Participants during the GEF CSO Capacity Building workshop

Environmental Management for Livelihood Improvement Bwaise Facility (EMLI) and the GEF CSO Network Uganda Chapter supported by Government of Uganda, GEF Small Grants Programme and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the CSO-Government Dialogue Project organized a capacity building meeting on 12 September 2017 at Kampala Kolping Hotel to update members on a number of GEF related matters aimed at building member capacity. 

The RFP for Eastern Africa, Mr. Robert Bakiika from EMLI informed members about the objective of the meeting; to build members capacity in GEF matters and also identify needs for further capacity development. He said that the network is under pressure to review its membership due to the evolving process were some member organizations have progressed into agencies, hence the need to draw a distinction between GEF CSO network members and agencies. He further informed members that the minimum requirements for updating membership are; an annual report and an audited report.

Ms. Iyango Lucy Anne made the opening remarks on behalf of Mr. Paul Mafabi, the Director of Environmental Affairs, Ministry of Water and Environment.  In her remarks, she urged members to enhance partnerships other than individualism to ease access to GEF funds. She also said that collaboration and enhanced capacity are important in developing of bankable projects that can attract funding and urged members to also take into consideration the issue of value for money when implementing projects and when reporting on the project outcomes hence making the issue of integrating impact programmes in the project cycle more relevant. 

In addition members were urged develop proposals for GEF funding in consultation with the relevant GEF agencies in the country to ensure that their proposals are in line with GEF requirements.

GEF Operational Focal point representative Mr. Denis Mugagga from Ministry of Finance Planning and Economic Development applauded CSOs for their initiatives in supporting government commitments. He said that CSO-Government Dialogue project is one avenue that will continue to strengthen engagements between CSOs and the Government towards more fruitful discussions. He noted that SGP is the most effective programme in managing climate change since its impacts are felt on the ground and therefore informed members that in the next programming, funds will be allocated to SGP.

Members were informed about the dwindling resources for the GEF Small Grants Programme that is due to the general status of the country. For example Uganda has already reached its exit stage from Small Grants Programme. In addition, Mr. John Stephen Okuta from UNDP/SGP said that the slow growth and development of the country limits the level of funds received by Uganda. He therefore concluded by informing members that the overall growth and development of the country is important to cover up the limitation affecting Uganda’s access to grants under SGP.

He further said that SGP mandates all countries that apply for the fund to meet the co-financing requirement that is determined by a ratio of 1 dollar to 6 dollar co-financing from the grantee country. 

During the meeting one of the members raised a concern about having most SGP projects implemented in Karamoja.  In response Mr. Okuta informed members that GEF/SGP, a corporate programme under GEF uses affirmative action to identify areas for project implementation thence areas like Karmoja are always selected due to their vulnerability levels especially to climate risks.

Members further raised a concern about the limited access to information relating to the available GEF issues especially funding. In reply, Mr. Okuta informed members that the secretariat is resource constrained and this hampers, its role to ensure that information is disseminated to all members hence they employ a case by case strategy that does not accommodate all members.

The meeting used a quiz exercise to build members capacity in GEF issues. This provide insights to members about  GEF matters. The members recommended the exercise as a good strategy towards capacity building.

EMLI through the project coordinator, presented highlights of the GEF CSO Government dialogue project and mentioned that it goal is to strengthen support mechanisms of SGP through establishment of CSO Government Dialogue project. The meeting was informed that the project is currently progressing with the compilation of a compendium of MEAs ratified by Uganda while assessing the status of MEAs implementation, challenges and making relevant recommendation among other activities.

In conclusion, members recommended that there is need for GEF-CSO government Dialogue project to facilitate exchange visits and experience sharing amongst GEF members to enhance capacity on how to implement successful GEF projects.

In addition members recommended for decentralization of GEF CSO Network meetings other than holding them only in Kampala.
 For more information about the workhop presentations and quiz, download from the links below;