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THE GAMBIA

The Gambia counts 43 Districts in 8 Areas and a population of 2,1 M people. LoCAL is engaged in 10 districts in The Gambia.

Climate Vulnerability:

The Gambia’s fragile economic and social profile makes it particularly vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather events. The Gambia’s economy is highly reliant on subsistence agriculture, with additional household income coming from cash crops and surpluses in productive years. Gender inequality is an important feature of poverty in The Gambia and climate impacts are expected to disproportionately affect women.

National Response

The Gambia’s fragile economic and social profile makes it particularly vulnerable to a number of potential shocks, including climate change and weather extremes. In 2014/2015, the double shock of drought and the Ebola scare led to rising food insecurity rates and increasing migration to urban areas or overseas, particularly Europe. An estimated 57 per cent of the Gambian population now live in the urban areas. The Gambia needs support in paradigm change and the creation of efficient democratic institutions. Job creation and social inclusion are key to ensuring this goal.

The country’s intended nationally determined contributions outline key adaptation measures for transitioning to a low-carbon, resilient development pathway, including fiscal policy, public investments to green key sectors (agriculture, energy, water resources, waste management, etc.) and employing new market-based instruments. The Gambia is in a phase of rapid transition and needs support in paradigm change and the creation of efficient democratic institutions. Job creation and social inclusion are key to ensuring this goal.

LOCAL - THE GAMBIA

Brief:

The design of LoCAL-Lesotho started in 2018. Lesotho has been selected by UNCDF and the World Resources Institute as one of three pilot countries to test a framework for assessing climate change adaptation to monitor the extent to which LoCAL country programmes contribute to increased resilience and capacity building for adaptation. Four community councils within the district of Mohale’s Hoek were selected to pilot the approach in Lesotho: Khoelenya, Lithipeng, Qhoasing and Senqunyane.

The African Development Bank, through the Africa Climate Change Fund, approved funding contributing to the implementation of the LoCAL-Lesotho pilot phase and the first PBCRGs were transferred to the LoCAL-Lesotho account at the Central Bank. Bank accounts were created for each one of the four community councils and USD14,000 was transferred to each account to finance investments that promote adaptation to climate change. Implementation commenced in early 2020 and to date nine water supply and range management sub-projects have been completed in the four councils.

The Gambia officially joined the LoCAL mechanism on October 2018 through the “Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth Programme”. The JSF Programme is funded by the European Union (EU), co-piloted by UNCDF’s LoCAL and Youth Start initiatives. The JSF programme aims to contribute to stabilizing the economic, social and security situation of the country during the democratic transition by facilitating social inclusion and employment of youth and women, with a specific emphasis on promoting gender equality and addressing climate change.

2 Areas engaged

10 Adaptation investments

21,000 Direct Beneficiaries

Budget: US$ 4,299,947

Action on Climate Change:

The first cycle of grants disbursed to eight WDCs in the Lower River and North Bank regions resulted in 10 small-scale climate-resilient investments. These ranged from providing clean drinking water for people and livestock through solar-powered boreholes; horticulture gardens; construction of culverts to improve accessibility to markets, schools and hospitals, and integrated poultry horticulture farms as priority interventions to improve community resilience to climate change.

UNCDF has supported the 20 Year 2 WDCs in identifying and developing – in a participatory manner – their investment plans for Year 2. These plans have been prioritized based on climate adaptation priorities in the wards as identified though a climate risk assessment. The investments will contribute to improved access to clean and reliable water supplies for household and agricultural use, improved and diversified livelihoods for households, and increased adoption of agro-forestry and reforestation to enhance environmental conservation. To date, the investments have benefited some 21,000 people and created 410 temporary jobs, mainly for women and youth.

A dance is organised in the community during the evaluation and appraisal mission of the JSF Programme in The Gambia ©UNCDF/LoCAL 2019

PROGRAMME DETAILS

Objectives

LoCAL-The Gambia is one of three components of the Jobs, Skills and Finance for Women and Youth in The Gambia (JSF) Programme funded by the 11th European Development Fund. The programme aims to help stabilize the country’s economic, social and security situation during its democratic transition by facilitating the social inclusion and employment of youth and women, with a specific emphasis on promoting gender equality and addressing climate change. It will accomplish this goal through two components:
■ Job creation for youth, women and local communities and equal access to employable skills development
■ Improved access to finance
Activities undertaken as part of the first component, featuring the LoCAL performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) approach, aim at creating jobs, particularly in the green economy. Local authorities and communities are supported in identifying needs in priority sectors and in planning investments accordingly. Support is provided to increase the number, quality and accessibility of vocational training schemes offered to youth and women. Activities under the second component facilitate access of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises to financial services, with a particular focus on youth and women. Public-private partnerships are being established for local relevant employment creation and economic development.

Achievements

  • Following technical missions and a consultative meeting to draft and validate LoCAL design in 2017, the JSF Programme was officially launched in October 2018. During the launch event, LoCAL Steering and Technical Committees were constituted, and beneficiary wards for Years 1 and 2 were identified in the Lower River and North Bank regions. An initial set of activities was set out, focused on creating the structures for governance aligned with existing government processes, and building partnerships with public and private sector players relevant to programme implementation.

