh. The country is ranked sixth among the 10 countries of the world most affected by climate change and disasters. It is experiencing change in rainfall, rise in temperature, and is often battered by extreme weather events like cyclones, floods and rise in sea level which compound into raised salinity of water resources and soil. A government estimate indicates that in five major disasters since 1998, the country suffered a loss of nearly 15% of GDP. These events exacerbate poverty and vulnerability of people on a regular basis.

The Government already recognises the severity of climate change and therefore, the related concerns are being gradually mainstreamed in the national development policy planning and financing. The Government has formulated a national climate change strategy and action plan (BCCSAP 2009) that provides core programme direction. However, this sector is served by a number of sectoral policies which also shape the expenditure pattern in the national budget. While the Local Government Institutions (LGIs) are mandated to implement many actions related to climate effects, these actions need to be included in the local plans as climate proofing initiatives. The proposed project address gaps at local and national levels based on which the results have been designed. At the local level, despite being a repository of local knowledge and information, the LGIs fall short of harnessing the potentials from the local community. The mechanism for formulation of the Local Development Plan (LDP) has the scope to engage the poor and vulnerable groups in a participatory way to reflect their climate-related needs and demands. Communities and households face difficulties in securing access to the planning and financing mechanism for sustainable development solutions. On the other hand, the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) and local institutions who have long been functioning at local level for enhanced participation and accountability also shy off the process owing to lack of adequate capacity. An in-depth analysis of the potentials and the gaps was carried out to identify the intervention areas at the local level.

The project is designed to support approximately 200,000 of the most vulnerable households in 72 unions in seven districts in Bangladesh. The benefits are expected to come out of climate change adaptation actions at various levels, scaled up through local government institutions incorporating high quality accountability and participation of the most vulnerable people. This concept evolves around six strands: (i) building capacity, awareness and empowerment of the vulnerable people to generate plans; (ii) development of capacity of the local government to integrate climate change into their local development plans; (iii) building capacity and engagement of local actors and government extension workers at local level to work as driver for accountability of climate action; (iv) provide grants to local government as additional resource to climate-proof their investment on community based adaptation work; (v) provide direct support to the vulnerable households to meet their adaptation needs; (vi). promote a local climate financing mechanism through evidence based advocacy for delivering climate finance at scale.

The project will enhance the capacity of vulnerable communities, local government institutions and civil society organisations for planning and financing climate change adaptation solutions in selected climate vulnerable areas. By achieving the objectives and results, the project will contribute to the reduction of poverty and vulnerability in Bangladesh. The project is expected to produce the following results:

The total duration of the project is 48 months, including a 6-month inception phase. The LGD, as implementing agency of MoLGRD&C is the implementing agency, which assumes overall responsibility for management and implementation of the project in a manner consistent with UNDP’s National Implementation Modality (NIM). A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will be formed with the participation of Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief (MoDMR), Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), other relevant ministries, development partners and implementing UN agencies. It will be responsible for consensus based management decisions for the project when guidance is required, including approval of project plans and revisions. UNDP and UNCDF jointly manage a Project Management Unit (PMU) comprised of national and international staff members to support the LGD for implementing the project. A National Project Director (NPD) will be assigned by the Ministry who will lead the implementation with support from PMU. The PMU of the Project, under the guidance of NPD will be responsible for providing financial and narrative reports to development partners through UNDP and UNCDF. A Project Board chaired by NPD will have members from Development Partners and Implementing UN agencies, and will oversee the technical aspects of the project. The total budget of the project is estimated at US $19.27 million. The EU signed two separate Delegation Agreements with UNDP and UNCDF. SIDA will sign an agreement with Multi Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) Office as Administrative Agent. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between MPTF Office, UNDP and UNCDF for SIDA resource sharing. An approved Project Document with GoB will be the basis of legal agreement between UNDP-UNCDF and GoB on managing the project.

The existing development partners and other interested development partners (beyond EU and SIDA) may also join to support the project at a later stage. There will be scope to explore additional resource mobilization from internal and external sources to scale up successful models of the project within the scope of the current project. As per United Nations (UN’s) role, UNDP and UNCDF will continue to play a joint role in managing various risks including fiduciary risk together with assurance of project quality. A comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system will be in place to demonstrate accountability, track impacts and progress and generate knowledge. The project envisages a twofold sustainability of efforts beyond its stipulated life. Firstly, through the capacity building component primary stakeholders will continue to utilise the knowledge and skill gained for better performance at their respective levels. The vulnerable households and the community at large will continue to derive benefits by using the knowledge transferred. Besides, the civil society engagement would amplify the demand for more investment for adaptation in an accountable, transparent, participatory and inclusive manner. Therefore, there would be a clear qualitative change on the demand side of the agenda. Similarly, the LGIs will continue to include climate change into their LDPs based on the knowledge and skills they would acquire from the project including the participatory approach for accountable service delivery. The climate fiscal framework initiated by the Ministry of Finance (MoF) will create conditions to formulate Local Climate Fiscal Framework (LCFF). Knowledge and evidence from the project will provide enough inputs into the practice of climate agenda at the local level. Therefore, the supply side of it is expected to make a qualitative change. The results will be reinforcing the good practices for scaling up and mainstreaming which in turn will ensure sustainability.