Funding by UNDP and CTCN/UNEP (USD)


Countries Eligible for funding


Entities receiving funding


Maximum grant funding (USD)


About Us

About the AFCIA

The Adaptation Fund has launched a new USD 10 million pilot small grants programme (Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator, AFCIA) to foster innovation in adaptation in developing countries at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP25) in Madrid. The AFCIA targets a broad range of potential finance recipients, including governments, non-governmental organisations, community groups, young innovators and other vulnerable groups.

The AFCIA will provide small grants to developing countries to support innovation for effective, long-term adaptation to climate change and is part of the Adaptation Fund’s Innovation Facility (please click here for more information). Two of the Adaptation Fund’s accredited Multilateral Implementing Entities (MIEs), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), receive USD 5 million each to administer and aggregate a project of small grants (up to USD 250,000 each). The Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN), which is the operational arm of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Technology Mechanism, works in conjunction with UNEP as an executing entity in the AFCIA.

The AFCIA will focus on producing two of the expected results of the ‘Strategic Focus 2 (Innovation)’ in the Adaptation Fund Medium-Term Strategy 2018-2022 (please click here for more information), which are:

  • (Expected Results 3) New innovations encouraged and accelerated - Development of innovative adaptation practices, tools and technologies encouraged and accelerated; and
  • (Expected Result 4) Evidence base generated - Evidence of effective, efficient adaptation practices, products and technologies generated as a basis for implementing entities and other funds to assess scaling up.

Please note that UNDP and UNEP-CTCN provide different services to support innovation in adaptation to developing countries in the AFCIA. 

  •  (UNDP) Grant funding is provided to applicants on a competitive basis. Selected grantees will operate and manage their projects by themselves with support from UNDP. Grant funding is open to Not-for-profit, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Business Member Associations (BMOs), and other Associations, Cooperatives, or Community Based Organisations registered in a developing country.
  •  (UNEP-CTCN) Technical assistance will be provided to developing countries on a competitive basis. A selected application will be further developed to design a customised solution tailored to the need of developing country, and the solution will be implemented in the country by a technology provider selected by the CTCN. Please note that the application should be signed by the national focal point to the CTCN (National Designated Entity, NDE) and submitted via the programme webpage.  

Please check more details on the UNDP programme and the UNEP-CTCN programme either by clicking on the application buttons or through the web-links as below:
•     UNDP

Who can Apply?

The AFCIA will provide developing countries with special opportunities for innovation in adaptation. Please note that UNDP and UNEP-CTCN have different eligibility for supporting developing countries in the AFCIA.

•    (UNDP) The programme is open to Not-for-profit, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) including Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Business Member Association (BMO), other Association, Cooperative, Community Based Organizations registered in a developing country.

•    (UNEP-CTCN) The eligible countries in the programme include Non-Annex I Parties in Africa, Asia-Pacific and Latin America and Caribbean under the UNFCCC that do not have National Implementing Entities (NIEs) accredited with the Adaptation Fund (114 countries in total as of 26 June 2020). 

For developing countries with the Adaptation Fund’s accredited NIEs, the Adaptation Fund provides a recently launched innovation grant funding window, and more information can be found by clicking here. Please note that an applicant cannot submit the same application to both UNDP and UNEP-CTCN. As administrators of the AFCIA, UNDP and UNEP-CTCN will cross check applications to ensure there is no duplication. Please check more details on the UNEP-CTCN programme and the UNDP programme either by clicking on the application buttons or through the web-links as below:

•    UNDP

When to apply?

Please note that UNDP and UNEP-CTCN have different timelines. 

•    UNDP - The first call for proposals are closed. The second call for proposals will be opened between 19th September to 7th November 2022.

•    UNEP-CTCN - There will be three-time opportunities to submit an application (technology concept) to UNEP-CTCN. The first, second and third calls for application submission are planned to be open in November 2020, February 2021 and February 2022, respectively.    