  • In late 2018, LoCAL undertook a series of activities with ward representatives, technical advisory committees (TACs), multidisciplinary facilitation teams (MDFTs) and communities. The aim was to familiarize the selected wards and their communities with the JSF Programme and details of the LoCAL investment mechanism, as well as train TAC and MDFT members in LoCAL design. In all, 329 people attended the workshops, 50 per cent of whom were women.

  • In the first half of 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed between UNCDF and the Ministry of Lands and Regional Governments (MoLRG) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for deployment of the LoCAL mechanism and associated PBCRGs. A letter of agreement was signed between UNCDF and MoLRG to provide the ministry with operational support for successful implementation of LoCAL/JSF activities; these activities include capacity development support to key governance structures such as the TACs and MDFTs, which in turn provide regular support to the work developed and implemented by the wards. Additionally, a letter of agreement was signed with the Office of the Auditor General to provide guidance, training and supervision to the wards on good governance and financial management; under this agreement, support is provided for annual audits of the wards on budget execution, use of funds and compliance with national public finance management.

  • Following technical missions and a consultative meeting to draft and validate LoCAL design in 2017, the JSF Programme was officially launched in October 2018. During the launch event, LoCAL Steering and Technical Committees were constituted, and beneficiary wards for Years 1 and 2 were identified in the Lower River and North Bank regions. An initial set of activities was set out, focused on creating the structures for governance aligned with existing government processes, and building partnerships with public and private sector players relevant to programme implementation.

  • In late 2018, LoCAL undertook a series of activities with ward representatives, technical advisory committees (TACs), multidisciplinary facilitation teams (MDFTs) and communities. The aim was to familiarize the selected wards and their communities with the JSF Programme and details of the LoCAL investment mechanism, as well as train TAC and MDFT members in LoCAL design. In all, 329 people attended the workshops, 50 per cent of whom were women.

  • In the first half of 2019, a memorandum of understanding was signed between UNCDF and the Ministry of Lands and Regional Governments (MoLRG) and the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs for deployment of the LoCAL mechanism and associated PBCRGs. A letter of agreement was signed between UNCDF and MoLRG to provide the ministry with operational support for successful implementation of LoCAL/JSF activities; these activities include capacity development support to key governance structures such as the TACs and MDFTs, which in turn provide regular support to the work developed and implemented by the wards. Additionally,
    a letter of agreement was signed with the Office of the Auditor General to provide guidance, training and supervision to the wards on good governance and financial management; under this agreement, support is provided for annual audits of the wards on budget execution, use of funds and compliance with national public finance management.

Way Forward

  1. A climate risk assessment report and the LISA platform for selected wards, recently undertaken in The Gambia with CSE support, are expected to help participating WDCs strengthen their adaptation planning and selection of climate investment plans.
  2. The JSF Programme/LoCAL will share the results of the recently conducted annual performance assessment with participating wards and seek approval from the LoCAL Technical Committee to inform the subsequent PBCRG allocation for Year 1 wards.
  3. Based on results of the assessment and the audit, the JSF Programme/LoCAL will continue to build the capacity of WDCs in procurement and financial management processes, as well as in understanding the LoCAL mechanism.
  4. LoCAL will continue to work closely with key ministries to support The Gambia in leveraging climate finance under the PBCRG system, including with the Green Climate Fund and other funding sources and partners.
  5. The LoCAL mechanism will be expanded from 20 wards to 32 wards (8 in each of four regions) in 2021/2022.

More Information

Climate change adaptation falls within the core mandate of community councils, along with land use planning, natural resource management and infrastructure development. Climate change adaptation requires effective coordination of various stakeholders. As a gateway for development facilitation at the local level as well as custodians of all development, community councils are strategically positioned to play this coordination role. However, community councils seldom have sufficient resources to execute these functions.

The overall outcome of LoCAL-Lesotho is to improve the climate change resilience of the communities in the selected councils as a result of climate change adaptation activities funded through the performance-based climate resilience grant (PBCRG) and capacity development support. By promoting climate change–resilient communities and economies via increasing financing for and investment in climate change adaptation at the local level, LoCAL-Lesotho will directly contribute to one of the country’s development plan pillars – reversing environmental degradation and adapting to climate change.

The objectives for LoCAL-Lesotho are as follows:

• Increased transfer of climate finance to local governments through national institutions and systems for building verifiable climate change adaptation and resilience

• A standard and recognized country-based mechanism which supports direct access to international climate finance

Four outputs are envisaged:

(i) inclusive and accountable climate change adaptation is mainstreamed into local council planning;

(ii) government, local authority and population awareness of and capacities in adaptation and resilience planning are improved;

(iii) an effective country PBCRG finance mechanism is established and operational, providing additional funding to targeted community councils; and

(iv) experience and lessons learned are consolidated and shared.waiting results of annual performance assessment (APA). Lessons are being drawn from the LoCAL pilot to expand the LoCAL and its PBCRG mechanism to additional community councils in Lesotho and to attract additional finance to be channelled through the LoCAL mechanism to finance locally led adaptation and increase resilience of communities and local economies. This intends to prepare for a fully integrated mechanism into the country systems and a scaling-up country-wide.

Objectives

Achievements

Way Forward

Stories from the Field

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