Please check more details on the UNDP programme and UNEP-CTCN programme either by clicking on application buttons on this webpage or through web-links as below:

•    UNDP

Where to apply?

All applicants can submit their application via programme webpages. The applicants can download an application form or submit their application online.

Please check more details on the UNDP programme and the UNEP-CTCN programme either by clicking on the application buttons or through the web-links as below:

•    UNDP

How to apply? (for UNDP programme only)

Adaptation Fund-UNDP Innovation Small Grant Aggregator Platform (ISGAP) under Adaptation Fund Climate Innovation Accelerator is designed to develop and diffuse innovative adaptation practices, tools, and technologies that will result in improved climate resilience of the target beneficiaries over the baseline or business-as-usual scenario. The programme operates similarly as a challenge fund with two cycles of funding, each run for two years. There are four main processes for each funding cycle: (1) Call for proposals, (2) Screening, and selection; (3) Implementation; and (4) Knowledge coordination and result aggregation.

Detail process is under the FAQ below: detail programme process. UNDP aims to provide a total of 15-20 micro grants to promote new/pilot innovative adaptation practices, business models and technologies ($60,000 for a two-year cycle); and 10-15 small grants to accelerate innovative adaptation practices, business models and technologies with scaling up potential ($125,000 for a two-year cycle). Grantees could receive another round of funding for the second cycle if they reached the milestones proposed for the first cycle (therefore, a total $120,000 for micro grants and $250,000 for small grants for this four-year programme).  Technical assistance from the network of UNDP and partners will be provided to grantees to enhance the results. ISGAP is also providing grantees a pathway to scale, either through public funding projects or through potential private funding channels brokered by UNDP and partners.  

Detailed Programme Process

Step 1. Call for Proposals. Applicants need to register and submit their basic information in the ISGAP IT portal. 

Step 2. Screening and Shortlisting (minimum 4-6 weeks), depending on total amount of applications received. UNDP will conduct first around screening based on three key criteria: 1. Climate Change Adaptation, 2. Innovation, 3. Social and Environmental consideration. Shortlisted grantees will need to download a grant proposal template from the IT portal. This grant proposal will need to be completed within a week timeframe and uploaded onto the IT portal. 

Step 3. Final screening and grantee selection (4-6 weeks), depending on total amount of longlisted proposals. Successful grantees will be contacted to sign the grant agreement with UNDP. 

Step 4. Inception Training. The programme will kick-off with a series of inception webinars, both aiming to build connections and conduct training. Training items will be focused on innovation, business strategy, climate risks, impact measurement and management, and safeguards.

Step 5. Grantees will need to assess key barriers for their operation or scale-up potential. Building on the grant proposal, each grantee will need to submit an acceleration workplan to UNDP. The UNDP Project board’s experts will provide advice on suggested barriers and potential ways to overcome these barriers.

Step 6. Implementation. Grantee will implement according to their workplan with the following activities: 

•    Project delivery against acceleration workplan
•    Order contract to selected vendor (if UNDP support is required to source vendors, in specific cases)
•    Check-ins with the Project Management Unit (PMU), or UNDP Country Office (if needed) 
•    Fill in impact/results quarterly in annual project report and submit to the PMU. These reports also have sections to report on financial expenditures, on how risks and safeguards mitigation measures are proactively managed by grantees, and how they ensure to comply with gender equality commitments.
•    Attend National/International events (invited by UNDP) related to innovation, climate change adaptation, business development, finance for adaptation, and topics alike.
•    Participate in networking, matchmaking and deal sharing opportunities and events.
•    Annual grantee survey and feedback meeting to evaluate performance of PMU, vendors and partners
•    Share learnings, challenges, and stories with UNDP

This section is specifically for the UNDP programme grantee. For the UNEP-CTCN programme, please visit here.

Other FAQs (for UNDP programme only)

This section is specifically for the UNDP programme grantee. For the UNEP-CTCN programme, please visit here

Does the fund provide up-front payments? 
Yes. Payments will be made according to an agreed schedule with the grantee (usually 3 to 4 installments). These payments will be released when the Project meets at least 70% of each pre-agreed milestone. First disbursement generally carries 30% of the total grant amount for the two-year period.  

In what currency the money will be released? 
The grant will be denominated in US Dollars only. 

Precisely what kinds of activities can, and cannot, be funded by ISGAP? 
Specific activities and items that will be funded by ISGAP will be determined during the selection process and subject to the grant proposal document agreed between the grantee and UNDP. 

Will UNDP be involved directly in the management of the projects it supports? 
No. UNDP will not be involved in direct management of any Project. UNDP will provide technical support and orientation for the grantees on how to properly manage their grants and report, but from an oversight perspective.

How will the implementation of funded projects be monitored? 
Grant recipients will be expected to comply with various reporting requirements to be mutually agreed during grant proposal process. 

Will UNDP provide any technical assistance in support implementation? 
A proportion of grant budget (approximately 20%) will be requested to designed under technical assistance by each grantee. UNDP and its partners will provide general technical assistance, business development, investor/donor networking for all grantees. Individual grantee could request technical assistance from UNDP at a case by case basis.

What will grant recipients be expected to do? 
Recipients of grant funding by ISGAP will be expected to comply with the following requirements: 
•    Achievements of agreed Milestones to trigger payments (at least 70%)
•    Quarterly progress report 
•    Financial statement of expenditures. 
•    Narrative and Financial reporting should come with supporting documentation as annexes. 

Does ISGAP provide any assistance in developing the concept note and proposal? 
No. But for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) in the pacific, please reach out to our partner the USAID Climate Ready project for proposal assistance. 

Is there a Right of Appeal for unsuccessful submissions? 
No. The UNDP’s project grantee committee’s decision is final. There is no right of appeal. 

If I am not successful, can I apply again at a later date, with a revised or new project proposal? 
Yes, if an applicant does not reach grant agreement stage, the applicant may submit a concept note for another (or revised) project in a next call for proposals (if available).

I am worried that my project idea is a good one and could be ‘stolen’. Will my proposal be treated confidentially? What about patent rights, copyrights, and other similar rights?
Yes. All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence during the application process. Ownership of patent rights, copyrights, and other similar rights (“Intellectual Property Rights”) to any discoveries, inventions or works resulting from implementation of the Activities under this Agreement shall vest in the Recipient Institution. Nonetheless, the Recipient Institution shall grant UNDP a perpetual, irrevocable, world-wide, non-exclusive and royalty-free license to use, reproduce, adapt, modify, distribute, sub-license and make use of such Intellectual Property Rights, including the ability to further license to program country governments in accordance with the requirements of the agreement between the UNDP and the government(s) concerned.

What languages should I use? 
Application and proposal need to be in English. Due to the amount of expected application (400+), unfortunately we cannot provide additional language support. We hope to include more languages in the future.  

How do I know that my proposal was received by ISGAP? 
We will acknowledge via e-mail the receipt of your Concept Note or Proposal. You can also check the applications portal. 

What happens if the project is unable to meet one or more of the agreed milestones? 
If a grantee fails to meet an agreed milestone, then any subsequent grant releases by the Fund will be halted until a mutually satisfactory solution is found. If a solution cannot be found, the Fund may regrettably have to halt its grant funding of the Project at that stage.

Will I be expected to pay back some or all of the grant money if the project/proposed solutions are ultimately unsuccessful, or fails to meet its initial goals? 
No, you will not. But if fraudulent activities within the grantee organization are identified as the cause of the failure, then UNDP could demand and enforce a full refund of the funds advanced. 

Note: The call for proposals from UNDP is only open to NGO/CSO status organizations    including non-governmental academic or educational institutions. Network partners of CTCN please apply under CTCN's portal. Please do not apply for both CTCN's Technical Assistance programme and UNDP’s grant funding.